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Social Networking Portal to connect users to multiple online groups

Categories : Advertising, All, Social Networks

Client Requirement

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Social Networking Portal to connect users to multiple online groups website mainly provides four functionalities. First functionality is the social networking for adult and beer drinker community. It has modules with Web 2.0 features such as events, groups, chat, video, photo galleries etc.

Second and third functionality are girl’s calendar and men’s magazine respectively which provides users to subscribe and download it.

Fourth functionality is the merchandising feature that allows users to subscribe for men’s
magazine. Users can also place order for beer and other products.

There is a separate section for advertising of Beer products and company.

Project Challenges

Team faced the following challenges during the project development:
  • Developing an active social networking portal capable of handling millions of users at the same time without slowing the site down.
  • Implementing a reliable framework that instantly connects users with groups, individuals, events and other happenings across the web.
  • Synchronizing and incorporating an extensive list of features designed for enhancing the users’ community networking experience.
  • Providing and maintaining the database with a range of interactive features like calendars, magazines, babes, mail service, blogs and forums to ensure user participation.
  • Incorporating web usability principles in the website design to ensure easy navigation for all types of users.
  • Ensuring data and content security.
  • Creating a Flash application for products, photo and video gallery to ensure easy navigation.
  • Display of calendars, babes was handled very efficiently using JS.

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 Web: PHP5+, Apache Web Server, .Net Framework 4.0, AJAX, Java Script, HTML5, CSS3, NSIS etc. Plugin and Toolbar: VC++, MFC, ATLCOM, COM+, MSDEV 2005, XPI, RDF, XUL
Database MYSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master Slave Replication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups

Manpower

Project Leader 1
Developers 5
Designers 3
Quality Assurance Testers 3
Flash Developers 2

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

Architecture

The design approach was built around PHP and MySQL Server due to the social networking nature of the website. In addition to this, the development structure was specifically implemented to facilitate the ‘Faster to Market’ transition of such concepts. Modules like User Profiles, Invitations, Forums and Blogs were developed in PHP such that they can be executed directly from the UI layer. 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

Privacy and security of content was ensured through greater accuracy in handling user status, user statistics and other user-related validations. Optimized query features offered comprehensive search & browse options. The entire framework was kept highly scalable in order to provide adaptability & ease while incorporating new features. Web usability guidelines were strictly followed during development and the interface was made easily navigable through judicious use of CSS and HTML controls. The site was developed and fully functional within a span of 5 months.

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