INFO465 - Senior Projects in IS - Spring 2013

F I N A L Points are posted as of Friday afternoon. Please let me know any error or ommission you might find. Grades will be posted to eServices mid-day Monday.

Current Stuff as at May 6th

Exam Times will be used to see demos for Dlv #4 in order of the last digit of students' VCU One # as on the roster. The evening section's exam time is Monday the 6th at 7:00pm, regular classroom and meeting time. The afternoon sections's exam time is Thursday the 9th at 8:00am, regular classroom, crack of dawn...

Upload your Project #1 Dlv #4: Zip it up with Windows Zipper (not RAR please) and upload it via this Upload Link.

Please check The Rubric as you complete your Dlv #4 and be prepared to do a quick demo in class, including viewing the database before and after some processes. The 25 points are assigned pretty much from the top of the rubric down, with 5 points each for:

The intent here is that a project that consists only of components for which there are samples posted gets few of the points. JV and good looking trial balance get 7 points on their own, with a point deducted for every midnight after the class' exam until it appears.

The Ledger Engine is loaded for Spring '13 and is eagerly awaiting your JVs so it can display a Good Looking Trial Balance for you to match with your app's local Trial Balance. On the Reports page, take the link to 'List All Current Enterprises' and find your 4-digit Enterprise Id.

Some Dlv #2's lost points for missing or inacurately coded details that don't add up to a good looking trial balance. If you got less than 15 points on Dlv #2, or haven't submitted it yet, it may be submitted with Dlv #4 as a candidate for a max 15 points.

Exit Exams: On the 8th the evening section starts in B2123, the closed-off section at the back of the 2nd floor lab. The day section starts in B2123, next door to the regular class, on the 9th and 11th. We'll move back to the regular classroom after the last Exit Exam is completed for open lab.

End-of-Semester, Bonus Points, How to Get Max Project Points:

Good-looking projects make valuable entries in a portfolio, can go a long way to convincing some interviewer you know a debit from a credit and a while from an if. Another 5 bonus points may be earned by providing a line to your on-line portfolio that answers the 'what did you learn in school' question well: with exhibits from your technical core courses: INFO202, 300, 350, 361, 362, 364, and 465; and a strong statement of your career interests.

Please read The Rubric and make your Deliverable #4 reflect them to get max points. Of the 20 points for Dlv #4 only 5 can be earned using sample software from Ninja Mike or the sample software provided. Most of other 15 points come from making the local trial balance report, a good-looking audit trail report, an order & detail entry process that has been 'customized' to the DVD cart case study, allowing for easy add-ons and changes to details for an order especially _after_ it has been tendered.

Class meetings thru the end of the semester are being used to check in deliverables and Q&A. Please don't use office hours for these activities unless you're demo'ing deliverables early. It's a pleasure seeing several Seniors in each section get most of the projects' stuff done during classtime, appear comfortable with the tools at hand, all clicking mice and stroking keys, is VCU Business at its best... Late-appearing Dlv #1 parts are welcome, will be docked a max 3 points for late arrival so laggards need not despair.

Project #1 Dlv #4: Good Looking Trail Balance and appropriate JVs at the Ledger Engine; a matching Trial Balance displayed by your app. These to be demo'd at your section's exam time. A 5 point bonus will be posted for Dlv #4 demo'd at or before the class' last meeting.

Beware of our virtual lab assistant Crazy Ninja Mike's tutorials! He links directly to outdated code! Take care to use the SQLServerCE versions. Do not use the OLE versions from pre-2008! Use the links on the class' page.

Deliverable #3 is due, printed, at the beginning of class on April 8th for the evening section and Tuesday the 9th for the afternoon. It is an MSProject (or other) plan that shows what you've done and what's left to do to complete all 4 deliverables for Project #1. See the guidelines below, specs to get you a project plan that will stand out from others, especially the hours & minutes requirement. The best of these are one page, or a couple of pages, that show the tasks to the left of the gantt chart. Please don't hand in a sheaf of papers where the gantt is disassociated from the tasks!

Exit Exam

We're using the exam for's ISA-Information Systems Analyst certificate as the exit exam for assessment purposes. The afternoon session will take it on April 9th and 11th at classtime. The evening session will take it during class April 8th and 15th. There are exam study guides available on-line, haven't seen a free one yet.

It covers everything from the IS degree including much of the BFO core. I'm not finding links to books, but do see that ICCP offers Outlines and Self Study materials (not cheap!). I believe that the 'IS Core' exam is most similar to the ISA exam you'll be taking. One student last year found a study guide with something like ICCP ISA exam on the cover but it didn't help him much. Nearly half of last semester's INFO465 students scored high enough to get the certificate, 50%, and a couple at the master's level, 70%.

About your Database Not Updating

(2/21, updated 3/18) VisualStudio has obnoxious default behavior about it's 'local database'! It's desirable to make a local SQLServer CE database that is 'portable' so your application will run in the debugger without needing to do a separate database install. When the database is added to a VS project as a component the .sdf file holding the database is created in your solution directory, a connection is added to your solution explorer, a connection string is added to the app.config that includes '|DataDirectory|' in the path, and a 'database object' is put in your solution explorer.

This makes it easy to use Visual Studio's GUI tools in the server explorer to define the database's tables, and add records to them. And, having the connection string in one place, in app.config, makes it easy to connect, and 'connection strings' can be difficult.

Here is the rub: Each time the application is debugged, Visual Studio makes a copy of the database from your solution directory into the project's bin/debug directory, then applies any updates to the copy, leaving the original database in the solution directory untouched. This might be a 'feature', but it needs some awareness and careful handling to make a portable application that will run in the debugger against a persistent database.

It will be desirable to stop this copying so that you can actually save records you create or take on and can get points for having a local trial balance that balances with the one in the ledger engine. To do this:

(2/21, 26) Avoid sample code that uses OLEDB, JET, or ACE to make a database connection. As of Spring '13 there are no students in INFO465 who need these older-style databases. Choose the SQLServer CE code instead. I believe all references to OLEDB have been struck out or removed as of the 25th, but beware.

(2/19, 26) Due Dates: Dlv #1 Part #2 is due in class on March 12th for the day section and March 11th for the evening. Dlv #2's printed copy is due at the beginning of class the next week, Thursday the 14th 21st for the day and Monday the 18th for the evening section.

Upcoming Deliverables

Here are tables populated with sample data similar to the demo: Almost Enough Details for a Startup

(1/31) Make sure that every keystroke and mouseclick in all deliverables of these projects is yours, that you have, your own self, copied sample scripts from those provided by the instructor or his virtual lab assistant Crazy Ninja Mike. Make all you do an exceedingly clear demo of your personal skills with the various softwares involved in the course. Do not accept or steal any other students files in any stage of completion, or copy/paste any part of any other students' files into your project. If you can't do any of this work leave it undone. It is 'cheating' to present a project with any components copied from another student's project. It is 'facilitating academic dishonesty' for you to provide any other student with your files for them to copy. If you want to help another student, sit with them and let them look at your project, and explain what's required to win it. Never press another student's keys, or click their mouse, or give them your files. Deep technical skills are not learned while watching somebody else do the work. These projects are opportunities to personally demo your technical skills, for the instructor and anybody else you can get to look at them.

(1/31) Deliverable 1, Part 1 was due the 11th...

F I N A L Grades are posted from last semester. This semester's points will be similarly assigned.

Class Meetings & Topics:

Dlv #1 Part #1, due TBA above: Be able to authenticate two classes of Users, Owner/Manager & Salesperson/Helper with a table like the BE/BusinessEntity table used in class, and deliver an appropriate menu to them, at least displaying their authority in the system.

Dlv #1, Part #1: Authenticating a User w/ reference to a Database: Intro to, Visual Basic, Windoze Forms, SQLServerCE, Plain Classes, Database Connection String, &c, &c...

(1/31 afternoon, 2/4 evening) Open lab in class, to work on database and app.

(2/11) Dlv #1 Part 2, due two weeks after: Have a suitable interface for CRUD on the BusinessEntity & GoodsAndServices tables: able to create new records, lookup existing ones & update them, and take on records from the class' page. Make sure your GS table is populated with records appropriate for the semester's case study.

(2/11) For Part #2 make sure your BE table maintenance app supports CUA cursor movement and provides ComboBox or other 'lookup' so the user never has to guess about codes, ledger accounts, or foreign keys. Provide all fields appropriate for polite correspondence via snail mail (Street Address, Extra Line, City, State, and Zip) and be able to take-on customer data from this page: Customer Data.

(2/11) Make your database and code comply with this Rubric For Scoring. If this is your first notice of the rubric it might be time to decide whether to rebuild your project or lose points for work that doesn't meet the rubric. Un-modified sample scripts from the class' pages or crazy Ninja Mike don't meet all the requirements or get many points...

Project #1, Deliverable #2 quickly demo'd

(2/4 evening, 2/7 afternoon) Previews of Deliverable #2, critique a good-looking doc on the projector. Due date TBA.

Business process modeling, again, using the Sample Database Relationships among Entities, GoodsAndServices, Orders, Details, assigning ledger accounts to Details; Journalizing activity. On the projector with a MySQL database.

Pop quiz, Demo'd 'fulfillment cycle' using, asked class to sketch UML Sequence or other diagram showing interfaces with customer, order picker, and the ACH.

Project #1 Resources:

Project #1, Dlv #1, Part #2: Objects and code for Table Maintenance, SQLServerCE. , and Table Maintenance, Access Database. Look at sample scripts for tricks common to database programming like escaping single-quotes, handling NULL data, matching up ComboBox index with data in the table, searching for records, syntax for insert/update, loading a listbox with the 'array list' scheme, &c...

Project Deliverables 2 thru 4:

Due dates for these will be posted at the top of the page.