E-mails from Mark Buchner (Project Coordinator) to Murray Saul
Good news. I have recruited a team from PRJ566 that is excited to do this based on my explanation. Details to follow. At this point, it looks like I've been able to marry everyone to a project so there have been no conflicts or competition. But it could still happen if a team or customer backs out.
Details to follow. In any case, we have a motivated team!
Super... we are ready to go. I am asking the team to set up their webite with their intro and profiles. You will get more info shortly Murray.
Let me give you a quick intro to the outstanding and motivted PRJ566 team which was interested in the Orangeville Westminiter United Church "Eyes Wide Open" "Wide Open Windows" project.
They want to help design a purpose-built IT system for revenue generation, transaction processing and resource scheduling.
I'd like to help facilitate an intro meeting between all of us shortly. How about next Monday?
Denny Papagiannidis firstname.lastname@example.org
Iyosias Tessema email@example.com Geoffrey Mok firstname.lastname@example.org
Denny Papagiannidis will facilitate communication between Mark and the team
· E-mail, meetings, Google Docs
· Specify the responsibilities of each team member tbd
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 11:40am – 1:30pm
Online meetings on Friday evenings for an hour
Murray the team is owrking on a website which will be useful to profile themselves to the church. I'll pass on the link as soon as its ready (likely, a Wordpress blog site).
I have also passed along to the team the PDF document you provided.
Wow Murray, you are really going out of your way!!
I have attached a Project Initiation document from last year's PRJ566 teams that was considered to be A+ work by the school.
If we look at the output, it includes:
- use case diagram
- class diagram
- db design
- logical design
- project info
Would that sort of output do it for the Westminsiter Church? If not, we should capture the additional design requests.
The purpose of PRJ566 is for the students to design a system for an external client - it takes a while to settle the teams and clients.
The design they do should follow the UML principles that were taught to them in SYS366 & 466 and they must have a Rose Model at the end of the semester which shows their systems use case diagram, their class diagram and all of their sequence diagrams in a Rose Model which they post to the team web site. They must have written use case specifications according to the template that was used in SYS366, SYS466.
I'm not supposed to reteach this but they do have deadlines the deliverables and marks them so that the students do not go too far astray in their design. If the design is not correct, the students fail the course no matter what their marks are on tests and assignments. As well, they have to produce an ERD for their database. It must work as well in order for the students to pass.
The students will work on the project for 8 months so they have to be willing to work together for 2 semesters. They code, test, debug, and implement the system in PRJ666. In order to do this successfully, they must go into PRJ666 with a design that works.
That's where are are at. I'm working to marry up the last few groups (we will be done by next week) and then I will do some instruction and teaching regarding project management... having them use MS Project.
To really answer your question... If the rose models etc that are produced do the job for you and client.. then we should be OK. If there is a communication gap or something is missing then lets do DFD's as well. I don't see an inconsistency. Perhaps a brief DFD lesson to the group will help since this is not something Mary-Lynn taught them.
I need your "point of view" or "optics"...
After analysis, and students start to look to design and implementation, is it feasible for students to modify an existing open-source structure (i.e. not re-invent the wheel), or do they build own system from "ground up"? I don't want to "spin students off" when the implementation occurs. But then again, a tweak of an existing system may put less burden on students, and allow them to focus on what they have to do (i.e. scheduling system and other features like web-based editing already there). Therefore students just add an additional "module".
The reason I'm asking this question, is that a few years ago, I was playing in Linux with an open-source app called egroupware. I used this as a demonstration for "booking rooms" using the calendar which was VERY effective over the Internet to book, and visualize on a given day in month all rooms booked. The church members where "very impressed" and some still talk about it today! I was thinking instead of "re-inventing the wheel", that the students could modify areas of this structure, to provide a more "realistic and effective" solution to the needs of this church.
Danny Roy provided me a link to such open source framework for MS Windows:
This may be a good way to go. On the other hand, this link was just provided to me, so I would need to know if it is feasible in terms of: Is this framework "truly free"? Will this framework operate with current setup of MS server in church office? Does this framework work with MS Share-point framework to update web-page hosted on church's ISP? (ie. their side) Does Calendar work in the same way as with Linux egroupware demo? (conducted few years back) Does this allow easy method for students (using OO approach) to design and implement within this framework? I have no problem doing "background research" on my end to check this feasibility, but I would need to know, and I would tend to follow your suggestions... I guess my thinking is "do we do something that may be replaced in not too distant future, or could we "go for the prize", and tweak an existing framework that already has many features (that church can develop on its own time), and just allow students to "do their thing" without adding burden of having to create web-based scheduling system that is already out there...
Murray, the answer is most certainly YES.
This may enable them to add more function/content to the solution.
The answers to the your 5 bullet questions should then be worked out during design. If we work backwards from the requirements and design the students may find that:
1. Open source based scheduling system meets the requirements just fine, and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. The function they want has become "commoditized"
2. There is a very valuable and specific booking business process which has not been adequately captured in Open Source. We should then create this function either as an extension to open source where we would then have to contribute it back through GNU or as a "proprietary" piece of software, presumably some MS code that ties to Outlook, Exchange, Sharepoint etc.
Does that make sense to you Murray? In the end, the overarching goal is to design a system that meets the needs of the Church and can be implemented in 4 months. I was also thinking that SugarCRM would be a good solution and we could use the community edition.
So just to cover off from this week's productive activity:
Murray, Mark and team DIG had meeting and discussed many aspects of Westminster including:
- Scheduling System. Need to contact facilitators.
- Receive various document formats, translate, updates to web-page. Currently Westminster is checking feasibility and costs to have web-developers create web-page in Wordpress (on church's local MS Server). For temporary solution, possible linkages of system into Wordpress web-page. Awaiting reply from Bill B. from BSC (ISP provider).
- Team DIG requested as much information on the MS Server as possible. E-mail sent to Bill B. from BSC - awaiting reply. Bill B. may take 3-5 to reply but usually dependable with good information.
- Ticketing (task tracking) system with respect to facilitators.
- Discussed term "the HUB". To provide clarification, in the future the "HUB" could represent more than one person (due to staffing, workload) that are administrators where requests, and communications via facilitators flow through.
- Forms that HUB uses were distributed to team DIG.
- Discussed avenue for future development (income) from evolving growth of needs of Westminster, or extra features that may not have a high-priority during this initial analysis and design phase.
- Discussed that United Church of Canada is viewing Westminster's church improvements (a test study), hence computer system is an excellent potential showcase for large number of churches that are experiencing similar problems.
- Students working with material to incorporate into analysis framework, and gain "overview" to help ask questions during information gathering phase. Murray provided additional information via a WIKI link:
Missing one special AVIT form (suspect it has macros). I will post screen captures of this special form later today...
- It is understood that students must scope, and prioritize tasks to see which tasks are important, and which tasks must remain as "to-do" to be followed up by potential modifications to computer system.
- Meeting scheduled (booked and confirmed). Denny, Mark, Murray, Lynne Smith - Current Hub) in T1030 on Tuesday October 5, 2010 (starting at 12:30 pm, other members to join around 1:30 pm)
Just wanted have this "follow-up" email to document what was discussed, have a physical reference to important items discussed, and to foster clear communication, so we are all "singing from the same songbook".
FYI, Murray Saul