Design And Implementation Of An Online Departmental Fee Management System

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of An Online Departmental Fee Management System


Abstract


Online departmental fee management system (ODFMS)is a research work that will help build an effective information management system for Ahmadu Bello University within the computer science department. The designed software will serve as a more reliable and effective means of documenting departmental fees payment and cash payment and eliminate errors associated with the manual method of recording payment details. This project work made use of data collected from the school library, faculty, department and some online websites. The aim of this project work is to achieve the following; to effectively and efficiently process student’s department fees payment and document it, to provide a reliable and transparent system devoid of personal inclinations and interest and to provide borderless access to ensure prompt retrieval. The implementation of the web-based department fee payment software system was developed using PHP: Hypertext Processor programming language for the front-end and My Structured Query Language (MySQL) for data storage. The result obtained from this work was the design of an efficient system that helped in enhancing the system of payment for the department, with minimal cases of error which gave room for accuracy and transparency. In conclusion, the work met all the objectives intended.


Table of Content


Chapter One

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Scope of the Study
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Limitations of the Study
  • 1.7 Definition of Terms

Chapter Two

Literature Review

  • 2.0 Introduction
  • 2.1 Online Payment Systems
  • 2.1.1 What is an Online Payment System?
  • 2.1.2 Historical Background
  • 2.2.1 Classification of Online Payment Systems
  • 2.2 Online Payment Gateway Model
  • 2.2.1 Popularly Used Online Payment Systems
  • 2.2.2 Comparison of Payment Gateways
  • 2.3 Online Payment System Developments
  • 2.4 Online Payment System as a Boon
  • 2.4.1 Online Payment System as a Challenge
  • 2.4.2. Overcoming Problems in Online Payment Systems
  • 2.4.3 Security Of Online Payment Systems
  • 2.4.4 Security Requirements in Online Payment Systems
  • 2.4.5 Enhancing Online Payment Security
  • 2.5 Fees Payment Systems in Nigeria
  • 2.6 Existing System
  • 2.6.1 Problems of the Existing System
  • 2.7 Intended System and Components
  • 2.8 Summary and Futuristic Considerations

Chapter Three

System Analysis and Design

  • 3.1 System Analysis
  • 3.2 System Description
  • 3.2.1 Data Flow
  • 3.2.2 System Architecture
  • 3.2.3 Input Specification
  • 3.2.4 Functional Requirements
  • 3.2.5 Non-Functional Requirements
  • 3.3 Database Design
  • 3.3.1 Database Schema Diagram

Chapter Four

System Implementation

  • 4.1 Choice of Tools
  • 4.2 Features of the System
  • 4.2.1 Login Page
  • 4.2.2 Administrator Page
  • 4.2.3 Student Page
  • 4.2.4 Bank Page
  • 4.2.5 Deposit Page
  • 4.2.6 School Fees Page
  • 4.2.7 Accommodation Page

Chapter Five

Summary Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have made impact in all sectors of the society, including education. In higher education, application of ICTs in form of e-learning is changing the mode of learning and teaching processes [Abrazhevich, D. (2004).]. School management is now done online, records are being kept in databases that are accessible through the web. Also, Registration, payment of schoolfees, generating timetables and much more are done using the web. The world of IT has gone far and wide that now makes us see the importance of using automated system rather than manual system. Referring to the problem of school fees, faculty fees, departmental fees and hostel allocation as the Online Departmental Fees Management System (ODFMS) problem. Given the large number of students that are typically involved in such problem, there is a growing interest in automating the process of payment using centralized matching schemes that incorporate efficient algorithms for ODFMS. Examples of similar automated systems are in use in several universities.

In recent years, the advancement of technology has thus brought us into a new era of Web based systems. These systems are also known as enquiry systems and have the ability to input data, with a guaranteed response time and an assurance that the information is accurate and timely, then one is said to have a “Real Time System” [LaPlante, Philip A., (2007)]. A real time system is also a Web based system and comprises mainly of four (4) main components:

  1. A data-gathering component that collects data from the external environment.
  2. An analysis component that transforms the received information as required by the application.
  3. A control component that responds to the external environment.
  4. A monitoring component that co-ordinates all other form of these components so that real-time response can be achieved.

Due to these advancements, organization need no longer be centralized when information services can reach the home and offices for processing from a number of geographical locations. However, Web based systems have helped tremendously in every field of human existence today. Hence this project work provides and creates an Online Departmental Fees Management System (ODFMS) to the Ahmadu Bello University, Computer Science department through the development of a Web based system that will in turn improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the university.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

In most Nigerian Institutions of higher learning especially the Universities and Polytechnics, student’s enrolment to these higher institutions is continuously on the increase, and each year every student is expected to register for a session and therefore the student has to make payment for the session. This increase in student’s population over the years makes the period of registration stressful and payment of school fees and hostel accommodation a very tedious exercise. The existing system of payment of departmental fees in Computer Science department, Ahmadu Bello University, involves a student going online to generate a transaction ID which is then taken to the bank for payment. If the student needs to pay school fees, he/she also have to go online, generate another transaction ID and then take it back to the bank. This process is causing a lot of problems because many students will have to line up in unending queues in banks where so many unforeseen events might happen. A student might lose his/her money; get tired due to stress and so many other events. Most students during registration are always at home and will have to come back to school for registration because most banks outside Uli does not provide this service.

The existing system or mode of payment results to stress due to the factors and conditions encountered during registration. Every new and returning student has to register at the beginning of every session. Most students are in a state of confusion during registration either because they do not currently have the money to pay for their departmental fees or will have to come down to school to pay during process with no guaranteed that he/she will be successful.

The processes of manual departmental fees payment can result to problems which in turn prevent students from writing exams in time, maybe due to the slow rate of processing the departmental fees or from the misplacement of the departmental fee tellers because of lack of adequate storage medium.

Based on these observations, a Web based system for Payment which will enable students overcome these problems during registration is designed and implemented. The system will allow a student to open an account at a designated bank and keep his/her school fees in the account anytime and any day. Due to the present situation of the country, parents can also keep their children’s entire school fees in their account. Therefore, the system allows you to keep your school fees incrementally or at once. The development of this Web based system will eliminate the major problems of the existing system.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of this thesis is to design and develop an Automatic Portal Payment System (ODFMS) which handles effectively the payment and processing of departmental fees and allows students to securely and comfortably pay their departmental fees from anywhere, using any internet-enabled device. To achieve the stated objective, the following objectives were laid out:

  1. Create a Web based system that will solve the problems of the existing system being used for departmental fees processing.
  2. Develop a secured database system for easy data storage and retrieval
  3. Allow students to pay their school fees and hostel accommodation anywhere and anytime during registration.
  4. Ease and speed up payment processing by incorporating an attractive and rich user interface with search algorithms present for faster data retrieval and eliminate anything that can cause confusion.

1.4 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this project is to develop an Online Departmental Fees Management System (ODFMS) for the Ahmadu Bello University, Computer Science department. The system will accommodate only the administrator, bank staffs and students into one integrated Database system. This project is also scoped to only undergraduate programs in Computer Science department.

The system is a prototype and will be hosted on a localhost and not a live server. The localhost provides all the services provided by an online server. It will be accessed using a browser.


1.5 Significance Of The Study

Literature asserts that, for nearly every business, the simple act of collecting payments from consumers is actually quite complex and yet organizations want to make it easy and convenient for customers to pay, so they offer multiple choices of payment types and channels. Therefore, this project proposed the development of an alternative platform that enables students and their sponsors securely pay university fees online from wherever during registration.

This will also reduce the lengthy queues, and congestion at banks for payments. Sponsors of students will also be able to save their wards school fees before the period of registration and as such will make it easier to cater for their wards.

This project can also serve as a reference material to scholars who are conducting research int the field of online payment system


1.6 Limitations Of The Study

The major limitation experienced during the process of this project research is during the actual software development. PHP source codes required to perform some data manipulation were difficult to obtain. This made me use the easiest but not the most recommended method in writing my algorithms.

Also, steady power supply is a must as the system cannot work without the computers. Non-availability of stable, efficient and reliable power supply is also a limitation of this project as it is solely dependent on electricity.

The bandwidth, which means how quickly information travels between the computer where your web site is located (your Web server), and the visitor’s computer. In spite of the fact that 56.6kbps modems, and even 10Mbps cable modems are becoming more common, many people on the internet are still using 28.8kbps modems


1.7 Definition Of Terms

Web Site:

A website is a collection of many interconnected web pages organized by a specific college, organization company etc., containing web pages (good and commodities) on the Internet. Web site is stored on web servers. There are many web site and thousands of HTML pages on each web site.

Hyperlinks:

Hyperlinks are highlighted words and phrase you find on web documents that you can click on as to jump to some other documents or Internet services. (Clex 1990)

Offline:

Disconnected from computer network; describes a computer terminal or peripheral device disconnected from a computer network. (Wikipedia 2011)

System:

Set of computer components that is, an assembling of hardware, software and peripherals functioning together. (Fans 2011)

Automation:

This is the use of control system such as computer to control and process data, reducing the need for human intervention.

Database:

This refers to a large store of related data on a computer that can be accessed and modified by the user.

Record:

Is a document made or received in the course of a practical activity as an instrument or a by-product of such activity, and set aside for action or reference.

Password Protected:

This is a secret code that a user must type into a computer to enable him access it or its applications. This is composed of numbers, letter, special character or a combination of any of the above categories.

Receipt:

A piece of written note that attests to a payment made to one another caring the amount paid and balance if incurred usually signed by both party or one end.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The project work covered all the basic processes involved in designing and developing a web-based portal payment system. The system is aimed to address the problems associated with the current issues involved in payment of school fees and accommodation fees at the Ahmadu Bello University, Computer Science department.

The student record is created by the administrator and only after this step can the student be able to register to use the system. The student registers with his/her matric number and a password of his/her choice. The student can walk to any of the designated banks anytime during banking hours and make deposit into his/her account. Then during registration, a student simply logs into his/her portal and makes payment. Also, the student can also pay for his/her accommodation. This process is possible as far as the student has enough funds in his/her account. The function the administrator can perform is to create a student record, update school fees and session, show accommodation and record of student’s currently registered and using the application. There are forms on different pages of the application that makes the administrator achieve these functions.


5.2 Conclusion

Advancement in technology is making automation of mechanical activities become a very important aspect of our daily lives. Since the use of computers is now widespread, the adoption of this system will make life become easier for us all.

The project sought to develop an online fees payment system that provides relief of the long-endured problems of the current modes of paying fees in Ahmadu Bello University. Problems that students and their sponsors faced regarding paying fees to the university were identified and a solution was designed. A web-based system that enables students and their sponsors to pay university fees was developed. This system was welcomed by all its users who believed it would solve most of the problems and improve conditions regarding paying fees in Ahmadu Bello University. The project achieved all its objectives and as a result, ODFMS was designed, developed, tested and validated with real users. Hence, it was proved that this online system was fit to be implemented.


5.3 Recommendations

Having met the specified objective of the proposed project and after a profound evaluation of the developed system, I will like to suggest the following recommendations for further research work and improvement opportunities

  1. Ahmadu Bello University should embrace and implement the developed system as it will improve the conditions of fees payment.
  2. The Government of Nigeria should enact laws and implement policies that encourage and favor online payments by citizens in the country.
  3. The researchers acknowledge that security is a threat to every system and therefore encourage that maximum effort be dedicated to ensure security of the online transactions through establishment of sound security infrastructure.
  4. A mobile version of the system should be created to allow user access the system from any device other than a computer thus improving the mobility of the device.

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