White Soul System Designs – Creating a Computer System Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 1 August 2017

White Soul System Designs – Creating a Computer System

1 – Analysis

1.1 – Introduction

White Soul System Designs is a small computer store that designs and makes many of its own systems and products. It is situated on Queen Street in the centre of Neath. Many people swear by White Soul products and go to the store for any product they wish to purchase or repairs their computers need. Manu people in Neath use this store because the prices of products are guarantied to be the lowest you can find, and the repair system, no fix no fee is very popular.

At present only two full time staff members work there. The owner Mr. Adam Williams and his only member of staff Mr. John Edwards. The store is open form 9am – 5pm every weekday. On Saturdays it is open from 10am – 6pm and on Sundays it is closed all day.

Only having two members of staff working eight hours a day, six days a week is very difficult. With increasing numbers of customers Mr. Edwards and Mr. Williams are under pressure to get every ones orders and files in order. Not having a computer system means Mr. Edwards and Mr. Williams have to file all the store customers and stock records manually. This manual system means mistakes are made and customer satisfaction is lowered. This undoubtedly means a loss in profits.

This made Mr. Williams think that like their computer systems, they should be up to date. He is currently looking for a new system and approached me to ask my opinions.

Not knowing the best solution for the store off the top of my head I decided to observer the current system and speak to the Mr. Williams and a regular customer and get their opinions of how they would like the store to change.

1.2 – Problem Definition

The problem with White Souls current system is that it is a manual system with two members of staff. Every thing is done manually and because of this mistakes are made. All customer records and stock orders are stored in filing cabinets in alphabetical order.

Lately due to the manual system many customer records have been misfiled. This is a huge problem because if for example Mrs. Abraham went into the store to purchase a new item, one of the members of staff would look under A for Abraham in the filing cabinet. If the customer record had been put into another file by mistake a new customer record would have to be created. This then means the customer proving where they live when a letter and proving they identity with a passport or birth certificate. As you can imagine customers would not be very impressed with this and profits may suffer.

Stock records can also be misplaced. This may lead to the staff members thinking they had ordered new stock but to have it never arrive. This is a problem when a customer has specifically requested that item of stock and has to find out that it will not be delivered till the next stock delivery. This again causes customer dissatisfaction and in the long run a loss of prophets.

Sometimes, because stock numbers have been mixed up because of bad filing the store gets stock that it didn’t mean or want to order. This is a cut straight out of their prophets, as they have to pay for it because they ordered it, even if they didn’t mean to.

1.3 – Objectives

After a few brief chats with Mr. Williams, he explained to me that the whole objective of this new system was to keep up with the times. He then went onto explain how the current system worked.

Adding a Customer

If a customer wants to become a member of the store and get special offers and discounts on certain products an application form must be filled in. To become a member more then one form of identification is required and to confirm their address a letter or a bank statement is needed. After the customer identity and address is confirmed an application form will be filled out and filed.

Data requirements

* Name Surname and forename of the customer

* Address Address the customer is occupying

* Postcode Area code of the address

* Date of birth Date the customer was born

* Phone number Number on which we can contact the customer

* Credit Card Number ID issued by the bank uniquely given to the customer

Documents used

Customer application form (see appendix A1)

Problems

Some customers have poor handwriting or just handwriting that the staff members struggle to read. This may lead to miss filing or even a mistake made with the customer details.

Also a lot of the time customers are not carrying any item that may prove their identity or are not carrying a letter to prove their address. No members may be added to the files with out first proving their identity and address so they have to return home to get these items before they can become members of the store.

Searching for and viewing a customer

For a special in store discount customers are offered a chance to become a member of the store. Their records are stored in alphabetical order in a filing cabinet. If a customer wants to use this discount their file must be found. One of the members of staff will look in the filing cabinet for the customers file.

All customers’ records are stored in alphabetical order in our files. To look for that customer we get their last name and search the file that corresponds with the first letter of their second name…

E.g.

Charles Powel We would look in the P file

Michael Roberts We would look in the R file

Bethan Langdon We would look in the L file

When the second name has been found we resort to using their first names, we do this because in some cases there will be more than one Powel, Roberts or Langdon. If there are two identical names in the files we have to look at each and match the address, this is the last resort.

Data requirements

* Customer name The customers surname and forename

* Customer address The customers home address

Problems

A manual filing system is used. All customer records are kept in a filing cabinet that both members of staff have access to. They are stored in alphabetical order using the customers’ surname. If a customer record was filed under a wrong name it would appear lost or it may seem to the staff that that customer has never completed an application form. This means a new form would have to be filled in and the customers’ identity would have to be proven again. This lowers customer satisfaction and creates problems for the two members of staff.

Amending a customers details

If a customer is to move house or to change their telephone number their membership must be updated. Once their file has been searched for and found the new customer information can be added.

Data requirements

* Name Surname and forename of the customer

* Address Address the customer is occupying

* Postcode Area code of the address

* Date of birth Date the customer was born

* Phone number Number on which we can contact the customer

* Credit Card Number ID issued by the bank uniquely given to the customer

Documents used

Customer application form (see appendix A1)

Problems

Tippex is used to erase the current details before the new details are added. This makes the form look messy and it may become hard to read. And when written over the tippex or writing may smudge and make the form look a complete mess.

Again a lot of the time customers are not carrying any item that may prove their identity or are not carrying a letter to prove their address. No members may be added to the files with out first proving their identity and address so they have to return home to get these items before they can become members of the store.

Deleting a customer

If a customer wishes to no longer be a member with our store their file may be deleted. Again identity is required for this transaction to take place. After the customer is searched for and found it may be discarded.

Data requirements

* Customer name The customers surname and forename

* Customer address The customers home address

Problems

Once a customer has been deleted from our files we have no contact with them. This means any warrantees are void and the customer cannot claim money back or an exchange of item once they have been deleted from our files.

And once again if a customer wants his or her file to be discarded they have to prove their identity. Many customers may not carry identity around with them but this is required. Identity is required to ensure that no files are wrongly discarded.

Adding a Stock it em

When a new stock item is purchased and arrives at the store, immediately a record of the stock is made.

Data requirements

* Number Unique stock number given to that item only

* Title Name or title of the stock item

* Description Description of what the stock item is

* Price Price of the stock

* Status Status of the stock: Available Unavailable Discontinued

Documents used

Stock data form (see appendix A1)

Problems

When a stock data form is filled in it can some times become a mess due to ad handwriting or coffee stains after a long days work. This may make it hard to read.

Searching for a stock name

If a customer wants to purchase a certain item of stock the stock record must be found from the stock file to see if that stock item is available and to make sure that it is the correct item the customer wished to purchase.

A stock name search is only performed if the customer does not know the stock ID.

The title of the stock will be searched for …

E.g.

GeForce 2mX G would be searched for in the file

Radeon 9800 R would be searched for in the file

WhiteSoul Keyboard W would be searched for in the file

When the stock name has been found we resort to using the full stock name, we do this because in some cases there will be more than one item with that specific letter starting its name.

E.g. [A search for G was made]

Results

GeForce 2mX

GeForce 4 128mb

GeForce 4 64mb

GeForce 5 128mb

GeForce 2 64mb

Data requirements

* Stock name The stocks title

* Stock number the unique number given to this item

Problems

Stock items are filed using their stock number, not their name. This is a problem because there is no name order so each record must be checked, and refilled if it is the wrong item.

Searching for a stock ID

If the customer has gone through the trouble of finding the stock ID or the members of staff know the stock ID from the name a stock ID search can be made. This is much less trouble as the stock items are filed by their stock numbers and each stock number is unique so there can be no matches.

Data Requirements

* Stock Number A unique stock number given by a member of staff

Problems

Not every one knows the stock number so a name search may have to be made. Also if a stock record is out of place then it may be difficult to find it.

Amending stock status

It is important that each day the stock is checked. Once the stock has been checked the stock records must be modified to show weather the stock is Available, Unavailable or Discontinued.

Data requirements

* Stock Name The name of the stock item

* Stock Number The unique stock number given to this item

Problems

Tippex is used to erase the current details before the new details are added. This makes the form look messy and it may become hard to read. And when written over the tippex or writing may smudge and make the form look a complete mess.

Amending stock details

Once an item of stock has been entered into a file it is sometimes necessary to edit the properties of the stock, for example if a sale occurred the stock price would be altered or if a mistake was made when first entering the stock it may be amended.

Data requirements

* Number Unique stock number given to that item only

* Title Name or title of the stock item

* Description Description of what the stock item is

* Price Price of the stock

* Status Status of the stock: Available Unavailable Discontinued

Documents used

Stock data form (see appendix A1)

Problems

Again tippex is used to erase the current details before the new details are added. This makes the form look messy and it may become hard to read. And when written over the tippex or writing may smudge and make the form look a complete mess.

Deleting / Discontinuation of stock

Stock items are never actually deleted from the file, they are just discontinued. This is for warrantee purposes as a customer may buy a product that may then become discontinued and if we had no record of this item ever being in stock problems would occur when the customer requests a refund.

Data requirements

* Stock name The stock items name

* Stock number The unique number given to the item

Problems

Once a stock item has become discontinued this is marked with a D in the top left corner of the stock record. A member of staff may overlook this on occasion and they are then left wondering why there is no stock there.

1.4 – Time Plan

Date

To be completed

Details

14/12/02

Background & Problem Definition

I will speak to both staff members to get a general idea about the store and just a brief look at the current problem at hand

02/01/03

Objectives

I will look at how the current system run, what processes are carried out for members to the company and for stock

19/01/03

Interviews & Questionnaire

I will carryout an interview with one member of staff asking about the current system and what he thinks needs to be changed. I will also create a questionnaire and have the other staff member and two customers to complete

21/01/03

Interview & Questionnaire summary

I will briefly make points about both the interview and questionnaire and comment on the view portrayed

26/01/03

Requirements of system

I will look at the requirements of the new system. I will see if it is practical and weather I think it will be efficient

30/01/03

Data Flow Diagrams

Data Flow diagrams showing the processes in the current, manual system

05/02/03

System Constraints

This will be looking at the hardware and software options and limitations of the system

12/02/03

Alternate Methods

I will discuss all possible methods to produce a suitable program for the company

13/02/02

Justification

I will choose one method of producing a package for the company and give all my reasons for choosing this method

19/02/03

Processes Identified

The new processes I wish to introduce to the system

21/02/03

Data Flow Diagrams

Data Flow Diagrams of the processes I am going to introduce into the system

29/02/02

System Hierarchy Chart

A Hierarchy chart showing all the system components and mapping out options for future development

03/03/03

User Interface

I will design the user interface so the staff members may interact with the program

15/03/03

Implementation

To use and exploit, as appropriate, the facilities available in the package prototype to the problem

25/03/03

Testing

The new package must be tested to make sure there are no errors with the program before it is introduced into the store

29/03/03

Evaluation

This is where I evaluate the entire program. I will be looking into detail what I could have made better or easier to use and I will write down everything I think I could improve on and the areas where I think I may have gone wrong

31/03/03

User Documentation

I will go into detail talking about my program and how to use it. It will contain all characters that are able to e entered and what will happen if an invalid character is entered. It will also explain what each section of the program is used for and it will go into detail explaining how to use each section

1.5 – Interview

I carried out an interview with Mr. Williams to see what changes he thought his store needed.

Interview Transcript:

Myself: Hi, I would like to thank you first for giving up your time to help me with this interview.

Mr. Williams: Not at all.

Myself: Ok, lets get started. At the moment you are using a manual system, could tell me the main problems that you have with this system.

Mr. Williams: Well, what isn’t a problem would be an easier question to answer. I think the main problem we get is all the handwritten documents. It is not the actual writing of these documents such as the sorting, filing and invoicing. This method of arranging is slow and costly as my staffs are paid on an hourly basis. Also the quality, because it is handwritten, is poor. Oh and there is also the fact that many documents are lost which is an incredible waste of time because then all the files have to be checked.

Myself: Have you tried any other methods? And if so please specify.

Mr. Williams: No, I have tried no other method, but I really think I need to.

Myself: How long have you thought about changing this system?

Mr. Williams: I have been thinking about changing the system for a while now, the reason I haven’t made much progress is the lack of time. We are rushed off our feet.

Myself: What exactly do you want out of this new system?

Mr. Williams: My main idea was to get a new filing system. The one we have now is dreadful and it takes too much time to find a document. And when a comes in at the end of a long day with her children screaming that they want to go home and you can’t find the document she needs it is chaotic. Also when the stock deliverer comes to deliver stock, trying to find our stock order form in all the papers is a nightmare.

Myself: What benefits do you think a computerised system would provide for you?

Mr. Williams: Well, firstly it would be much quicker. We could easily access all our file, weather it be stock or member. It would stop us muddling up our filing system and spending a lot of time trying to sort it out for it to be disarranged the very next day. We get so much work in every day to file and we just lose track so if we didn’t have to worry about the filing because a computer did it for us, then great.

Myself: Do you have any ideas about security and access?

Mr. Williams: Well, yes. Even though there is only two of us in the shop some times the store is left so we can go to the stock room, at this point the customer would be able to access the files if they were not protected.

Myself: Would you want the whole program protected, or would you allow the customers to browse through certain parts?

Mr. Williams: Well, I see no trouble with the customer being able to view stock, but I don’t think they should be able to view each other’s details or change details on the files.

Myself: That’s fair enough. Is there anything specific that you think you would need?

Mr. Williams: Yes, I think being able to change my password regularly would really help, as I am one to chat. Oh and I wonder if it is possible to be able to view all stock or view only current stock because all stock must be stored on our data base even if it is discontinued. This is due to our warrantees, no stock is ever deleted from our stock records so that if a customer comes in with a product wanting a refund then we can know weather we stocked that product at any time.

Myself: Yes that is possible. Anything else?

Mr. Williams: Well, I’m not sure. I don’t really use computers much; you’re the expert I think I will leave it up to you.

Myself: Ok I think that is all I need.

I’m sorry I’ve kept you so long, thank you for your.

Mr. Williams: Not at all, good day to you.

Interview summary

Mr. Williams was unsure about how he wanted to improve his store. However he was quite adamant that he needed a new, easier and faster filing system. He would also like the program free for his customers to view but for there to be a password on the member’s section and any modifying sections.

He would also like the ability to change his password regularly.

Questionnaire

I designed a questionnaire for Mr. Edwards and two customers to fill out on what they thought of the store.

Please write … V for Very good

G for good

S for Satisfactory

P for poor

Please complete all of the following questions…

[1] How efficient is the current system?

[2] What do you think of the products?

[3] How well do the staffs treat customers?

[4] How well is the store run?

[5] How is service time?

Please fill in the remaining questions with a Black pen…

[6] How do you think the current system may be improved?

[7] Please give details about the current system and staff members

Please write … V for Very good

G for good

S for Satisfactory

P for poor

Please complete all of the following questions…

[1] How efficient is the current system?

[2] What do you think of the products?

[3] How well do the staffs treat customers?

[4] How well is the store run?

[5] How is service time?

Please fill in the remaining questions with a Black pen…

[6] How do you think the current system may be improved?

[7] Please give details about the current system and staff members

Please write … V for Very good

G for good

S for Satisfactory

P for poor

Please complete all of the following questions…

[1] How efficient is the current system?

[2] What do you think of the products?

[3] How well do the staffs treat customers?

[4] How well is the store run?

[5] How is service time?

Please fill in the remaining questions with a Black pen…

[6] How do you think the current system may be improved?

[7] Please give details about the current system and staff members

Please write … V for Very good

G for good

S for Satisfactory

P for poor

Please complete all of the following questions…

[1] How efficient is the current system?

[2] What do you think of the products?

[3] How well do the staffs treat customers?

[4] How well is the store run?

[5] How is service time?

Please fill in the remaining questions with a Black pen…

[6] How do you think the current system may be improved?

[7] Please give details about the current system and staff members

1.4 – System Constraints

For the computerised system I will need many items of software and hardware. Here is a brief list of some hardware and software examples I will need.

* Hardware Needed

1. Pc with an 800mhz processor and a 16mb graphics card. At least 1gb hard disk.

Reason: This will be used to run the system and save information to the hard disk for future reference and/or amending.

2. 15″ Colour CRT Monitor

Reason: To be display the chosen program.

3. Printer, possibly colour with 600dpi resolution of better

Reason: To print out forms or other things needed on the system.

* Software Needed

1. Operation system – MSDOS or Windows

Reason: This software is needed to run the program

2. Drivers. For: Printer, monitor, graphics card, MSDOS, Sound card.

Reason: Drivers are needed to run the system.

Limitations

For this new system I have decided to use the bare minimum. This is because when I spoke to Mr. Williams he said…

“Well we are not made of money; a cheaper system will be much approved.”

Also this system will need to be set up and running in one day.

“We only close on Sundays and hopefully it will be enough time to get the system running”

This may cause problems as there are many things that may cause problems.

2 – Design

2.1 – Alternate Methods

It has been decided that the new system is to be computerised. However there are many different types of programs that can be used for this new system.

Off Shelf Package –

* Advantages

1. Already Developed – Saves time as you just have to buy it

2. Documented – Comes with User Documentation

3. Simple – It is designed for all users so is simple to use

4. Debugged – Will have been debugged extensively

* Disadvantages

1. Not specific – Designed for the majority, not specific to what we need

2. Updating – Needs updates regularly

Rapid Application Design

* Advantages

1. Quick – Quickly-produced prototypes to enable to customer to see the proposed system

2. Low Cost – Is fairly cheap compared to the other options

* Disadvantages

1. Quick – Things are not thought out thoroughly, therefore may get bugs in the system

2. Documentation – All Documentation has to be made

3. Updating – Will need Bug fixes

Pascal

* Advantages

1. Familiar – I am used to working with Pascal

2. Specific – Can be coded to be unique

3. Amended – It can easily be changed to suit needs

4. Procedures – It utilises procedures to perform a variety of tasks

* Disadvantages

1. Documentation – All Documentation needs to be hand written

2. Time – May take a long time to write code

3. Updating – No updates will be available

2.2 – Justification

I have decided to use Pascal to create the program needed for the stores new system. This is generally because I am used to coding with it and it allows me to make a specified program at a low cost. It will mean having to write all my own user documentation and may take time fir me to write the code for the program. A useful feature about Pascal is that it can utilise procedures to perform a variety of tasks. The code I use can be easily amended if mistakes are made and it will be of low costs.

2.3 – Identification of procedures

For the new system I will have to introduce a number new of new or amended procedures.

Processes

Adding a Stock it em

When a new stock item is purchased and arrives at the store, immediately a record of the stock is made.

Data requirements

* Number Unique stock number given to that item only

* Title Name or title of the stock item

* Description Description of what the stock item is

* Price Price of the stock

* Status Status of the stock: Available Unavailable Discontinued

Problems Solved

Once the stock item has been added to the file it can not be deleted, just modified. And because it is saved to file there are no worries about the presentation of the writing.

View Stock Details

The Id of the product may be entered into the program – the program will search the file and find the stock details with the corresponding ID number.

Data Requirements

* Stock Number A unique stock number given by a member of staff

Problems Solved

This displays just the item searched for, it will display all the properties of the stock item and tell the staff member or customer if the item is Available, Unavailable or Discontinued.

View All Stock

This will display all the stock on the stock file weather it is available, unavailable or discontinued.

Data Requirements

* No Data Requirements

Problems Solved

This allows you to view all stock and stock details on the computer screen rather than having to dig out old files and pull out pages and pages.

View Current Stock

This will display the current stock on the stock file. Only available stock will be shown.

Data Requirements

* No Data Requirements

Problems Solved

This allows you to view current stock and stock details on the computer screen rather than having to dig out old files and search for only stock that is currently available.

Amending stock status

This allows you to modify the stock status to show weather the stock is Available, Unavailable or Discontinued.

Data requirements

* Password A password must be entered to get access to this section

* Stock Number The unique stock number given to this item

Problems solved

Again this means you do not have to go ranting and raving through files to find weather the stock is available or not as it is displayed on the screen. Once access has been gained to the modify stock section the stock number is required, after this has been entered you are prompted to change the status to A, D or U, this will be saved to the stock file for further reference.

2.4 – File Structures

For the new system, there will be 2 files at CP3. There will be a Stock file holding all the stock records, and a password file allowing you to change the password.

I will use the record structure stock=record, with the fields stocknum, title, description, status, price.

Staffnum is the only key field as it gives each item of stock once added a special number that is unique to it. If there is a stock number that has been entered, and the user enters the same number the one currently there is simply overridden. To prevent this you would have to use Validation, and I will not be using this until the second year of the project.

To be able to store records firstly you need a file on your local hard disk, and second a command in the program that assigns a certain variable to the record structure, and the file on the local disk.

To do this I will do the following:

In the global variables I used a variable called – stock_file : file of stock;

This will make it possible to then link the assign line to the record structure. When I wanted to write or read stock I simply entered the line

assign(stock_file,’C:stock.dat’);

and

reset(stock_file); to open the file.

Files stored in the stock file are determined by the stocknum given to them. As this is unique there can be no 2 records in the same place. This then gives us the option of direct access (instead of looking for the file, going straight to it using the seek command i.e. instead of searching all of the map for a hotel you use a grid reference which directs you to the position of the hotel. This grid reference is the same as the seek command). To display all of the records within the file you can simply use the

While not eof command in a loop to display each stock item and its linked variable i.e. description, title, price.

When the user wants to modify, view a stock item he/she simply enters the corresponding stocknum into the program and the program automatically seeks the position in the file and displays the stock record to the screen. This process is known as direct access, explained above in brackets.

To search by the title of a item of stock, which I will included in the program, the program simply seeks to the start of the file stock.dat, then reads each item into a variable while not eof. The system then proceeds to checking if the title that has been entered is the same as one in the file in sequential order. Once it has found that file it writes it to the screen.

Application

Automated Menu

ID:

Program.exe

File Details:

File name

Stock File

External file ID

Stock.txt

File organisation

Random Access

Key fields

Stock ID

Record length

44

Used by ;

Program/module name

Program / module ID

Description

Add Stock

ST 1.1 Add Stock

Adds a stock record to the file

View Stock Details

ST1.2 View Stock Details

Views a specific stock items details

Modify Stock Status

ST1.3 Modify Stock Status

Allows you to modify the status of the stock

View All Stock

ST1.4 View All Stock

Allows all stock to be viewed

View Current Stock

ST1.5 View Current Stock

Allows Current Stock to be viewed

General File Description.

This file contains all the various records saved within it. New records can be added and record saved on the file can be modified.

Record name

General record description

Stockrecord

Record of all stock details

Fields.

Field description

Field name

Format

Decimal

places

Validation check

Unique Identifier

Stocknum

Integer

None

None

Stock title

Title

String

20

None

Stock Description

Description

String

15

None

Stock Price

Price

Integer

None

None

Stock Status

Status

Char

None

None

Designed by

Craig Pickrell

Date :

12/05/02

Approved by

Craig Pickrell

Date :

12/25/02

2.4 – Testing Strategy

To Test the system I will be using several methods of testing such as Beta and top-down.

Beta testing consists of giving the program to others to test and go through before the real product is given out. This system helps spot bugs early and can give designers feedback about what else he/she might include.

Top-Down testing consists of the skeleton of the complete system being tested, with individual modules being replaced by ‘stubs’, which may for example display a message to say that a certain procedure has been executed. As individual modules are completed they are included in subsequent tests.

I will also use logical testing to make sure that for example the correct loop is executed at the correct time, to make sure the system works properly. This will be an extra test, which will identify small errors, which the other two tests may not of, picked up on.

Functional testing will also be used; this involves creating a set of test data that covers all the inputs and outputs of the program functions.

Free White Soul System Designs – Creating a Computer System Essay Sample

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  • Subject:

  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 1 August 2017

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