MGS351 Team Project
Teams will consist of at most 5 members who will work together to create a small, but fully functional database system using Microsoft Access. Basically, you and your group will take on the role of a team of external consultants for this project. Your team needs to find a situation, problem or opportunity in a real world business or organization, to use as a basis for the project. At least one of your group members should have first hand experience with the business/organization. Being a current or former employee would qualify as "first hand experience". Being a customer of a company does NOT qualify as "first hand experience". The team member with the first hand experience should be a business expert and understand the business rules of the company. You are not allowed to base your project on a fictitious company or fictitious situation. In general, the project requires you to design and build tables, queries, reports and macros appropriate for users who are not familiar with Access. The end result will be a well designed, user friendly database system that creates business value for the organization you selected. If you cannot identify the business value in your project, you will need to choose a different project idea.
Selecting a good project idea is critical to your success in this assignment. The best ideas come from places and things you're familiar with such as work, volunteering, hobbies, religious organizations, clubs and school. You should pick something you're familiar with because you're already a "business expert" in that area. If you're a "business expert" you will already have a good understanding of the business rules which will make the design a lot easier. Choosing something that you or a team member is familiar with will make all the difference when it comes to designing and building the system.
You are not permitted to build a Sales Order or Order Entry system, or any database similar to those in the textbook. I would not recommend choosing an Inventory or Scheduling system since they tend to be quite complex. Please set up a meeting with me if you need some suggestions for your database project.
Project Proposal & Preliminary Design (5 points)
Deliverables - all of the following must be included or it will not be accepted for grading and you will be penalized for a late submission.
Your Project Proposal submission should contain these four parts, stapled together in the following order.
- Initial Project Design Cover Page Report from the Team Information Database.
- Members Report from the Team Information Database.
- 2-3 page narrative describing the database system your group proposes to design and implement.
- Entity Relationship Diagram of the proposed system.
At minimum, the writeup should include the following content:
- Overview of company/organization/person you are building the database for and a general description of the proposed database.
- Identification of the business expert in your group and their current or past relationship with the organization you are building the database for.
- Proof of how this database system will create business value for the organization. If no business value is derived from your proposed system, then you need to consider another idea for your project.
- Description of any specific business problems you are trying to solve or opportunities you are trying to take advantage of.
- Purpose of the system you selected, the functions this system will be expected to perform and the users of this system. In other words, why are you building this system, what is it specifically going to do, and who is going to use it?
- Additionally, you must prepare an Entity-Relationship Diagram (ERD) which reflects the design of your proposed system. All of the relationships on the diagram must be simplified to a 1:M relationship by applying the relational database design rules discussed in class. Refer to the Database Design notes for help on simplifying 1:1, 1:M and M:N relationships.
- Once the relationships are simplified, the ERD should have a minimum of 3 entities. This will result in a minimum of 3 tables in your final database system. You will need to expand the scope of your system if there are fewer than 3 entities.
- Each entity must be labeled with a descriptive name. You should clearly list the attributes and the key attribute(s) of the entity. The key attributes must be bolded or underlined and the foreign key attributes must be included with the proper entities.
- The writeup must be typed and the ERD must be computer generated using MS Word or another tool (hand drawn ERDs will not be accepted).
Project Implementation, Presentation & Demonstration (45 points)
Due in your scheduled lab the last week of classes
Detailed Database Requirements
- User friendly Microsoft Access database system
- A brief writeup in paragraph format outlining future enhancements, implemented features above and beyond the base requirements and any parameters that should be used for running reports. You must also include a printout of each report from your database system. Along with each report, you need to include a paragraph or two that describes how each report will be used in the business and what business value is derived from the report. Your original graded ERD and a printout of the Access database relationships must also be included in your writeup. The Final Project Cover Page Report from the Team Information Database should also be included per the details below.
- Project website which includes a link to download your project database
- 6-8 minute group presentation and demonstration of your database in recitation
- Peer Evaluation submitted by each group member to TA
Final Writeup Requirements
- Based on your approved ER diagram and design, develop the tables and necessary fields. You will also need to assign the appropriate primary keys, set the relationships between the tables in the Relationships window, select appropriate data types, lengths and other properties (i.e. Input masks, validation rules). Sample data must be entered into the tables. The main tables should have at least 10 records of sample data while other periphery tables may contain as few as 3 records. The important thing to keep in mind is to have enough data to make the reports realistic.
Create user-friendly input forms that follow good user interface design and allow the end user to add, delete, update and search for records related to all of your tables. You may optionally include advanced controls such as radio buttons, option groups, and dropdown lists. You must use at least one subform or linked form in your entire system and Command Buttons are required to Add, Delete, Find, Print a record and Close the form where appropriate. I would also suggest using AutoLookup to enhance your forms where appropriate in your system. Many projects don't have a design conducive to using AutoLookup, so this is not a requirement for the project, just a suggestion.
You are required to build at least 5 useful reports for your system. Two of the reports must be a grouped or summary report. Make sure that the report headings and labels are named appropriately. Also, the report columns must be sized appropriately so that all of the report data is visible.
Create a Main menu (and submenus if needed) that will open up automatically when your database starts. The menus should contain buttons to open up each of your forms and reports. You will also need to include a Help button and Exit button on your Main Menu.
Part of your grade will be based on how the entire system looks aesthetically. Remember to make the reports, forms and menus neat and professional. Your entire system should have a consistent look and feel. You will be penalized for controls that aren't lined up, labels on forms and reports that aren't well named, columns on reports that are too narrow, reports widths that are too wide, report titles that are poor, and use of multiple report or form styles and formats.
- Your Project Writeup submission should contain these five parts, stapled together in the following order.
Detailed Project Website Requirements
- Final Project Cover Page Report from the Team Information Database
- Final Project Writeup which includes a:
- List of future enhancement ideas for your database
- Summary of any features above and beyond the base project requirements
- List of any parameter values that should be used when running the reports
- Printout of each Report and a Corresponding Description
- Printout of Database Relationships from Access
- Original Graded Project Proposal and ERD
Detailed Team Presentation Requirements
You are required to build a project website for your consulting company which must contain the following elements in order to receive full credit for it.
- Each of your group members name in alphabetical order in an unordered list using the HTML unordered list tag.
- When a member's name is clicked, it should open up an email message to that address.
- A link to your project database must be included so it can be downloaded from the website. If necessary, the database can be stored on your UB Webspace.
- If you're using a PowerPoint presentation for your team database presentation, a link to the presentation must be included so it can be downloaded from the website.
- A paragraph or two about your project.
Your group presentation and database demonstration will be done as a group in lab during the last week of classes. The presentation should be about 6-8 minutes in length and everyone in the group must participate.
- You should pretend group has been hired as external consultants by the company you chose to create a database for. Therefore, the presentation should be treated as a persuasive sales presentation where you are trying to sell your newly developed product to the company. The audience you are presenting to (the class) are primarily non-technical managers that are interested in how your product will help their business. The database demonstration should focus on examples of how the database will be used in the organization. Convince them why they should buy it.
- Additional Presentation Structure and Etiquette details should be reviewed and followed.
You will need to submit the project writeup to your TA at the beginning of your scheduled lab during the last week of classes. Late projects will be penalized at a rate of 5 points per day late.