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XML document exchange system for GoldMine

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Topic Description

Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction………………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.1: Motivation…………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
1.1.1: Problem Outline…………………………………………………………………………….. 1
1.1.2: Challenges……………………………………………………………………………………. 1
1.2: Clear IT ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
1.3: GoldMine……………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
1.4: Project Outline ……………………………………………………………………………………. 3
1.4.1: Project Aim…………………………………………………………………………………… 3
1.4.2: Project Benefits……………………………………………………………………………… 3
1.4.3: Objectives…………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
1.4.4: Minimum Requirements………………………………………………………………….. 4
1.4.5: Project Deliverables……………………………………………………………………….. 4
1.5: Project Approach ………………………………………………………………………………… 4
1.6: Project Schedule…………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Chapter 2: Background Research …………………………………………………………………… 7
2.1: GoldMine……………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
2.2: EDI……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
2.2.1: Overview………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
2.2.2: Conclusions ………………………………………………………………………………….. 8
2.3: XML…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
2.3.1: Metadata………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
2.3.2: XML Schemas …………………………………………………………………………….. 10
2.3.3: Storing XML documents………………………………………………………………… 10
2.5: Methodologies…………………………………………………………………………………… 11
2.5.1: Hard Methodologies……………………………………………………………………… 11
2.5.2: Soft Methodologies………………………………………………………………………. 13
2.5.3: Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………….. 15
Chapter 3: High Level Analysis and Design ……………………………………………………. 16
3.1: Project Analysis ………………………………………………………………………………… 16
3.2: Fact-Finding ……………………………………………………………………………………… 17
3.3: Requirements Specification ………………………………………………………………… 20
3.4: Required Phases ………………………………………………………………………………. 22
XML document exchange system for GoldMine
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Chapter 4: Project Phase 1 – Message Authoring Interface………………………………. 24
4.1: Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
4.2: Design……………………………………………………………………………………………… 27
4.3: Implementation …………………………………………………………………………………. 27
4.4: Testing and Evaluation……………………………………………………………………….. 28
Chapter 5: Project Phase 2 – XML Parser ……………………………………………………… 29
Chapter 6: Project Phase 3 – Message Sending……………………………………………… 30
6.1: Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………. 30
6.2: Design……………………………………………………………………………………………… 31
6.3: Implementation …………………………………………………………………………………. 31
6.4: Testing and evaluation……………………………………………………………………….. 31
Chapter 7: Project Phase 4 – Message Receipt ………………………………………………. 32
7.1: Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………. 32
7.2: Design……………………………………………………………………………………………… 33
7.3: Testing and Evaluation……………………………………………………………………….. 34
Chapter 8: Project Phase 5 – Message Processing………………………………………….. 35
8.1: Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………. 35
8.2: Design……………………………………………………………………………………………… 36
8.3: Implementation …………………………………………………………………………………. 37
8.4: Testing and Evaluation……………………………………………………………………….. 37
Chapter 9: Evaluation………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
Appendix A: Personal Reflections …………………………………………………………………. 44
Appendix B: XML Purchase Order and Purchase Order Schema Documents ……… 45
Appendix C: User Acceptance Testing Results……………………………………………….. 49
Glossary …………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Chapter 1: Introduction
This chapter will focus on outlining the reasons for undertaking the project, the influences and
constraints likely to affect it, and the approach used in carrying it out.
1.1: Motivation
The proposal for this project was motivated primarily by my work for IT consultancy Clear IT and its
involvement with the GoldMine contact management system. During the summer break of 2002, I
undertook a work experience placement with Clear IT. This provided me with valuable experience in
software project management, requirements analysis and Information Systems design, as these
concepts were all utilised within my work developing add-on products for the GoldMine software.
Many of Clear IT’s customers are Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who use the GoldMine system
to track contact; including e-mail, post and fax/phone calls, with their suppliers and customers. The
majority of these organisations, Clear IT included, still exchange business documents via fax,
requiring either manual entry of relevant data into contact management and accounting systems, or the
use of entirely paper based filing systems. Integrating the electronic exchange of business documents,
such as purchase orders and invoices, with a contact management system such as GoldMine would
allow the previously time consuming exercise of manually sending and processing the documents to
be almost entirely automated.
1.1.1: Problem Outline
Currently Clear IT and the majority of its customers trade business documents such as purchase orders
via fax machine or post. This practice can obviously become slow and/or relatively labour intensive,
requiring the printing of a hard copy of the document, entering of data, checking and sending. The
hard copies must then be filed or entered into an accounts and or contact management system.
Exchanging these documents electronically could reduce the workload required for each of the stated
activities as well as allowing the automatic update of relevant systems or databases. Whilst there are
currently available systems to facilitate electronic document exchange these usually involve setup
costs which prove prohibitively high for SMEs.
1.1.2: Challenges
The challenges faced when tackling this problem are likely to include deciding on a medium by which
to transmit the documents, deciding a format in which to write and store the documents and coming to
a decision about the exact layout and content of the document which is acceptable to all involved
parties. This last challenge is arguably the most significant. Any system facilitating the exchange of
XML document exchange system for GoldMine

information between businesses requires there to be in place an agreement between the involved
parties as to the exact format and content of the documents exchanged. This agreement should cover
the data exchanged between the two parties, and may be different for each of a given organisations
customers and suppliers. There exist standard templates for many common types of business
document and some industries have standards in place for the content and layout of more specialised
documents. The large number of different documents that may be exchanged poses a challenge in
itself. It would obviously be unfeasible to create all of these, but a method to allow the addition or
creation of new document types by the user may be desirable.
1.2: Clear IT
This project will be performed on behalf of Clear IT and, as such, a description of the company would
be of use.
Formed in 1998, Clear IT is a leading value added reseller (VAR) of GoldMine contact management
software and HEAT helpdesk automation systems. SMEs form the majority of Clear IT’s customer
base although it also boasts a number of larger corporate customers. The majority of projects that
Clear IT embarks upon involve extensive customisation of the GoldMine software in order to align it
with the customer’s business. As such its consultants have good experience in working with
GoldMine’s Application Programming Interface (API) and other customisation tools. As well as
selling and customising GoldMine and HEAT software products, Clear IT also offer standard and
bespoke training on these systems.
1.3: GoldMine
Another essential element of this project is GoldMine itself; as the project aims to create a piece of
add on software, essentially increasing its functionality.
GoldMine is a proprietary contact management system created by FrontRange Software Ltd. It is
designed primarily as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to support staff in sales and
marketing roles, providing, in addition to contact details, features such as integrated email centre with
mail merge facilities, shared calendar facility and comprehensive reporting facilities. Whilst not a
fully bespoke system, GoldMine is nevertheless highly customisable, providing tools such as email
rules, and a system of macros known as ‘Automated Processes’. These provide limited scope for user
customisation of the system, allowing it to be tailored to better reflect existing business practices.
GoldMine is aimed primarily at SMEs, and for this reason, along with its inherent customisability, it
is adopted by many companies in a role central to the business. GoldMine is currently available in two
main versions. GoldMine Business

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