DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE AND INTRANET OFFICE CHAT APPLICATION SYSTEM
In Nigerian Universities a lot of time is spent by faculty staff, and lecturers in various departments moving from one office to another in other to communicate with each other or sending files between each one another. This project focuses on solving the problem by developing an application for communication services in Nigerian universities using the University of Calabar as a case study. The Chat Application is a web-based application intended to be accessible from the internet or intranet. This allows the application to be available to both mobile phone users and PC users who can access the internet from their devices. The chat applications system was developed using open source web technologies notably HTML, PHP, JSON, JQUERY, AJAX and MySQL. The chat application system produced in this research work has functions that will enable students, lecturers, and staff or various departments in the institution to communicate using asynchronous string transfer know as chatting between each other. The developed application was tested using the WAMP application suite and the test results show that the application works as expected.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter One – General Introduction
1.2 Problem Definition
1.3 Objective of Study
1.4 Research Justification
1.5 Research Methodology
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
1.7 Definition of Terms
1.8 Chapter Layout
Chapter Two – Review of Literature
2.2 The Internet
2.2.1 Rich Internet Applications
2.2.2 Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)
2.3 Mobile Application Platforms Today
3.3.1 The Mobile Web
2.3.2 Rich Mobile Applications
18.104.22.168 Apple IOS
2.4 Review of Related Research
2.4.2 Proposed Contribution
Chapter Three – System Analysis and Design
3.2 System Requirement Specification
3.3 System Design
3.3.1 Logical Design
22.214.171.124 Input Design
126.96.36.199 Output Design
188.8.131.52 Menu or Navigation Design
184.108.40.206 Use Case Diagram
220.127.116.11 Activity Diagram
18.104.22.168 Class Diagram
3.3.2 Physical Design
22.214.171.124 Program Specification
126.96.36.199.1 Application Logic Specifications
188.8.131.52 System Controls
184.108.40.206 Layout of Files/ Table Design
220.127.116.11 Structure of database
Chapter Four – System Implementation
4.2 Features and choice of implementation language.
4.3 System Testing Strategies
4.3.1 Unit Testing
4.3.2 Integration Testing
4.3.3 Alpha Testing
4.3.4 Beta Testing
4.4 Target Computer System Requirement
4.5 Software Maintenance Issues
4.5.1 Corrective Maintenance
4.5.2 Preventive Maintenance
4.5.3 Adaptive Maintenance
Chapter Five – Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion
5.2 Application of the software to the problem domain
CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction The Internet is the global system of interconnected computers together networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide (Wikipedia, 2016). It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies (Wikipedia, 2016). An intranet is a network within an organization that is only accessible to systems in that organization. A file shared through this network is not available to the public but private to the network domain. The Chat Application Server functions by establishing a socket connection with the client system, confirming connections, and maintaining the Chat Handler. The Chat Handler is responsible for handling the interactions between the various clients and the server. The handler broadcasts messages to all the clients in a specific room, handles invitations to private rooms, creation of public rooms, and states the user list.
1.2 Problem Definition The major problems regarding the delivery of chat application system in Nigerian universities include:
unable to access colleagues or ask questions freely without moving from one desk; group work cannot be done independently with the intermediate synchronous response from all member in the group in one location instant message delivery to all client on the system File transfer has never been possible using a private and more secure way. Message broadcast within a split second has always been a challenge
1.3 Objective Of Study The Objective of this project is to implement a web-based chat application that will allow users within an intranet / internet connection to engage in private and public conversations. This will be achieved by following the set standard below: a. Conceptual design for a secure, accessible, and user-friendly web-based chat application a university, using the University of Calabar, UNICAL, as a case study; b. Development of such a system to demonstrate its functionality, using the WAMP (cross-browser Apache/MySQL/PHP) web server framework; c. Perform tests on the said system to assure functionality, accessibility, and usability of the system.
SCREEN SHOTS OF THE APPLICATION
1.4 Research Justification Justification for engaging in this study can be drawn from the following reasons: a. The need to demonstrate the effectiveness of employing mobile-driven information systems as a viable complement to systems based on the regular Web, within the university information framework; and b. The need to achieve a greater degree of responsiveness among stakeholders in the web-based chat application system – students, lecturers and system administrators – enabling them collaborate effectively to enhance studies and also result-related complaints.
1.5 Research Methodology In order to realize the objectives of this study, it is pertinent that, as in all matters of substance, strategy be employed in achieving set goals. The methodology employed in the course of this study is outlined thus: a. Outline a set of requirements to be met by the system proposed; b. Conceive and implement the design of the said system as a web-based application, largely using UML, the Unified Modelling Language, along the lines of an object-oriented approach; c. Development of the solution system using Codeigniter framework in line with the MVC model, CS5, a RAD (Rapid Application Development) IDE for creating Websites and applications. d. Deployment of the solution system for testing: after the solution is developed, it will be uploaded onto a free web server for the purposes of demonstrating its functionality. e. Beta testing on the hosted solution to confirm its conformity to the system requirement specifications earlier outlined; f. Detailed reporting of the findings stated above, with deduced inferences, and noted grounds for future innovation.
1.6 Scope And Limitations Of The Study In the course of realizing this project, I shall take into account the consideration that all development and analysis regarding the project will be centered on intranet/internet standards and technology. In full, the scope of the work is outlined thus: a. The solution, as conceived and developed in this study, will focus on web-based chat application only; b. The questions delivered by the solution will be of two formats, viz, instant chat services (asynchronously) and asynchronous transfer of data; c. As conceived, the solution shall comprise of the following modules: i. A web-based chat application for lecturers, students, and other academic staff through which students can chat and interact base on a school assignment and share ideas from the comfort on their doom or hostel and can as well interact regarding result-related issues; ii. A back-end application, to be used by lecturers and administrators, for the management of essential information for the system, such as user violations and complaints’ lay by student, iii. User authentication modules, which will employ unique modes of authentication to uniquely identify users, and maintain user state within the application. In addition, a number of limitations exist which must be noted. These include: a. The proprietary nature of the school portal will make it rather difficult to access the data schema used by it; hence, the data schemas employed by the proposed system will for the most part be theoretical in nature. However, this can be surmounted with adequate cooperation from relevant agencies within the University Management; b. The time-critical nature of the study informs my use of prototype-based RAD to develop the proposed solution.
1.7 Definition Of Terms a. Beta testing: Testing carried out on software independent of its manufacturer by external users. b. Internet application: A Web site with dynamic, i.e. data-source oriented user-specific, content, which usually requires some form of user authentication. c. Mobile device: Any device with the functionality for information management and transfer free from spatial and temporal constraints. Such devices include mobile phones, smart phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), tablets, and readers, among Others. d. Mobile Web: The Internet, as access to mobile devices and computer system e. RAD: rapid application development, a style of programming in which emphasis is placed on speed and delivery, usually employing extensive use of IDE (integrated development environment) capability. f. UML: Unified Modeling Language, the international standard for specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of software systems. g. User authentication: the process within the context of an Internet application wherein eligible users are granted clearance to enter – and use – the application; h. User state: the full set of all user-specific program data within a program or Internet application. i. online result system: It is a web-based software, that can process course registration and output results to the user. j. Web application: see Internet application.
1.8 Chapter Layout The work contains a total of five chapters: the first, titled “General Introduction”, true to form, expatiates on the introductory concepts underpinning this study. Chapter 2, “Literature Review and State of the Art”, offers an exposition into the research which has been carried out prior to the present time. Chapter 3, “System Design Methodology”, deals with the analysis workflow of the solution development process, while Chapter 4, “System Implementation”, focuses on the implementation workflow, discussing details of the implemented system, in relation to the processes employed in its realization. In conclusion, in the final chapter, “Recommendations & Conclusion”, I
reprise a brief synopsis of the work in its entirety as a sequel to my inferences from the system implementation phase, in relation to those areas where innovations in this field can be made.