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User Requirements

Background

The organisation I am designing a new system for is called Spider Music LTD. Spider Music started in 2002 located in Swansea. It is run by a little group of people who try their best to help people to bring out the talent within people who play instruments of all ages. There are around 7 people in the group, called the spider group, who are all interested in developing young peoples careers in music.

Spider Music has a huge amount of quality instruments from ukulele and accessories, which allow customers to hire from their warehouse based in Swansea. They also allow customers to book music lessons by hiring a qualified teacher to teach them.

The organisation also has a wide range of prices on their website. The prices are also on their leaflets that are distributed around the streets. The prices detail the price for each instrument, per hour so customers know how much the lessons will cost. Currently, the organisation is only based in Swansea but they do have plans to expand to other cities such as Cardiff and Newport to become a larger organisation. During term times, the bookings can become overbooked causing the bookings become unorganised making the bookings unrecognisable. They sometimes end up having the wrong teacher going to the wrong house or with the wrong instrument theory sheets.

I have been asked to create a new database system for them to keep track of their lesson bookings so that the employees do not get confused on what instruments to take with them and what house they have to go to. This will prevent money lost through transport to different destinations and keep the database organised. The database is required to contain the customer’s details, teacher’s details, booking times and dates and the prices per hour for each instrument. This database will then be used within the company to add customers, teachers, types of lessons and the bookings. This will make it allot easier than their out of date system, which is disorganised and hasn’t got a good HCI.

I will create the database to tackle this problem.

Expected Outcomes/Aims and Objectives

House Style and Ethos

Spider music has been running as a team for just over 10 years. They would like to portray a professional look to the company giving the customer the best experience they can get. They will need to present to clients that they are professional by representing their logo colours. The logo colours consist of a purple-blue and a lighter blue with “spider” writing being painted. They use of these colours make the logo eye catching and represent that the organisation is professional and want to project that they have to ability to offer professional teaching. These colours will need to be reflected in the colours on the database forms to make them look professional.

Aim

Provide a friendly user experience, which will be easy to use. Provide a system to allow lessons to be booked for customers. Provide a database that keeps all the data valid as possible. Provide a system that is professional and well laid out with a suitable HCI layout appropriate to the task in hand. Provide a secure system to so that data is kept secure. This can be done using login screens.

Objectives

1.Data Storage The data stored will be stored within the database. The students addresses, names, and contact details will be entered into a students table by using a form. If Spider Music decided to employ an extra musician, then a form will be set up ready to enter the teachers details into the teacher database. Staff will enter these by data entry. I will store all data about the customers who make bookings. This includes fields such as name, address and telephone number. I will also store data for the types of lessons there are such as guitar lessons or piano lessons. This will include the prices for the lesson per hour I will also store the data for the bookings that are taken and relate the type of lesson to the customer. It will also take down the dates and times the customer needs lessons The students will be stored in alphabetical order of their surname on a report and grouped by their teacher.

2.Expected Outcomes in terms of Calculations A calculation would be needed to calculate the total cost per lesson. The hours and lesson type will be taken into consideration and calculated to give the total price. A calculation would need to be produced so that the company can calculate how much has been earned weekly. Also another calculation would be needed to provide the total price for the receipt for the student.

3.Other Expected Outcomes A customer/student list will be produced so that the customers/students can be contacted if there are any cancellations required. A list of all lessons would need to be produced to know what teachers are out on the next day. An invoice to show the total cost (receipt) that the customer/student can have to keep for their references for the prices.

4. Inputs The data entry forms will be consistent with the design. There will be inputs on each form in respect to its fields in the database, some with validation and input masks. The postcode and telephone numbers will have validation when entering to ensure that data is consistent and formatted correctly. The staff will enter data by data entry.

5. Queries Queries would need to be used so that it will be easier to use and will prevent data being confused. I will use the query feature to make queries to get the instructors lessons. A query would also be made to show the total cost of the lessons so that a report can be made, which can then be converted into a receipt.

The system was prone to repeated data being entered therefore the database will need to be error free. Using validation techniques to minimise or extinguish the chances of repeated data can do this. Normally the employees will get confused on what bookings have been made due to the disorganised database. This would need to be changed so that an employee can easily just search on what lesson has been booked for the data in mind or even for a different teacher.

User Interface Requirements

When I create the database, I will aim to create a simple and easy to use user interface, which will be user friendly. I also hope to design my data entry forms to follow the house style and ethos of the organisation. I will follow the purple-blue and a lighter blue style throughout the styles of the forms of the database. Also, I will place the Spider Music LTD logo in the same place in all the forms causing the forms to be consistent and have a professional look.

I will ensure that my forms will contain the same fonts at the same size so there is consistency and at a size that is readable without straining the eye to read the text. The forms will have buttons and text to suit the actions of the buttons. Hopefully this will help with the understanding of the system and makes it easier to learn. The navigation buttons will be implemented so that the employees can easily go to the next and previous record. A menu or switchboard will be designed so that it is easier to navigate around the system from one simple menu. This makes it easier to use.

Hardware

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

Intel Pentium D Dual Core Processor @2.3GHz

1GB RAM

Minimum of 100GB Hard Disk Drive but 256GB Solid State Drive recommended

NVIDIA GeForce 635M Graphics Card 1GB GDDR5

20” LG TFT Monitor

Dual Layer DVD Re-writer Drive

Mouse and Keyboard

Printer: HP Deskjet 630CC

2x USB 3.0 Ports

HP 32GB MyDrive USB 2.0 Flash Drive for backup

Blank DVD Dual Layer 9.4GB Blank disk for 2nd backup

Network Card

Microsoft Access

I recommend this hardware due to the computer I am building it on have the same specifications. If it is able to run on my machine then it will be compatible with the same hardware on a different machine

Design of Security

The security will be programmed using VB. It will allow the login form to appear when the database is loaded so that a user can enter its credentials. If a credential is wrong, it will produce and error detailing that the username or password is wrong then the user will be directed back to the form. If the form is cancelled, it will also return back to the form. Once credentials are entered properly, it will take users to the switchboard.

Evaluation

I was required to create a database to hold students, teachers, types of instruments including costs, and bookings. The user requirements required that I create a database that can contain all the required information about the details of students, teachers and the bookings. They currently used paper methods which was not understandable to some employees and wasn’t very practical. The amount of time taken to fill in the papers and have it manually processes was time wasting therefore I was aimed to create a solution by creating a database that would speed up the process to keep all the records electronically about bookings, teachers, instruments and students. By having this database it is an advantage due to the fact that records are easily edited, added and deleted without taking any office space. The data entry forms created allows the company to enter information with this method where the navigation and layout is easier to follow and understand. How well have you met the user requirements?

Within my project, I had to implement many features to match what my client, Spider Music LTD, preferred. The features I designed and implemented that were in my user requirements were as follows: Design of Forms Design of Calculations Login System Switch Boards for navigation Reports Macro Queries

Data Entry Forms

When I designed the data entry forms I included command buttons so it is easier for the employees to use the form. The command buttons allows employees to add and delete records including a way to navigate throughout the records. This adds value to the system by saving time and no need for an admin to manually delete record from the database, which could even be confusing. The database’s data entry forms have got validation. This adds further value to the system due to decreased chances of errors. If there were errors with user details, there could be mismatches with other people that can lead to confusion and corrupt data. After the data has been entered into the data entry forms it is saved into storage on the database so that it’s in order. The detail from the entered data gets entered into their own entities storing all the information. When developing the forms I had to specify field values and sizes based upon common knowledge and what Spider Music LTD preferred so that their users are successfully entered. The forms were designed and implemented to follow the organisations house style and ethos and was consistent throughout the forms and database. On the data entry forms there are drop down lists. These allow pre-configured values to be selected. Another feature on the data entry forms are the input masks. This allows entered data to be restricted in size. The data entry forms contain input masks to ensure the database has the correct format entered so that other people (employees, managers, CEO, etc) can understand what is entered.

Calculations

Next I was asked to make calculations. I had created and implemented a calculation, which allows a query to calculate the total cost for the student based upon the amount of hours and the cost per hour. This was a success and proved working. This will display the amount per student in bulk so that there is less time wasted by calculating the calculations. This also adds value to the system by making it more time efficient.

Login System

I was also asked to create a login system for security and to prevent unauthorised access. I had done this and it works. By having this login system in place, unauthorised access has decreased thus making the system even more secure. By having a secure system, there is less chance of hackers getting into the system and stealing valuable information whether it be credit cards or email addresses to send fraudulent emails. This unauthorised access could ruin a company financially therefore it is good to have the system. This adds drastic value upon the system. Once logging in a splash screen loads up.

Splash Screen

The splash screen was designed to load up the main switchboard so that it is easy to navigate the system. The switchboards link to all the forms and reports making it easier to navigate. This reduces time on trying to figure out where forms are upon the system. This makes it more cost efficient thus adding value to the system.

Relationship

Each table within the database had a relationship with another. If a database has a primary key related to another field in another table, it is a foreign key. These link together and allow other tables to be called when working on one table. This is called a relational database. These can help with data consistency and prevent data from being entered multiple times so there is decreased data redundancy. This saves times and prevents further formatting mistakes being made.

Queries

Within the database I have designed, there are queries. Each query is made for a purpose to do a certain function on the database. Firstly I implemented a query that displays all the students in Neath. This allows a function to be run so that all students that live in Neath area are displayed. This would allow Spider Music LTD to decide where to run promotions or where to advertise more. The next query I implemented was a way to search between dates. Unfortunately for this query, it needs someone to edit the fields within the query itself to search different dates Another query I used was a query to find a student by its Student ID. This would save time from workers manually finding every entry from that student. Instead this query looks up all the students with this ID and displays them. Another query implemented was a way to update the prices of the music lessons. This allows the company to easily change prices rather than manually changing the prices in the table therefore saving valuable time. This seems to be the most used within the company. 5th query implemented allowed the company to display lessons that a teacher has from the search criteria. The last query displayed all the teachers and what lessons they have. These all save time rather than doing all the processes manually therefore this adds more time for the employees to work giving more productivity.

Reports

There were several attempts to create reports and upon creating a successful report, it displays the students details, lessons and costs all sorted by studentID and then grouped by the TeacherID. These reports can be produced to indicate the total earnings made with a calculation at the bottom to calculate all the prices on the report. This report can be used to fulfil the user requirement to display weekly profits if further criteria’s are used. Unfortunately there was not enough time to create a report that is like a receipt, which contains prices and cost to the students, which is in my user requirements.

Using these reports adds value to the database as its understandable to anyone within the company and can be used for comparison.

Macros

The macros I have used allow forms to be opened automatically when the database is loaded. Another macros is allowing the company know who created the database. The last macros I mentioned is not relevant to the operations within the company.

Overall

Overall, I think that the features that I have designed, implemented and tested on my database are relevant to the companies everyday operations. There are some user requirements which I was not able to produce and implement it into the database. These are: A calculation would need to be produced so that the company can calculate how much has been earned weekly. Also another calculation would be needed to provide the total price for the receipt for the student. I have achieved a majority of the objective that are in my user requirements.

My client explained to me that the most useful feature is the ability to use a parameter query to search the student’s database for the studentID They also reported that data entered is more consistent and more accurate so it’s more understandable. Therefore that less time is wasted and more bookings have been made. They also reported back to me for additional work, which can improve the company. One suggestion was to include a mail merge facility to produce a mailing list so that students can have emails with their booking information and have invoices sent via email. Or even have promotional items such as coupons. Describe problems and limitations The database can only be accessed and modified by one person at a time. The database I created only has 1 user account therefore only one-person can access it at a given time. Not a whole entire network. This means that all computers in the same area need to have their own database but the problem is that each database will not be the same throughout. One possible way to fix this is by creating a network so multiple computers access that one database. On top of that idea, implementation of more user accounts would be needed so that each employee can access the database. Another problem is that the hardware might become to slow over time. The processor and RAM I have suggested might eventually become too slow when the database records become bigger in size. This can be prevented by upgrading hardware over periods at time and not keeping the same hardware. I should have suggested a better hardware component so that there would be no need to upgrade hardware for a little bit longer. Also I should have suggested about the hard drive space and backup space. The hardware used for storage and backups might need to be upgrades to bigger space so that the size of the database within time doesn’t exceed the limit on the storage. This could be fatal, as record might not get saved. As I said previously, this could be resolved by upgrading the hardware.


Systems | Computers


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