Advanced networking platform for high school students

Categories : All, Education, Social Networks

Client Requirement

Advanced networking platform for high school students site is divided in levels that are decided according to the students’ school grade.Feature accessibility grows with student’s growth in grade. Apart from this, the site includes blogging feature. It also offers access to albums, frames, calendar, events, group creation among others.

Client required a portal for helping high school students to interconnect with each other. The portal has a youth-centric essence and provides a thorough online community experience with extensive customization of profile, access to instant messenger & mail, managing favorites and ranking & blocking of the members.

User participation is actively encouraged through different ranking systems, popularity contests, interesting polls and vote battles that users can host or participate in. It is inclusive of features such as friends’ lists, dating alerts like flirts & secret admirer lists etc.

Apart from the above, client required the following unique features:

Blind Match: This module allows users to befriend the most compatible users on the site. While playing a game or polling, the system automatically matches the score of the users. The user whose score matches yours will be suggested to be your friend.

Challenges Module: Users can set a challenge while playing game. The system allows group participation. Users can also set time-period till when the game will be open for players.

Locker Facility: This allows users to save their posted content directly into the portal’s database. Stored material has online access. Therefore, it can be retrieved at any point of time.

WikiEdit:The system includes a WikiEdit facility wherein the users can add information on any random topic. Only admin has the right to verify the posted content and display it live.

Project Challenges

The team faced the following challenges:
  • Creating a Blind match module and incorporating features tailored to client’s requirement.
  • Creating Challenges module. Providing controlled access to multiple users and allowing setting up time interval.
  • Creating online Locker facility.
  • Incorporating WikiEdit functionality.
  • Setting up video conversions for faster access.

Technologies Used

Operating System & Server Management Red Hat Linux OS, Multi-Server Architecture with Staging & Production Environment through Version Controlling releases, Server Optimization, Security & SSL Implementation, Scheduler for Back-ups, Alert Monitoring System Integration, Server Performance Tuning at regular intervals, Software Firewall Configuration & Maintenance
Development Tools & Environments PHP5+, Apache Web Server, Symfony Framework, AJAX, Java Script, HTML5, CSS3 etc.
Database MYSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master Slave Replication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups


Project Leader 1
Developers 3
Designers 1
Quality Assurance Testers 1


Keeping in mind the enormous structure of the website and the challenges involved,a four-tier development approach was adopted consisting of:
  • The Database layer containing MYSQL Server Database, Tables, Stored Procedures and so on.
  • The Business Logic layer consisting of all the business logic procedures for modules like Blind Match,Challenges, Locker, WikiEdit etc.
  • The Interface layer and Database Abstraction layer for converting data between incompatible type systems in databases and accessing data from the database respectively.
  • The User Interface layer which forms the Graphical User Interface of the website.


The online networking characteristic of the website called for the design approach to be built around PHP and MySQL Server. Modules like Blind Match, Challenges, Locker and WikiEdit were developed in PHP such that they can be executed directly from the UI layer. These PHP files consisted of all business logics used for respective modules like Save (Add/Update), Delete, Get Single Object, Get Multiple Objects for Listing and were designed to be capable of handling many more logics which were not related to the database. In order to most effectively access the database in an object-oriented context, an interface translating the object logic to the relational logic was used to communicate with the relational databases in an object-oriented manner.

An intermediary abstraction layer was created for accessing data from the database. Stored procedures were used only for the complex retrieval of data from multiple tables and were entirely avoided with conditional syntax to ensure smooth performance of the website. The UI layer was kept free of any business logic with images, applications and data being called from their respective servers. Sub-domains were used for the different areas of the website to guarantee scalability.

Development Highlights

The site was equipped with a robust architecture to offer centralized access to multiple users using blogs, groups, chat and other tools under one roof. Customizable viewing options were designed to enhance user experience and allow for extensive personalization of the site. Extensive pre-development research was carried out to create a robust application in minimum time while dealing with extensive customizations. SEO activities performed ensured high visibility for the site over the internet. Web usability guidelines were strictly followed during development and the interface was made easily navigable through the judicious use of AJAX,CSS and HTML controls. The site was developed and fully functional within a span of 8 months.

[Total: 2    Average: 5/5]

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