CS3811 - Project 2000

2000 October 30

The task is to design an Academic Information System for a small university. The system will be used by Student Services personnel, faculty and by students themselves. You will use mysql and construct a front-end using php (or other Web-based) forms.

There are 3 distinct phases to the project.

In the first phase, design, you will consider the attributes, tables and views which your system needs. You will consult with the client (your course instructor) about what is expected from the system. At minimum, the system will contain information:

You are free to add data items to the model in consultation with the client. Your design must include examples of the main elements of relational systems (primary keys, foreign keys, other constraints ...); some normalization is expected. You will be expected to document the design, including normalization, in writing and provide it to the client in draft form on November 15, and modified in consultation with the client on November 22. The design document must not exceed 10 pages (12 pt type). (In order to facilitate your work in the second phase of the project, it will be helpful to examine carefully the features of mysql during the design process).

The second element of the project will be the construction of a mysql database and some forms to allow data entry, updating and access to the database. Your forms may also enforce integrity. Your implementation is required to follow your design document. You will need to consult with the client using a prototype during the programming phase. At this time you will consider various user views and security issues.

Finally, you will provide a User Guide to your system. It must include instructions on using mysql and your forms for naive users. You are not expected to give an instruction manual for mysql and SQL, but you should write clear explanations of how to get into and out of the program and access your forms, how to use the forms for entering/updating data and how to write simple SQL queries. The User Guide will not exceed 15 pages. A draft of the User Guide must be provided to the client on November 29, one week before the project completion date, December 6. On the project completion date final drafts of the design document, User Guide and a dump of your database will be provided to the client.

A brief presentation of your project will be done in class during the last week of classes.

Important notes

  1. The project forms an important part of the assessment in the course. Late submission will result in a penalty of .67 grade points per day for up to three days, after which that part of the project will be graded incomplete.

  2. The grade for the project will be based about equally on the results of each of the three phases.

  3. Your work will be done by a team of 2 and it is expected that both members of each team will participate in all phases of the project. That is, each team member should contribute to the design, implementation and documentation. Each team member is expected to be familiar with mysql, and each team member must take part in writing the User Guide.
  4. Normally, both team members will receive the same grade for the project. Therefore, you will contact the course instructor if you do not participate with your team in the completion of any of the three phases of the project.
  5. You may have noticed that this is a LaTeX document. The visual presentation of your documents will be considered in grading. TeX or HTML are very suitable for achieving good presentation. Common word-processing systems may also provide suitable, if less attractive, formatting.