Preliminary Report


Overall Goal

Our goal is to create an easy online database help system for Joeism.com.  Joeism.com provides access to database tools for
middle managers (non-technical people).  Our help system will be integrated into the existing database infrastructure.  The
help system will be implemented in three ways:  manual navigation, link to relevant help from the location on the website
where help is needed, and also a search on keywords.  An easy to use administration system will be provided with a simple
password feature.  Detailed documentation will be provided to the client.

Product Features 

(10) Database for Help Topics -  Topics will be indexed by ID#.  Additional fields include topic, text for help entry and
possibly a graphic (if applicable) for help entry.

(10) Website to Access Database - Access includes hierarchial directory navigation, keyword search function, and discussion
forum.

(10) Password-protected Administration - Website that gives management functions over database, e.g. edit, delete,
etc.  Should also include importing graphics where necessary.

(7) Printable Version - Help pages and topics should be in a ready-to-print format aside from the navigational ease.

(5) Customized Help System - Allow database entries to be added by management or users individually as new help topics are
needed.

(4) List Help for Database Concepts - Links or pages on how to build databases that go into more detail on relational
concepts.  To provide the user will more information on exactly how the system works.

(2) Setup Wizard for Database Creation - Design wizards in a Java applet form to assist first-time users in their database
creation.


Interface ideas/thoughts 

Help system will be accessible three ways:  Keyword Search, Topic List Index, and Location-specific Help Links.  We will also
explore navigation through pop-up windows that are resizable/movable and separate from the main browser page.

Package Options 
Plan A: 	Help System Database: with Search and Topic List Features
		Database Website
		Password-Protected Administration
		Printable Version
Plan B: 	Help System Database: with Search, Topic List and 
Location-specific Links Features
		Database Website
		Password-Protected Administration
		Printable Version
		Customized Help System
Plan C: 	Help System Database: with Search and Topic List and 
Location-specific Links Features
		Database Website
		Password-Protected Administration
		Printable Version
		Customized Help System
		List Help for Database Concepts
		Set-up Wizard


Critical Path (CP) 
Each of our plans requires the same basic Critical Path.  No item requires special attention, except that we may use Java
applets for certain items, but maybe not.

Show stoppers in general:  We must create a schema for the database, design the E-R relationships and formulate an ID# system
for filing help entries.

Things to learn (assign):  DBI API, MySQL, Linux OS, Perl, Java Applets

Things to get/procure (assign):  TextPad, E-R Design Tool, MySQL

Things to understand:  Database Design, Database/Web Interface

Fall-Back Options/Notes for CP Items:  Plan A is our fall-back option.  These are the minimum requirements that we feel are
necessary.

Schedules 
When will team meet alone?		Wednesdays at 3:00pm in 042 Sitterson
When will team meet with client? (bi-weekly) Wednesdays at 4:00pm at Caribou