CS3811/2010 - Project Specification


Important notes

  1. You must read, understand and comply with all of the instructions in this document.
  2. Your work will be done by a team of two and both members of your team will participate in all phases of the project. That is, each team member must contribute to the design, implementation and documentation. Each team member is expected to become familiar with mysql/php, and each team member must take part in writing the User Guide.
  3. Normally, both team members will receive the same grade for the project. Therefore, you will contact the course instructor if you do not participate fully in the completion of any of the three phases of the project.
  4. The project forms a major part of the assessment in the course. Late submission of any part of the project with a deadline in bold below 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.
  5. The grade for the project will be weighted approximately equally on each of the three phases.
  6. After carefully considering the project outline, your team will select an application domain and report this choice to the course instructor by October 15. You may choose an application domain described below, or you may propose a domain to the instructor.
  7. You will have noted that this is an HTML document. The visual presentation of your documents will be considered in grading. TeX or HTML are acceptable for achieving good presentation. Word-processing systems may also provide suitable formatting, but are deprecated.
  8. A presentation of your project will be done in class during the last week of classes, and there may be time for short presentations on designs earlier.
  9. You will spend about four hours each week outside of class on this project (but you must not exceed eight hours in any week). This allows each team member from 35 to 50 hours for completion of their part of the project. This is more time than necessary. Each team member will provide a time log for the project. Logs are due with each phase of the project, and no grade will be assigned unless a log is provided. The logs will be helpful to you in recording your progress.
  10. The project completion date is December 6. On that date a final version of the Design document, the Implementation and Programmer's Guide, the User Guide and a dump of your database will be handed in.

Project outline

You will use mysql to construct your database and you will construct a light front-end using php. There is some choice of the application domain, but the design and implementation must include:
First phase: Design.
You will consult with the client about what is expected from the database application. You will consider the attributes, entities, relationships, constraints and views which your system needs, and design an E/R (or sketch) model. This model will be translated into the design of a relational database. Your database design must include examples of the main elements of relational systems (primary keys, foreign keys, other constraints ...); normalization is expected. You will document the design, including normalization, and provide it to the client and course instructor in draft form before November 5, and in final form, after consultation with the course instructor, by November 12. The design document will not exceed 10 pages (single-spaced, minimum 12 pt type). In order to facilitate your work in the second phase of the project, we will examine features of mysql in class near the end of the design period.
Second phase: Implementation and Documentation.
You will design and implement a mysql database and accompanying php forms. It is recommended that you install mysql on your own computer; consult the instructor before October 20 if you require another option. The implementation is required to follow your design document. Your php forms will allow data entry, updating and access to the database. They will also enforce integrity. You will consult with the client (the course instructor) with a prototype during the implementation phase no later than November 22. At this time you will consider user views and security issues. You will write an Implementation and Programmer's Guide (not to exceed 10 pages) as a narrative of the implementation and a guide to programmers for maintenance and/or enhancement.
Third phase: User Guide.
This part of the project will be developed from the design document simultaneously with the implementation. It will include brief instructions on using mysql and/or your forms for naive users. You are not expected to give an instruction manual for mysql or SQL, but you must 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 free-form SQL queries. The User Guide will not exceed 10 pages. A draft will be provided to the course instructor by November 29.

Application domains

You will create your design to satisfy a client. If you choose an application domain described below, the client is the course instructor. You may propose another application domain and client. If you do so your proposal must identify a client and ensure their willingness to interact with your team during the project and your proposal must be approved by the course instructor by October 15.

You will have up to two hours available for meeting with your client over the course of the project. You may use up to 90 minutes of this time during the design phase. More time with the client may be available at the client's discretion. Time with the client will be included in your time log. You are expected to discuss implementation requirements with the client after completing the design phase. Client availability times will be determined by the client.

Air Navigation

Air navigation for instrument flight (IFR) is a rapidly changing field combining technologies developed as early as 1929 to the GPS system that became publicly available in the 1990's.

There are two main elements in system: en route information (how and where aircraft fly between airports), and Instrument Approach Procedures (IAP) which allow aircraft to safely get close to a runway threshold even through clouds.

There is a variety of Web sites that contain some information about the US (and to some extent, Canadian) systems. However, believe it or not, in Canada the primary information about an IAP is on a chart known as an `Approach Plate'.

A well-designed database schema that will encode and correlate en route, airport and approach specifications is desired. The client is a knowledgeable user of the air navigation system.

The TGV System

French National Railways (SNCF) operates a system of very fast passenger trains throughout the country known as the TGV (for Train à Grand Vitesse). The project is to design a database that will store information about trains (including their locations), trips and passengers. The client is familiar with TGV's.