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BIOL-UA 6 (14)
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Department
Biology
Course
BIOL-UA 6
Professor
davidjenkins
Semester
Spring

Description
th 18 Feb. 2009 Analysis Introduction: Sikander Ajam Associates was established in 1978, and is now one of the leading architectural firms in the country; which deals in interior design, residential housing, town planning, commercial projects, educational institutions and hospitals. Furthermore, it has won various national and international design competitions such as The Federal Public Service Commission building at Islamabad and the State Life Insurance Corporation at Sukhur, Pakistan and received an honorable mention in a residential design competition in Riyadh, located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The firm employs a staff of fifteen out of which three are architects; five are drafts men, an office accountant, an office boy, an administrator, an accountant and a receptionist. Problems with current system: The firm uses a manual billing system, due to which it faces numerous problems. The employee has to sift through a number of files before he finds what he is looking for. The current system does not have a proper method of tracking payments received and which are due. In addition, there are no fixed records of the amount of installments left, when the project was started and its completion date. There is also no proper list of contractors and constructors dealing with the assigned projects, making it problematic to search for numbers. As the firm still runs on a manual system, there is a lot of useless paper clutter in the firm. On completion of a project, the project data such as installments, project type, etc are stored in a large filing cabinet. These files are not stored in any particular order, making it is very hard to search for the relevant file. Due to this lax approach taken by staff, some payments are missed or not received on time, resulting in considerable financial loss to the firm. This system therefore, proves to be difficult to manage, time consuming and prone to error. 1 th 18 Feb. 2009 Objectives: 1. Efficiency in entering data : It is made efficient by the use of forms and tables. Data can be entered any time without disturbing the system. 2. Updating records : Records can be added, deleted, inserted and amended with the use of command buttons. 3. Finding data : It can be searched and found easily with just the click of the mouse which is achieved with making queries. 4. Accuracy in calculations : With the help of formulas in certain cell such as in the total income cell, the income can be calculated swiftly and the calculations will be error free. 5. Reduced Paper work and office clutter The use of a computerized system reduces the need of coping data if it gets lost and all the files of the pervious projects undertaken can be stored in the computer taking minimal space. 6. Reduce manual labor : In a manual system if the data is changed in one file it has to be changed in the others also. But in a computerized system relationships can be made in corresponding files which automatically change the appropriate data in one file if it is changed in another. 7. Data protection: It will be protected with the use of a security password. Existing system: The existing system used at the firm is a manual system which means, that data is written down on paper. When a new client comes, a meeting is set between the client and the architect. The client is asked for basic information i.e. if the job concerns interior designing, designing, construction or a commercial building. When the nature of the project has been decided the architect then conducts a survey of the site. Accordingly an agreement is signed between the client and the architect. In the agreement initially a mobilization advance is taken. Then a sketch design is made of the plans which are approved by the client. Then design development is begun based on these drawings. Construction drawings are then made which, if approved are then paid for. Furthermore when all the drawings are received then the construction takes place at the site. Payment for the construction supervision is done in installments. The first payment is done at the start of the project when the layout is checked. Then it is paid when an appropriate phase of construction has been completed such as the completion of the lower level of a house. When the project is completed all the project data is stored in a file which is then put in a cabinet. In the agreement a consultancy charge is calculated by Rs.120 per Sft of the building and the design fees is calculated by taking 75% of the total cost. While the rest is for project supervision. 2 th 18 Feb. 2009 Evaluation of existing system: Manual system: Advantages Disadvantages It is cheap and easy to use. Paper can be lost and easily misplaced resulting in problems for the firm. The system can function if power has gone. It takes a lot of file space to organize the data. No extensive training required to teach staff how It is not as secure as a computerized system in to use the system. terms of password protection. Hard copies of data can be made which last longer Searching for project details is a tedious and time than a computerized version consuming task. There is no proper way of keeping the project installments and as a result they get mixed up with the rest of the data. Improvements on existing system: The manual system can be made more secure by keeping files under lock and key, so that only authorized personnel can view the data. Files can be organized alphabetically, making it easier to find them. Information about the contractors, developers and memos can be printed and copied so that it is within the reach of the concerned personnel. Estimated project completion and installment due dates should be written in the agreement. A box should also be made next to each installment, to mark if it has been paid or not. The size of the covered area should also be written to clear up the confusion on the consultancy charges. Automated system Advantages Disadvantages Fast and efficient. Employees have to be trained on how to use the system. It can sore a lot of data without additional Will not work in a power failure. paperwork. Data can be easily deleted amended and organized. If data is corrupted it is lost forever. Relationships can be made with two interlinked files such as the customer’s information with the project details. Billing calculations can be done instantly. Data can be searched for easily with the help of queries. Hence, there are drawbacks with both the systems, but the problems of the automated system are fewer than those of a manual system thus, the automated system provides the firm with a competent, efficient and professional working environment. 3 th 18 Feb. 2009 Possible solution and Evaluation of the solution : To computerize the current system custom made software using an application program, ready made software or custom made software using a programming language could be used. Ready made software: This software is manufactured on a large scale and is made by software companies and can be bought from shops. Advantages: It is cheaper as it does not require a programmer to be hired. It is bug free as it has been tested thoroughly. Disadvantages: It is not specific to the requirements of the company and sometimes does not fulfill all of them. There are many irrelevant features which complicate matters. Custom made software using a programming language: A programming language is a language which a programmer uses to create a program or software for a specific purpose. The computer can understand this language with the help of appropriate programs to convert it into binary code. To make this kind of software, developers need to be hired. It is mostly used by companies with large computer departments Advantages: It is user specific. It can be changed at will. Disadvantages: It is more expensive because a software developer has to be hired. Making the software is time consuming. Custom made application software: These are made from applications packages found mostly in Microsoft Office. It combines the efficiency of application software and the convenience of custom made software, to make a whole new kind of software. An unskilled software developer can be hired to build it, thus it is not as expensive as custom made software because the programming language does not need to be typed. Advantages: It can be made user specific. It is easier to learn and use. It can be altered. Records can be searched faster with the help of queries. Disadvantages: It can be expensive to make. 4 th 18 Feb. 2009 Proposed solution: A programming language to create custom made software such as C++ is very hard to learn and a very skilled and experienced programmer is needed to create good software, thus it will be very expensive. Ready made software can not be used because it will not be created to the requirements of the firm. The proposed solution for computerizing a manual system is to use custom made application software. Microsoft Access is an application software package which can be used to create custom made software. Tables and forms are made to store data furthermore queries can be searched easily through this system. Thus with several advantages, Microsoft Access is the perfect choice to be implemented in SAA. 5 th 18 Feb. 2009 Design Plan of Action Identification of problem The problem is approached in a systematic manner. The existing system was analyzed by interviewing the owner of the firm and observing the system and all the paper work they are working with, questions were asked, and notes were made. Analysis The first phase of the plan was to analyze the current manual system and carry out fact finding by interviewing the owner and by asking him what the major drawbacks of the system were and what improvements he needed. Together we came up with these objectives:  Efficiency in entering data.  Ease in updating records.  Finding data quickly and easily.  Accuracy in calculations.  Reduction of paperwork and office clutter.  Reduction of manual labor.  Data Protection. Time taken to finish this stage was 9 days Design After the analysis I will design the system by giving them a list of special hardware and software required. I will then design the table structure, relationship, queries, forms and reports. Time required = 14 days Implementation To achieve all the objectives I need to make different tables, relationships can be made to avoid duplication of data. After creating the relationships, I will make the queries to help search for specific data which will save the firm’s time. Then forms will be designed to make data entry user- friendly and formulae can be applied to different fields to make the work easier and accurate. Reports can be generated to save owner’s time and finally a switchboard can be created to make the software user- friendly. Time required = 21 days Testing After implementing the system the software will have to be tested to check for improvements and errors. Time required = 7 days User documentation This is needed for the firm which will explain how to use the system and how to fix the errors. Time required= 3 days 6 th 18 Feb. 2009 Technical documentation This is needed for the other programmers to make changes in the software when needed. Time required= 2 days Evaluation After implementing the system, basic training will be required for the firm in order to use the system. Finally I will check if the software is solving the problems of the firm or if it needs further improvement. Time required = 3 days. Total time required to complete the project is 59 days almost 2 months. Stage Time required Analysis 9 days Design 14 days Implementation 21 days Testing 7 days User documentation 3 days Technical documentation 2 days Evaluation 3 days Time required in days 25 20 15 10 5 0 Analysis Design ImplementationTesting User Technical Evaluation documentatiodocumentation 7 th 18 Feb. 2009 Design Table design: Client information Field Name Data Type Size/Format Client ID Auto Number Long Integer Client Name Text 20 Address Text 35 Phone number Number Long Integer Mobile number Number Long Integer Email Text 20 Client ID It is a unique field thus I have made it the key field because the names of two or more clients can be the same but their key fields are always different. This is very helpful when searching for client information in queries. In the Data type field auto number has been selected to make the system more automated and easier to use. In this field keeping an auto number ensures that the employee will not make the mistake of typing a used Client ID number. Client Name This field contains the name of the client who the building is being designed for. It is 20 characters long to save storage space. Address This field was used so that bills and drawings could be sent to the client. Its length is 35 because most addresses are long and space has to be saved. Phone number/ Mobile number It is used so that the firm can contact the client whenever a difficulty arises, and also if the client needs to be contacted to finalize a design. Email The firm asks for the email address of the client so that drawings can be sent instantaneously and also so that the client can be notified of a meeting between him and the architect or of bills he needs to pay. Its field length is 20 so that space can be saved. Purpose: The purpose of the client information table is to collect all the personal data of the client so that they can be contacted, mailed and billed in the future. It is also needed so that a record of the existing clients can be made for future reference. 8 th 18 Feb. 2009 Contractor Details: Field Name Data type Size/Format Project ID Number Long Integer Contractor ID Number Long Integer Contractor Name Text 20 Contractor Phone Number Number Long Integer Contractor Address Text 35 Project ID It is a unique field thus I have made it the key field because there will always have to be different projects. This is very helpful when searching for project and contractor information in queries. Contractor ID This field is unique to every contractor but it is not unique to every project because the same contractor can do multiple projects, thus it was not made the key field. The rest of the fields are used to get the personal information. Purpose: The purpose of this table is to get all the contractor information and to also show which project which contractor is working on. Contractor installments: Field Name Data Type Size/Format Project ID Number Long Integer Total Fee Number Long Integer Installment 1 Currency Standard Date 1 Date/Time - Installment 2 Currency Standard Date 2 Date/Time - Installment 3 Currency Standard Date 3 Date/Time - Installment 4 Currency Standard Date 4 Date/Time - Installment 5 Currency Standard Date 5 Date/Time - Total paid Currency Standard Total left Currency Standard Total Fee This is the total amount the contractor charges. Installments 1-5 The contractor is paid in installments for every part of the work he has done. It is usually over a series of 5 installments. Date 1-5 The date every installment paid is always recorded for future reference. Total Paid This field calculates the total amount of money paid by adding up all he installments. 9 th 18 Feb. 2009 Total Left This field calculates the total amount of money that has to be paid to the contractor by subtracting the Total Fee by Total Paid. Purpose: The purpose of this table is to do important calculations or the amount that has to be paid to the contractor such as the total left and they can be calculated without any human error. Draftsman details Field Name Data Type Format/Size Draftsman ID Numeric Long Integer Draftsman Name Text 25 Date of joining Date/Time - Address Text 30 Phone Number Number Long Integer Mobile Number Number Long Integer Email Text 30 Draftsman ID It is a unique field thus I have made it the key field because there will always have to be different projects. This is very helpful when searching for draftsman information in queries. The rest of the fields are used to get the personal information Purpose: The purpose of this table is to get the entire draftsman’s personal information and to also show which draftsmen are working for the firm. Project details Field Name Data Type Size/Format Client ID Number Long Integer Project ID Number Long Integer Contractor ID Number Long Integer Project Type Text Combo Box Site Location Text 30 Date Project started Date/Time - Date Project will end Date/Time - Project completed Yes/No Yes/No ID are already described This table will be linked using the key field called Client ID Project Type This field will be a list or combo box. The things that can be chosen are residential, commercial, industrial, education, and town planning. 10 th 18 Feb. 2009 Site Location This field will tell us where the site is located and it will make the job easier of the architect because he will not have to rely on others to find the location of the site. Date project started/ date ended This field tells when work on the project was begun and when is the estimated date of completing the project. Project completed This field will be a Yes/No field. If the project is completed then the employee will select yes. Installments Field Name Data Type Format/size Project ID Number Long Integer Total Cost of project Number Long Integer Total amount given Number Long Integer Installment 1 Currency Currency Date 1 Date/Time - Installment 2 Currency Currency Date 2 Date/Time - Installment 3 Currency Currency Date 3 Date/Time - Installment 4 Currency Currency Date 4 Date/Time - Installment 5 Currency Currency Date 5 Date/Time - Installment 6 Currency Currency Date 6 Date/Time - Installment 7 Currency Currency Date 7 Date/Time - Percent of money left Number Long Integer Percent of money given Number Long Integer ID are already described Total cost of project This field tells how much money the client has to pay for the project. Total amount given This field tells how much money has been give by the client to the architect. It is calculated by subtracting the total cost of the project by the installments. Installments 1-7 The architect is paid in installments for every part of the work he has done. It is usually over a series of 7 installments. Date 1-7 The date every installment paid is always recorded for future reference. Percent of money left This field tells how much money has to be paid by the client in percentage. It does this by subtracting the total cost of the project by the total amount given, then the answer is divided by the total cost of the project, then the answer is multiplied by 100 .This is done so that the architect has a rough estimate of hoe much of the project has to be completed. 11 th 18 Feb. 2009 Percent of fee received This field tells how much of the fee has been paid by the client in percentage terms. It does this by dividing the total amount given, by the total cost of the project and then multiply the answer by 100.This is done so that the architect has a rough estimate of hoe much of the project has been completed. Purpose: The purpose of this table is to be used as a sub form for the project details form, as well as to provide a easy way for the firm to view the financial details about any project. Relationships This is a prototype done n Access. The Client Table contains the personal information about the client. The Client ID is the key field and it is linked to the key field in the Project Details table which is the Client ID. This table contains details about the project. The Contractor Details table contains information about the contractor. This table’s key field is Project ID, and it is linked to the Project ID in both the Contractors installments and to the Project Details table. The Project ID in the Project details table is also linked to the Project ID in the Installments table so that the architect can keep a check on the installments. The Draftsman Table contains the personal information about the draftsmen such as who will design the project. Its key field is the Draftsman ID and it is linked to the Draftsman ID in the Project Details table. 12 th 18 Feb. 2009 Form Design Client Information data entry form: This is a prototype made in Microsoft access. Add Record This button is used to add new records in the form. Delete Record This button is used to delete specific records. Save Records This button is used to save important records. Close Form This button will close the current form. 13 th 18 Feb. 2009 Contractor information and installments entry form This is a prototype made in Microsoft Access. The installments form in the Contractor Details form is a sub form used to keep a track of the installments paid to the contractor and the amount of money that has to be paid. Draftsman information table This is a prototype made in Microsoft Access 14 th 18 Feb. 2009 Project Information and Installments table This is a prototype made in Microsoft Access The installments form in the Project Details form is a sub form used to keep a track of the installments paid and the percent of money that has to be paid. Report Design Project Details Project Details Project ID Date Project Date Project Total Cost of Total Amount Total Amount Started will end project Given Left xxx mm/dd/yy mm/dd/yy xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx This report is generated every month. It lets the firm know which projects were started in a month and the amount of money which has been paid to the firm and how much money is left. 15 th 18 Feb. 2009 Query Design Client Query Client ID Client Name Address Phone Number Mobile number Email xxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx This query is used to search for clients and displays their personal information. Contractor Installments Project Total Installment 1 Date 1 Installment 2 Date 2 Installment 3 Date 3 ID Fee xx xx Xx xxx xx xx xx xx Installment 4 Date 4 Installment 5 Date 5 Total paid Total Left xx Xx xx xx xx xx This Query is used to search for specific contractor installments with the use of a key such as the Project ID. When it is typed the details on the screen will appear. Contractor Query Contractor ID Contractor Name Address Phone Number Xx Xx xx xx This query is used to search for contractors and displays their personal information. Draftsman Query Draftsman Date of joining Address Phone No. Mobile No. Email Name xx Xx xx xx xx xx This query is used to search for specific Draftsmen with the use of a key such as the Draftsman Name. When it is typed the details on the screen will appear. Project Installments Query Project ID Project Type Site Date project Total cost of Total Installment Location will end project amount 1 given xx Xx xx xx xx xx xx Date 1 Installment Date 2 Installment Date 3 Installment Date 4 2 3 4 xx Xx xx xx xx xx Xx Installment Date 5 Installment Date 6 Installment Date 7 5 6 7 xx Xx xx xx xx xx This query is used to search for Project installments with the use of a key such as the Project ID. 16 th 18 Feb. 2009 Switchboard Design Sikander Ajam Associates Company Logo Client information data entry table Project details data entry table Project Details Summary Report Contractor information data entry table Exit Application Draftsman data entry table Project installments data entry table Data entry for client query Data entry for client query Data entry for contractor query Data entry for draftsman query This is a switchboard which will be created in Microsoft Access. It will have numerous functional buttons on it, by making this kind of a user interface a user can easily navigate through the program. It also has a button called the Project Details Summary Report with which a report of the month can be seen. It also has a button with which the Switchboard can be exited. 17 th 18 Feb. 2009 Minimum Hardware/Software Requirements Hardware Requirements: Mouse Keyboard Monitor CPU HDD Drive CD ROM Printer Modem Router System Requirements: Pentium 3 256 Mb RAM 2.66 GHz Microsoft Windows XP Professional Microsoft Access Version 2002 The software used needs atleast a Pentium 3 because of the amount of data processing required but currently the firm is using high performance computers which are Pentium 4 and higher. 256 MB of RAM is the minimum requirement so that it can run the operating system and so that the system is not slow but the computers all have more than 512 MB RAM and are 2.66 GHz. Microsoft Windows XP Professional is used as the operating system because it is currently the most commonly used system and it is one of the most user friendly and also because it can run Microsoft Access but the firm may need to install Microsoft Access so that they can run the software. A mouse is needed as a pointer, a keyboard is used as a data entry device, a monitor is used as a output device so that the user can see what has been done, a HDD drive of 40 GB is required but the firm uses computers with 80 GB HDD which fulfils the requirements so that the work done can be stored and saved on the computer, a CD ROM is needed to created backups of data, and each is available
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