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Case Study – Pooh Collector’s Paradise – Post 1 of a multi-part posting - Background

Posted on Sat May 26th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Case Study – Pooh Collector's Paradise

Post 1 of a multi-part posting - Background

This project consists of Web Services, a .Net Windows Application, PHP Website, Mobile Website, iOS App and Android App.

 

website-design-and-developmentSome history – Deb, the cofounder of TechAnalysts, Inc. is the Guinness World Record holder for the largest Winnie the Pooh and Friends collection in the world. As such, we have everything stored in a database. But, like so many other things that start out as personal pet projects, the database was put together using Microsoft Access with a quick data entry screen and data tables, but really nothing else thought through. For example, there is no reporting capability in the system and there is no access to the data from outside of the walls of our home and office.

 

website-design-and-development

With over 7,000 unique items in the database, we thought it may be time to have access to the data from outside our network.

 

This series of postings will go through the process as we develop this complete system for Deb. Keep in mind that this is a personal project, but includes many aspects of development that we do for clients, so we thought this would make a great case study.

 

Because it's a personal project, however, it will always take a back seat to our client work, therefore it may be a while before we get through all the pieces of this project.

Our Plan

First, we needed to discuss what we wanted to accomplish. We came up with the following goals:

 

  • Be able to do easy, ad-hoc lookups of data while out and about to determine if we already had a piece in our collection – this points to iOS and Android applications

  • Be able to quickly lookup data while sitting at home without the need to boot up a laptop – again, this points to iOS and Android apps

  • Be able to utilize the data on a website that Deb wants to create for her collection – this points to a website and mobile website – we opted to utilize PHP in this case because 1) we use PHP on many client websites and 2) because we purposely wanted a mix of technologies to ensure everything works together as it should. We may, time allowing, create an ASP.Net website also just to have both types accessing the same data

  • Ad-hoc reporting across all platforms - this points to web services

  • Be able to keep the data in Access for easy submission to Guinness each year as we update our counts and re-apply for updates to our record

 

Based on the above goals, we determined that utilizing a web service to attach to the data would be our best route – this allows all of these disparate systems to get to the data without having to have multiple copies of the data lying around and without having to worry about compatibility across data access layers.

What's Next?

Our next post will examine the web service and how we develop that service.

 

In the meantime...

 

Read the entire JSOnline Article about Deb

See Deb's Picture on Guinness World Records site

 

* photography by Journal/Sentinal's photographer, Michael Sears


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