DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ACADEMIC INFORMATION SYSTEM USING RELATIONAL DATABASE AND HTTP SEVER
There is an outgrowing need for electronic accessories in a world where there is great necessity for speed, efficiency and perfection of work. Information factors efficiency, access to electronic device and relevant information is usually considered in the setting up of a relational database for a local network intranet. The internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone radio and computer, set the stage for unprecedented integration of capabilities. The intranet is at once a location-based broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information disseminating and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for extensive location.
Presently, the internet represents one of the most successful examples of the benefits of sustained investment and commitment to research and development of information infrastructure. Starting with the early research in pocket switching, the government, industry and academic have been partners in evolving and developing this existing new technology. Terms like “http:www.yahoo.com” and “Uktehamum Edu” trip off the lounge of the random person on the street.
The aim of this project is to give an introduction to database and its integration with HTTP server. Before the specifics and theoretical, lets focus on some of the more generic aspects of this study.
1.2 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Information handling has gone beyond papers and is now at the discretion of the PC. Thus, this project is a conceivable effort to ameliorate the pressing need for a more web centric environment. Although its primary focus is not on web site design, yet it is inevitable. Since the emergence of the internet and its accompanying protocols, web use has intensified and so developing web applications is a promising way of reaching greater audience. Web use is not limited to the internet, but to virtually any application that can interface and communicate via web protocols. Intranet with the proposed design, staff, students and any authorized person can get all the available information from the polytechnic intranet integrated database. They can get their syllabus, academic calendars and results, register course, to mention just a few.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Invariably, the problem that gave rise to this system study is from the continuous use of manual methods of dispensing academic details in the institution. The core is information management. As they say if you are not informed, you are deformed and he who is deformed cannot perform”. It would not be an exaggerated statement if I say that graduates from Nigerian institutions are deformed because they are not being well informed due to inadequate information acquisition facilities. It can be seen that information is not only important in this age but also the method of accessibility. No wonder it is termed as power, without it there is no headway. According to the U.S. Gen. Collins Powell (1995) “Lack of information breeds analysis paralysis” without adequate information on any subject matter, it would be difficult to handle. However, the enatic nature of power supply, especially in third world countries has tremendously affected online information systems and remote access to queries, information down time and data corruption is inevitable.
In Federal Polytechnic, Owerri the method of information processing and sharing is done manually and therefore slows down the speed at which information is stored, processed and shared. To eradicate this to its optimum a robust database and web server should be implemented where the information no longer have to reside in man’s brain or on his desk but on the network and can be accessed by anyone who is privileged.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The new system will bring about efficient and effective academic information system. The concise documentation of students and staff details will tremendously improve its timely decision support.
The project would also go a long way in fostering good perception of the information age in our various institutions and individual organization thereby breaking the ugly bone of continuous use of manual and archaic systems. It fosters on the in depth principles, rules and protocols of coding, scripting and hosting of database driven web pages. It will also help in making the processing of information as well as on the sport feedback faster and provide spring board for our young database developer. It also stirs and gives focus to our institutions of higher learning on the facilities obtained in the use of modern system of communication.
In order to produce a more classified knowledge of the subject matter, the researcher intends to describe the tools required to design and implement a functional Internet information service server, HTTP web server and a MsSQL relational database server for the institution through HTML encoded ASP.NET web interface. The objective of developing the system and procedure for the polytechnic is to ensure that end users are provided with requisite tolls and data that are cost effective and easily accessible.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
These research works critically explores the possible ways of demystifying the mystery behind database and related technologies, web hosting services, protocols and of course design, and encourage young programmers to joint the race without feeling interns to their counterparts in the development parts of the world.
Without shifting this focus to web site design, we might still be in darkness for the next twenty years and by then a new inventions might be made which can sentence us unto another one thousand years of Dark Age. The study will go a long way to cutting down on time wastage, inefficient use of statistical data, manual errors and duplication of efforts by both staff and academic personnel. It will also enhance efficient query and enquiring ensure security of records and assist the polytechnic in copying with the daily work load.
1.2 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Data not withstanding of its size cannot be too large to process. However, a guided approach is adopted to stay within limits for easy comprehension. To this end, the study will only focus on the students together with its accompanying web interface, students’ registration details and academic results.
In its most common form, the wide application of computers in accessing remote files paved way for adopting of more superior ways of making information available to the millions of users. And it also exposes the researcher to the core about the intricacies of database programming for web, an all round technology.
Although economic constraints did not stop this project room completion, yet adequate funds would have aided the provision of industrial standard hardware and software. The limitations encountered in this case are mainly based on the fact that the institution, Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri does not have the necessary software and extended network of computers, that is, it lack the projected operational hardware. Nevertheless, the researcher simulated typical sceneries. Now, the last and not the least, the time to develop, test and implement the complete scenario was without unbearable sleepless night and frustration from public power supply.
1.3 DEFINITION OF TERMS
API A term used to denote Application Programming Interface. An interface that is defined in terms of a set of functions and procedures, and enables a program to gain access to facilities within an application.
BYTE It is a fixed number of bits that can be treated as a unit by the computer hardware. It is a unit of storage capable of holding a single character equal to 8 bits, large amount of memory are referred in terms of kilobytes (1,024 bytes), megabytes (1,048,576 bytes), and gigabytes (1,073,741,824 bytes).
BANDWIDTH The amount of data or signal that can be transmitted in a transmission medium or media in a given time. It is measured in bits per second (bps) for digital devices and Hertz (HZ) for analog devices.
COUNTER Keeps track of how many times a web page is visited.
DOWNLOAD TIME The time it takes foe a web page to be completely visible on the computer screen.
FILE SIZE How large the file containing the data is usually measured in kilobytes or megabytes. File size is used when referring to pages, HTML documents and any other type of file.
FRAMES Formatting a page so that more than one HTML document is visible on the screen at the same time.
HOME PAGE The main and first page of a website, containing introductory information about the facility that has been accessed, together with links to the actual details of services or information.
HTML An abbreviation for Hypertext Mark-Up Language. A form of SGML (standard generalized mark up language) intended for use on the World Wide Web. It is used to create documents for the World Wide Web.
HTTP Hypertext transfer protocol. An application level protocol with the lightness and speed, necessary for distributed collaborative hypermedia information systems. It transfers hypertext requests and information between servers and browsers.
INTERNET The global information network that now links a very substantial fraction of the world’s computer networks.
INTRANET A private network setup by an organization or company that resembles the World Wide Web, but which is inaccessible by external users.
JAVA A language for object-oriented programming on the internet, especially applicable to the World Wide Web.
JAVA SCRIPT A scripting language designed to add features to web pages.
OPERATING SYSTEM The set of software products that jointly controls the system resources and the processes using these resources on a computer system.