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Browser Activity Tracker

Categories : All, Web & Desktop Application

Client Requirement

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Client needed a toolbar that tracks an overall browser activity of the user. It is basically a plug-in developed for Internet Explorer and Firefox browser. This toolbar is developed with the intention of enhancing user’s browsing experience and assist the client in market research. This toolbar is active by default and provides a deactivating option also. Some of the incorporated client requirements are as follows:

  • Application automatically tracks each and every site and maintains the information. It also tracks the system IP.
  • Application tracks the URL and all headers of the request with the content type/error code of the response.
  • Server maintains the history of a particular user and its activity.
  • Administrator is able to see the detailed report of all the information sorted user-wise, date-wise and duration-wise.
  • Application provides the feature to show the list of all users. Data transfer takes place through JSON technology.
  • Application provides automatic version control system for plug-ins for IE and Firefox browsers.Admin is able to change the user data and logs.
  • Application generates reports for each activity (browser activity date, time, duration, username, URL, error code, installation and un-installation report and most used sites report).
  • Secure FTP and SSH to avoid any hacking.

Project Challenges

The team faced the following challenges:
  • The challenging situation involved incorporating the IP tracker feature. IP tracking was a bit difficult part in the project as it included saving all the records and settings related to the particular IP in the database and retrieving them every time when user activity triggered for user convenience.
  • The application can track every browser activity such as frequently searched sites,credentials and so on.

Technologies Used

Operating System & Server ManagementRed 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 & EnvironmentsPHP5+, Apache Web Server, Installshield 7.0, AJAX, Java Script, HTML5, CSS3, JSON etc.
DatabaseMYSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master Slave Replication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups

Manpower

Project Leader1
Developer3

Planning

The design approach was built around PHP and MYSQL to maintain reliability, security, and scalability of the website. Stored procedures were used for complex retrieval of data from multiple tables and smooth functioning of the system with increased system performance.
  • Extendibility and flexibility in development structure ensured “faster to market” transitions. 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.
  • Accessing the database required the formation of an intermediary abstraction layer which ensured hiding the implementation details of a particular set of functionality.
  • JSON technology was used for frequent server communications for better performance.

Architecture

Keeping in mind the peculiar structure of the application and the challenges involved, N -tier architecture was adopted with all the layers loosely coupled with each other.

  • Presentation Specific Layer: This includes the page-level layer which will be accessing the other layers beneath to present the data.
  • Database Specific Layer: This acts as a bridge between the physical database and the business logic accessing the data.
  • Business Specific Layer: This acts as a bridge between the Presentation Layer and the Database Layer. This will contain all the business logic for the different components involved in the project.
  • Physical Database Layer: MYSQL with the tables, view, stored procedures etc.

Development Highlights

Maintaining privacy and security was the important concern. The entire framework was kept highly scalable so that new features can be incorporated or old functionalities can be further enhanced or customized. Comprehensive search and browse options are offered within optimized query features. Several cutting-edge technologies were utilized to bring up this application for various browsers. Web usability guidelines were strictly adhered to during the development and the interface was easily made navigable through the judicious use of CSS and HTML controls.The application was developed and fully functional within a span of 3 months.

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