Design And Implementation Of A Web-Based Alumni Database Management System (A Case Study Of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Alumni Association)

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included

Computer Science Project Material with Source Code Included


Abstract


This research work is focused on developing a computerized web based database management system to handle the data requirements of the university’s alumni association. The proposed system uses a file based approach in storing and managing of university alumni information. The system also provides an online community for the alumni to continue to update their information as their status changes. The new system has an integrated search engine mechanism which makes user experience fast and efficient.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The Nnamdi Azikiwe University Alumni Association has been in existence for a number of years but has not been able to become a viable entity. The association’s goal is to provide a professional network for the graduates of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The Alumni association is independent of the school in funding and administrative support. The Association administration is run through the efforts of volunteers and part-time hires.

The inability of the association to become a viable entity can be attributed to a few major factors. First, the fluctuations in the work force effort and the lack of consistent commitment to the association have caused inefficient and misguided efforts. The second major factor affecting the viability of the Alumni Association is the lack of an accurate and homogeneous database of the school’s alumni. Alumni records over the history of the school have been maintained in a variety of non-automated methods. Once a student graduates the records are archived, thus making access to these records difficult and time consuming.

This research work is focused on developing a computerized web based database management system to handle the data requirements of the association. The basic requirements for the system include the storing of alumni data for quick and efficient retrieval, which would also provide mechanisms for the updating of the stored data in an automated manner.

Increasing demand for accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness coupled with user friendliness has become the major strive of most organizations public or private. This fundamental requirement presents the notion that automated systems are not only indispensable part of every organization but is also a way of achieving accuracy, efficiency and stated effectiveness within the body.

Zuboff (1988) defines the process of automation as a service to perform tasks with great speed and accuracy.
An Automated Web based Database Management System is a way of bringing many methods of reporting and control into one working environment. Nnamdi Azikiwe University Alumni Association has variety of methods in the control, management and reporting thereby necessitating automation of the system.

Grammatikou et al., 2003 had found that databases and information retrieval technology had changed the ways organizations were producing reports by providing on spot and timely access from various locations.

The World Wide Web (WWW) became one of the most important media for sharing information resources. Programs, tracking of information, information monitoring, and various other types of resources could be accessed through the www (Bing et al., 2001). Research results, new findings, and other information could also be put on the web from anywhere at any time by the right people. Therefore, since www had provided a good infrastructure, Reports could be accessed centrally by management of alumni department using an integrated Management Information System through the Internet.

Harpreet (2002) mentioned that the use of WWW or computer system could enhance organizations and improve on their communication and therefore effectiveness in service delivery. Likewise, organizations and institutions today are being forced by the internet to move toward “teleworking”. Therefore, there was need for web-based computer system that could provide easy access of information online and also provide accessibility to information from anywhere, anytime. This necessitated management to have access to the database. This was done by registering them into the system and then giving the privilege to them once logged-in. This was provided at the login time and other unauthorized users denied access.

(Saucer et al., 1997) mentioned that systems could not be designed as stand-alone components since they had to communicate, interact, access the same data and share information with their organizational environment. Therefore, WWW should have come in to integrate part of an existing information system by providing well-defined interfaces to standard application systems such as database systems and computer networks.

An automated web based database management system is important for management of university alumni as well as for the staff and productivity. Unfortunately, the system seemed to be far-fetched, especially when it was done manually using many different methods of data manipulation. But with automation, only the administrator will have to be responsible for the manipulation of data using highly advanced and user friendly user interfaces. This of course will result in speed and accuracy in data handling Zuboff (1988).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Overtime, traditional approaches have been employed in the management of alumni information, and this approach is not flexible, efficient and productive. Keeping track of all students who passed through the university since its inception is obviously an uphill task as files containing information and details of these students may have been lost, damaged or even forgotten about. At times reports disappear as they are hard copies and tracing them becomes a problem.

The few computers in use are all stand-alone which has created a lot of loopholes in the system because there is no tracking and/or monitoring of the system for the information available in the department and there are no security measures in place.

Such complex scenarios were often not easy to satisfy manually because the process of managing data will be stressful due to numerous file handling, slow because of non-automation, inflexible due to disparity in information supplied and most likely repetition of records; thus the need for computer software, and a web based automated system as well as a centralized database.


1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is:

  1. To develop a viable web-based alumni database management system that will serve as a central data repository for all alumni information for Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The system will perform the following objectives:
  2. To keep alumni information organized under administrative control no matter how disparate, fast changing or intricate it may seem.
  3. To incorporate automation in the storage and retrieval of alumni information
  4. To provide ease of access through the use of well-designed, user friendly interfaces and the World Wide Web.
  5. To incorporate security measures in data manipulation within the system.

1.4 Significance of the Study

A web-based alumni database management system for Nnamdi Azikiwe University will:

  1. Save time and cost.
  2. Automate the mechanism for search and retrieval of information.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is limited to designing a web-based alumni database system for Nnamdi Azikiwe University alumni, which will serve as a central repository for all information of her graduates.


1.6 Limitations of the Study

In the course of our study, some limitations were encountered. The limitations encountered include:

  1. Epileptic power supply and poor internet facilities
  2. Limited access to the staff handling alumni bio-data.

1.7 Definition of Terms

i. Data:

Facts or information, especially when examined and used to find out other things or to make a decision.

ii. Data Item:

Smallest named unit of data that has meaning in the real

iii. Record:

Group of related data items treated as a unit by an application program

iv. File:

Collection of records of a single type (examples: president, election)

v. Database:

An organized set of data that is stored in a computer and can be looked at and used in different ways

vi. Database Management System (DBMS):

A generalized software system for organizing and managing a large amount of data.

vii. Database administrator (DBA):

Person or group responsible for the effective use of database technology in an organization or enterprise.

viii. Object:

Is anything exhibiting a property and/or behavior of interest within the scope of the system under investigation.

ix. Messages:

Represent the interactions between objects in a system.

x. Methods:

Are operations that are carried out on a message as it moves between objects.


Chapter Five


Summary, Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Summary

In this research work, design and implementation of a web based Alumni Database Management System, all necessary efforts and analysis were implemented in order to develop a suitable database management system that will solve the problem faced by the university alumni department, by efficiently reducing the time taken in storing varied information of the numerous alumni in files and cabinets that are almost insecure and stressful to access.

This research work focused mainly on using resources available to it to model and design a computerized web based database management system developed to handle the data requirements of the university’s alumni association. The basic requirements for the system included the collection and storing of alumni data for quick and efficient retrieval, as well as providing an automated mechanism for the updating of the stored data.

A suitable system methodology was adopted during the design of this system after a detailed examination and analysis of the existing system was carried out, hence paving way for the design and implementation of the new system. This new system addresses the shortcomings currently experienced in the way data are being collected, processed and managed within the Alumni Unit.


5.2 Recommendation

This software is recommended to all alumni departments of all higher institution though the scope of the study is limited to alumni department of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The Software is recommended for the following reasons:

  1. With this ADBMS software, it is easy to classify and reclassify data thereby reducing duplication of efforts of the staff or personnel.
  2. The system is easy to understand and it is user friendly.
  3. The system has an integrated search engine mechanism which makes user experience fast and efficient.
  4. The ADBMS software is a web based system, therefore there’s no geographical restriction or barrier.

5.3 Conclusion

This ADBMS software was designed and developed for fast and easy way of handling alumni information. It reduces error usually encountered in the management of large and varied data from different sources. In essence, the software is designed to help the management handle processes of storing, retrieval and updating of alumni information of Nnamdi Azikiwe University. The software eliminates data redundancy as it will also keep alumni information organized under managerial control no matter how disparate, fast changing or intricate the information may be.

The system is a web based system that will enable alumni to register their information in the system irrespective of their locations. They can also make modifications on their profiles with a proper authentication and approval by the system administrator.


5.4 Suggested Areas for further studies

This work covers most aspects of alumni information management and it is restricted to alumni department of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. The suggested areas for further research include extending the work to integrate the other campuses of the institution. The research could further be extended to other higher institutions within the country and worldwide.


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