Design and Implementation of a Collaborative Software as a Service Based Office Management System
Aim and Objectives of Study
The aim of this study is to design a collaborative office management system using Software as a Service Cloud computing Model. In order to achieve the desired aim, the following objectives were considered:
- Provides a standard database system for storing user information that is compatible with virtually every operating
- Deploying useful applications on cloud for managing files which eliminates the need for setup and installation of such application on user system.
- Provide a more secured service through file encryption and log management.
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the Internet. Cloud services allow individuals and businesses to use software and hardware that are managed at remote locations by third parties. Examples of cloud services include online file storage, social networking sites, webmail, and online business applications. The cloud computing model allows access to information and computer resources from anywhere that a network connection is available. Cloud computing provides a shared pool of resources, including data storage space, networks, computer processing power, and specialized corporate and user applications.
Mell and Grance (2011) stated that Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on- demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model promotes availability and is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
Heiser (2009) defined cloud computing as „„a style of computing, where massively scalable IT- enabled capabilities are delivered „as a service‟ to external customers using Internet technologies. Cloud computing is, in a general sense, on-demand utility computing for anyone with access to the cloud. It offers a plethora of IT services ranging from software to storage to security, all available anytime, anywhere, and from any device connected to the cloud. Cloud computing is not something that suddenly appeared overnight; in some form it may trace back to a time when computer systems remotely time-shared computing resources and applications. More currently though, cloud computing refers to the many different types of services and applications being delivered in the internet cloud. Bringing this down to the understanding of a layman, when you store your photos online instead of on your home computer, or use webmail or a social networking site, you are using a “cloud computing” service. If you are an organization, and you want to use, for example, an online invoicing service instead of updating the in-house one you have been using for many years, that online invoicing service is a “cloud computing” service. In other words cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing resources over the Internet. Instead of keeping data on your own hard drive or updating applications for your needs, you use a service over the Internet, at another location, to store your information or use its applications. Doing so may give rise to certain privacy implications and that brings about the necessity of security in cloud computing services.
Cloud Computing Service Models
Cloud computing is able to provide a variety of services at the moment and these cloud service models describe how cloud services are made available to clients. Cloud computing can be classified by the model of service it offers. According to Chappell (2008), Cloud Computing is split into three different categories. They are Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and Software as a Service.
In this service model, the core computing resources are hardware and software components. They lay the foundations of every computing infrastructure. Infrastructure-as-a-Service of cloud computing provide these services to cloud end users. End users can hire any of these services at the level they desire. The capability provided to the customer of IaaS is raw storage space, computing, or network resources with which the customer can run and execute an operating system, applications, or any software that they choose. The cloud customer is not able to control the distribution of the software to a specific hardware platform or change parameters of the underlying infrastructure, but the customer can manage the software deployed (generally from the boot level upward). User has to pay only for the usage of his resources. IaaS is to provide computing infrastructure and operating middleware (Prodan and Ostermann, 2009). Grid/Cluster architectures provide high performance infrastructures to the organizations on rent bases and make them free from their own resources, so organizations can put their attention on manufacturing and quality concerns (Aniruddha et al., 2013). The main concept behind IaaS is the resource virtualization. It allows the user to have his own guest operating system on top of infrastructure provided by the cloud provider. This concept leads to automatic deployment of infrastructure which is both distributed and scalable. The administration, deployment, and maintenance is the responsibility of the service provider (Ostermann and Prodan, 2009).
SYSTEM ANALYSIS AND METHODOLOGY
System analysis is a problem-solving technique that decomposes a system into its component pieces for the purposes of studying how well those components parts work and interacts to accomplish their purpose (Whitten et al., 2004). It is a process whereby the system under study is carefully examined to determine or find out areas of inefficiencies with the view of arriving at a new system that addresses the issues.
SYSTEM DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION
Objective of the design
The objective of this design is to create a SaaS-based file management system for office use, to enable offices continue their usual activities without distance barrier or any form of insecurity. The system will allow users to:
- Edit and create new file.
- Enable file Uploads (with an option for encryption which will be decrypted using a permit key).
- Users in same organization can exchange or share files among
- Keep log of users activities for each
The design pattern divides the system into two major users – the administrator and the member, enabling the administrator of each organization the right over his member users. At the administrative module, privileges are given to the admin user to control certain activities of other members, also he creates and publishes information for the organization members.
SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
The primary aim of this project work is to provide a robust and scalable office management system and a collaborative work environment that greatly improves the processes of the traditional file management system in a typical organizational work setting. It factors out the drawbacks of the present workflow in Organizations as regards to team collaboration and file manipulation and seeks a better way to help team members effectively carry out collaborative tasks as well as streamline the question of file management by detailing the design, development and implementation of a Collaborative SaaS-Based Office Management System.
Review of Achievements
This study started with review of the existing system, stating the background, problem statement, objectives, significance, scope and the limitations of the study. Again, concepts such as cloud computing, Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, cloud deployment models, file management, cloud computing security were reviewed in depth in the second chapter of the study.
More so, the third chapter of this research provided detailed analysis of‟ the existing system. Specifying Activities Procedure in Systematics with a view to outline the shortcomings of the existing system and propose a solution with a well detailed description as well as the High Level Decomposition of the proposed system and then adopting Object Oriented Hypermedia Design Methodology.
Furthermore, a more detailed analysis of the proposed system leading to a fine system design and implementation of a Saas-Based Office Management System, showing its specifications, system requirement, program development and testing were carried out, which are all documented in the fourth chapter of this study.
The Collaborative SaaS-Based Office Management System can be used and implemented in every organization, whether small or large scale firms, cooperate offices, departments and faculties, industries as well as government parastatals. The ability of the system to implement Software as a Service cloud computing model for managing organizational files and member collaboration while working in remote places makes this system highly useful in this era of huge technological advancements.
For an optimal use of the Collaborative SaaS-Based Office Management System, it is recommended that users upgrade their client application from time to time whenever there is an upgrade available, give their reviews on updates and also provide the user feedback required for the software improvement and upgrade. Users should be wary when using their password, permit key and also monitor log activities in order to enjoy the maximum security implementation of the system.
Suggested Areas for Further Studies
For further studies, the manipulation of compressed files in the collaborative environment without destroying its encryption is suggested.
In this era of huge technological advancement, cloud computing has always been an active research area because it provides a simple interface where the user is abstracted from the underlying framework of the system and it enables ubiquitous convenient, on demand network access to shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. Though moving files to a cloud system has been a welcomed advancement in file management but has failed in addressing the issues of security and cost.
Adopting Software as a Service (SaaS) as the befitting cloud computing model for this work does not only provide software availability but also provides an efficient means of billing users. A log of records was provided for billing system which in turn aided the monitoring of any form of any form of intrusion created by unauthorized access. Therefore a SaaS model that provides a more secured service through file encryption and log management was designed and implemented.
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