Saturday, February 26, 2011

ITA Group Project - Part I

When we were in the 2nd semester of the first year at SLIIT, we had to develop a web site for the Internet Technology and Applications (ITA) subject as an assignment. The important thing was 10% of the final marks for that subject was given for this assignment. So it was really important to do the assignment well and score high marks because every single point counts for the GPA. From this series of posts, I'll tell you how we did the project.

For the DBMS I subject we had a group assignment to develop a database in Microsoft SQL Server according to the selected topic and for this ITA assignment, we had to build a website and connect it with the database we had developed. The group members had to be the same for both the assignments. The topic we selected was 'Apartment Reservation System'. The group members were Sasika (SS), Mezaj, Dasun, Sajee and I was the group leader. 

From left to right -  myself, Sasika, Mezaj and Dasun.

It was scheduled to finish the assignments before the final exams but due to various reasons the deadline for the presentation was postponed to November 1st 2010. Since I was the group leader, I decided not to start the project until the final exams were over because I thought it would be better to concentrate more on the final exam. We had the last exam paper on 27th October and I'll start the story from then. 

27th October 2010

We had the DCCN I paper in the morning. After the exam, all the group members got together and I asked them to be prepared to do what ever I tell them and to come when ever I call them because we had few days  left to complete the project. I didn't know how to implement the solution as my knowledge in web developing  in  ASP.NET using C# was at a low level at that time because we had limited number of practicals in ASP.NET.

I went home and went through the requirements of the website to be developed. They were as following.
  • Three types of users for the website - Admin, Registered user, Visitor
  • Provide user login, password recovery, account modification
  • Dynamically generate data on the web pages from the database
  • Shopping cart feature for products (add to cart, remove from cart, show total products, show the total payment)
  • Make reservations and cancel when necessary.
  • Search option
  • Contact us page
  • About us page
Then I realized that before starting the project, I should improve my programming and web development skills in ASP.NET C# and to be familiar with Visual Studio as it was the IDE we were supposed to use for the project. 

I had a video tutorial series in 'ASP.NET Web Development Essentials' (from Lynda) which Tharinda (a fellow student at SLIIT) gave me. So I started watching it and did the practicals in that. It gave me the essential skills to develop the website.

28th October 2010

I asked all the group members to come to SLIIT in the morning and unlike in ST I Assignment everybody came on time. First we discussed about the project and drew a plan develop the solution. What I realized was that we should design the master page of the website first and so I gave it to Sasika as he was good in graphic designing. I asked Mesaj, Sajee and Dasun to visit the Online apartment reservation websites and study the features they had and also to download images of apartments so that we could use them in our website. The database we developed for the DBMS I assignments was not matching with the requirements of the website so that I decided to build a new database for the assignment.I gave the video tutorials to them so that they also could get familiar with ASP.NET.

I went home and started building the database. First I added tables to store customer account details and apartment details. Then the next problem was how to access the database from the website. We had only one practical lab session on that and I could not even finish the lab sheet correctly.  So I started doing the lab sheet and tried to learn how to provide the database connection through a website.

I went through all the coding given in the lab sheet and did the practical. From that I learned how to Insert data to database and to Update, Delete, Retrieve data in the database using the website. 

To be continued......

Read the Part II of this series.

-Tharindu Edirisinghe-
-SLIIT 10'-


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