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Multimedia-based expert information portal to assist students/freshers

Categories : All, Education, Social Networks

Client Requirement

Client required the following:
  • Online networking between students and professionals
  • Connectivity to job portal
  • Discussion section where users can post comments
  • Streaming video integration
  • Community platform feature integration such as group creation
  • Advanced search capability
  • Other features such as account setting, message center, newsletters etc.

Multimedia-based expert information portal to assist students/freshers a platform that will bridge the gap between fresher’s/students and Professionals.

This web application is more of a community site that enables fresher’s and students to acquire guidance from professionals in their industry of interest. The site also provides job search facility.

The discussion works more in the form of comments and questionnaire. Students may put up questions which are answered by the professionals. It is a unique platform
that facilitates video-based discussion wherein the professionals reply to the students’ queries by recording and uploading a video.

Project Challenges

Team faced the following challenges while project development:
  • Modifying video streaming: Client wanted us to incorporate a lot of customized features in the existing video streaming component. The extensive video tailoring had become a challenge.
  • Hiding video and video manipulation
  • Modifying and tailoring existing Drupal modules
  • Implementing and managing the exhaustive criteria base through which the users can select their friends
  • Ensuring user privacy and safeguarding their content.

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+, Drupal CMS, Apache Web Server, AJAX, Java Script, HTML5, CSS3, FFmpeg etc.
DatabaseMYSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master Slave Replication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups

Manpower

Project Leader1
Developers2
Designers1
Quality Assurance Testers1

Planning

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 User Interface Layer which forms the Graphical User Interface of the website.
  • The Business Logic layer consisting of all business logic procedures for modules like User Profiles, Invitations, Forums and Blogs etc.
  • The Interface layer and Database Abstraction layer for converting data between incompatible type systems in databases and accessing data from the database respectively.

Architecture

The online networking characteristic of the website called for the design approach to be built around PHP and MySQL Server. Modules like User Profiles, Invitations, Forums and Blogs 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 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 personalization. Extensive pre-development research was carried out to create customized video and streaming capabilities. SEO activities performed ensured high visibility for the site over the internet. Web usability guidelines were strictly followed during evelopment and the interface was made easily navigable through judicious use of AJAX , CSS and HTML controls. The site was developed and fully functional within a span of 6 months.

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

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