Full Project – Design and implementation of an intranet office chat application

Full Project – Design and implementation of an intranet office chat application

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 1.1 Introduction

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computers together networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide (Wikipedia, 2016). It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies (Wikipedia, 2016).

An intranet is a network within an organisation that is only accessible to systems in that organisation. A file shared through this network is not available to the public but private to the network domain.

The Chat Application Server functions by establishing a socket connection with the client system, confirming connections, and maintaining the Chat Handler.  The Chat Handler is responsible for handling the interactions between the various clients and the server.  The handler broadcasts messages to all the clients in a specific room, handles invitations to private rooms, creation of public rooms, and the state of the user list.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The major problems regarding the delivery of chat application system in Nigerian universities include:

  1. Unable to access colleagues or ask questions freely without moving from ones desk;
    2. Group work cannot be done independently with intermediate synchronous response from all member in the group in one location
  2. Instant message delivery to all client on the system
  3. File transfer has never been possible using a private and more secure way.
    5. Message broadcast within split of second has always been a challenge


1.3     Objectives of the Study

The Objective of this project is to implement a web based chat application that will allow users within an intranet / internet connection to engage in private and public conversations. This will be achieved by following the set standard below:
1. Conceptual design for a secure, accessible and user-friendly web based chat application, using the University of Calabar, UNICAL, as case study;
2. Development of such a system to demonstrate its functionality, using the WAMP (cross-browser Apache/MySQL/PHP) web server framework;
3. Perform tests on the said system to assure functionality, accessibility and usability of the system.


1.4     Research Justification

Justification for engaging in this study can be drawn from the following reasons:
1. The need to demonstrate the effectiveness of employing mobile driven information systems as a viable complement to systems based on the regular Web, within the university information framework; and
2. The need to achieve a greater degree of responsiveness among stakeholders in the web based chat application system – students, lecturers and system administrators – enabling them collaborate effectively to enhance studies and also result-related complaints.

1.5     Scope/Limitations of the Study

In the course of realizing this project, I shall take into account the consideration that all development and analysis regarding the project will becentered on intranet / internet standards and technology. In full, the scope of the work is outlined thus:
1. The solution, as conceived and developed in this study, will focus on web based chat application only;

  1. The questions delivered by the solution will be of two formats, viz, instant chat services (asynchronously) and asynchronous transfer of data;
  2. As conceived, the solution shall comprise of the following modules:
    i. A web-based chat application for lecturers, students and other academic staff through which students can chat and interact base on school assignment and share ideas from the comfort on their doom or hostel and can as well interact regarding result-related issues;
  3. A back-end application, to be used by lecturers and administrators, for the management of essential information for the system, such as user violations and complaints’ lay by student,

iii. User authentication modules, which will employ unique modes of authentication to uniquely identify users, and maintain user state within the application.

In addition, a number of limitations exist which must be noted. These include:
1. The proprietary nature of the school portal will make it rather difficult to access the data schema used by it; hence, the data schemas employed by the proposed system will for the most part be theoretical in nature. However, this can be surmounted with adequate cooperation from relevant agencies within the University Management;

  1. The time-critical nature of the study informs my use of prototype-based RAD to develop the proposed solution.

1.6     Definition of Terms

 Beta Testing: Testing carried out on software independent of its manufacturer by external users.

Internet Application: A Web site with dynamic, i.e. data-source oriented user-specific, content, which usually requires some form of user authentication.

Mobile Device: Any device with the functionality for information management and transfer free from spatial and temporal constraints. Such devices include mobile phones, smart phones, PDAs (personal digital assistants), tablets and readers, among Others.

Mobile Web: The Internet, as accessible to mobile devices and computer system

RAD: rapid application development, a style of programming in which emphasis is placed on speed and delivery, usually employing extensive use of IDE (integrated development environment) capability.

UML: Unified Modeling Language, the international standard for specifying, visualizing, constructing and documenting the artifacts of software systems.

User Authentication: the process within the context of an Internet application wherein eligible users are granted clearance to enter – and use – the application;

User State: the full set of all user-specific program data within a program or Internet application.

Online Result System: It is web based software, that can process course registration and output results to the user.


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Full Project – Design and implementation of an intranet office chat application