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Isu alumni association online store

Proposed Approach

This project will be completed using an iterative software development model, which is appropriate for projects with loose requirements. After initial specifications and design, prototype development will begin with a goal and timeline. At the end of each iteration, progress will be evaluated, goals and timeline will be adjusted if necessary.

Technologies Considered

Problem Statement

  • Programming language: support needed features and allow interoperability with other components

  • Database type: reliable and support secure transactions

  • Platform: dependent on the needs and features required

  • Browser: support all modern browsers and consider non-traditional and legacy browsers

The ISU Alumni Association’s online store exists to raise money for and directly promote its goal of serving the alumni and promoting the visibility of Iowa State University. The money raised by the sale of Iowa State branded products is used to increase services to the alumni. The products themselves promote the university.

The main goals of this project are to improve the ability of the client’s online store to meet its goals. This will be accomplished by redesigning the public store front and implementing a comprehensive suite of administrative tools to optimize all aspects of the ordering process.

The existing store is implemented entirely using static HTML files and several separate databases, each of which must be manually updated whenever the catalog is changed. The project team will create a new store using ASP.NET technology which will dynamically update the store and process orders in conjunction with a new database server.

Testing Considerations

  • Unit testing: Automated and manual.

  • Functional testing: Tests using valid inputs.

  • Boundary testing: Tests using invalid or special case inputs.

  • Stress testing: High traffic testing to establish an upper bound.

  • Usability testing: Potential users and client test for usability, stability and aesthetics.

Operating Environment

The new store will ideally be served from existing Alumni Association servers running the .NET Framework. The database will be hosted on an existing DB/2 server. Bandwidth and server space will be taken from the existing store when the new system is implemented.

Intended Users and Intended Uses

  • Intended Users

  • Online Store Customers

  • Alumni Association Staff

  • Intended Uses

  • Accurate, timely, and secure online ordering

  • Manage and process orders and maintain the database

  • Order processing and management

  • Store database maintenance

Assumptions and Limitations

  • Technical Assumptions

  • Clients are operating Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or later) or Netscape (version 6.0 or later).

  • Client computers are connected to the Internet with sufficient bandwidth.

  • Client computers have sufficient resources to run Internet-based applications.

  • The server will have ASP.NET 1.1 (or later) installed.

  • Non-Technical Assumptions

  • Users of the store will have sufficient experience and ability to use any existing on-line store.

  • Alumni Association staff will have sufficient experience and ability to operate back-end tools based on Windows operating system wizards.

  • Limitations

  • Database design can be a significant problem; the existing system is very poorly designed.

  • May be denied permission to use the ISU Foundation database server.

  • Team members must become proficient with ASP.NET technology.

Expected End Product and Other Deliverables

Upon completion the project will produce an online store capable of presenting merchandise, accepting orders, and maintaining security. In addition, a new database will be constructed to eliminate work and data duplication, thus streamlining both processes and information. Finally, a comprehensive suite of tools will be produced to allow Alumni Association staff to manage inventory as well as process customer orders. This system will increase profits for the Alumni Association by eliminating unnecessary work with new management tools and, ideally, increasing sales with a new and more attractive store front.

Closing Summary

The Iowa State University Alumni Association maintains an online store in order to sell Iowa State branded merchandise which both promotes ISU and raises money for the Alumni Association. Currently, this store is written in a very inefficient manner and requires a great deal of work and data duplication. This project will redesign and implement a new store in order to save the Alumni Association time and money. The online store front will be both attractive and functional. The new database design will minimize data duplication. Finally, the back-end tool suite will make processing and filling orders much easier and more cost-effective. With these improvements the Alumni Association will be able to concentrate the efforts of its staff in other areas, as well as enjoy a larger profit margin from its merchandise.

Design Objectives

  • Design must be very easy for the average internet user to interact with

  • Design must be attractive and convenient

  • Pages must be standardized to appear flawlessly in any web browser

  • Pages must be secure and of professional quality

Functional Requirements

  • Software shall allow users to view a list of items and details of each item.

  • Software shall allow users to place items in a shopping cart, view contents of this cart, and place an order for these items.

  • Software shall allow staff to view orders that have been placed, submit these orders to vendors, and view customer order statistics.

Design Constraints

  • Excessive traffic is a common concern with web pages; periods of high network usage could cause a user’s access to be slower than desirable

  • Any network, database, or system failure would prevent operation of the product

Project Team May05-39

Team Members

Keith Dahlby CprE

Andrew Kirpalani CprE

Jordan Jump CprE

Jonathan Ruhnke CprE

Measurable Milestones


ISU Alumni Association

  • Project definition

  • Technology consideration

  • End-product design

  • End-product implementation

  • End-product testing

  • Project demonstrations

  • Deliverables (project plan, poster, design report, final report)



230 hours





Printing &


Project Poster

210 hours




Dr. Srinivas Aluru

Project Website



215 hours

210 hours




The Iowa State University Alumni Association desires a complete overhaul of their online store. The current system is outdated and requires a significant amount of data and work duplication. This project will create a dynamic front end for a unified database to streamline store operations and eliminate data and work duplication. Tools will be provided for the staff to maintain the store without ever having to modify the code. The new store will allow the Alumni Association to operate the store much more efficiently and profitably.


Proposed Approach and Considerations

ISU Alumni Association Online Store

Estimated Resources and Schedule

Personnel Efforts

Financial Resources

Project Schedule

Project Requirements