Social Support System:FOUR
A system is a group of interrelated parts (i.e. subsystems) working together in a way to achieve a common goal, while a design is a plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing a process. The implementation of this system is therefore designed to address the way it is implemented by showing the components of the system and other implementation issues.
System implementation on the other hand focuses on development, installation, testing of system components and delivery of the system into day-to-day operation (Whitten et al, 2004).
Being a web-based system, the prototype could be installed on any machine having Windows Apache MySQL PHP (WAMP) server installations. The tools involved in the development of the web application includes, the Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) editor and WAMP server. WAMP is an acronym for;
· W stands for windows, the operating system platform.
· A stands for Apache server that will run the scripting language.
· M stands for MySQL; this is the database that enables users to effectively store, search, sort, and retrieve data.
· P stands for PHP (Hypertext Pre-processor); this is a server side scripting language designed specifically for web.
The WAMP server is the local host available on the system with the main use of testing a pre-built web page. WAMP Server is a collection of web development tools and software. It provides an environment for developing web pages and applications. It contains Apache Web Server, MySQL Database Management System and PHP Programming Language.
PHP was used to perform operations for creating and displaying hypertext mark-up language (HTML) on web pages dynamically. It is used to develop applications locally on Personal Computers (PCs) and applications can be uploaded to the webhost. WAMP Server also provides some nice little tools for easy management of databases, PHP-my-admin are already installed. Interface of WAMP Server is neat and clean. Being open source software it can be customized. Most of the settings of this software can be accessed using a menu. It is available in around 20+ languages. Other technologies include the Macromedia Dream weaver for editing HTML tags and, macromedia flash for word and image animations processing of both audio and video streams. The combination of technologies allows the users to access the system online.
The choice of programming language used in the design and implementation of this system was based on the fact that the web-based tourism information system is web enabled, scripting languages, specifically the cascading style sheet (CSS) were used to develop the system.
4.3.1 Cascading style Sheet
This is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics (that is, the look and formatting) of a document written in a mark-up language. It's most common application is to style web pages written in a HTML and XHTML, but the language can also be applied to any kind of XML document. CSS is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content (written in HTML or a similar mark-up) form document presentation, including elements such as the layout, colours, and fonts. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content (such as allowing table less web design). CSS specifies a priority scheme to determine which style rules apply if more than one rule matches against a particular element.
4.3.2 HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language)
The mechanical, electrical and electronic components that make up the computer system along with peripherals are called hardware. It can also be referred to as the viable components that make up a computer system. For this application run on a system it must meet the following requirements
1. Computer system with minimum processor speed of 1.2GHz,
2. 1GB of RAM,
3. 20GB of Hard disk.
4. CD Rom or DVD Rom drive.
5. 256 colours display or higher configuration.
Software is the component of the computer system which cannot be seen or touched but it is used by computers to aid its functionality. Software requirement is the most vital component of a computer system; this is because the extent to which the computer is put into use depends majorly on the availability of the needed software. This Social Support system has to run on;
1. An operating system (windows XP, windows vista, windows 7)
2. A web browser (Mozilla fire fox internet explorer, Google chrome)
3. Web server Cascading Style sheet (CSS), HTML and Dreamweaver.
A procedural approach was employed to explain the functionalities of the Web-based based social support system. The different web pages and their functionalities are explained below;
1. The Home Page: This is the first page that the intended user sees. It contains major links to other web pages showing various fertility related information. Since there are no restrictions to resources on line, the home page can be entered by anybody online who knows the domain name of the web-based tourism information system.
2. The sign-up Page: This section contains a form which a user is required to fill when he/she wants to join. It consists of the member's personal information.
3. The member's profile Page: This page consists each member's personal information, in this page; one could view his/her profile and also enable to update information.
4. The Log-in Page: this is where the user will be able to sign-in to the system, this is done after proper registration and while it has been confirmed.
The operation of this system involves the following sequence of steps
i. Starting the web server
ii. Setting up a database and establishing a connection using the Myphpadmin and Mysql data connector driver
iii. Testing the application.