The aim of this project is to propose a possible solution for information handling problem for a local independent video rental shop in Birmingham. Xpress video rents out videos to approximately 300 members and has a collection of 500 videos. The owner Mr. A.Malik (client) feels that in order to expand the business they require a new system to collect all the data. The proposed information system is based upon Xpress Videos existing manual system.
At present all information is collected manually. Each video has a card that holds information about the video and is kept inside the video case. Information regarding the member is stored on a different coloured card that are in ascending order by member’s unique number and is stored in a different box and the loan information is also stored in a different box, which is indexed. Members need to show proof of identity before they can join and then they receive a unique ID card, which enables them to get discount and special offers every time they bring it to the store with them.
When a member wants to rent a particular movie the assistant (user) needs to take the video details out of the case and then search for the member details in the member box. For security purpose all members are asked to show their ID card number or confirm their details. The video detail card is clipped to the member detail card and put into the loan box. The assistant then needs to make sure all information is updated for the record and is accurate.
Statement of the problem
All the information is kept in a secure cabinet hence, causing storage problems, the time taken to search for member record is a problem. However, the clients major concern is that there is no backup copy for any of the records and therefore if a disaster does occur then there is no possibility for them to recover the data.
If a member forgets their ID number then the assistant needs to search through all member files by surname, which is time consuming and frustrating for both the assistant and the member.
During busy hours member’s details get misplaced or lost and therefore the assistant needs to create a new card for the member. They will later find duplicate records of some members causing confusion and stress for the assistants. Handwriting is not always readable and at times the video details are also misplaced. Missing videos are never accounted for until the member brings the video case to the counter.
An introduction of a computer database system will solve the client’s current problems. Database system can store vast amount of data, which can be accessed immediately and processed accurately without delay. By creating a system that is user orientated it will make it easier for the end-users to use and will be understandable for novice users as well as expert users. The operation of the system must be simple and the IT skills that are required should be mainly using the keyboard and the mouse when inputting the data. I will need to consider:
* The cost of this project-it is a medium business, with a medium budget
* The time that it will take-assuming it will take 3 months
* The resources available-check current hardware & software, cost of upgrading & user experience
Xpress Video rental need a system that can cut down on the amount of time taken by the current manual system. The system needs to store all member, video and loan details in a secure place where the data can be recovered from back up copies in emergency if required. Duplicate and redundant data need to be identified. Renting videos for members should be simple, less time consuming and only accurate information should be entered avoiding future unnecessary delays.
Aims & Objectives
1. Involve the end-user
* Conduct interviews with the client and end users throughout the development and design of the project understand their specific needs & requirements
* Discuss budget, duration, materials (hardware/software) and maintenance costs
* Approve work by client (contract)
* Once the system is installed assistant will need to be trained regularly to boost their confidence
2. Allow members, videos & loans details to be inputted, edited, stored and easily searched
* Use queries to enable assistant to ask questions e.g. number of overdue videos
* Use forms for inputting, editing viewing the information
3. Output the information when required either on screen or print version
* Use reports for summarising and printing the required information
* Install all in one printer, scanner and copier for printing
4. Allow vast amount of data to be stored
* Use tables for holding large data regarding members, videos and loan information
5. The system should be able to control unauthorised access
* Provide data security
* Train assistants and issue them with a user ID and password
* Data Protection should be applied as Xpress videos are collecting members personal data
6. Allow back up copies to be made
* Consider recovery & backup procedures when purchasing the hardware & software
* Use data storage disk as this will save space and could be recovered if the system fails
7. Information regarding member, video or loan should be accessed easily
* The on screen data entry must be clearly laid out to allow data to be entered
* The design format of the system should be consistent
8. The system must identify duplicate and redundant data
* Computer program controlling the input should perform various validation checks on the data
* The system should use presence check, format check or file lookup check to validate data
* Relationship between tables will identify redundant data as each table will have primary fields
We can use program such as Microsoft spreadsheets package, which is like a database and can be used to set-up a system. This software package could be set-up to store information and search for different records and to print the lists out. The advantage of this is that the program is cheap to purchase and therefore is very cost effective however, it may not execute some of the client’s requirement.
Consideration of possible solution
I would suggest a database package, as it is ideal, it provides standard data management features for data storage and can store a large amount of information and enables users to search for data easily. The program will allow me to design tables, forms and queries to meet the performance criteria requirements as validations can be inputted to identify redundant and duplicate data.
Professional on-screen forms and reports printouts can be easily designed using a range of colours and fonts. Further sophistication can be added using macros to perform tasks such as non-standard data validation. Access also imports data in a variety of formats so existing database may easily be upgraded.
The system has three different tables member, videos and loan and by using Access it will allow me to create relational database that will enable me to link all three tables. Setting up relational database will avoid the tedious and unnecessary duplication of data, which will make it easier for the users to update the information in just on one table.
By creating relationships between tables it will enforce referential integrity
Part of the attraction of using a relational database is that the user can manage large complex chunks of data. This can have the advantage of unifying the data handling within Xpress video rentals. For example, it means that all the member names, addresses, date of birth etc are stored only once and everyone within
Xpress video rental can access up-to-date information. The disadvantage of building complex collections of tables is that the users need to be highly organized, trained and they will need to be careful in getting the right data into the correct tables if the person keying in the data makes a transcription error then they will find that some queries are impossible to perform.
Normalising the tables will make it easier for me to design the structure of the tables properly. In addition, normalisation tends to minimise the duplication of data within the database. This has the advantage of both reducing the storage space that will be required and speeding up queries.
The techniques of system development must be organised into an appropriate development if they are to work together. In order to achieve this we need to use a ‘methodology’. Software development requires traceability and all decision made justified. I would propose to use Software through Pictures this methodology is geared to the development of interactive information systems. It covers business analysis, system design & construction design. It uses an integrated set of techniques including data flow diagrams, entity relationship modeling, structured design, and transition diagrams. The main originality of the approach lies in the last of theses techniques, which allows the rapid prototyping of user interfaces.
Within the framework of project management there are three critical success factors:
1. On-time delivery. Delivering the project according to the agreed-upon schedule
2. Within- budget delivery. The project meets forecasted cost estimated
3. High-quality delivery. The product or end result produced must be of an agreed-upon high quality
In project management this means that the outcomes meets both the functional and performance features defined for the project. I will need to establish schedule for completion of programs, including time for review and iteration. I would use Microsoft project to produce a Gantt chart for the duration of 3 months. The main tasks that I will need to consider and plan are, in depth interview with all the end-user including the client, analyse requirements, design database, design test plan. Implement design, test database, involve end user and make all the necessary changes, perform risk analysis, write user manual etc.
Risk & Constraints
I will need to establish a feasibility of what I have set out to do, by identifying risks and constraints will provide me the time to mitigate those problems that can be fixed or notify Mr. A.Malik both verbally and in writing if the problem is serious. A critical analysis of the project is crucial to get it off to an acceptable and workable start.
* Funding-may not get the full amount of capital that the project might need
* Time-may find things are taking longer than originally planned. Thus, may risk running out of time
* Client relations-if Mr. A.Malik does not have the time to work with me and assist in defining the attributes of the solution to the project problems. I may risk having a dissatisfied client as the project proceeds
* Resource-what inside and outside resource is required
A security incident can lead to loss of data confidentiality, integrity or availability when in turn may give rise to impacts of direct or consequential harm.
The main difference between computerised and non-computerised database is the speed with which data can be accessed. A computer database also makes it possible for Xpress Video rentals to analyse data using graphs and other methods of analysis.