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Electronic point of sale (EPOS) prototype system

In
Nigeria.

Abstract

The purpose of this project is to design an Electronic point of sale system (EPOS)
prototype in telecommunication industry. The system have to be able to access
customer’s details, calculate item sold and easy access to inventory database
system designed with Microsoft visual basic and Microsoft access database.
The advanced function of the programme is the ability to help users to carry out
different task such as improving pricing accuracy, time saving, easy transaction on
sales point and inventory look up. The developed prototype was evaluated by the
user testing and was proven to be of satisfactory level in terms of usability and
functionality. Further improvements and additions to the programme are also
considered at the end of the project.

CONTENTS

1.0 Introduction ............................................................................... 1


1.1 Aim of electronic point of sale (EPOS) system in Nigeria ........................ 10
1.2 Objectives of Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system ............................ 10
1.3 Hypothesis ............................................................................... 10
2.0 Literature Review ....................................................................... 11
2.1 Electrical Power Outage in Nigeria .................................................. 11
2.2 Business perspective ................................................................... 15
3.0 Methodology and Design ............................................................... 18
3.1 Project planning ........................................................................ 18
3.2 Interview ................................................................................ 20
3.3 Questionnaire ........................................................................... 20
3.4 Design methodology ................................................................... 21
3.5 Design Methodology in Technology .................................................. 21
3.6 Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) ....................... 22
3.7 Objectives of SSADM ................................................................... 23
3.8 Benefits of SSADM ...................................................................... 23
3.9 System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) ............................................ 23
3.10 Waterfall Model ....................................................................... 24
3.11 Benefits of Waterfall Life Cycle Model ............................................ 25
3.12 System Design ......................................................................... 26
3.13 System requirements................................................................. 26
3.14 Context Diagram ...................................................................... 29
3.15 Interface design ....................................................................... 29
3.16 Paper Prototyping .................................................................... 29
3.17 Software Prototyping ................................................................ 29
3.18 Benefits of Prototyping .............................................................. 30
4.0 Specification ............................................................................. 31
4.1 Human computer interaction (HCI) ................................................. 32
5.0 Implementation of the system ........................................................ 32
5.1 Programming language ................................................................ 32
5.2 Advantages offered by Visual Basic ................................................. 33
5.3 MICROSOFT ACCESS DATABASE ....................................................... 33
5.4 Design Implementation ................................................................ 34
5.5 Connection from visual basic to access database ................................. 37
5.6 Implementation on Access Data Source ............................................ 37
5.7 Issues arising implementation ........................................................ 46
5.8 Software and system Testing ......................................................... 47
6.0 Results ..................................................................................... 48
6.1 Test case result ........................................................................ 48
6.2 Interview and Questionnaire Result ................................................. 49
7.0 Evaluation and Conclusions ........................................................... 50
7.1 Conclusion ............................................................................... 51
8.0 Recommendations ....................................................................... 52
9.0 Reference

10.0 Bibliography

Appendices

Appendix A- Relationship Diagram

Appendix B-Gantt Chart

Appendix C- Client Interview

Appendix D - Analysing Feedback from Survey Monkey Questionnaire

Appendix E- Paper prototyping

Appendix F- Test plan

Appendix G- Design Screen shot

Appendix H-Specification

List of Figures

Figure 1: Installation of a power transformer..............................................5

Figure 2: Inefficient power supply in Nigeria...............................................8

Figure 3: Waterfall model diagram.........................................................16

Figure 4: EPOS use case diagram............................................................19

Figure 5: Overview of the entire prototype system......................................20


Figure 6: GUI prototyping inputs and outputs............................................22

Figure 7: Login screen........................................................................26

Figure 8: Identifying username field and password field................................27

Figure 9: username and password table...................................................28

Figure 10: Data source configuration wizard..............................................29

Figure 11: Choosing data connection.......................................................30

Figure 12: Choosing database...............................................................30

Figure 13: Correct username and password...............................................31

Figure 14: Main menu.........................................................................31

Figure 15: Login failed........................................................................32

Figure 16: Main menu description..........................................................33

Figure 17: Product description search form...............................................34

Figure 18: Relationship between tables...................................................35

Figure 19: Product table.....................................................................36

Figure 20: Product inventory form..........................................................37

Figure 21: Username and password dataset...............................................38

Figure 22: tables in dataset generated with visual basic...............................38

Figure 23: Sales form.........................................................................39

Figure 24: successful result of sales and item sold after testing......................41

List of tables

Table 1: Test case product search form, login form and stock inventory form.....42
Acronyms

Application programming interface (API)

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

Electronic point of sale (EPOS)

Functional Design Specification (FDS)


Functional specifications (functional specs)

Goods and Services Tax (Gst)

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Graphical user interface (GUI)

Human computer interaction (HCI)

Information technology (IT)

International business machines (IBM)

Joint application development (JAD)

Local area network (LAN)

National Electric Power Authority (NEPA)

Personal computer (PC)

Point of sale systems (POS)

Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)

Provincial Sales Tax (Pst)

Rapid application development (RAD)

Relational database management system (RDBMS)

Software design specification (SDS)

Structured Query Language (SQL)

Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM)

System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

Universal Product Code (UPC)

Visual Basic script (VB scripts)


1.0 Introduction

In the society today, Information technology (IT) has changed the way people live
and business operations in various environments. There have been a massive
improvement of information technology in early 1990s in computer hardware and
software IT has provide communication of network that helps to facilitates the
expansion of products, ideas and majorly resources among the nation
(Globalenvision, 2009).

Electronic point of sale (EPOS) software developed today enables business owners
as well as companies a suitable way of checking out customers and of recording
sales. It enables secure to store record of the store inventory in the database
system, as well as updating data when an order is processed. It also enables user
to print out receipts of a particular purchased item, it can carry out different
types of transaction on till either with a credit card, cash or paying a gift card or
voucher. In most cases it can be used to track customers, etc.

POS is an abbreviation for point of sale (or point-of-sale, or point of service). The
point of sale sometimes refers to the electronic cash register system. Point of sale
systems (POS) can be used in some hotels, stadiums, restaurants, casinos, as well
as retail environments (Cunninghams, 2008).

An Electronic point of sale (EPOS) software also allows users to input via keyboard
or mouse, and some of it could be designed to a touch screen interface (Buzzle
2010).Some year ago, in August 1973 the International business machines
corporation (IBM) announced the IBM 3650 and 3660 store systems, in 1973 new
registers that were driven by computers were introduced, such as the IBM 3653
Store System and the NCR 2150 that were, in essence, a mainframe computer
packaged as a store controller that could control 128 IBM 3653/3663 Point of Sale
Registers. This system was the first commercial use of client-server technology,
peer to peer communications, and local area network (LAN) simultaneous backup
and remote initialization. Other computer-based manufacturers were Regitel,
TRW, and Data checker also in same year 1973 IBM brought the introduction of the
Universal Product Code (UPC) barcode readers to the point of sale systems.
Thereby in mid -1974, IBM 3653 Store System was installed in Pathmark Stores in
New Jersey and Dillards Department Stores. Programmability allowed retailers to
be more creative (Almyta systems 2010).

Furthermore, in 1987, the Point of sale (POS) systems became mostly based on
personal computer (PC) technology with the introduction of the IBM 4683. The
system consisted of a PC-based controller and thin client based POS workstations.
The system required an IBM AS/400 server to be in the network. The 4683 is still
used today by some retailers. However, the 4683 has been phased out by some
retailers to its more modern successor, the IBM 4693 and the IBM 4694(Almyta
systems 2010).

This project is mainly focussing on one major sector, which is the communication
industry. How this technology can be helpful and enables users to satisfy their
customers by eliminating errors at the point of sale and reducing the paperwork
involved in sales and inventory.

1.1 Aim of electronic point of sale (EPOS) system in Nigeria

The purpose of this project is to design an Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system
prototype is to introduce an Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system in Nigeria,
which will improve pricing accuracy by eliminating errors and as well as time
saving in dealing with customers.

1.2 Objectives of Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system

 To develop a prototyping Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system, for


communication industry in Nigeria.
 To improve price accuracy.
 To improve customer service.
 To Produce an accurate record sales.
 To test a software prototype system.

1.3 Hypothesis
H1. The project will be useful for management.

H2. There is inefficient power supply in Nigeria.

H3. Power supply could be affordably using modern renewable energy technology
in Nigeria.
In this project there is a need for relationship between the primary data,
objectives, hypothesis, literature and the prototype system, a relationship table
was created in order to show how the prototype system is connected to other task
in this project (See Appendix A).

2.0 Literature Review


This chapter introduces basic concepts and topics related to the Power outage in
Nigeria, Basic issues will be discussed such as how to eradicate power outage in
Nigeria and the cost of power outages to business sector of the Nigerian economy
in order for communication industries to carry out normal operations without
power outage. One strong outcome of the study is that the poor state of electricity
supply in Nigeria has imposed significant costs on the business sector.

2.1 Electrical Power Outage in Nigeria


Generally, a power outage can be identified as a power cut, power failure or
blackout. This can be addressed as loss of electricity power to a specific area.
Nevertheless, there are different causes of power failure in electricity which can
easily cause damages to human and business operations.

It is fairly settled in the literature that infrastructure plays a critical and positive
role in economic development. Infrastructure interacts with the economy through
multiple and complex processes. It represents an intermediate input to production,
and thus changes in infrastructure quality and quantity affect the profitability of
production, and invariably the levels of income, output and employment.
Moreover, infrastructure services raise the productivity of other factors of
production (Kessides, 1993).
Currently in Nigeria, lack of electricity supply is one of major infrastructure
problem affecting the business sector. The typical Nigerian firm experiences power
failure or voltage fluctuations about seven times per week, each lasting for about
two hours, without the benefit of prior warning which may likely cause damages
such as spoiled materials, lost output, damaged electronic equipment, restarting
cost operations and distraction of business operations(Adenikinju, 2005, p.3).
In Nigeria, the National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) now Power Holding
Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is responsible for power supply in Nigeria. However,
the failure of NEPA to provide adequate and reliable electricity to consumers
despite billions of Naira of investment expenditure has generated a confidence
crisis in the industry. Public confidence in NEPA’s ability to supply uninterrupted
and stable electric power is so low that consumers have coined a term for the
organization’s acronym NEPA as “Never Expect Power Always”.
The inefficiency of NEPA imposes a huge cost on the economy. In 1990, the World
Bank estimated the economic loss to the country from NEPA’s inefficiency, at
about N1 billion Nigeria Naira (Adenikinju 2005, p.3).
Power failure in Nigeria is a debilitating problem that needs be addressed. The
envisioned growth of the economy cannot be achieved without improved
electricity supplies, and there are crippling multiplier effects associated with
thousands of small businesses throughout the country not having access to
uninterrupted power supply to run their flour mills, printing presses, restaurants,
cyber cafes and clinics. Putting any one of these businesses out of work at any
given point in time, due to power failure, has a direct impact on the growth and
expansion of the business, which in turn feeds unemployment, keeps wages low
and negatively impacts workers’ ability to provide financial support to their
families. No nation can achieve economic development and industrialization
without adequate and regular power supply. Nigeria has what it takes and this
government must raise to its responsibilities, as very clearly echoed in a statement
by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (Nasirschronicles, 2009)
Figure 1: installation of a power transformer (courtesy 234next image)

In Nigeria the story is the same everywhere, whereby those who can afford to rely
on generator sets to keep businesses and establishments running in the West
African country.
Power failure under PHCN is more than what it used to be under NEPA. Now it is
total darkness. This is affecting everybody's business (Ipsnews, 2005).
Magnus Abbe states that trying to get around the acute power shortage, some
state governments have resorted to establishing Independent Power Production
(IPP) companies to boost electricity production. The Lagos State government in
1999 set up an IPP project that is presently producing 40 MW. Between 1999 and
2000, the Rivers State government in the Niger Delta region started the Omoku
Power Station as part of the IPP Gas to Power project of the state.
The project which uses gas from the nearby AGIP oil well (where gas is still being
flared) is expected to generate 400 MW. When completed, it is expected to satisfy
the power drought in the entire state. (Ipsnews, 2005).
According to the former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo states that the
plants are part of the government's strategy to raise the country's electricity
generation capacity from the current low of 3,400 MW to 10,000 MW by 2007.
Nigeria's hydro and thermal power generating stations have an installed capacity of
5,237.6 MW, but due to lack of maintenance and corruption, twin ills of most
public service utilities, which are operating below the installed capacity.
The private sector has a pivotal role to play in meeting the power requirement for
the development of the country. A suitable framework is required to be put in
place to facilitate the private sector involvement in this highly capital intensive
power and gas sector (Ipsnews, 2005).
According to a new power generation expansion plan programme released early
this month and made available to IPS, electricity generation by PHCN is projected
to hit 15,853 MW by 2010. PHCN, according to the document, plans to achieve the
new generation output by building up its capacity steadily over the next five years,
through the total resuscitation of all existing power stations, and contributions
from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
Nigerians hope to achieve this based on a strong conviction that all power plants
are currently undergoing repairs and will be brought on stream by 2010. Nigerian
are also very confident that by end of the 2010, the IPPs, ongoing Federal
Government power projects, the proposed Niger Delta power stations and the
proposed Joint Venture Independent Power Projects (JVIPPs) with oil and gas firms
and other IPPs will come on stream.

Some existing power stations in Nigeria are expected to carry out installation in
some states which are: Egbin Thermal Station, Lagos (1,320 MW); Afam Thermal,
Rivers State (969 MW); Sapele Thermal, Delta State (1,020 MW); Ijora Thermal
plant, Lagos (40 MW); Kainji Hydro Station, Niger State (760 MW); Jebba Hydro
Station, Niger State (578.4 MW) and Shiroro Hydro, Niger State (600 MW).
According to the projections, IPPs are expected to contribute 750 MW by 2010
while the proposed JVIPPs and other IPPs are expected to generate 2,790 MW and
1,365 MW respectively into the national grid. Before the end of 2010, officials are
optimistic of changing forever the bleak electricity situation in Nigeria (Ipsnews,
2005).

Furthermore, without adequate power supply Nigeria cannot achieve its potential
to help put things in comparative perspective, Nigeria’s power demand is
estimated at about 15,000 MW as at September 2009, peak generation supplied by
PHCN was 2,443 MW – less than 17% of the electricity needed, All the claims of
generating “over 5,000MW” recently by the administration’s officials are of course
the usual slogans, and a false one at that! By way of comparison South Africa has
40,000 MW of electricity for a population of 50 million people; Brazil has 100,000
MW for a population of 192 million people; the US has 700,000 MW for a population
of 308 million people; while Nigeria with a population of over 150 million people
only generates 2,443 MW at peak! (Nasirschronicles, 2009)
Currently in Nigeria, government regulations in the supply and trading of
infrastructural services prevent the possibilities of three other mechanisms: joint
production, satellite behaviour or shared production. The unreliability of NEPA has
led most manufacturers to incur extra costs for private alternatives. The generator
market is very vibrant. Most small gas-powered electric generating sets in use are
Japanese products (e.g., Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha). Most of these products are
imported from Japan, while some are assembled in Nigeria by Holt Engineering
Limited, which the company is specialised in assembling Yamaha generators.
Moreover, many small-scale industrialists now prefer locally fabricated generating
sets, which are considerably cheaper than the imported brand names (Adenikinju
2005, p.20).
According to the World Bank, South Africa generates 40,000 MW of electricity for a
population of nearly 50 million, while Nigeria with a population of over 150 million
only generates 3,400 MW at peak. This translates to very disappointing levels of
electricity consumption per capita, thereby leaving some industries to perform at
epileptic levels, goods and services to be sold at prices that automatically adjust,
during power outages, to account for the expensive cost of production via
generating sets and a populace that is unable to take advantage of the latest
advances in technology and appliances. All this puts a painful strain on the already
difficult situation of Nigerian citizens who must in addition to be paying higher
prices for goods and services, also invest hard earned Naira to buy, maintain and
fuel power generating sets for the their homes (Nasir El-Rufai 2010)

2.2 Business perspective

There are some huge businesses in Nigeria that find it difficult to carry out daily
operations, A business cannot be successful if there is power interruption, every
business organisation want to be successful in business, but on the other hand it is
a shame to Nigerian government for not providing the right infrastructural facilities
for the society. In general, there are arguments to proffer for massive investments
on the power supply in Nigeria that for purposes of effective communication of the
depths of sufferings and hardships faced by the people, this section will highlight a
few points (PMWorldToday 2010) these include the following:
The Impact on large companies: Currently in Nigeria some manufacturers
associations and other professional bodies have finding it very difficult to cope
with the inadequate power supply in the society, some companies spend large
resources every year to provide large generators as an alternatives to the poor
electricity supply. With the use of a stand by generator business organisation can
only carry out daily activities. Generators are design to support electricity failure
for some duration, Due to inadequate power supply, some companies does not rely
on “NEPA” the best means is to install a power stand by generator that can provide
electricity supply without interruption.

Figure 2: Inefficient power supply in Nigeria (courtesy 234next image)

Chima Okereke, states that many factories have had to shut down over the lack of
power supply, it is alleged that over 100 companies including multi-nationals
across the country have closed down in recent times. Textile/garment,
chemical/leather are some of the affected sectors. Others such as those in the
cement industry are unable to operate at full capacity. Both situations result in
loss of jobs and increase in levels of unemployed.

Suggestions and how to eradicate power outage in Nigeria


This part critically analyses the solution to the power outage in Nigeria for business
organisation and the society to achieve stable power supply.
Over the years, Nigerians has been lacking electrical power supply which causes
huge damage to the society and business organisation presently. Some suggestions
have been made over the years but due to the corruption in Nigeria government
the motion has not been moved on. Nevertheless, there are positive means of
solving this problem in Nigeria.
According to the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Nigeria, Khosrow
Rezazadeh, which have made a suggestion on how Nigeria would solve the problem
of inadequate power supply, “Rezazadeh” quotes that a nuclear power plant was
needed so as to enable Nigeria put an end to its epileptic power supply, also stated
that Iran has only 3.5 percent of nuclear enrichment and it has become necessary
to increase it in order to meet up with medical and industrial purposes (Allafrica
2010).

Inadequate power supply is not easy to resolve but one of the means to resolve this
issue is by carrying out different observation by people and also comparing other
countries that had similar issue. Furthermore, Professor Tukur Saad who is the vice
chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, states Nigeria must
embark upon an extensive nuclear power generation project if it must overcome
the problem of erratic power supply, because the world is moving towards nuclear
power generation and it is the most reliable way of providing stable electricity
supply (Allafrica, 2007).

In conclusion, over the years, all efforts at resolving Nigeria’s power problems
have met with spectacular failure. Huge amounts spent on the sector seem to go
down some bottomless drain as poor electric power generation and supply remain
the bane of the manufacturing sector and a drain on resources, many companies,
unable to cope with the high cost of doing business in Nigeria, which lead to have
relocated to neighbouring nations, while others have simply shut down, driving
more people into the labour market. Presently, no one has yet quantified the
damage to health and to the environment by the millions of generators that
threaten to overwhelm the country with noise and fumes.
It’s mostly about corruption. The failure of Nigeria to generate enough power to
meet even the modest target of 6000 megawatts that the government has set for
itself by December this year is largely due to corruption. However, apart from
fraud and corruption in the country, there is the absence of a creative way of
solving Nigeria electricity power failure; one solution would require the
exploitation of massive deposit of coal in Nigeria, This has succeeded in solving the
power problems in many countries at what amounts to a cheaper rate, at least in
the long run. Nigeria has a coal reserve of some 2.7 million tonnes, which is
expected to supply between 10,000-15000 megawatts of electricity. This rich
resource has been largely ignored by government’s overtime. In the same manner,
uranium deposits, confirmed in six states of the federation and used by more
advanced countries to produce electricity, have not been exploited by the Nigerian
government (234next 2009)

Finally, the issue of Nigeria inadequate power supply could be controlled by the
government and not private sectors, on the other hand if the government carry out
some of these suggestion it would be a great benefit to Nigerians.

3.0 Methodology and Design


This section of the project refers to the set of methods and development used for
the system, project planning, interview, questionnaire, analyzing different types
of design methodology that could be used to develop the required system and the
key to design methodology and the best solution for each design.

3.1 Project planning

Planning a project is very important; it is the key to a successful project. Creating


a project plan is the first thing to think about when undertaking any kind of
project. In most situations some fail to realise the value of a project plan in saving
time, money and some problems.

Carrying out Planning at some level is basic to all human activity, and is really
applied with a common sense. This involves working out the task required and
how to work on it. Furthermore, Planning involves identifying priority needs and
opportunities, discussing and testing the various possible courses of action,
choosing the most appropriate one, agreeing on what to achieve, calculating the
human and material resources needed to reach the objectives, anticipating
possible problems and getting agreement among all concerned about clear targets
and timetables for the project in view (See Appendix) which illustrates the project
planning with the use of a Gantt chart. There are many tools that could be used to
assist planning a project (Ifrc), these include:

 Project planning checklists


 Project work plans
 Gantt (bar) charts
 Logical Framework Analyses
 Budgets

A Gantt chart was used in planning this project because it enables planning and
Scheduling Complex Projects; it is a useful tool for analyzing and plans a project. It
provides help to plan out the tasks that is needed to be completed, Give a basis for
scheduling when the tasks will be carried out, provide help and guideline on how
to plan the allocation of resources needed to complete the project, and it helps to
work out the critical path for a project indicating when the project would be
completed by a particular date (Mindtools 2010).

Furthermore, Gantt Charts helps to monitor if the project is on schedule. In a


situation whereby the project is not on schedule, it enables pinpoint to the
remedial action necessary to put it back on schedule (See Appendix B)
3.2 Interview

Interview is one of the methods which were used in this project. It is important
because, it is used for collection of information’s from client. It acts as a guideline
which provides idea on what user needs (user requirement). In general, interviews
were conducted in other to obtain the users requirement and experience using an
Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system.
Different type of tools could be used for conducting an interview, such could be
one on one, using online messenger e.t.c, and the tools used for interviewing of
client in this project is by the means of Skype Software. The Skype software is
reliable software which enables the world’s conversation, also it can be use to
make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other
users, It can also be use to make calls to landlines and mobiles (Skype 2010). (See
Appendix C).

3.3 Questionnaire

When planning a project it is necessary to acquire the right information which


would provide idea to make decisions. If the information is accurate, there would
be a high probability of making a good decision. But if the information is
inaccurate, the ability to make a correct decision is diminished. Reliable
information usually leads to better decisions (Walonick 2004, p.1).

It is necessary to design questionnaires because it is easy to analyze. Also data


entry and tabulation for well composed surveys can be easily done with some
computer software packages.
This projects demand the collection of primary data from individuals, the aim of
designing a questionnaire is to get different views of people and responses which
could be usable for making decisions.
Designing a questionnaire is one of the best ways of gathering information. The
questionnaires in this project are designed with Survey Monkey tool. Survey
Monkey is a tool that helps in designing questionnaire and also can be customise by
users. It is very easy to use and very effective (c4lpt 2010). However, Survey
Monkey gives thousands of people feedback and also helps to analyse the feedback
received by people While Smart Survey is another survey tool but the only
difference is the user interface, the user interface is poor compare to Survey
Monkey. According to Nigel Paine it is one of the top 10 tools in 2008 (c4lpt 2008)
Survey Monkey is more interactive and it is recommended by clients. (See
Appendix D)

3.4 Design methodology


There are two main categories of design methodologies that could act as a
guideline when designing a system, which is the systematic and the formal types.

The systematic type is less mathematical and this consists of the procedural
component, which prescribes what action or task to perform and the
representation component, which prescribes how the software structure should be
represented.

The formal type makes extensive use of mathematical notations for the object
transformations and for checking consistencies.

The difference between both categories of design methodologies is that one is


base on mathematical aspect and the other is based on procedural component and
task.

Generally, techniques from the systematic design methodologies can be integrated


and can utilize representation schemes from other techniques when and as
appropriate. However, the underlying principles of the methodologies can be
analyzed and examined for a better understanding of the basis for each
methodology. With a better understanding of the methodology, its domain of
application can be more effectively applied or more accurately defined. Basically,
alternative design allows for important trade-off analysis before coding the
software (Userpages, nd).

3.5 Design Methodology in Technology


Design methodology is employed in various organization and industries in most
sectors it is commonly applied in technology, including those using the Internet,
software and information systems development. Different types of Design
Methodology approaches have been developed in the technology industry. Some of
the design methodology was a reaction to a different type of problem. These are
some of the common technology design methodologies:

 Top down Design: The top down design methodology always starts from the
end solution and it works backwards, refining each step along the way.
 Bottom up Design: The bottom up design Methodology majorly starts with a
foundation and works up towards a solution.
 Structured Design: The structured design is always refer to as an industry
standard. It technique starts by identifying various inputs and desired major
outputs to create a graphical representation.
 Structured Analysis and Design Technique: The structured analysis and
design technique approach is very useful in technology industry it helps to
utilize a system diagram and describe the hierarchy of a system's functions
in depth.
 Data Structured Systems Development: The data structure approach
identifies the system structure in design methodology.
 Object Oriented Design: object oriented design is also very useful in system
design; the methodology is based on a system of interacting objects.

3.6 Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM)

Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology (SSADM) is a systems approach


to the analysis and design of information systems. SSADM was produced for the
CCTA, a UK government office concerned with the use of technology in
government, from 1980 onwards (Selectbs, 2010)

System design methods are discipline within the software development industry
which seeks to provide a framework for activity and the capture, storage,
transformation and dissemination of information so as to enable the economic
development of computer systems that are fit for purpose.
3.7 Objectives of SSADM
SSADM was developed with the following objectives
 Ensure that projects can successfully continue should a loss of staff occur
without a damaging effect on the project.
 Develop overall better quality systems
 Improve the way in which projects are controlled and managed
 Allow more effective use of experienced and inexperienced staff and their
development
 Make it possible for projects to be supported by computer based tools e.g.
computer-aided software engineering systems
 Improve communication between participants in a project so an effective
framework is in place

3.8 Benefits of SSADM


Timelines: Theoretically, SSADM allows one to plan, manage and control a project
well. These points are essential to deliver the product on time.
Usability: Within SSADM special emphasis is put on the analysis of user needs.
Simultaneously, the systems model is developed and a comprehensive demand
analysis is been carried out.
SSADM is a waterfall method by which an IS design can be arrived at; SSADM can be
thought to represent a pinnacle of the rigorous document-led approach to system
design, and contrasts with more contemporary Rapid Application Development
methods such as Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).

3.9 System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)


System Development Life Cycle is actually a the process of understanding how an
information system (IS) can support business needs, designing the system, building
it and how it would be delivered to the users (Dennis and Wixom 2003).
Different kind of SDLC methodologies have been developed to guide the processes
involved including the waterfall model (the original SDLC method), rapid
application development (RAD) and joint application development (JAD).
3.10 Waterfall Model
Waterfall approach was first Process Model to be introduced and followed widely in
Software Engineering to ensure success of the project.
In "The Waterfall" approach, the whole process of software development is divided
into separate process phases. The phases in Waterfall model are: Requirement
Specifications phase, Software Design, Implementation and Testing & Maintenance.
The stages of "The Waterfall Model" are:

Figure 3: Waterfall Model Diagram (courtesy buzzle image)

Requirement Analysis & Definition: All possible requirements of the system to be


developed are captured in this phase. Requirements are set of functionalities and
constraints that the end-user (who will be using the system) expects from the
system. The requirements are gathered from the end-user by consultation, these
requirements are analyzed for their validity and the possibility of incorporating the
requirements in the system to be development is also studied. Finally, a
Requirement Specification document was created which serves the purpose of
guideline for the next phase of the model.
System and Software Design: Before a starting for actual coding, it is highly
important to understand what we are going to create and what it should look like?
The requirement specifications from first phase are studied in this phase and
system design is prepared. System Design helps in specifying hardware and system
requirements and also helps in defining overall system architecture. The system
design specifications serve as input for the next phase of the model.

Implementation and Unit Testing: On receiving system design documents, the work
is divided in modules/units and actual coding is started. The system is first
developed in small programs called units, which are integrated in the next phase.
Each unit is developed and tested for its functionality; this is referred to as Unit
Testing. Unit testing mainly verifies if the modules/units meet their specifications.

Integration and System Testing: As specified above, the system is first divided in
units which are developed and tested for their functionalities. These units are
integrated into a complete system during Integration phase and tested to check if
all modules/units coordinate between each other and the system as a whole
behaves as per the specifications. After successfully testing the software, it is
delivered to the customer.

Operations and Maintenance: This phase of "The Waterfall Model" is virtually never
ending phase (Very long). Generally, problems with the system developed (which
are not found during the development life cycle) come up after its practical use
starts, so the issues related to the system are solved after deployment of the
system. Not all the problems come in picture directly but it arises from time to
time and needs to be solved; hence this process is referred as Maintenance.

3.11 Benefits of Waterfall Life Cycle Model

 It is easy to explain to the user


 The Stages and activities involved are well defined
 It helps to plan and schedule the project appropriately
 It enables verification at each stage to ensure early detection of errors and
misunderstanding within the project.
3.12 System Design
This chapter describes the process of system designing, tools and techniques that
were used, building the template of the user interface, various prototypes that
were used in the system design and the benefit of using software prototyping, also
the chapter analyses the use and importance of Graphical User Interface (GUI).

3.13 System requirements

The outcome of this project is design an Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) system
prototype which should comply to set of requirements. (Sommerville, 2007)
distinguishes between user and system requirements which could be also divided
into functional, non-functional and domain ones. The system design development
starts from system requirements which describe system behaviour (Sommerville,
2007). It is necessary to consider the user requirements while designing a system
because it helps to specify the design of programme interface. High level user
requirements are merely intended to provide a guide to the major issues and which
also support simple narrative explanations of system purposes. High level
functional requirements capture the intended behaviour of the system. This
behaviour may be expressed as services, tasks or functions the system is required
to perform and advanced features the system should have. Throughout the design
stage some high level requirements were detailed and presented by use case
diagram demonstrated on Figure 3.1
A use case diagram shows the behaviour or functionality of the system, it consists
of a set of possible sequences of interactions between a system and a user in a
particular environment that is related to a particular goal (Hoffer, A, et al, p.225).
In general, the purpose of using a use case diagram in the system design prototype
is that it is very useful for presentations to management and project stakeholders
so that it can have an overview on how the system would function in the real
world.
Add/Update
Product

Visit V Web

Login

Sales assistant

Process Database
Order

Calculate
Sales Figure

Search
Product

Figure 4: EPOS use case diagram

The following are the system functional requirements of the system.


F1. The system should be able to save new product in the database.
F2. The program should allow users to login on the system.
F3. The system should be able to add and update new product.
F4. The system should be able to print out sales receipt for customers.
F5. The system should be able to calculate for sale figures in days.
F6. The system should be able to search for a particular product.
F7. The system should be able to calculate for item sold.
F8. The system should have a help button which will guide users.
F9. The system should be able to display the Naira in currency.
F10. The program should have a main menu where users can specify options
F11. The system should have a web page which will link to the main menu.

Login request Login

Access system

EPOS SYSTEM
Sales Perform
assistant sales Process
Order

Access
inventory
Check Out
Inventory

Management
Receipt

View sales

Transactions
General
Sales
Product Customer
Details Details

Figure 5: Overview of the entire system


3.14 Context Diagram
A context diagram is a data flow diagram, with only one massive central process
that subsumes everything inside the scope of the system. It shows how the system
will receive and send data flows to the external entities involved. Figure 5
illustrates how users can access the system, process order; access the inventory
management that stores product details, transactions and customer details. The
context diagram is useful because it analyses the system in a graphically and some
means of interaction within the system.

3.15 Interface design


Based on the graphic user interface (GUI) design of the system some considerations
were taken which lead to the success of achieving the user requirement. Basically
before designing of the system two types of prototyping tools were considered
which are: the paper prototyping and the software prototyping.
GUI design is interested with producing a representation of the required
appearance and behaviour of the entire user interface and the prototyping is
interested with building a subnet of the user interface (system functionality) and
examine its properties by interacting with it (Redmond and Moore 2008 p.218).

3.16 Paper Prototyping


Paper prototyping is a variation of usability testing where representative users
perform realistic tasks by interacting with a paper version of the interface that is
manipulated (Paperprototyping 2003). The paper prototype was used in the first
design of the system because it is cheaper, easy to use and helps to provide idea
on how the system is going to look like on paper sketch (See Appendix E)

3.17 Software Prototyping


A software prototyping is a system that actually works, which is not an idea or a
drawing, it is built quickly and cheaper, also which will not have a generalised
lifetime, thereby at one end of the spectrum it may be thrown away immediately
after use, at the other end it may eventually evolve into the final system (Preece
et al. 1994, p.538).
Making use of the paper prototype and software prototype was very useful, it
provides guidelines on how the system will be designed and structured, on the
other hand, software prototyping was necessary because interface can be designed
with it and changes can be made immediately, while the paper prototyping is easy
to make design sketches and idea how the system would be implemented in the
next stage.

Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 and Microsoft access 2007 software was used as a
software prototype to design the system.

3.18 Benefits of Prototyping


Prototyping is important when designing a system because it allows developer to
deliver successive, executable versions of the GUI moving. This provides the
following benefits:

 Better communication with user


 Reduced risk
 User education
 Improved design through feedback and iteration

GUI design Task Scenario

Usability
requirements
Design feedback

Prototype GUI

GUI prototype

Figure 6: GUI Prototyping inputs and outputs


4.0 Specification
The purpose of a software design specification (SDS) is to define the software that
is to meet the functional requirements for the project (Urswriter nd).
This design specification document describes the functions and design for an
Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) Prototype System. The software prototype system is
needed to support sales accuracy, improve time and storage of products in the
database system.
There are different types of specification these are as follow:
Functional specification
The Functional Design Specification (FDS) details the solution to be provided to
meet the Users and Functional Requirements.
It should be approved by the User and should form the basis of the design for both
Hardware and Software, also Functional specifications (functional specs) in the
end, are the blueprint for how an application would look and functions, however,
the details is required, what the finished product will do, how a user will interact
with it, and what it will look like (mojofat).

User interface specification


The User interface specification is the result of the user interface design stage.
User interface specification is a model of the software that analyses what the
designed software looks like and it’s behaviours.

The purpose of the user interface specification is that it provides an illustrative


requirement specification for the system (interacta).

Technical specification
A technical specification outlines the software, hardware and interface
requirements needed to process and maintain the information on system (cni
2002).

In general, it is necessary to identify the design specification when developing a


software system, the design specification could also act as a guide to the users,
with the details and how the system operates (See Appendix F)
4.1 Human computer interaction (HCI)
Human computer interaction is basically about designing computer systems that
support people so that it can carry out their activities productively and safe
(Preece et al. 1994, p.1)
The fact that today’s system should be more efficient, reliable and useful in the
way it interacts with users, Users should be able to pass mostly only the most
important information and allowing the system to act in a more independent way.
Therefore the Human-Computer Interaction mechanisms will be investigated and
applied. “Human computer interaction (HCI) is concerned with many areas such as
interaction between people and computers. Successful computer systems are
building with understanding of the interaction between people and computers.
This is the vital part of the system’s design” (Macaulay, 1995).
With the use of Visual basic and Access database for the design implementation
there will be a need to consider for human computer interaction.

5.0 Implementation of the system


This section consists of various stages which contained choosing the programming
language, Implementation, using various programming and testing techniques to
fulfil the requirements. Also one of the most important parts was making a
connection between visual basic 2008 and access databases. All these processes
are described within this section.

5.1 Programming language


Two programming languages were chosen for the proposed system implementation,
Visual basic is a high-level object-oriented and platform independent language. It
has rich application programming interface (API) for network support, graphical
user interface (GUI) design and there are numerous visual basic projects to support
different types of development.
Visual Basic was designed to make user friendly programs easier to develop; visual
basic is used by millions of software developers (Schneider D 2004). Visual Basic is
currently one of the most widely used visual programming languages used to
develop stand-alone windows applications. Visual Basic is not only a programming
language but also a true graphical development environment. The overall software
prototype of Electronic point of sale (EPOS) system is implemented using Visual
Basic 2008 and Access Database 2007. Visual Basic provides a perfect graphical
user interface for implement the staff login screen into the form to make the
system user friendly and interactive.

5.2 Advantages offered by Visual Basic


Visual Basic has some advantages that make it responsible for the use in this
project. The advantages include the following:

 Visual Basic as a programming language is relatively simple. Its structure is


quite straightforward.
 It ideals with the development of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI).
 The online MSDM libraries provide a comprehensive interactive and context-
sensitive online help system.

5.3 MICROSOFT ACCESS DATABASE


Microsoft Access is a full service database program that has been in development
since 1992 (brighthub 2010). While it is not as robust as other corporate database
platforms, its usability makes it ideal for organizing small data sets, making it a
great choice for personal and small business use. On the other hand, Microsoft
Access is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that is packaged with
the Microsoft office to run under the Microsoft Windows operating system.
Microsoft Access Database is a Visual Basic based application that permits
Structured Query Language (SQL) statements to be included in associated macros
and VB scripts (Articlesnatch 2009).
The advantage is that it is quite inexpensive, compared to most of the other
programs in the Microsoft Office suite, Access is one of the lesser used ones,
although it does have its applications in certain business environments.
5.4 Design Implementation

Help

Form

Textbox

Login Exit button


button Reset button

Figure 7: Login screen

Login Screen
The staff login screen was designed with visual basic and access database which
describes a basic interaction with the user by inputting a username and password
in the text box, also a button controls which act as a messenger to the system and
a label which identify the form input element.

Text Box control

The text box is a useful control; the aim of designing a text box in the Login form
is for users to enter a username and password. Basically with a text box users can
enter text in an application, the text box control is used to display, or accept as
input, a single line of text (Msdn.microsoft, 2010).On the other hand it will not be
reasonable if a combo box is used to design this section because users would feel
depressed, a system have to be friendly with the user, thereby there is a means for
users to have their private username and password and not making a choice for
users to make a selection when it refers to a login screen. But when a text box is
used users would be able to enter a username and password privately. But the
password field is different because it does not display what the user is inputting
but displays a dot sign (.) password should be private to individual.

Username
Field

Password
field

Figure 8: Identifying username field and password field

Users always want a friendly system and not a system which would complicate
issues (Designinginteractive, 2010).

Button control

The button control is used to display a push button. It acts as a messenger to the
form whereby when button are clicked, it send a message across to the database
system. When the Login button is clicked it sends a message which the user had
entered in the text box. The login button was used in the design because it
perform an action when a user clicks on the control (designinginteractive, 2010)

The login button is very necessary in the form because it sends users data to the
database system which enables the user to gain access to the system. The users’
login details are stored in the access database system.
In the Access Database a table was designed which comprises the fundamental
building blocks of a database, it helps store of related information such as the
username and password of users.

Using database in the process is useful because username are been stored in it and
it can be retrievable of could be deleted form the database by the administrator.
On the other hand a user would not be abale to gain access to the system if the
username and password details are not stored in the database system. To gain
access to the system a username and password must be stored in the database for
the program to access the details.

Figure 9: Username and password table

Reset control button

The reset control button is similar to the every button but the only difference is
that it enables the user to clear the form. In most situations, some people make
mistakes and sometimes it is difficult to resolve, a user could enter a wrong
username or password in the text box by making a mistake, with the help of the
reset button users can easily clear the form and start all over rather than shutting
down the program (Reset button in figure 7).

Exit control button

The exit control button was implemented to allow users to close or next the
program. It is quite useful because it provides aid for users to close the program at
any time, also programs must be properly rather than shutting down the system.
Help control button

The help control button was implement in order to provide guide to the users,
users sometimes find it difficult using a system at the first stage, it is necessary to
implement the help control button because it enlightens the user how to make use
of the system in order achieve a successful goal. (Help button in Figure7)

5.5 Connection from visual basic to access database


In order for users to login successfully on the system there is a means of
implementing a connection between Visual Basic and Access Database. Microsoft
has really put a significant amount of work into making it easy to work with
databases by connecting with visual basic. Database functionality can be built into
a Visual Basic application without writing any line of code.

Figure 10: Data source configuration wizard

Figure 9 shows the username password table that has been created with Access
database, connection from Visual basic to access database could be implemented
by selecting Visual basic selecting server explorer which would request for the type
of data sources that is needed.

5.6 Implementation on Access Data Source


In other to change the Data source field to Microsoft Access Database. Some
procedure has to be taken:

Click on the Browse button and locate the visafoneusernamepassword.accdb


database. Once visafoneusernamepassword database is selected, then click on the
test Connection button to verify the database is accessible. If the connection is
successful, then click on the OK button to apply the connection. Once the
database connection is established, the next step is to select the data source to be
used in the application. To achieve this, select the Data->Add New Data Source
menu option. The data source configuration wizard will display.

Figure 11: choosing data connection

After selecting data from the database, the Database is highlighted in the dialog
and then click Next to proceed. Also visafoneusernamepassword database is listed
in the screen displayed.

Figure 12: choosing database

The next step displays a dialog, by clicking on yes the database would move to the
Visual basic project area. Finally the wizard will display the connection string and
the default suggestion.
With the connection of the Access database, whenever a user enters a username
and password the database reads the details if it is correct and matches what is in
the database. If the username and password is successful the user would be able to
gain access to the main menu. On the other hand if the username and password is
not in the database an error message is been displayed.

Figure 13: correct username and password

Figure 14: Main menu


Figure 15: login failed

The system was implemented to display a message box if the username and
password is not recognized by the database system. Some possible exception might
occur during the process of the system. Exceptions might occur when a user enters
an invalid value on the system or something missing in the form. Generally, users
cannot be perfect all the time sometimes an error occurs when carrying out a task,
but the best way of solving this problem is by providing an error message box
which act as a guideline to the users when having some difficulties.

According to Jakob Nielsen’s which states that error messages should be clearly
visible and educates users along the way (Useit, 2001), an error message box was
used to develop the system, In a process whereby a user inpits an invalid value in
the text box that is not in the database system, an error message pops up “Please
enter a valid username and password” the error on the screen occur because the
users has entered a value that is not recognized by the database. The error
message can also be a guide to the user because when the message displays, the
user would have an idea on what is wrong and what to do next time when using the
system.
Main menu form
Visual Basic was use to implement the Main Menu form in order to provide a clean
and easy interface for navigating through the different forms in the system. Also a
buttons control was implemented to open up other forms.

Figure 16: Main menu form

The Main Menu form act as a power house to system with simple interface, various
task could be achieve with the use of the main menu users can make searching
faster and speed up some task.
The main menu was also implemented to provide users a list of task such as:
 Item sold and invoice
 Sales and activities
 Stock inventory
 Search product
 Visa Online
In general, the main menu acts as a power house to the system because if a user
cannot log in to the system, there would be no means to make use of the main
menu, only when a user logged in successfully. The task was implemented to
navigate through the menu system.
Product search form
The product search form was implemented with the use of Visual basic that would
be able to provide a simple interface to the user, the system was develop in order
to search for a particular product description, also a list box was designed which
contains a various products. Text box and button control are discussed in figure

List of products

Figure 17: Product description search form

In most situations, a search form is very important to the users and the customers,
visual basic has been implemented in form to enable uses carry out the search task
as fast as possible and also displaying an accurate result. The search form is similar
to previous form, the only difference is that it performs the search task and stores
the product in a list box (See Appendix for code script).
Jakob Nielsen stated that users often move fast and furiously when looking for a
search field, the search input field should be wide enough to contain the typical
query; if the box is too small, the query will scroll and diminish usability.
In general, usability has to be considered in every aspect of design, the search
input field was has been designed to match the usability guidelines stated by Jakob
Nielsen.
The search form has been implemented to help users successfully by achieving
different goals.
Stock inventory form
The stock inventory form was implemented with visual basic and access database,
the form consists of text box controls and a connection to access database
(connection to access database has been discussed in figure). The difference
between, the usernamepassword table and the product table is that the
usernamepassword stores only the username and password of the users, while the
product table store the product details and has relationship between the some
tables in the database.

Figure 18: Relationship between tables

Figure 19: Product table


The stock inventory form has been designed to display product details using visual
basic DataGridView control.
Some of the implementation of the stock inventory involves adding a new product
deleting a particular product and saving a new product.
The Visual Basic DataGridView control was implemented in order to provide table
in rows and columns from a database table which could be displayed and modified.

Save product

Delete product
Add product

DataGridView

Adding Table
a new rows
product

Table columns
Figure 20: product inventory form

Dataset could be Implement in Visual Basic when a database is created and


connected in VB. Dataset can contain all the basic elements of the database:
tables, keys, indexes, and even relations between tables. The differences between
a Dataset and a database are that a database generally resides on a hard drive in
one or more files and is usually larger. A Dataset usually holds a subset of the data
in the database. The figure 19 shows some Dataset that were created after the
connection of Access database to Visual basic.

Figure 21: username and password dataset

Figure 22: Tables in dataset generated with Visual basic


Sales and invoice form

The sales and invoice form was implemented with Visual basic, it is very important
to users when dealing with customers. The components and control used has been
discussed in Figure.

It involves calculation of items; the form was designed for user accuracy when
dealing with customers .

Main menu

Process order

Print control

Figure 23: Sales form


Clear control

Also a print button control was implemented in order for users to print out
customers receipt. The process button control was implemented with visual basic
which deals with the calculation of quantity (Qty), item, unit price and price.

The sales and invoice form could perform some calculation such as the sub total,
Goods and Services Tax (Gst), Provincial Sales Tax (Pst) and total of item
purchased. The calculation was implemented in other to output Nigerian Naira.

5.7 Issues arising implementation


Some issues were encountered when implementing the prototype system in Visual
basic and Access database. The first issue is related to the connection of Visual
basic and Access database. Basically, working on different computers when
carrying out implementation could lead to data corruption, the proposed prototype
system was implemented in two different computers which were a laptop and
desktop computer. The issue generated when the proposed prototype system was
transferred from one computer to another. When working on Visual basic and
Access database some errors were displayed which stated "Unrecognized database
format” when implementing the database on Visual basic. Due to system upgrading
and Microsoft beta software of access database, the system was not able to access
the database folder. On the other hand, working on any other computer with
registered software, errors would be resolved.

Second issue was encountered when executing Visual basic program on another
computer “laptop” some error messages always display after developing the
interface and coding, which appears in a statement “vshost.exe has stopped
working” the error statement was displayed often because the program file was
not running in the right file format.

5.8 Software and system Testing


System testing is vital to the success of the system. Software Testing is an activity
that helps in finding out bugs, defects, and possible errors in a software system
under development, in order to provide a bug free and reliable system to the user
(buzzle 2010). It is necessary to carry out system testing after implementation,
because it identifies the end of the development phase of the project. Performing
system testing involves integrating two or more components that implement the
system functions or requirement and to recover errors causing wrong behaviour of
the programme. (Sommerville 2004, p.540-541)

Visual basic programs are easy to test when any task is been completed, it is
important to test a system after implementing the users requirement. The
integration testing would be used for the system.
Integration testing was used because it identifies the system functionality,
performance, and user requirements used to implement the system. Also it
consists of constant checking of the correct system behaviour for every code line
of the program.
Visual basic is a program which relies on coding of a program, if the code outcome
does not matches the expectation then a debug is required. Debugging could be
held for some methods that the code consists of component and control used in
the program. After the final implementation of the system all the code were
properly checked for a suitable response.

6.0 Results
Figure displays a distinctive output from the program, which has a clear success in
achieving the user functionality.

Figure 24: successful result of sales and item sold after testing

6.1 Test case result


Test cases are the specific inputs that were held and the procedures that were
taking when testing software (Ron Patton 2001, p. 65).
Table1: Test case product search form, login form and stock inventory form

Test Case Expected result Pass/Fail


1. Type in a product The product name in Pass
name the product list was
selected and the
product description was
displayed
2. Type in any name Error message “no Pass
“welcome” matching results were
found
3. Login with any Error message “ Please Pass
details enter a valid username
and password
4. Add a product in Added already Pass
the database.

The testing was done after implementing the overall system prototype to achieve
the users’ requirement.

6.2 Interview and Questionnaire Result


Some of the information received from the interview and questionnaire were
helpful in this project, it provides guideline and structure that lead to analysing
what the users need and how the system could be friendly. Some of the feedback
received when conducting the questionnaire was analysed with the use of an excel
sheet producing a bar chart to analyse the feedback obtained (See Appendix)
Conducting an interview was very useful to this project; this was done with Skype
messenger and was documented. This means of gathering information act as a back
bone to developer whereby useful idea and how to design the prototype system
was acquire when processing these interview (See Appendix)
7.0 Evaluation and Conclusions
Heuristic evaluation
According to Jakob Nielsen Heuristic evaluation is a usability engineering method
for finding the usability problems in a user interface design so that they can be
attended to as part of an iterative design process (Useit, 2010).
The heuristic evaluation was carried out on the proposed prototype system in order
to identify usability problems or error in the user interface.
Process evaluation
The process of the software prototype system used waterfall approach. Waterfall
approach follows a particular life cycle in order to ensure success in process of
software prototype system, whereby the software development has to be created
after following the stages of waterfall approach:
 First the system requirements have to be identified. In the project the system
requirements were identified and it was declared what have to be done in
order to achieve the users’ requirements.
 The first prototype was created that would be an approximation of the final
system after implementation.
 Designing the second prototype, developing an interactive user interface was
considered to meet the advanced requirements. Then the second prototype
was tested for accuracy.
 Identifying programming language to be implemented on the system in other
to achieve a successful program and user requirement
 The final system is designed. It has to satisfy the users and system
requirements. In the project the system used database storage in order to be
able to meet the design specifications.
 The final system is tested for accuracy and error checking, in the project the
final system was tested with a test case.

The waterfall model is a reliable and simple approach for the software prototype
system development process. It enables developer to proceed in sequence from
one phase to the next (Dennis and Wixom 2003, p.9). This method is widely used to
develop large-scale systems by developer.
This approach was suitable for the project because it moves forward from phase to
phase and helps to identify the system requirement along before any programming
begins.
During each stage of the design implementation some components and control
were added to the proposed system and the program was successfully tested and
existing errors were eliminated. It is necessary to apply this method because it
analyses the each phase of the design and provides guidelines on what task has to
be done. The proposed software prototype system (EPOS) is not complete
software; it is an Epos prototype system that illustrates how the system would
function in real world. On the other hand if time were given there would be a
means to complete the full system and implementing some payment method with
an electronic card (credit card and debit card).
The prototype system is successfully test and usability is considered.

7.1 Conclusion
This project is an Electronic point of sale (EPOS) prototype system that has been
implemented and evaluated for its capacity to allow users to effectively carry out
activities in a communication industry by improve pricing accuracy, eliminating
errors and as well as time saving in dealing with customers.
The software prototype system has been developed with a Visual basic and Access
database software to provide a good user interface and easy navigation to screen
form, the software prototype system composites a basic EPOS system features as
Login screen, searching of products, adding, deleting of products, sales
calculation, navigating to task screen and some advanced features.
This project will be able to improve customer’s satisfaction by the means of
accuracy when dealing with customer.
This prototype system was design and implemented in order to support users such
as sales assistant in communication industries. The idea behind the prototype
system is that there is a need perform a task and at the same time is not very
complicated.
The process that was used to develop the project would allow for the capable
future development since it is directed towards regular improvement.

8.0 Recommendations
Designing a software prototype is necessary before focusing on the overall system
implementation (Pyle and Moore 2008,p.220) Microsoft Visual basic could be an
advantage when designing the system interface, it is necessary to think about users
and what is needed and only on the design itself. Providing good interface for the
users is absolutely essential and this could be done with visual basic controls and
components.
The Waterfall development is still a widely used way of working in software
development companies, it provides guide for the developers. Some developers
presently are focusing on it, which is still used today (Dennis and Wixom 2003,
p.9), this enables project to move from phase to phase and overview on how and
what to do next, in order to achieve a successful project. This methodology should
be considered in other for projects to be successful.
References

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Appendices