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Online book store

  1. 1. Abstract—Knowledge sharing enables the information orknowledge to be transmitted from one source to another. This paperdemonstrates the needs of having the online book catalogue whichcan be used to facilitate disseminating information on textbook usedin the university. This project is aimed to give access to the studentsand lecturers to the list of books in the bookstore and at the sametime to allow book reviewing without having to visit the bookstorephysically. Research is carried out according to the boundaries whichaccounts to current process of new book purchasing, current systemused by the bookstore and current process the lecturers go throughfor reviewing textbooks. The questionnaire is used to gather therequirements and it is distributed to 100 students and 40 lecturers.This project has enabled the improvement of a manual process to becarried out automatically, through a web based platform. It is shownbased on the user acceptance survey carried out that target groupsfound that this web service is feasible to be implemented inUniversiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), and they have shownpositive signs of interest in utilizing it in the future.Keywords—bookstore, knowledge sharing, online bookcatalogue, textbookI. INTRODUCTIONXISTENCE of online platforms to facilitate on campusbook selling have increased throughout the years as therise of agile information sharing and retrieval becomecritical factor in processes that occurs within campus proxy.Information dissemination which occurs traditionally haveresulted in knowledge obsolescence as in today’s worldknowledge is rapidly changing as new innovation comes in.UTP is well known for its affiliation as a subsidiary ofPETRONAS, Malaysia’s only Oil & Gas Company, thus theymust live up with the nation’s expectation to be the leader intechnology education. In order to successfully nurturecreativity and innovativeness among its students, it must striveto focus on every aspect which relates to providing qualityacademic learning, which starts from dissemination andutilization of literature.UTP Bookstore have used their own internal system onconducting sales and updating inventories which covers onlythe staff of the bookstore as the users. According to a surveyconducted, lecturers review the textbooks for adoptionEmelia Akashah P.A is with the Computer and Information ScienceDepartment, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Sri IskandarMALAYSIA (phone: +605-3687476; fax: 605-3656180; Nadiah S.A was with Computer and Information ScienceDepartment,Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Sri IskandarMALAYSIA. (e-mail: mostly from visits of the bookstore owner andstudents need to personally go to the bookstore to reviewtextbooks. Thus, an online textbook catalogue is needed tosimplify the process of textbook reviewing and at the sametime it can be a platform to share the information. The bookcatalogue is hope to address 1) the current process of bookpurchasing in UTP and 2) the current process the lecturers gothrough for reviewing textbooks, which normally takes place atthe beginning of each semester.II. LITERATURE REVIEWA software developer company states that an e-catalogueprovides valuable information to the prospective customersabout product specifications [1]. It facilitates the potentialcustomers in locating the products they want and in a way theywant it. It is an ideal and perfect product catalogue as it has noprinting cost, no quantity or color restriction and nodistribution cost. [2] describes that being self-updateable in afew simple clicks, the information in e-catalogue is alwaysaccurate and best of all it needs no reprinting. In addition, e-catalogue promotes your products by itself with enhancedinteractivities, customer personalization and even enquiryshopping cart.Fig.1 [3] is one of the most successful onlineshopping website which uses e-catalog to feature its products.Fig. 1 shows different types of books available are catalogued.The information available for each book includes the bookcover at the left side of the main frame, plus the bookdescription which includes information like book title, bookauthor, book price, and number of books left to be sold andrating from customers.Universities or institutions are the place where we can shareor transmit the knowledge, thus they are known as knowledge-Emelia Akashah P.A, Sharifah Nadiah S.ADeveloping Online Bookstore to FacilitateManual Process – UTP Case StudyEWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 39 2010193
  2. 2. based institutions. Apart from that, universities are the mostpopular place for computer application, so we could take thesituation for granted by promoting the new computerapplications/ services among the students [4]. The intranetfacilities are normally provided for the universities students tohelp them in their studies. Most universities or institutions ofhigher education have built intranets, which facilitate studentswith their studies and their lives [4,5]. Online book cataloguecould run on the university server and could be accessed by thelecturers and students using their intranet. Most universitiesare connected with LAN and this facility enabled theinformation to be shared and at the same time we could let thelecturers and students to practice e-commerce [5]. Fewexamples of e-commerce website for books are [6] and [7].A. University of Oregon Bookstore ( )[6]The virtual bookstore in University of Oregon served aboutthe total of 20,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni. Thewebsite was launched in 1998. Since the website is launched,the online sales are increased 10-12% annually. Thecompetitive features are:• Home page links directly to bookstore site,providing easy access/convenience for viewers.• Weekly Featured Items section• Staff Favorites section• Textbook reservations• Textbook requisitions for faculty• Bestseller List of fiction and nonfictionB. University of Vermont(www [7]The online bookstore in University of Vermont served aboutthe total of 9000 students, faculty, staff and alumni. Thewebsite was launched back in 1998 and it is owned by theuniversity. The total online sales has grown form $25000 in2000 to $548000 in 2003. The competitive features are:• Offers online-only apparel promotions• Textbook reservations• Textbook requisitions for faculty• Promotes bookstore site in-store by passing outfree Web site [awards, coffee cups, and pins• Textbook sales increased dramatically after theyadded online textbook reservation feature• Sales Stats: Non-book online sales have increased20-25% annuallyIII. METHODOLOGYInitiation of this project starts of with gathering all of thenecessary requirements from lecturers, students, and bookstoreowner in order to produce a website which is feasible to bemaintained and meet user requirements. Primarily, focus is putmore on research on various campus online bookstores whichare already up and running. On top of that, a research onUTP’s bookstore system is also conducted in order tounderstand the current process of book informationdissemination within UTP proxy. In line with that,questionnaires and interviews with target end users are foundto be the most effective method to gather precise informationfrom end users.Four (4) elements are used as a guideline in developing thequestionnaire for students and lecturers which are 1)Usefulness; 2) Ease of Use; 3) Attitude towards Use and 4)Behavioral/ Intention .Based on the literature survey as well as data collection, theprototype of the system was developed.Design paradigm begins with prototype design of thegraphical user interface (GUI) layer and consequently outlinesthe back end (database and system architecture) system of thewebsite which is only visible to the bookstore staffs which arethe administrators of this portal. Construction of the prototypewas modified according to the feedback of the end users, inorder to produce an online book catalog which adheres to therequired elements at the end of this project.The prototype which results from the design phase is thenevaluated by the students and lecturers as the end users and theevaluation results can be used to refine the requirements forthe software to be developed. Iteration occurs as the prototypewill be refine to satisfy the user requirements, while at thesame time enabling the developer to better understand whatneeds to be done.After designing the GUI design prototype, the website isthen deployed on a web hosting in order to make it accessiblevia the net. The processes through the development are asfollows:• Configuration – The website is configured using ahierarchical configuration system. uses afile-based configuration system. The configurationinformation is stored in XML format. Duringconfiguration stage, declaration, settings storing andretrieving the settings from the configuration files willbe done.• Localizing portal (using application) -Localization is the process of using global applicationin a particular locale. This is achieved by supplyingthe culture information to the website.• Connect portal to the database - The fresh installationof the portal was connected to the database byallowing the manipulation of a relational databasewhich is a part of Relational Database ManagementSystem (RDBMS) by using Microsoft Jet 4.0. Jetallows multiple users to access the databaseconcurrently.A. Pre-Implementation Questionnaire for StudentsThe questionnaire designed to be distributed to the 100students of various year of study, has enabled gathering ofvaluable data and information. From the tabulated data, itcan be concluded that:Only half of the respondents went to the bookstore in thebeginning of each semester, and less than 5 visits persemester. With the presence of an online book catalogue, itwill encourage more students to review textbooks online.World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 39 2010194
  3. 3. The survey also indicates 32% of the students purchaseless than 3 books per semester, while only a minority ofrespondent actually purchases more than 3 books.Most respondents are interested to purchase study relatedmaterials from the online bookstore, such as textbooks,reference books, and stationary. 24% of respondents areactually interested to purchase general books, computergadgets as well as UTP Merchandise from this proposedwebsite.Focusing on used books market, more than half ofrespondents find information on the availability on a specifictextbook via their friends, posters and through words of mouth.While a small group of respondents find that informationthrough DC++, which is a free and open-source peer-to-peerfile-sharing client software.Most students are found to be accessing the UTP internalwebsites mostly within UTP compound. From the survey, itcan be concluded that students wants to buy books but most ofthem do not have an initiative to visit the bookstore, and thismight be because of the distance of the bookstore from theirresidents. Students currently could not gain any informationregarding books from the bookstore, so they prefer to find theinformation from DC++. Based from this argument, the onlinebook catalogue is needed in UTP to allow the students toreview about the books and to check whether the book theywant is available or not.TABLE I SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED TO THE STUDENTS IN THEQUESTIONNAIRE WITH RESULTQuestions % ofstudentsPay < 5 visits to the bookstore inthe beginning of the semester50%Purchase < 3 books per semesterfrom the bookstore32%Purchase > 3 books per semesterform the bookstore5%Use other web based medium tobuy books70%Need a book catalogue for thebookstore?95%B. Pre-Implementation Questionnaire for LecturersThe questionnaire is designed to gather some requirementsfrom lecturers. There are 40 set of questionnaires distributed tothe lecturers. From the tabulated data, it can be concluded thatmost lecturers stated that they encourage their students topurchase the latest version of a textbook, rather than usedbooks which versions are outdated. Almost all respondents’states that they prefer to review the actual textbook personallybefore adopting it as a course text/reference books. Mostrespondents are interested to purchase study related materialsfrom the online bookstore, such as textbooks, reference books,and stationary. Half of respondents are actually interested topurchase computer gadgets and UTP Merchandise from thisproposed website. In their opinion, the current process ofreviewing textbooks could be improved. By having a bookcatalogue that could be accessed through the universityintranet, the lecturers do not have to wait until the book salesperson to come and approach them in order to get the newversion of textbook. The problem might occur when thelecturers are not around during the visit of the sales person. So,they have to make a visit to the bookstore in order to check onthe new version of books available.The designs of the questionnaire for both categories ofrespondents (students and lecturers) are made to capture all therequirements for the online book catalog. There are two (2)parts of questions being asked. The first part of the question isdesigned to gather information related to the respondents’background. There are 12 questions being asked to therespondents in order to understand their perspective and ideaof the online book catalog and at the same time to promote theuse of the platform to facilitate the process of reviewing thebooks.TABLE II SOME OF THE QUESTIONS ASKED TO THE LECTURERS IN THEQUESTIONNAIRE WITH RESULTQuestions % ofstudentsPrefer students to get the latestbook edition90%Prefer to review the textbookbefore adopting them as thecourse reference book95%Need a platform to improve thecurrent process of reviewingbooks98%C. Analysis for Pre-Implementation QuestionnaireBoth students’ and lecturers’ questionnaires have enabledgathering of valuable data and information. The result fromboth groups obtained can be compared in order to find hiddenpatterns on opinion and preferences of both parties, as well asenable the creation of a useful website that will benefit both.From the tabulated data, it can be concluded that both groupsof respondents are interested to purchase more than onlytextbooks for academic purposes. They are both keen onfinding any other things on the website, such as stationeries,UTP Merchandise and computer gadgets. Both students andlecturers are found to be accessing the UTP internal websitesmostly within UTP compound. This information enables thefinal decision of managing the website as an intranet ratherthan internet during the implementation phase.Analysis on both groups’ data has enabled the identificationof critical factors that effect the user perception of the websiteonce it is implemented. It is important to recognize mainbehaviors and interpretation of both groups, as the websiteneed to cater to two different groups which objective and useWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 39 2010195
  4. 4. of the proposed website will be dissimilar.IV. SYSTEM DESIGN AND ARCHITECTUREFig. 2 UTP Online Book Catalog Flow DiagramFig. 2 provides the full view on the system flow of theonline books catalog. As demonstrated, users are exposed tofive (5) different links which are the main functions of thiswebsite through the home page. To be an authorized user,users may register themselves through the registration linkprovided by filling up a form. When any registered user clickson the ‘Shopping Cart’ link, they are able to view the itemsthat they have added on to their personal shopping cart.Registered users may log in directly by clicking on to the‘Members’ link and enter their user name and password toaccess the portal. Once they successfully logged in, they canview the items they previously add to the shopping cart inwhich they have not collected from the bookstore.Second part of this website, which is the crucial part, is theback end system for administrations. Once a certified staff isregistered, they will view a list of administration menu whichare members, orders, books, categories, editorials, editorialscategory and members category to enable them to administerdifferent sections of the website.Fig. 3 Login pageFig. 4 Book administration pageAfter all functions are developed, each work unit has toundergo a system testing where each unit has to be integratedto ensure its compatibility. The portal deployed will need toundergo the relevant user acceptance testing before the live runtakes on. This is to assess system effectiveness and if it meetsthe requirements identified. The user acceptance test takesplace as soon as the portal is running. In doing this, the portalwill be running for a period of time and the usage will bemonitored. Based on the results from users, the finding will beanalyzed and results on the user acceptance test will bediscussed.V. RESULT AND DISCUSSIONA. User Acceptance ResultTAM [8,9,10] is used to evaluate the acceptance of the endusers toward the system developed. The criteria that are goingto be evaluated are: 1) system usefulness, 2) systemattractiveness and 3) ease of use of the system.Fig. 5 Revised TAM for Online Book Catalogue (adapted from [8,9,10] )PerceivedusefulnessPerceived visualattractivenessPerceived ease ofuseWorld Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 39 2010196
  5. 5. Perceived Usefulness:From the survey that has been carried out by the total of140 respondents (100 students and 40 lecturers), 50% of therespondents think that the system is very useful and 20%think that is it useful when it comes to searching thetextbook to know the availability status without having totravel to the bookstore itself.40% of the respondents strongly agree and 23% agreethat the portal has improved the current process in obtaininginformation on books, booking of books and reviewingbooks.Perceived Ease-of –Use:The respondents found that it is very easy to understandthe system, in terms of registration of the new user and alsothe system navigation. 63% of the respondents agree that thesystem is very user-friendly.Perceived Visual Attractiveness:The design of the system interface which is simple couldattract the user to use the system. 55% of the respondentsagreed that the design of the interface which is attractivemakes them willing to use the system again in the future.Respondents have tested the portal and they found that thisportal is feasible to be implemented in UTP. This portal cansignificantly increase the sales of books as the respondentsagreed that this online book catalog enabled them to obtaininformation in a way they can not before and the attractivenessattracted them to re-use this portal in the future.Respondents also agreed this portal establish a closerconnection between students, lecturers and the UTPBookstore, and this way this portal have upgraded the systemof information sharing and retrieving amongst these threegroups.VI. CONCLUSION AND FUTURE WORKSInformation sharing is vital within the campus area, as wellas for businesses which cares about reaching their consumerseffectively. The same thing applies to UTP, as to be in linewith other successful campuses around the globe; they mustacquire latest technologies available.Online bookstores has existed and being utilized around theglobe by campuses since 1994. In line with UTP’s mission tobe the leader in technology education, new technologies andways of doing things which are found efficient needs to bedeveloped. In this case, this project permits the enhancementof information sharing by the UTP Bookstore to all UTPcitizens.Web prototype gives a basic idea of how the outcomedesign of UTP Online Bookstore will look like, based on theresearch being done. It acts as a guide for developers to createan integrated web platform suited to user’s requirement, user-friendly and most important, its functionality. These userrequirements can be gathered through various researchmethodologies, namely survey questionnaire and interviews.Basic functionalities of this website are login page,registration page, book search engine, shopping cart andbookstore personnel administration area which includes bookcategory, books administration, member’s administration andmember’s personal page.Adhering to the objectives, this portal is dedicated to assistand improve the current process students and lecturers wentthrough in finding information about books available at thephysical UTP Bookstore located within the campus area.Simple language and interface is being used to ensure quickand easy understanding by users to enable them to get theinformation they need immediately.This research project could be extended so that in the futurethe lecturers and students could purchase the books online.The concept of the e-commerce and security need to be applyin order to make sure that the system is secured while they aredoing the transaction.ACKNOWLEDGMENTWe would like to thank all the respondents who are takingparts in the pre and post implementation survey.REFERENCES[1] Online E- Catalogue Developer, BinarySoft Technologies, Available:[2] About E-Catalogue, Available:[3] Online Shopping Website, Available:[4] J. Strauss, A.El-Ansary, R.Frost,E-Marketing (Third Edition), RenminUniversity of China, Publisher,July 2004, p.309.[5] H. Lixin, H. Weijian ,” On Campus E-Commerce”, Journal of GuilinInstitute of Electronic Technology, Vol.21, No.2. June 2001.[6] University of Oregon bookstore, Available:[7] University of Vermont, Available :[8] J.Chevalier, A.Goolsbee,” Are Durable Goods Consumer ForwardLooking?”, National Bureau Of Economic Research Working Paper,June 2005.[9] D. Jiangping, “Tentative Study on the Model of the CampusE-commerce”, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics.[10] F.D. Davis,” Perceived usefulness, perceived ease-of-use, anduser acceptance of information technology”, MIS Quarterly(September) (1989) 319–340.[11] F.D. Davis, R.P. Bagozzi, P.R.Warshaw,” Extrinsic and intrinsicmotivation to use computers in the workplace”, Journal of AppliedSocial Psychology 22, 1992, pp. 1111–1132.[12]F.D. Davis, R.P. Bagozzi, P.R. Warshaw, “User acceptance of computertechnology: a comparison of two theoretical 1 models”, ManagementScience 35 (8), 1989, pp. 983–1003.[13] LK Falk, H Sockel, K Chen, “E-Commerce and Consumer’sExpectations: What Makes A Website Work “, Journal of WebsitePromotion, Vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 65-76. 2005.[14] J.Rowley, “ Product Search in E-Shopping: A Review and ResearchProportions”,Journal of Consumer Marketing, 17(1): 124-135,2000[15] W.Wongvilaisakul, P.Jirpongsuwan,P.Praneetpolgrang ,” A BusinessProcess Redesign for E-Bookstore Using Computer Simulation”,Sripatum University Bangkok,2005.World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 39 2010197