This project aims at developing an educational social network communication platform for students, teachers and graduates of Bethlehem University. E-Mate is a website where users can communicate with each other, share interests and information, post blogs, use instant messaging and upload or download multimedia contents such as videos, songs and photos.
E-Mate is a social network for Bethlehem University that combines easy-to-use applications with the power of social network platform in order to use it in education. Users can share their thoughts and opinions and get feedback from each other, also stay connected with business and educational sectors.
E-Mate is mainly based on web 2.0 Technology, it is a new version of World Wide Web. These websites are conceptually writeable websites where users can contribute actively to the production of the web contents; in other words users can enjoy the features this website provides to make a personal touch on their profiles.
Background and Motivations
Before 2004, people had never experienced web 2.0 technologies like social networks or shared websites. They used phones or emails or even letters to keep in touch with each others. These ways were ineffective and costing money and time. Now people can communicate and get in touch anytime and anywhere.
The numbers of students enroll and graduate from Bethlehem University is increasing rapidly every year. E-Mate is an idea inspired by the shortage and need of such communication tools. Moreover, looking at the fact that we are 4th year students graduating from Bethlehem University in few months and not being able to communicate and keep in touch with our friends, classmates and teachers are also strong self-motivations for developing E-Mate.
Moreover, developing a website like E-Mate is a great opportunity for us to learn new concepts and programming language. E-Mate will help us develop our personal skills, talents and knowledge to come up with a website that we'll be proud of.
As developers of E-Mate having realistic and logical expectations, we promised ourselves to work hard and put maximum efforts to develop this website and make it well-known and used by people in relation with Bethlehem University.
E-Mate will also be given to industrial companies, businesses and organization as a reference to Bethlehem University where they can add job announcements for graduates or anyone else interested to see and apply. In addition to adding scholarship and educational announcements.
User Profile is a collection of personal information associated to a specific user, where he or she can write a short rsum about her/himself such as:
- Personal Information.
- Contact Information.
- Academic Information.
- Work condition and voluntary work.
- Social status.
- Share interests and activities.
- Add Photos
- List of all Classmates.
- Community activities.
Blog is the short the term of web-log and it is an online journal or diary that can be consisted of brief paragraphs and information posted on websites and arranged chronologically with the most recent first.
Blogs can be combinations of text, Images, videos, links to other blogs or web pages and multimedia contents related to the topic of the blog.
Blogs provide our users with the ability to leave comments in an interactive format, which is an important part of our blogs. And blogs will be categorized according to their topics.
- Posting and commenting process: it contributes to the nature of blogging (as an exchange of views). It's a "weighted conversation" between a primary author and a group of secondary comment contributors.
- Permalink: is a permanent URI (it is the soft term of Uniform Resource Identifier and it is a unique name used to access an address of an internet resource). The URI which is generated by the blogging system and is applied to a particular post will remain unchanged if the content of the post is changed.
- Trackback (or pingback): it is a method that helps a certain blogger to be notified if people have commented on his or her blog. Our blog features enable many people to comment on blogs consecutively. Each user who has been referenced in a comment will be notified as well.
- Rating star meter: it is a system of rating that helps the blogger to know how his or her information was useful to other readers.
This feature allows users to communicate in real time using easily accessible rich internet applications. It is simple and easy to use by users who do not wish to install specialized chat software.
As mentioned earlier, E-Mate will be given to business and educational sectors where they can add different announcement that might draw the attention of E-Mate users. These announcements can be job or educational scholarship announcements.
Security and Privacy
Privacy evolves getting an authorization to view one's profile, which means that a certain user can only see others' profiles if he or she was authorized to do so. This authorization is made when users accept each other requests to become web-friends. While security means that the user can have the privilege of entering a username and password to be authenticated to log in to the E-Mate.
Stay in Touch
E-Mate will enable classmates, graduates and teachers to stay in touch with each other all the time. Users can search and find their classmates who have subscribed to E-Mate.
Staying in touch means knowing new news about friends, using blogs, writing comments or sending messages and using online web chat.
It is a great way for users to stay up to date with their friends' activities. Moreover, users can search for and add new users.
Meet new people
As mentioned before, users will need an authentication to become members of E-Mate, and then they can personalize their own pages. This will allow not only users who know each other or who share the same interests but also all the members of E-Mate to browse others' pages, search for people through our search engine and add them as friends upon request.
Feedback is a process that helps any user who comments or asks questions to get immediate feedback from his or her friends. Moreover, if a user is developing a product or even just an idea, he or she can introduce it to their friends get their opinions about it.
Share Thoughts and Opinions
Having an easy access to E-Mate enables users to communicate with each other, talk about different things, learn about the diversity of opinions and thoughts that people have and at the same time express their opinions freely. Ultimately, this exposure can help users to look at things from different perspectives and angles and be more tolerant for other people's opinions. These things can be hard to achieve in real world.
Moreover, users can share their favorite books, movies, quotes, courses and discuss them online.
Staying connected with business and educational sectors
This can be done by the announcements posted on E-Mate.
After the completion of the Project, a full report will be submitted. This report will contain all the specifications, design, development and testing phases and the source code engaged in developing E-Mate
- Specifications: are the documentations that describe the requested behavior, features and the benefits of E-Mate.
- Design: is the process of problem-solving and planning for a software solution. It includes low-level component and algorithm implementation issues as well as the architectural view such as:
Use Case Diagram: is a type of behavioral diagram. Its' purpose is to present a graphical overview of the functionality provided by a system in terms of actors and their goals (represented as use cases) and any dependencies between those use cases.
(Use Case Diagram, Wikipedia)
UML Class Diagram: UML is the short term of Unified Modeling Languages and it is a type of static structure diagram that describes the structure of a system by showing the system's classes, their attributes and the relationships between the classes.
Entity Relationship Diagram: is an abstract and conceptual representation of data. It is used to produce a type of conceptual schema or semantic data model of the system.
(Entity Relationship Diagram, Wikipedia)
Sequence Diagram: is a kind of interaction diagram that shows how processes operate with one another and in what order.
(Sequence Diagram, Wikipedia)
Development: is the process of writing, testing, debugging or troubleshooting and maintaining the source code.
In E-Mate we will use the MVC architecture because it is a widely used architectural approach for interactive applications. It distributes functionality among application objects in order to minimize the degree of coupling between objects. To achieve this, MVC divides applications into three layers: model, view, and controller. Each layer handles specific tasks and has responsibilities to the other layers.
Integration and Testing: This stage will be started at the process of validating and verifying that this social network meets the business and technical requirements that guided its design and development; works as expected.
Specification, design, development and testing are interleaved, so we will use the Iterative Development Model. The basic idea behind it is to develop a software system incrementally, which allows us to take advantage of what was being learned during the development of earlier stages, incremental, deliverable versions of the system.