DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A WEB BASE OFFICE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Virtually all software used in enterprises today has the same goal which is supporting business processes. Some processes are entirely automated, relying solely on communication among applications, others probably rely on people to initiate the process, approve documents the process uses and resolve any exceptional situations that arise like incomplete information. In either case, it’s often possible to specify a discrete series of steps known as workflow that describe the activities of the people and software involved in the process. Once this workflow has been defined, an application can be built around that definition to support the business process.
An office management is a set of activities organized hierarchically in a tree structure. An office management consists of a sequence of connected steps. It is a depiction of a sequence of operations, declared as work of a person, a group of persons, an organization of staff, or one or more simple or complex mechanisms. Office management may be seen as any abstraction of real work, segregated in work share, work split or other types of ordering. For control purposes, it may be a view on real work under a chosen aspect, thus serving as a virtual representation of actual work. The flow being described often refers to a document that is being transferred from one step to another.
An office management system is a model to represent real work for further assessment, e.g. for describing a reliably repeatable sequence of operations. More abstractly, an office management is a pattern of activity enabled by a systematic organization of resources, defined roles and mass, energy and information flow, into a work process that can be documented and learned. Offices are designed to achieve processing intents of some sort, such as physical transformation, service provision, or information processing.
Office management concepts are closely related to other concepts used to describe organizational structure, such as silos, functions, teams, projects, policies and hierarchies. Office management may be viewed as one primitive building block of organizations.
The term office management is used in computer programming to capture and develop human-to-machine interaction. An office management software aims to provide end users with an easier way to orchestrate or describe complex processing of data in a visual form, much like flow charts but without the need to understand computers or programming.
An activity represents an action in an office. It can be a complete activity that consists of several child activities. An activity can be sequential which means that the order of its action is specified at design time or the activity can be event driven which means that the order of its action is determined at run time in response to external events.
Windows office management foundation is a Microsoft technology for defining, executing and managing offices. Windows office management foundation includes a default set of activities that provide functionality for control flow, conditions, event handling, state management and communicating with applications and services. Windows office management foundation also provides an extensible model and designer to build custom activities that encapsulate office functionality for end users or for reuse across multiple properties.
Windows office management foundation comes with a programming model, a rehostable and customizable office management engine and tools for quickly building office management application on windows. It can be used to enable workflow within line of business application, user interface page flows, document centric workflows, human workflows, composite workflow for service oriented applications, business rule-driven workflows and workflow for system management. It has the ability to monitor a running office activities, examining it’s execution in real time. Every office management system contains some number of activities, each of which performs some aspect of that workflows function. Office management acts as a container for these activities, providing a way to control their lifecycles and order of execution. Windows office management foundation aspires to support both system workflow and human office management in a unified fashion. System office management tend to execute activities in a well defined, predictable ways, while human office management do not. To address both of these requirements, windows office management foundation provides two built-in office management types: sequential office management capable of executing activities in a predefined pattern and state machine office management capable of responding to external events as they occur.
Using office management system to automate students’ registration process is very necessary because of the flexibility and convenience it will offer both to the institution and students. This research work when implemented will make it possible for students to do their registration electronically on the institution’s website. The workflow management system will then keep track of the student’s registration process from one department of the institution to the other until the registration process is completed. It will also give the student feedback anytime the student log on to the school’s website to know his or her registration status. The workflow will also create automatic database for the storage of the student’s electronic form.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The current student’s registration process of Obasanjo collage of health sciences which is based on manual registration process is characterized by lack of integrity, concurrency problem and the inability of student’s to process their registration online from any place.
The current manual registration process exposes the system to lack of security of information thereby making the student’s information to be exposed to unauthorized users.
Lack of a good database for student’s forms exposes their files to the dangers of fire outbreak and flooding.
With the current system, student’s who have not paid their school fees can easily photocopy the forms from others and do their registration.
The current system does not support online registration which makes it mandatory for the student to do their registration within the school and this involves the transfer of this forms from hand to hand for approval and distribution for manual storage. Therefore the proposed system which is web-based will address the problems of insecurity, loss of document and delays in the student registration process.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF STUDY
The purpose of this research work is to develop a system that should be able to achieve the following:
1. Automation of the student’s registrationprocess by changing all hard copy procedures involved to electronic media.
2. Provision of a robust database for the electronic storage of registered students’ data and at the same time reducing the number of stand alone databases.
3. Generation of students’ registration number after the student have been duly cleared.
4. The use of office management to create a process that can help in routing, approval, tracking and scheduling of activities involved in the registration process.
5. Using office management system to notify students of their registration status anytime they log in on the site.
6. Providede password to prevent unauthorized users from accessing and manipulating information.
1.4.SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
Using office management to automate and keep track of the student’s registration process will eliminate the problems associated with the current manual student’s registration process which includes but are not limited to lack of information integrity, concurrency problem and lack of data security.
This project when implemented provides a common office management technology for windows which makes it possible and easier to implement a registration process that can rely on multiple windows applications.
It can also offer an office management framework for diverse applications that will allow the student’s registration process to be hosted in any environment and also to be customized for any environment.
Again, it can unify the system and human office management involved in the student’s registration process. This will also provide support for delay in the registration process which will provide the ability to modify a running office management.
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this research work is centered on the registration process of the students of Obasanjo collage of health science makurdi, Benue state. This project which is web-based, automates the student’s registration process, generates students registration number, monitors the movement of the electronic form online, notify students of their registration status anytime they log onto the school’s website and also maintains the integrity of the information being processed by using password to limit access to only approved individuals. The system also creates automatic database for the storage of successfully registered students
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
Due to time constraint and limited resources, the use of biometric could not be incorporated into the work for authentic identification of real students as well as incorporating text message alert facilities.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Activities are the fundamental building blocks of workflows. An activity represents an event in a workflow. An activity can be sequential which means that the order of its action is specified at design time or event driven which means that the order of its execution is determined at run time in response to external events.
Workflow: According to the Workflow Management Coalition glossary (1996) workflow is defined as the automation of a business process, in whole or part, during which documents, information or tasks are passed from one participant to another for action, according to a set of procedural rules.
Office Management System: According toFischer and Layna (1999) it is a system that defines, creates and manages the execution of office management through the use of software, running on one or more workflow engines, which is able to interpret the process definition, interact with office management participants and, where required, invoke the use of IT tools and applications.
Web-Based System: K.M. Hussain and D.S. Hussain (1997) opined that the term Web-Based system refers to those applications or services that are resident on a server thatcan be accessible using a Web browser and is therefore accessible from anywhere in the world via the Web.
Internet: Behrouz and Chung (2004) in their book defined internet asa global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide. They further opined that It is a network of networks that consists of millions of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by a broad array of electronic and optical networking technologies. According to them, internet carries a vast array of information resources and services, most notably, the inter-linked hypertext documents of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the infrastructure to support electronic mail.
World Wide Web, abbreviated as WWW and commonly known as The Web, is a system of interlinked hypertext documents contained on the Internet as noted by Sanjay Sharma (2006). With a web browser, one can view web pages that may contain text, images, videos, and other multimedia and navigate between them by using hyperlinks.
Java is a fully computational object-oriented language. As such, it is a suitable vehicle for conventional standalone programs or applications, which is the main use of the language today.
Java is also a multithreaded language and this feature makes it a highly scale able language for programs that execute on web server. Consequently, in recent years there have been increasing use of java for server SID, or servlet programming.
With many programming languages, compilation produces machine code. Each platform will have its own machine specific code, so a program compiled on one platform will need to be recompiled on another before it can be ran. Java byte code is an intermediate code between source code and machine code. The byte code can be ran by any java interpreter that conforms to the java virtual machine (JVM) specification. A JVM can be standalone interpreter or embedded in a browser or electronic device. Java is case sensitive, using PUBLIC instead of public, for example will be rejected by the compiler.