IFSM 436 Group No. 3




 Prepared for Dr.Norcio
     October 1, 2003
Names, Roles and Email addresses of Systems Analysts

Financial Analyst:               Chou, Ying-Chung            (yingch...
According to www.Alexa.com, a popular web traffic rating system --

Immigration.com has been rated as the top most popular...
members of the community. Once a petition is being processed, there is no method of

tracking the status of each petition....
IFSM 436 Group No.3




Prepared for Dr. Norcio
      10/08/2003




                          5
Description of the Current System
           ImmigrationPortal.com discussions forum is a free service that is being provi...
clients and other members of the community agreeing to participate on an issue5. The

community members submit an issue to...
Problems with the Current System

   The firm intends to help people focus their issues in a language that regulators can
...
secondary issues rather than focusing on primary issues.       Getting to the necessary

messages is difficult. There is n...
The following are some of the basic features the firm expects to see in their future

system:

   •   Facility for members...
IFSM 436 Group No. 3




 Prepared for Dr. Norcio

                           11
October 1, 2003




                  12
Scope

        The scope of the project determines how much of the organization is affected by

the system. Immigrationpor...
Operational Feasibility

       This part of the feasibility analysis will determine whether the problem with

Immigration...
immigrant visas. Users would like to see a tracker incorporated into the site which would

show the status of petitions an...
flexibility won’t be a problem. With the evolution and widespread deployment of the

World Wide Web (WWW), accelerated by ...
Economic Feasibility

Cost and Benefits:

Benefits
 Increased sales                      90,000
 Increased customer satisf...
Total Project Cost Less Benefits:
                            (670,000)          384,500        378,725
Yearly NPV:       ...
IFSM 436 Group No. 3




 Prepared for Dr. Norcio
     October 8, 2003

                           19
Requirements Analysis

       This document will provide an outline of the requirements for the system. It will

also prov...
2. Browsing the Forums
   2.1 User does not have to be registered in order to view threads on the forums.
   2.2 User must...
Team Member Responsibilities and Tasks

       Our project on immigrationportal.com discussion forum system is a collabora...
responsible for taking notes during our team discussions. They also participated in

researching the Feasibility analysis ...
Task Completion

Start project                                   Completed
Initiation Task
 Initial meeting with team memb...
28 Sep 05 Oct 12 Oct 19 Oct 26 Oct 02 Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 30 Nov 07 Dec 14 Dec


           Analyze Phase




     Ga...
IFSM 436 Group No. 3




 Prepared for Dr. Norcio
    October 29, 2003

                           26
Information Gathering:

        We have used two techniques in gathering information about our current system.
We did an i...
Interview Transcript

Jason: We need a description of your ImmigrationPortal.com. What your site is trying to
achieve and ...
Jason: Are there any problems with the system, other than it doesn’t have the features
you need?

Rajiv: Yeah, Basically w...
Rajiv: Immigration.com used to be just a 3 page website in 1993 when people haven’t
even heard of the world-wide-web. I wa...
Security Administration on the paperwork alone. This is just an example of an incident
benefit.

Jason: We are trying to g...
That is way we are relatively unknown. We are heavily focused on a special interest
group. People who know us, come to us ...
Rajiv: We just guide them through the process. We tell them this is where to go next.
This is a free community. If they le...
34
35
Business Rules

A user is any person who goes onto the website and views, browses or searches through
different threads. E...
The threads entity contains a list of threads that can be searched by user’s interest. Each
thread is identified by a thre...
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
IFSM 436 Group No. 3




 Prepared for Dr. Norcio
   November 12, 2003

                           45
System Alternatives

                Our project team has performed a wide-range of analysis on the current

hardware and ...
First Alternative

             The first alternative would be to keep the current system the same. The

main advantage wi...
system administrators to maintain the Immigrationportal.com website and its various

functions.



Operational Feasibility...
Second Alternative

      The second alternative would be to purchase a commercial off the shelf software,

called PHProje...
install. The free, limited-technical assistance is provided online through email allowing

support at anytime. If the firm...
Third Alternative


         The third alternative would be to purchase another off the shelf software, called

A.C.E Proj...
Support can be hosted or downloaded on ImmigrationPortal.com servers. PHP Live

Support provides live technical and custom...
Schedule Feasibility: From all the information and analysis that has been collected

during our research, our team will be...
Fourth Alternative



             The fourth alternative would be to build an entirely new system. The new

system will b...
Technical Feasibility: Building a new system will require a lot of technical expertise and

functional knowledge within th...
Alternative Comparison Chart

    Alternative       Advantages                            Disadvantages
1   Maintain the  ...
System Analysts’ Recommendation



       After outlining the possible alternatives to the discussion board software on th...
project leader, track the status of an issue maintained by a project leader, assign tasks to

different members of the tea...
Hardware:

2 Servers:                   PowerEdge 2650, Intel Xeon 2.4GHz w/512K Cache
Additional Processors:       Dual P...
60
Project Completion Plans
Start project                                Completed
Initiation Task
 Initial meeting with team...
The project is currently on schedule and will be completed soon. The work left to

be completed includes the conversion pl...
Normalized Database Tables

User_Info
        Field Name                   Field Type                  Field Size
E-mail  ...
IFSM 436 Group No. 3




 Prepared for Dr. Norcio
    December 1, 2003

                           64
Screen Design




Figure 1 - Summary Window


The Summary Window provides the user with an overview of current events. It ...
Figure 2 - Calendar Function


The calendar provides complete functionality of schedule and keeping track of personal
acti...
Figure 3 - Contacts Function


The contacts tab allows user to keep an address book to manage personal information of
frie...
Figure 4 - Chat Screen


The chat tab allows all online users to communicate with each other in real-time. It is
useful fo...
Figure 5 - Forum Screen


The forum allows users to post topics of conversation which other users will read and
respond to...
Figure 6 - File Exchange


The file exchange allows users to submit files to the website which then other users can
downlo...
Figure 7 - Project Planning


The project planning is an excellent feature which allows a user or group of users to
create...
Figure 8 - To-Do List


The To-Do List allows a user to create a list of items that need to be completed. This is a
powerf...
Figure 9 - Voting System


The voting system allows users to create issues to be voted on. It keeps track of the
number of...
Conversion Plans:

       Once the new system has been tested and assured that there are no bugs or

glitches, we will nee...
consistency among the data from both the sites. Since we will be changing the system

over directly if the users have any ...
Training Plans:

       Training on how to work with PHProjekt will only pertain to the in house

programmer and the vario...
Maintenance Plans
       The maintenance plan included in the PHProjekt package covers any problems
with installation and ...
Customizing:
The ability to modify, enhance, create, and adapt new features or processes.
    • Modify the existing module...
Project Assessment:

       Through the span of the semester, our project team worked efficiently and

effectively to meet...
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Final Project Compilation before Document Formatting

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Final Project Compilation before Document Formatting

  1. 1. IFSM 436 Group No. 3 Prepared for Dr.Norcio October 1, 2003
  2. 2. Names, Roles and Email addresses of Systems Analysts Financial Analyst: Chou, Ying-Chung (yingch1@umbc.edu) Infrastructure Analyst: Corey, Jeremy (jcorey1@umbc.edu) Systems Analyst: Davis, Desiree (des1@umbc.edu) Systems Analyst: Driscoll, Adam (adric1@umbc.edu) Project Sponsor: Durgam, Jacinth (djsudha@hotmail.com) Information Coordinator: Geisler, Robert (rgeisl1@umbc.edu) Project Manager: Geist, Jason (jgeist1@umbc.edu) Description of Organization Our project team proposes to improve the discussions forum1 software system hosted online by the Law Offices of Rajiv S. Khanna, PC. The law firm practices U.S Immigration and Nationality Laws in all 50 states and abroad. The firm provides specific emphasis on business and professional immigration matters. They are located at 5225 N. Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22205, with a staff of roughly 40 people. They help provide clients with obtaining permanent residence through professional labor certifications. The firm assists clients with complex immigration related cases. Their clientele ranges from individuals to large corporations. The Law Office boasts an incredible winning ratio; having only lost 4 cases in the last decade. Other business functions include providing legal advice to high-technology companies when hiring foreign personnel. The Law firm currently hosts the following two websites: http://www.immigration.com http://www.immigrationportal.com 1 www.immigrationportal.com 2
  3. 3. According to www.Alexa.com, a popular web traffic rating system -- Immigration.com has been rated as the top most popular visited sites in “Immigration” categories. Our project team has contact to Rajiv Khanna from the law office, through our team member, Jacinth Durgam. Jacinth has been employed in the IT department of the law office as an intern. She has been associated with the firm for the past year. We have the ability to set-up meetings in person and through speakerphone, which gives our team flexibility. Problem The law firm offers online forums for discussion, a place where people can only leave messages for each other. Individuals usually share their personal experiences related to immigration. Other than participating in discussions, the purpose of the forums is to gather people online and undertake activities by creating petitions2 and issues3 as a group to influence Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. Currently, the law firm can have only one active petition at a time. The forum lacks the feature to create and send petitions electronically to congress and other political offices. The lawyer of the firm writes up a petition and publishes it online; all those who are interested in the petition have to electronically sign the petition with their email addresses. The petition is then manually submitted by the law firm to congress and other political offices to be processed depending on the number of signatures signed by the 2 A formal request to an agency or legislature to affect some change 3 Any matter that affects the community members 3
  4. 4. members of the community. Once a petition is being processed, there is no method of tracking the status of each petition. Individuals involved in the petition have to wait for a long period of time until the law firm provides a brief review on the status of the petition; this long waiting time usually causes the members to lose interest in participating as a community and to follow up with the petition. The current system also lacks the ability to allow members involved to assign different tasks to each other. The employees of the law firm perform most of the tasks, which also include the necessary follow up on each petition. The firm needs more interaction and the ability to have more petitions active; they need to involve the members of the community during the process of every petition. The existing implementation of the system is specifically built for discussion, not for advocacy purposes. Our project team believes that we can deliver a system, which will meet and exceed the expectations of the law office. 4
  5. 5. IFSM 436 Group No.3 Prepared for Dr. Norcio 10/08/2003 5
  6. 6. Description of the Current System ImmigrationPortal.com discussions forum is a free service that is being provided by the Law offices of Rajiv Khanna, PC. This web site is specifically developed to enhance the access of information to the public and to keep them updated with the latest news on immigration. Hosted by Immigration.com, the discussion forum creates an online community where immigrants can post topics and respond to others. After performing a preliminary analysis on the existing system, our team was able to further understand the current system. The existing system provides the users with an environment to participate, discuss their personal experiences, and share their knowledge related to immigration. It is like a normal community discussion system. There are about 67,000 registered users and about 80,000 guest users. A person who is not registered can only view the topics for discussion, while those registered have the privilege to create a special account that would help them keep track of all those who are involved in their issues and also maintains a record of all the people who have replied to their queries. The system offers certain features such as “discussion threads” --- users can organize discussions in the form of a thread, this gives them the flexibility to quickly read the thread that is of interest to them. Members have the ability to participate in chat sessions with other members online. The system offers a search feature but it is poorly designed as it brings numerous results, including results that are not relevant to what we are looking for. The users have also experienced difficulty in getting to know the current system because the system lacks a “help” feature. Currently, there can be one petition4 active at a time. A petition is created only when a lawyer of the firm receives numerous requests and emails through their existing 4 A formal request to an agency or legislature to affect some change 6
  7. 7. clients and other members of the community agreeing to participate on an issue5. The community members submit an issue to the law firm; the firm reviews the issue and agrees to proceed with the petition depending on the necessity of the issue. A formal petition is written through the law firm and published online; people interested in participating can electronically sign the petitions with their email addresses. The employees of the firm can obtain the necessary contact information of the current senators and congressman. Through an unorganized method, the firm tries to keep track of all the senators and congressman concerned with their issue. The firm then gathers the online signatures and submits the petition to the senators or members of the congress. The employees of the firm begin to monitor the status of the petition by periodically checking the website or by calling Congress. They also try to monitor who is talking to whom among the senators. In each Senator’s office there are 10 – 12 office staff members. These members may be in favor or not in favor of the issue the petition is raising. The employees of law firm try to keep track of who’s interested in supporting the petition and those who are not. This entire process is done manually. Finally, after waiting for many months or sometimes even years, the results of the submitted petition are announced. 5 Any matter that affects the community members 7
  8. 8. Problems with the Current System The firm intends to help people focus their issues in a language that regulators can understand. They do not want to be able to take the entire responsibility of monitoring almost every step in the process of a petition. The current system does not have the capability to support several features that the organization considers as business needs. Following is a list of problems with the present system our project team will address: 1. System design: System design was poorly conducted upon the initial creation of Immigrationportal.com. Disregarding any basic web-design rules, several links lead the user to more links, making it difficult for the user to find the desired page. The lack of uniformity concerning the layout of each web page on the site creates a cumbersome effort in navigation. There is no “help” feature that could assist the users to direct them through their destination. Although the site contains a great deal of information, all of it is poorly categorized and hard to follow. 2. Unstable system hardware: Sometimes there could be 1000 users online at the same time for which the system cannot hold such a heavy load of users to be online at the same time. The current system is not designed for high volume of traffic. 3. Inefficient search engine: The search engine brings up numerous results, sometimes information that is not related to what we are looking for. Thus, there is tendency for people to focus on 8
  9. 9. secondary issues rather than focusing on primary issues. Getting to the necessary messages is difficult. There is no a systematic way of finding the necessary information. 4. Inability for members to assign and monitor tasks: Users are never involved throughout the entire process of submitting the petition, other than electronically signing on the petitions. There is no organized method of assigning tasks to members who are involved in the issue. Members have experienced difficulty in monitoring the status of every petition. General goals: The Law Firm is trying to expand their goals by providing a structured and more stable system, which not only contains enormous amounts of information but also provides an easy and effective way to access the information. The firm strongly believes that providing plenty of relevant information on immigration to people online could reduce the chances of foreign students and non-immigrants from being abused by certain misleading sources. With the ability to customize new software and upgrade or replace certain features, these goals are easily obtainable. 9
  10. 10. The following are some of the basic features the firm expects to see in their future system: • Facility for members to create issues • Facility for members to vote internally • Members should be able to choose a group leader for every issue • Group leaders should be allowed to assign tasks to sub teams • A facility to monitor all the tasks 10
  11. 11. IFSM 436 Group No. 3 Prepared for Dr. Norcio 11
  12. 12. October 1, 2003 12
  13. 13. Scope The scope of the project determines how much of the organization is affected by the system. Immigrationportal.com is a sub-site of Immigration.com. The Law Office of Rajiv S. Khanna, PC provides Immigrationportal.com as a free service to those interested in immigration issues. The sub-site is more or less dependent on Immgration.com and not heavily relied on by the internal employees of the law firm. The law office does not consider Immigrationportal.com as one of its primary sources to attract clientele either. The sub-site would mainly affect external users interested in discussing immigration issues online and voicing their opinions. If this sub-site were to shut unexpectedly, the law firm would not suffer from direct loses in revenue. 13
  14. 14. Operational Feasibility This part of the feasibility analysis will determine whether the problem with Immigrationportal.com is worth solving. It will also determine the urgency of this problem and the effectiveness of a solution. Performance: Overall the current system does not have adequate throughput and response time the Law Office of Rajiv S. Khanna, PC, wants to provide. Denial or lack of service because of inadequate hardware to handle the volume of users trying to register or log on reduces prospective clientele. The complicated organization of the site makes navigation difficult for the common user. These and other related problems provide our project team sufficient reason to propose a solution that will give the Law Office of Rajiv S. Khanna the service it wants, to attract a larger customer base. Information: The current system provides a place for users to discuss immigration issues and obtain information regarding immigration policies. The Law Office of Rajiv S. Khanna wants to enhance the ability users have of not just discussing their opinions but taking the next step to making that issue official. Discussion boards are maintained by moderators for validity purposes but all many users want to be able to create their own petitions based so that other’s who agree can sign these petitions. The current implementation doesn’t allow for registered users to do more than discuss their opinions and majority of visitors are using immigrationportal.com as an informative site. Besides the discussion boards, immigrationportal.com provides valid information on forms required for 14
  15. 15. immigrant visas. Users would like to see a tracker incorporated into the site which would show the status of petitions and where they lay in the approval process. Economy: The Law Office of Rajiv S. Khanna does not gain tangible benefits other than name recognition through indirect referrals. The law office is providing this service free of charge in hopes of helping those that need it. Customer satisfaction is their main goal. The current system offers customer satisfaction but not at the extent in which the law office would prefer. Control: Upon loading the homepage of immigrationportal.com, a disclaimer states, “We take no responsibility for accuracy of information provided. Please use at your own risk.” The current system does not provide adequate controls against fraud other than a simple online registration in order to post topics. If a new system was implemented that would allow users to take a more interactive approach of creating an official petition, certain security issues need to be addressed in securing data and information. Efficiency: The current system does not make maximum use of available resources because the current hardware can not handle the volume of visitors to the website. Although there is minimum processing when posting a thread, the flow of threads is difficult to navigate. Services: The current implementation serves the purpose of providing a location where people can discuss their issues about immigration, but does not provide the service the Law Office of Rajiv S. Khanna is aiming for. With a newer system, scalability or 15
  16. 16. flexibility won’t be a problem. With the evolution and widespread deployment of the World Wide Web (WWW), accelerated by the rapid adoption of web browsers, web- based applications have been developed for a variety of applications in online discussion and group management software. Our project team can provide a feasible and effective solution to this problem. Technical Feasibility The law office of Rajiv S. Khanna, PC new system is feasible technically, although there is some risk. Law Firm’s risk regarding familiarity with applications is low • The IT department already is familiar with system we are just upgrading. • With new system we will have a help feature for the users. Law Firm’s risk regarding familiarity with the technology is low • IT department is a very advanced team that works well, but there will be some new hardware implemented that could lead to some risk. • Not much new hardware will be implemented into the new system. The project size is considered medium risk • The project team will consist of seven people. • User involvement will be required. • The project timeline cannot exceed three months (end of semester). The compatibility with Law Firms existing technical infrastructure should be good • The current system is web-based and will stay web-based with more organization. • The current internet infrastructure already in place will be upgraded for scalability. 16
  17. 17. Economic Feasibility Cost and Benefits: Benefits Increased sales 90,000 Increased customer satisfaction 30,000 Stronger name recognition 500,000 Total benefits 620,000 Development costs 2 servers @ $110,000 220,000 Software licenses 30,000 Server software 10,000 Development labor 800,000 Total development costs 1,060,000 Operation costs Hardware 20,000 2 Dell 2650 PowerEdge Servers Software 10,000 1 Site license - Strategies Group Management Software Operational labor 200,000 Total operational costs 230,000 Cost-Benefit Analysis: 2003 2004 2005 Total Total development costs: 1,060,000 0 0 Hardware 20,000 20,000 20,000 Software 10,000 10,000 10,000 Operational labor 200,000 210,000 220,500 Total Operation Costs: 230,000 240,000 250,500 Total Costs: 1,290,000 240,000 250,500 PV of Costs: 1,277,227 235,271 243,132 1,755,630 PV of All Costs: 1,277,227 1,512,498 1,755,630 Increased sales 90,000 94,500 99,225 Reduction on customer calls 30,000 30,000 30,000 Reduced on advertising costs 500,000 500,000 500,000 Total Benefits: 620,000 624,500 629,225 PV of Benefits: 613,861 612,194 610,719 1,836,774 PV of All Benefits: 613,861 1,226,055 1,836,774 17
  18. 18. Total Project Cost Less Benefits: (670,000) 384,500 378,725 Yearly NPV: (663,366) 376,923 367,587 81,144 Cumulative NPV: (663,366) (286,443) 81,144 Return on Investment: 4.62% (81,144 / 1,755,630) Break-ever Point: 3.78 years (367587-81144) / 367587 Based on the cost and benefit analysis we performed above, it shows the project to be doable. Schedule Feasibility Though our research we have come to the conclusion that the deadlines of this project are reasonable and the project team has the ability to meet each one • Wednesday, September 17, 2003 Project Proposal(Complete) • Wednesday, September 24, 2003 Preliminary Analysis(Complete) • Wednesday, October 01, 2003 Feasibility Analysis(Complete) • Wednesday, October 08, 2003 Requirements Analysis(Complete) • Wednesday, October 29, 2003 System Analysis Report • Wednesday, November 12, 2003 System Design Report • Thursday, December 18, 2003 System Installation • Thursday, January 08, 2003 Post-implementation Audit Report The Feasibility Analysis, Requirements Analysis, System Analysis Report, System Design Report are all mandatory deadlines. Both the System Installation and Post-implementation Audit Report are desirable deadlines. Political and Legal Feasibility A disclaimer will be posted on the site so the law firm will not be liable for any statements that are made on the website. A disclaimer will also have to be agreed upon registering every new user. A disclaimer will also be in the mission statement of the site viewable from a link located on every footer of every page. 18
  19. 19. IFSM 436 Group No. 3 Prepared for Dr. Norcio October 8, 2003 19
  20. 20. Requirements Analysis This document will provide an outline of the requirements for the system. It will also provide a measure of the current project status. Tables and charts are included to visually illustrate the status. A brief overview of our team member’s tasks and responsibilities ensures that all members are contributing to the success of the project. Non-Functional Requirements 1. Operational Requirements 1.1 The system will operate in the Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP environments 1.2 The system will integrate users from the previous system. Inactive accounts will be deleted 2. Performance Requirements 2.1 The system will be able to handle more than 1000 simultaneous user connections 3 Security Requirements 3.1 The member’s personal information can only be accessed by employees of the law firm 4 Cultural and Political Requirements 4.1 The system will provide a disclaimer regarding the firm’s liability related to the information provided by the system and its members Functional Requirements 1. Registering a Member 1.1 User must agree to consent form 1.2 User is required to select a User Name and password 1.3 User is required to enter a valid e-mail address 1.4 User may enter optional information including 1.4.1 User Homepage 1.4.2 Birthday 1.4.3 Location 1.4.4 Occupation 1.5 User may customize his/her preferences including 1.5.1 E-mail notification 1.5.2 Private Messaging 1.5.3 Automatic Logon 1.6 After Submitting, User receives e-mail confirmation 1.7 E-mail Confirmation, user clicks link to activate account 20
  21. 21. 2. Browsing the Forums 2.1 User does not have to be registered in order to view threads on the forums. 2.2 User must be registered in order to post a message to the thread. 2.3 User must be able to receive private messages from other users 2.4 New threads will be a different color than threads the user has already seen 3. Posting a message 3.1 User must be able to format the text, and perform functions such as Cut, Copy and Paste 3.2 User must be able to edit their message after it has been posted to the thread 3.3 User may be able to include a “signature” appended to the bottom of each of their messages 4. Searching the Forum 4.1 User must be able to perform a search using keywords 4.2 User must be able to perform a search using a range of dates 4.3 User must be able to perform a search based on user names 4.4 Results must provide a direct link to the original thread 4.5 User must be able to use logical operators for a search (i.e. And, Not, Or) 5. Signing a Petition 5.1 User must be able to view the petition in its entirety 5.2 User must be able to digitally sign the petition 5.3 Duplicate signatures will be detected and disregarded 5.4 Confirmation of the petition signature must be provided 5.4.1 Failure to confirm will disregard the signature 5.5 Users may be able to view the signatures that the petition has received 6. Group Leader Functions 6.1 Users must be able to assign a specific group leader to a community issues 6.2 Group leader must be able to assign task to other users 6.2.1 Tasks may be assigned through e-mail 6.2.2 Tasks may be assigned through the community forum 6.2.3 Tasks may be assigned through private messaging 6.3 Assigned Tasks must be available to be viewed by all users 6.4 Group leader must be able to track completion status of current tasks 21
  22. 22. Team Member Responsibilities and Tasks Our project on immigrationportal.com discussion forum system is a collaboration of efforts by Ying-Chung Chou, Jeremy Corey, Desiree Davis, Jacinth Durgam, Adam Driscoll, Robert Geisler and Jason Geist. As a team, we designated all our analysts’ positions in general to work resourcefully. Jacinth Durgam, who works for the Law Offices of Rajiv S. Khanna, PC as an intern, initiated the project. She will be the Project Sponsor and is the primary point of contact for the project. Our team unanimously selected Jason Geist to be the Project Manager. Ying-Chung Chou will be the Financial Analyst, Jeremy Corey will be the Infrastructure Analyst, Robert Geisler will be the Information Coordinator; Adam Driscoll and Desiree Davis will be the Systems Analysts. All the tasks that we have performed so far have been a team effort. Jacinth helped us to get a brief interview with the lawyer of the firm, which gave our team a better understanding of the problems with the current system and requirements for the future system. She also participated in performing the Preliminary analysis of the system. Jason Geist was in-charge in organizing all our group meetings. He participated in researching the technical feasibility for the system and was also part of the interview conducted with the lawyer of the firm. Ying-Chung Chou performed a research in determining the economic feasibility for the future system. He conducted the cost and benefit analysis for system. Jeremy Corey performed a study on the current system and determined the operational feasibility. Robert Geisler participated in researching the schedule feasibility of the system; he was also responsible for collecting and maintaining a record of all the deliverables for our project. Desiree Davis and Adam Driscoll were 22
  23. 23. responsible for taking notes during our team discussions. They also participated in researching the Feasibility analysis of the system. Future tasks will continue to be a team effort. The system analysis report has many segments which our team members have been working on. Ying-Chung Chou will be determining business rules. Desiree Davis will assist Ying-Chung, as well as conduct information gathering. Adam Driscoll will be handling the entity-relationship diagrams. Jeremy Corey will use those ER diagrams to help in the creation of data flow diagrams. Robert Geisler will be supporting both Adam and Jeremy in the creation of the diagrams. Jason Geist and Jacinth Durgam will be involved in information gathering. 23
  24. 24. Task Completion Start project Completed Initiation Task Initial meeting with team members 100% Get team members contact information 100% Choose an organization 100% Choose Project 100% Set date and time to meet team member 100% Selecting the contact person 100% Talking to stakeholders 80% Draft project requirements 100% Selecting the problems associated with it 100% Develop a team proposal 100% Planning Task Conduct the feasibility study of the project 100% Develop cost benefit analysis 100% Requirement Task Assigning group members with a task 100% Decided the estimated time 80% Analysis Task Developing diagrams (ER, DFD, Network) 0% Diagram of the current system 35% Information gathering techniques 15% Interviews, questionnaires, surveys 50% Preliminary Analysis 100% Develop requirement analysis 100% Design Task Determine alternative solutions 0% Develop web-based design 0% System design report 0% Final Task Prepare for project report 0% Prepare for presentation 0% Presentation 0% 24
  25. 25. 28 Sep 05 Oct 12 Oct 19 Oct 26 Oct 02 Nov 09 Nov 16 Nov 23 Nov 30 Nov 07 Dec 14 Dec Analyze Phase Gather Requirements Requirements Analysis Indepth Analysis of System Project Legend Systems Analysis Report Completed part of task Overdue part of task Design Phase Uncompleted part of task Milestone c Develop web-based design System Design Report Implementation Final Project 25
  26. 26. IFSM 436 Group No. 3 Prepared for Dr. Norcio October 29, 2003 26
  27. 27. Information Gathering: We have used two techniques in gathering information about our current system. We did an interview with Rajiv Khanna and we also conducted a survey. The interview with Rajiv Khanna was conducted over a speakerphone and lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes. Our group members were able to ask direct questions about the operation of the law firm. Mr. Khanna was very open about his law firm and provided our group great insight. We administered the survey online at ImmigrationPortal.com. We did this so users could reply to the survey just like they would on any other thread. This would be the best way to get the most feedback from the users. The survey mostly closed open questions so we could attract more users to take the survey. We did have one open ended question which helped give us great ideas for things to fix. Both methods used help gain great detail about the current system. Survey: 1) How often do you visit the site www.immigrationportal.com on a scale of 1-10? 10 being the highest 2) When visiting the website, do you find it easy to browse through the forums? 3) Would you like the ability to be able to post petitions? 4) Would you like to see some kind of help option when you are browsing the website? 5) On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate this website? 10 being the highest 6) Do you ever notice the website being bogged down or slow at times? 7) If there was any changes that you would like to see done on immigrationportal.com what would they be? Results gained from Survey: 103 people took the survey Question 1: Average was 8.89 Question 2: 93 No’s and 10 Yes Question 3: 100 Yes and 3 No’s Question 4: 92 Yes and 11 No’s Question 5: Average was 2.14 Question 6: 60 Yes and 43 No From question 7 we have a lot of answers which all seemed to be good suggestions: 1) Have a better search feature, so when you search something it is actually related. 2) Have the website be more organized so they can understand where they are going. 3) Have a help button so if anyone has any questions they can go to the help feature. 4) Get rid of the duplicate information on the same page. 27
  28. 28. Interview Transcript Jason: We need a description of your ImmigrationPortal.com. What your site is trying to achieve and the way it works currently. Rajiv: So essentially what your question is “what software are we currently deploying to achieve the purpose that we wish to achieve the future software. Is that your question? Jason: Just a description of the current system, so that can include what software you are using and what type of features it has. Rajiv: Let me explain in hopefully a very summarized manner what the difference in the two software’s is. Let’s say you are using a project management software. Like for example MS Project. What we have in place is merely a chat system. We have no other features except a facility where people can leave messages for each other. And participate in discussions that a threaded. So in a nutshell, we have a system currently off the shelf. Nothing customized about it. We have some features customized a little bit but most of it is off the shelf and it only does one-fortieth or one-hundredth of what we want it to do. Jason: So, what off-the-shelf software are you using? Rajiv: It’s called VBulletin. Jason: Is that free, or did you purchase it? Rajiv: Ahh, It’s close to free. It only costs a couple hundred bucks. And then another couple hundred bucks for us to take the emblem or icons off. You know how it says “this is the software we are running.” Well, we’ve taken it off. It’s a really cheap software. The software we had before that was called Web-X. That software used to cost us $24,000 a year in licensing. Okay. It only had the capability to have 60 people online at a time. This software (VBulletin) with some good hardware costs only $400 and we can have unlimited number of people online at a time. Normally we have anywhere from 400- to 800 people on at the same time. Jason: Pretty good numbers. Rajiv: Yes, the only thing it needs is solid hardware, dual processors. Jason: What kind of hardware do you have supporting? Rajiv: Like I said, we have dual processor computers with gigabyte level ram. I think its 2-gigabyte at the moment. The fastest hard-drives we could buy. I think they are SCSI. And they are all running Raid-5. 28
  29. 29. Jason: Are there any problems with the system, other than it doesn’t have the features you need? Rajiv: Yeah, Basically we have an air pistol to do the job of a bazooka. To understand what we are trying to accomplish you need to understand how advocacy works. If you as a person woke in the morning and said “you know what I don’t like X thing in the education system. I want to get that change to Congress.” What would you do? Well, first thing you would do would be pick up the phone and call a few people. And see if you can locate who in Congress is concerned with education. Example, you would find out there must be an education sub-committee on the Senate-side as well as the House- side. You would find out who the congress people are. And first you would find out who the staffers are. Because first you have to start with the staffers. You have to find out who on the staff deals with the education issues. Then you have to cultivate a relationship. You got to go meet them 12 or 15 times. Take your problems to them. There is a whole level of things you have to do. Then if the bill does come into play and you see it move the various stages of becoming a law, you have to follow through with every senator and staffer as possible. You need to know who our friends are and who our foes are. If you’ve got a team of 30 people work on it, who is doing what. So we need a very sophisticated project management software that is intimately connected to the process of a bill. That understands how grassroots activism works. So you need vertical knowledge of the business process. Jason: It seems like an awful long process and certainly becomes time-consuming. Is there benefits to your company running this service? Are you making any type of profit from it? We kind of have the understanding that you weren’t at the moment Rajiv: No, there is no direct profit to the company at the moment. We don’t have a revenue model and I’ll explain to you why. Somebody many years ago mentioned to us that we run Immigration.com and ImmigrationPortal.com as basically an ad for our firm. They said “basically this is nothing but an ad for your firm.” And I said I agree with you. Why do have these websites up? Because we get name recognition. Why do these companies like Colgate and you know all these companies spend billions of dollars on ad revenues? The reason for that is they put money out for the ads so that they can get name recognition. But the difference between Immigration.com and the Yellow Pages is that you don’t have 500,000 people a year or a million people a year just reading Yellow Pages. People are reading Immigration or ImmigrationPortal.com because we are providing a very useful service which is information. And incidentally our name gets floated along with it. So the most important indirect benefit of any website we sponsor is our name gets before the community of our potential customers in a very targeted and very creative constructive way. At a moral level, we are giving something before we get something. And at an advertising level, this is the best possible ad that you could think of. Jason: So in essence you are getting name recognition while providing a service. 29
  30. 30. Rajiv: Immigration.com used to be just a 3 page website in 1993 when people haven’t even heard of the world-wide-web. I was the one did all the programming. In those days you had to hand code all the HTML. We only use the Linux –ux platform. We do not touch Windows. I tried Windows for about six months and never went back to it again. I can’t stand Windows on a commercial website. So anyhow, we started off with a 3 page website and the basic function of the entire website was “what can we as a law firm give away, not what can we get, but what can we give away?” And before you know it our own firm expanded from a one-person operation to today about 40 people. It has been a slow, well, I wouldn’t say slow, but a gradual increase in our own size. And our the reason for that is contrary to what most firms do which is before you talk to them you have to pay up. Read what we have, if you like us, hire us, if you don’t like us don’t hire us. At least you got something out of it. There we took it one step further. Immigration.com if you look at it is a one to many information dissemination platform. Our firm supplies information to many people who come to visit. ImmigrationPortal.com is a many to many dissemination format. Many people provide information to many other people. The community is based upon a group of volunteers. We invited people who have posted more than a 1000 messages to come and become volunteer moderators. They are not getting paid a penny. We don’t pay them. Basically they are doing it because they like doing it. So it’s a community that is truly run as a community. We try not to take credit for anything. We try to stay in the background. We only come in the foreground when any legal questions need to be resolved which is a problem of the masses. In fact we did a cross-section lawsuit a couple of months ago. Another indirect benefit. The legal fees for a very little amount of work where we didn’t even go to court. We won the case without going to court. And the legal fees for what it was, was $50,000. So you can think of it as many many indirect benefits flow from it. Also that’s not we focus on it. We focus on it as something good for the community. And then money just comes from it. Jason: So What was this cross-section lawsuit? How was that spawned? Does that increase revenue for you? Rajiv: Somebody on the newsgroup that we have on ImmigrationPortal.com mentioned that the Social Security Administration was giving them a lot problems to give drivers license to dependents of legally present non-immigrants in the US. For examples students. Because an F-2 visa holder cannot get a social security number they can not get a drivers license. That’s ridiculous. You know someone with an F-2 visa could be here for 6 years and his wife could not drive the kids to school. We have the same problem with H-4 visas, same problem with L-2. These are all long-term non-immigrants. People who stay an average of 5 or 6 years. So we took the Social Security Administration to court and said “you can’t do that.” And the court agreed with us. They said “You can’t do that.” Although things are not quite the way we want them to be but the court did throw out the proposed regulation of the Social Security Administration. And in part of that deal the court said you have to pay them whatever is the attorneys fees. So they called and said “how much do you want to get paid.” And we said “we think $50,000 is fair.” Like I said the amount of work involved was negligible. It wasn’t a lot of work, because we didn’t go to court. The judge basically threw out the case of the Social 30
  31. 31. Security Administration on the paperwork alone. This is just an example of an incident benefit. Jason: We are trying to get some kind of idea. Rajiv: I would said a direct benefit is name recognition which is like advertising. A lot of indirect benefits flow from it. Such as a lawsuit that I just gave you an example of. To know what the community wants truly helps us understand where we need to focus our efforts as a law firm. Is it Immigration? Is it transactional practice? Where do we need to go to next? Do need to become all of the sudden lobbyists instead of lawyers? Jason: I think Jacinth was talking about that you only have 1 petition at a time. Rajiv: You see, the petition is at the beginning of activism. Petition is just basically knocking at the door. Jason: You wanted to expand to have more than one petition at the same time? Rajiv: We are doing a lot more than that because the high level specs that you saw basically conceive of this software as a one stop portal/project management for issue formation through the law formation entire lifecycle. We start with an issue. It becomes a community issue. We design a team. We designate tasks to the team. We got a team leader or group of team leaders. And then you start making lists. We have a huge fount of knowledge about who to contact, who is a good guy, who is on our side, phone numbers. We are acquiring an institution of knowledge here. Which means it’s not a short term thing. Like you know, I want my problem resolved in 3 months… It’s not gonna happen. Jason: It definitely seems like a long term issue. We were definitely trying to figure out the costs and the revenues involved. Rajiv: See we don’t mind the costs. And I’ll tell you why we don’t mind the costs. Every law firm in this country, because it is legal to advertise, devotes X percentage of their firms revenue to advertising. You know how the tax system works. If I make $100,000 profit, I get taxed 48% of that. Uncle Sam takes almost 50% of my money. If I take that same money and I put it into something like advertising, it is a tax write off for me. So $100,000 of advertising only costs $50,000. In other words, the tax laws of the United States of America are heavily titled towards building up a company, instead of taking money out of the company. So 98% of the law firms that I know, or have worked for had ad revenue up to 30% of their budgets. Even if we were to assume 30% as a good figure for our firm to sort of put into development. It is a very constructive, creative, even moral way of business development. You are helping millions of people. If you were to put that figure into business development revenue it would translate easily into less than we would have to pay for the system. And we do not place any ads. In 12 years of my practice, we have never placed a single ad. I have not spent a dollar on an ad. 31
  32. 32. That is way we are relatively unknown. We are heavily focused on a special interest group. People who know us, come to us only 100% through word of mouth. Jason: So your advertising revenue is used to support this? Rajiv: Yeah, we could easily spend between 60 and 100 thousand dollars on advertising, if we were to take the revenue model approach. (Pause) Wait, no, I have the wrong figure. 30% Oh my what am I saying? That would be $600,000. So we could develop with $600,000 a year on this kind of advertising. Jason: You are saying that kind of money could possible be used to take the issue to the community issue, to the petition and support that long process? Rajiv: Absolutely, We do not intend to support the entire lifecycle with our money. We tend to provide the software which will then help provide focus the money that they have and focus they effort they are willing to put in. We are not talking about putting money into it. We are putting money into developing the software which will create a meeting place for people. Once the meeting place is created, we are out of it. We are not putting any of our money into it, except into software maintenance and enhancement. And the hardware and software, that is all we will do. The rest is up to the community. If they want to spend a million dollars, collect money and do things, it is up to them. I’m not going to get involved with that. Jason: I guess that was a confusion. We thought that because the petitions were on your site, that you were helping. Other than you provide the software, that you were helping with legal advice/counsel. Rajiv: Yes, we do. That we do and we will continue to do that. We don’t have any problem with that. But we are not shelling out any more money from out pocket, unless we see a cause in which we are personally concerned. Jason: Obviously there would be cost in paperwork or other type of filing that you would need to do. Rajiv: You would be amazed how much money I have thrown away in the last 3 years. People have called me and said we can raise $50,000 overnight if you want. And I have said no thank you. We are a grass roots movement. I am not going to go spend money on political committees. I am member of a couple of pacts. Very powerful pacts, but I will not spend a dollar. I only give them the 5 or 10 thousand dollars a year that they charge. I don’t put any money up as a contribution to a political cause. I think people should count. I don’t believe in putting money into democracy. I don’t think that is the way it should work. So what we are doing with the petitions is helping the people focus their issues in a language that the regulators can understand. Jacinth: So you guide them through the process? 32
  33. 33. Rajiv: We just guide them through the process. We tell them this is where to go next. This is a free community. If they let an issue die, that is their problem. They are not babies. I’m not going to hand-hold them. Jason: That was my misunderstanding. Just from the information we received. I think a few of us though that this is the issues, and that you were helping them along, and that you were more involved than just the facilitator. Is Immigration.com or ImmigrationPortal.com your only method of revenue? Rajiv: That is our only method. We don’t go knocking on any doors. We let people come to us. Jason: Well, Rajiv, Thank you very much. I need to be wrapping things up, I appreciate your time. Rajiv: Jason, you are quite welcome. Good Luck with your project. 33
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  36. 36. Business Rules A user is any person who goes onto the website and views, browses or searches through different threads. Each instance of user information is defined by an email address, other attributes of this entity include: first name, last name, address and birth date. A user can either be registered or unregistered. The unregistered users are able to view and browse through the forums archive. An unregistered user is also allowed to sign a petition in the Petition Archive. The registered user has all the abilities that an unregistered user has plus the permission to post a message in the forums archive. The registered user can also search through both a petition archive and user’s interests. A registered user ID is the one attribute that differentiates the two types of users. Related constraints include: - one or more unregistered or registered users can browse the forum archives at a time - one or more unregistered or registered users can view a forum at a time - one or more unregistered or registered users can sign a petition from the petition archive - one or more registered users are allowed to search through the petitions archive - one or more registered users are allowed to post a message in the forum archive The forums archive separates the forums into different categories such as: “Employment Information”, “Education in the USA”, and “Changes in the USA after the Terrorist Attacks”. Each forum is uniquely identified by a forum ID. A related constraint is: - a registered user can post only one message at a time in the forum archive The petition archive is a lot like the forum archive but with petitions. A petition can be signed online by any user. Each petition is identified by a petition ID. Some related constraints are: - both types of users can only sign one petition at a time - users can only sign a petition once Each petition signature if verified through signature information. Signature information is verified so one user doesn’t sign same petition multiple times. Signature information contains a verified signature list, a user name and an email address. Some related constraints are: - one or more signatures can be verified at a time - one or more petitions can verify a signature at a time Registered users can search through a list of topics in the user’s interest entity. Total interest can be derived from user’s interest. Some related constraints are: - only one user’s interest can be searched at a time - one or more user’s interest can search for threads 36
  37. 37. The threads entity contains a list of threads that can be searched by user’s interest. Each thread is identified by a thread ID. A related constraint is: - one or more threads can be searched through user’s interest 37
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  45. 45. IFSM 436 Group No. 3 Prepared for Dr. Norcio November 12, 2003 45
  46. 46. System Alternatives Our project team has performed a wide-range of analysis on the current hardware and software used on Immigrationportal.com. We have performed a detailed study on every aspect of the system and have further considered the different feasibility analysis for the future system. Our project team has come up with four different alternatives based on extensive research and careful analyzing of business operations in the current system. Below is a brief summary of the alternatives and the following pages will provide details to each of those alternatives. The first alternative would be to keep the current system the same. The advantage with this alternative is that the users are already familiar with the current system and if a new system were implemented, the users would have to be trained on how to use the system. The second alternative will be to purchase a commercial off the shelf software called PHProjekt (http://www.phprojekt.com). This software has almost all the essential features required by Immigrationportal.com. The third alternative will be to purchase another off the shelf software called A.C.E Project Management and Intranet (http://www.ace-solution.com). A.C.E PM & I is a fully downloadable PHP source project management tool, which includes all the necessary project management features to replace or add-on to the current system. The fourth alternative will be to build an entirely new system. A key advantage with this alternative is the ability to build a new, customizable system from the ground up. This option would require hiring programmers to develop a new system that would meet the specific needs of the law office. All the above-mentioned alternatives have been further evaluated and discussed in this report including the essential feasibility analysis for each option. 46
  47. 47. First Alternative The first alternative would be to keep the current system the same. The main advantage with this alternative is the users will not have to be trained because they are familiar working with the current system. Other advantages include lower spending costs since no upgrades or changes are being made. However, a major disadvantage is the problems with the current system will continue to exist. Maintaining a legacy system will only save the organization money in the short term. While the current system continues to age, the requirements for new software will need to be tailored for compatibility issues which will increase labor cost. The following is a discussion on the various feasibility analysis if this alternative were to be implemented. Feasibility Analysis: Economic Feasibility: In regard to cost and benefit analysis, there will be no extra cost for keeping the system the same in the short term but there will also be no benefit of an enhanced and a better functioning system. Long term costs will be for maintaining the legacy system. Technical Feasibility: Considering this feasibility, the law firm would not require any added technical resources or expertise to maintain the current system. The firm has an in- house programmer responsible for monitoring the data stores and data flows of the petition system while manually checking the status of every petition. The firm also has 47
  48. 48. system administrators to maintain the Immigrationportal.com website and its various functions. Operational Feasibility: This feasibility is a measure of how end-users and management feel about the system. If this alternative were to be implemented, the end-users would still experience difficulty navigating through the system because of its complicated layout. The performance and efficiency of the system will still be inadequate fail to address the issues of providing a structured and a stable system outlined by the law firm. Schedule Feasibility: This is the measure of how reasonable the project timetable is. This feasibility will not apply to this alternative because the systems analysts will not change any characteristics of the current system. 48
  49. 49. Second Alternative The second alternative would be to purchase a commercial off the shelf software, called PHProjekt (http://www.phprojekt.com). PHProjekt is an open source groupware suite; it is free software that can be distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. This software has almost all the essential features required by the immigration portal website. The components of PHProjekt are Project management, Group calendar, Time card system, Chat, Forum, Request Tracker, Voting system, Search system, Administration utilities etc. All the above-mentioned built in components could be easily customized to the law firm’s needs. Feasibility Analysis: Economic Feasibility: This is free software that can be downloaded online from its website http://www.phprojekt.com. The advantage with this alternative is that it is cost effective. PHProjekt requires a typical LAMP/WAMP (Linux or Windows/ Apache/ MySQL/ PHP) system environment. The current system has already been configured to the LAMP environment, thus eliminating the need to purchase additional software. There could be recurring costs for further customization and support depending on the user number of installation. By implementing this alternative the law firm will gain increased customer satisfaction and stronger name recognition. Technical Feasibility: If this alternative were to be implemented, the law firm need not necessarily have to hire additional technical expertise because this software is easy to 49
  50. 50. install. The free, limited-technical assistance is provided online through email allowing support at anytime. If the firm were not satisfied with the built-in components of this software there would arise a need to hire additional technical expertise to create modules that would suit the firm’s needs by modifying the source code that comes along with the software. Also, PHProjekt can be easily upgraded with the current system, cutting costs by not having to completely eliminate the current system Operational Feasibility: Implementation of this alternative would comparatively increase the performance and efficiency of the current system. The software uses a favorably pleasing graphical user interface, which will make navigation simple and effortless. Users will be able to perform their activities quickly and accurately. This software provides several features that are of direct benefit to the law firm such as the voting system, search feature, request-tracker etc. There is also a feature in this software that allows members to be able to assign access control levels to other team members. This alternative would greatly reduce all the problems faced by the current system. Schedule Feasibility: From all the information and analysis that has been collected during our research, our team will be able to implement programs for the input screen design and the output report design. We will present written documentation of the available solutions along with the conversion, training and maintenance plans to the law firm. 50
  51. 51. Third Alternative The third alternative would be to purchase another off the shelf software, called A.C.E Project Management and Intranet (http://www.ace-solution.com). A.C.E PM & I is a fully downloadable PHP source project management tool, which requires PHP and MySQL to run on the server. This software also contains most of the features that are needed for the discussions board on Immigrationportal.com. This alternative would be advantageous because the software includes all the necessary project management features that the company is looking for such as, Project coordination tools, Management tools, Communication tools, Individual tools and Time management tools. The Project coordination tools will allow the users to create multiple projects and assign different tasks to each other. Users will be able to view project team members and allow each member to communicate with each other, create issues and enquire about the current stage of petitions. Feasibility Analysis: Economic Feasibility: In regard to cost and benefit analysis, implementation of this alternative is relatively expensive to PHProjekt. A one-time purchase cost of this software would be $695.95. This quote includes free upgrades. A.C.E PM & I software also requires PHP and MySQL to run on the server. Since the current system has already been configured to the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) environment there will be no additional expenditure on the software. There could arise a need for recurring costs if the law office were to implement PHP Live Support hosted by Osicodes. PHP Live 51
  52. 52. Support can be hosted or downloaded on ImmigrationPortal.com servers. PHP Live Support provides live technical and customer service 24/7 on PHP servers. If the law firm were to employ PHP Live Support’s Hosted solution for corporate users, it would cost them $299.95 per year. If the law firm were to download PHP Live support source code on the immigrationportal.com server, it would cost $149.95 with an annual license renewal of $74.95 (as found on http://www.phplivesupport.com/purchase_s.php). Implementation of this software would be advantageous to the law firm because of the built-in features that comes with this software that can be easily customized to the law firm’s requirements. Operational Feasibility: Similar to the previous alternative, this solution provides the user with a well layed out graphical interface for navigation. The time management tools has a special feature that will allow the administrator or any moderator of the site to layout time lines and proposed schedules for petitions, issues and dated material in a calendar view. Each team can perform different administration tasks, allowing access control and security. Technical Feasibility: This alternative will probably entail hiring additional technical expertise; persons familiar with MySQL and PHP coding could modify the software to better suit the law firm’s needs. PHP is a script language and interpreter that is used primarily on Linux web servers. 52
  53. 53. Schedule Feasibility: From all the information and analysis that has been collected during our research, our team will be able to implement programs for the input screen design and the output report design. We will present written documentation of the available solutions along with the conversion, training and maintenance plans to the law firm. 53
  54. 54. Fourth Alternative The fourth alternative would be to build an entirely new system. The new system will bring in new hardware and software. The advantages with this alternative would be that the system will not only fix all the problems with the current system but will also allow developers/programmers to be flexible and creative in the way they solve the problem. The disadvantage is that there could be a possibility that the new system would be missing elements or would be difficult to implement or maintain. Feasibility Analysis: Economic Feasibility: Applying this alternative to cost and benefit analysis, the cost of developing a new system would most likely outweigh the potential benefit. It would also be very expensive and time consuming to develop a brand new system from scratch. Since Immigrationportal.com doesn’t generate revenue directly, but through indirect referrals, the costs for a new system can not be justified to spend on a system that is providing a free, informational web-based service. Operational Feasibility: Implementation of this alternative would be advantageous because we will be able to fix all the problems associated with the performance and efficiency of the current system; however a disadvantage would be that the users will need to be trained extensively to use the new system and to perform at a desired level. There is a possibility that users might not be satisfied with the system’s user interfaces. 54
  55. 55. Technical Feasibility: Building a new system will require a lot of technical expertise and functional knowledge within the company. This would also entail hiring programmers to develop a new system that would meet the specific needs of the user. Schedule Feasibility: From all the information and analysis that has been collected during our research, our team will be able to implement programs for the input screen design and the output report design. We will present written documentation of the available solutions along with the conversion, training and maintenance plans to the law firm. 55
  56. 56. Alternative Comparison Chart Alternative Advantages Disadvantages 1 Maintain the • No training required • Current problems continue to Current System • Users familiar to the system exist • No immediate spending • Maintaining legacy system • Short term gains cause long term losses 2 PHProjekt • Free groupware • Doesn’t eliminate legacy • Same features as current system hardware • Cost effective • Free without maintenance • Compatible with current systems contract 3 A.C.E. Project • Matches all requirements • Will need to hire PHP expert Management and • Includes project management tools • Most expensive alternative Intranet • Reliability • Requires new hardware 4 Develop a New • Allows for complete customization • Not the best resources from System In-House • Built from ground-up within • Not cost effective • Longer developing time 56
  57. 57. System Analysts’ Recommendation After outlining the possible alternatives to the discussion board software on the Immigration Portal web site, our team suggests the law firm to use PHProjekt (http://www.phprojekt.com). PHProjekt software will provide the Law offices of Rajiv Khanna with one of the simplest and most flexible group management systems. It is a modular application built for the coordination of group activities and to share information and document via intranet and Internet. PHProjekt is an open source groupware suite that can be distributed for free under the terms of GNU general public license. One of the major advantages with this product is that it provides the flexibility to add features depending on the company’s requirements by modifying the source code. The following is a list of all the features offered by PHProjekt: Project Management, Group Calendar, Time Card System, Chat, Forum, Request Tracker, Voting System, Search System, Administration Utilities etc. The Forum option enables users to view available threads in a tree structure, which gives users the flexibility to participate in discussions of their choice. The Chat feature allows users to communicate with members online, this also allows the discussions to be saved in a file so that they can refer back to them at anytime in future. The Voting system feature allows members to select individual persons to vote for a particular issue by electronically signing on an issue; depending on the number of votes received by the members a petition will be published. Members can view the voting in the form of a table showing all current and past voting. The Project Management feature allows users to divide projects into several subprojects with unlimited depth. This feature enables users to create issues, assign a 57
  58. 58. project leader, track the status of an issue maintained by a project leader, assign tasks to different members of the team and finally check the statistics results that describe who worked on which part of the project. The Search feature allows users to search for a full text search in a single module or a complete site search. Most of the admin tasks can be accomplished through the Administration feature, which will allow members to manage groups, users, projects, and create access levels to project members and other users. The Request Tracker feature is sort of like a help desk or trouble ticket system, which answers any technical questions regarding the software. There is also a searchable knowledge base for solved requests. A special add-on feature is included with the software, which gives us the flexibility to add different features to the program by modifying the source code. The advantages of this alternative are that it will be relatively lower in cost compared to implementing an entire new system and the transition for users would be easier because this program uses user-friendly GUI’s that makes navigation effortless and easily understandable. The PHProjekt software is completely compatible with the Immigration Portal’s current hardware. PHProjekt works on various operating systems such as Linux, UNIX, Windows, OS/2, and Solaris etc and is compatible with many web servers like Apache and Samba. Immigration Portal, however, does not currently have backup system. Our implementation will add a second Dell Power Edge 2650 server. That server will be a clone of the main web server for redundancy. A Dell 130T Tape library will also be added to the network design. The tape library is a fully automated tape backup system which does incremental backups daily. And it will perform a full backup every Sunday evening. 58
  59. 59. Hardware: 2 Servers: PowerEdge 2650, Intel Xeon 2.4GHz w/512K Cache Additional Processors: Dual Processor Intel® Xeon 2.4GHz w/512K Cache Hard Drive: 36GB 10K RPM Ultra 320 SCSI Drive Router: Cisco 6509 Catalyst Backup: Dell 130T Tape Library Software: Operating System: Linux Firewall: Raptor Firewall version .9 Web Server: Apache version 1.3.27 Application Server: PHP version 4.3.0 Database: MySQL Application: PHProjekt version 4.0.4 After evaluating the various advantages and disadvantages of the suggested alternative solutions, our systems analysts’ team recommends the law firm to implement PHProjekt as their best choice in every way. This option will not only prove to be cost effective but it will also accomplish the law firm’s desire to expand their goals by providing a structured and a much more stable discussions board system that contains enormous amount of information but would provide an easy and an effective way to access information. 59
  60. 60. 60
  61. 61. Project Completion Plans Start project Completed Initiation Task Initial meeting with team members 100% Get team members contact information 100% Choose an organization 100% Choose Project 100% Set date and time to meet team member 100% Selecting the contact person 100% Talking to stakeholders 80% Draft project requirements 100% Selecting the problems associated with it 100% Develop a team proposal 100% Planning Task Conduct the feasibility study of the 100% project Develop cost benefit analysis 100% Requirement Task Assigning group members with a task 100% Decided the estimated time 80% Analysis Task Developing diagrams (ER, DFD, Network) 100% Diagram of the current system 100% Information gathering techniques 100% Interviews, questionnaires, surveys. 100% Preliminary Analysis 100% Develop requirement analysis 100% Design Task Determine alternative solutions 100% Discuss feasibility of the solutions 100% Decide on appropriate solution 100% Discuss specific hardware/software needed 100% Design Network Layout 100% System design report 100% Final Task Prepare for project report 25% Training Plans 25% Maintenance Plans 50% Conversion Plans 25% Prepare for presentation 25% Presentation 0% Project assessment 0% 61
  62. 62. The project is currently on schedule and will be completed soon. The work left to be completed includes the conversion plans, maintenance plans, and training plans. The project team will also be preparing a presentation which will be given on December 1 st. The conversion plans are being developed by Desiree Davis. Robert Geisler is managing the implementation of the training plans. And Ying-Chung Chou is working on the maintenance plans. The other members of the group will provide editing for the plans. Jeremy Corey will spearhead the team’s project assessment, but will receive input from all group members. The project presentation will be a collaborative effort between the group members. The work has been divided and the team has committed to an aggressive schedule for the project’s completion. There is no doubt that it will be completed successfully and on-time. 62
  63. 63. Normalized Database Tables User_Info Field Name Field Type Field Size E-mail Text 35 First_Name Text 25 Last_Name Text 25 Address Memo 32 kb Memory Limit Birthday Date/Time N/A User_Type Text 1 Forums_Archive Field Name Field Type Field Size Forum_ID Text 35 Discussion List Memo 32 kb Memory Limit Signature_Info Field Name Field Type Field Size User_E-mail Text 35 Verified_Signature_List Memo 32 kb Memory Limit Petition_Archive Field Name Field Type Field Size Petition_ID Text 35 Petition_List Memo 32 kb Memory Limit User_Interest Field Name Field Type Field Size Topics Text 35 Total_Interests Number 6 Threads Field Name Field Type Field Size Thread_ID Text 35 Keywords Memo 32 kb Limit Thread_List Memo 32 kb Limit *Database Names, Type and Field Size are based on Microsoft Access 2003 63
  64. 64. IFSM 436 Group No. 3 Prepared for Dr. Norcio December 1, 2003 64
  65. 65. Screen Design Figure 1 - Summary Window The Summary Window provides the user with an overview of current events. It notifies of the user of new postings, new votes, new files, and other things that have occurred since the user’s last visit. 65
  66. 66. Figure 2 - Calendar Function The calendar provides complete functionality of schedule and keeping track of personal activities. It includes the ability to create group events also, which will appear on the calendar of each group member. 66
  67. 67. Figure 3 - Contacts Function The contacts tab allows user to keep an address book to manage personal information of friends and business partners. It includes a feature to export the address book to XML. 67
  68. 68. Figure 4 - Chat Screen The chat tab allows all online users to communicate with each other in real-time. It is useful for long-distance group meetings. 68
  69. 69. Figure 5 - Forum Screen The forum allows users to post topics of conversation which other users will read and respond to. It includes features to sort the threads in a variety of ways. 69
  70. 70. Figure 6 - File Exchange The file exchange allows users to submit files to the website which then other users can download the files. This is a useful feature when exchange large files. 70
  71. 71. Figure 7 - Project Planning The project planning is an excellent feature which allows a user or group of users to create a work breakdown structure. It includes timeframes and completion status. It also allows tasks to be assigned to users. 71
  72. 72. Figure 8 - To-Do List The To-Do List allows a user to create a list of items that need to be completed. This is a powerful feature when combined with the project planning and calendar features. 72
  73. 73. Figure 9 - Voting System The voting system allows users to create issues to be voted on. It keeps track of the number of voters, percentage of votes of each choice, and a participation percentage which is based on the number of users out of the all users to have voted. 73
  74. 74. Conversion Plans: Once the new system has been tested and assured that there are no bugs or glitches, we will need to choose the best conversion strategy. When determining the best conversion strategy we had to keep in mind three things, the risk associated with each style, the cost and the time. The two styles that we are choosing from are parallel conversion and direct conversion. Direct conversion is implemented by turning off the old system, and replacing it with the new system. This strategy is a high risk since there may be bugs in the system that may have went undetected and the old system will not be there to convert back to. Also the users are not given anytime time to practice and get used to the new system before the old one is turned off. It is the least expensive and it is the fastest when it comes to implementing the new system and getting the users working with it. Parallel conversion is where both the systems would be running simultaneously. This system has the least amount of risk. If any bugs are detected while running the new system, they can be worked on and the users can continue to work on the old system until the problems are solved. Parallel conversion gives the users some time to get used to the new system before the old one is turned off, for good. This strategy is very expensive. It will be very costly to maintain two systems because you will need to have someone there to make sure that all the information that is being inputted is the same on both systems. The conversion style that best fits our system is the direct conversion strategy. Since the system we plan to implement is web-based, we do not want to run the new system in parallel to the old one. This would be too costly to maintain since there would have to be two websites. There would also be too much time spent trying to maintain 74
  75. 75. consistency among the data from both the sites. Since we will be changing the system over directly if the users have any problems navigating the site there will be online support offered and a help option that can walk them through anything. 75
  76. 76. Training Plans: Training on how to work with PHProjekt will only pertain to the in house programmer and the various system administrators for immigrationportal.com. Training will involve a combination of one-on-one and classroom training; this is viable option because of how small the group is. A specialist will fly in from California on January 4th and the classroom session will begin on Monday the 5th. On Monday morning a classroom training session will be held, it will only last a half a day and will introduce the in house programmer and system administrator to different aspects of PHProjekt. The specialist will spend the rest of the day with the in house programmer, focusing on the specific issues a programmer using PHProjekt has to deal with. The next day, Tuesday, will be devoted entirely to the system administrators. Most of Tuesday will be in a classroom because there are too many administrators to work with one-on-one. The specialist will go over the administration functions of PHProjekt and other special topics. The specialist will be available for one more day, Wednesday. The programmer and administrators will go about their daily routine but will use PHProjekt, the specialist will be around to help anyone if they need it. 76
  77. 77. Maintenance Plans The maintenance plan included in the PHProjekt package covers any problems with installation and setup, training, hardware, software and system customization. Technical support provided is available online and over the telephone 24-hours a day. The warranty includes 1 full year of technical support from the date or purchase. Installation: Installation and setup problems can be troubleshooted using the following steps: • The Administrator’s Manual will be mailed to the law firm that contains a frequently asked question (FAQ) section, basic troubleshooting and user friendly guides to simple operating procedures. • A file included in the software download called FAQ-install.html is provided along with PHProjekt with updates to the Administrator’s Manual and common problems relating to specific types of systems that PHProjekt has been used with. • The Installation Forum is located at http://www.phprojekt.com/support/forum/ that allows system administrators and users to write in their opinions or problems they are experiencing with the software. • Telephone support is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week for technical assistance. If PHProjekt is unable to assist you over the phone, they are willing to help find a certified technician to come on site. Training: A week long training program is provided to system administrators of the site. In this program, they will be provided materials and skills to allow them to assist their end-users. This lowers cost of off-site assistance. Hardware: Daily checks of server and network devices are conducted furnishing a Daily System Status report (DSS) which is electronically mailed to system administrators. The e-mail can be customized in format as well as to who will receive the report. • Yearly evaluations of hardware performance will be compared. • Any hardware updates or upgrades will be conducted Sunday night and notification will be published ahead of time on the website. Software: Self-manageable software checks the BugTracker® for new updates or fixes. BugTracker® lists all bugs and fixes that have been reported. • BugTracker® sends out weekly reports to selected system administrators of any software malfunctions in the system. • New versions of PHProjekt are usually available after 1-3 months. New versions are considered beta until further evaluated and can be downloaded for site testing at system administrator’s choice. 77
  78. 78. Customizing: The ability to modify, enhance, create, and adapt new features or processes. • Modify the existing modules to our needs. • Enhance with new features to what we want. • Creating new modules. • Adapting and integrating your existing applications. Note: Modifications can be sent to PHProjekt for a quote request. Under agreement, no modifications can be done without project management approval. 78
  79. 79. Project Assessment: Through the span of the semester, our project team worked efficiently and effectively to meet requirements and deadlines. Every team member contributed their ideas and suggestions to each deliverable. Communication played a large role in coordinating what tasks went to which person. On several occasions, a team member could not attend a meeting but was always sure to notify the group. If a team member had a lot of work to do, others were not afraid to offer their help. There were no group issues that had a significant impact on performance. Personality conflicts were irrelevant if they existed and team members concentrated on the focus of the project. The ability to coordinate everyone’s schedule was the hardest part. Every team member had a different schedule and therefore made it difficult to have everyone attend in each meeting. This is where communication played a vital role, because someone who attended the meeting would notify the absent team member of what was discussed and what work was completed. It’s strongly recommended that from the first day a project team is put together, establish a set schedule of when everyone can meet and make that meeting time consistent through the weeks ahead. This makes it easier on everybody and creates weekly deadlines for tasks that need to be completed for the deliverables. These weekly deadlines provide a timeline the group can follow in order to achieve the best grade possible. Sticking to the schedule prevents the group from falling behind. 79

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