Case Study Library Management System Analysis Design Tutorial

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Fact Finding Techniques - Case Study : Library Management System

In chapter 3 Preliminary Analysis , we discussed how the analyst performed the preliminary analysis. But we didn't look into the actual methods that the analyst employed to gather the information about the system. In our case the analyst used on-site observations, interviewed the staff members and used questionnaires for both staff and members of the library. Now, we will see how our analyst employed these methods.

Fact Finding Techniques

On-site Observation

Our analyst wanted to see the functioning of library. So analyst visited the library for two days and observed librarian issuing and returning books. The analyst also inspected the place where the cards are stored and from that it was seen that it was a real mess. To see if a particular book is already issued, it is a difficult and effort intensive process. The analyst also saw the records for books, members, and accounts. From site visit our analyst had a good understanding of the functioning of the system. After this, the analyst performed some personal interviews of library staff and few members. In the next section we'll look at these interviews.

Interviews

Interviews are useful to gather information from individuals. Given below is the interview between the analyst and one of the librarians, during the information gathering stage of the development of our library system.

Analyst's interview with Librarian

Analyst: Hi, I have come to talk to you regarding the functioning of your library.

Librarian: Hello, do come in. I was expecting you.

Analyst: I'll come straight to the point. Don't hesitate, you can be as much open you want. There are no restrictions.

Librarian: I'll give you my whole contribution

Analyst: Tell me are you excited about the idea of having an automated system for your library?

Librarian: Yes, I do. Very much. After all it's gonna reduce our loads of work.

Analyst: Will you elaborate on it?

Librarian: Major problem is managing the cards of members. There are so many of them. Many times cards get lost. Then we have to issue a duplicate card for it. But there is a flaw in it. It is difficult to find out if it is genuinely the case. Member can lie about it so that he/she gets an extra card. And we can't do anything about it.

Analyst: What do you think be ideal solution to this?

Librarian: There should be no cards at all. All the information should be put into computer. It'll be easy for us to check how many books we have already to a particular member.

Analyst: How often you get new members?

Librarian: Very often. At about 50 to 100 members in a month. But for two months we have freezed the membership because it is already very difficult to manage the existing 250 members. But if this whole system gets computerised then we'll open the membership. From this system, the management hopes to earn huge revenues.

Analyst: Could you explain how?

Librarian: Look every month we get about 50-100 memberships requests. After the new system is built, we will open membership to our library. There is a membership fees to be paid. Management is planning to change the membership criteria. It is planning to increase fee from 400 to 500 for half yearly and 1000 for the whole year. So in this way, we plan to get huge revenues after we have an automated system.

Analyst: Do you have different member categories?

Librarian: No, we don't have any categorisation for members. All are treated at par.

Analyst: How many books are there?

Librarian: About 5000 books

Analyst: Do you people keep records for them?

Librarian: Yes.

Analyst: Do you want facility of booking a particular title in advance?

Librarian: No we don't want any such facility. It is an overhead. So we don't have any such facility presently.

Analyst: How do you categorise your books?

Librarian : By subject.

Analyst: Would you prefer online registration for users rather than the printed form?

Librarian: Yes , we really would. Sometimes we lose these forms then we don't have any information about that particular member. It will be better to have it on computer.

Analyst: Do you have any other expectation or suggestion for the new system?

Librarian: It should be able to produce reports faster.

Analyst: Reports? I completely forgot about them. What reports you people produce presently?

Librarian: Well first is for books in the library, another for members listing, one for our current supplier of books, and reports for finance.

Analyst: Do you have some format for them?

Librarian: Yes we do have and we want that the same format be used by the new system.

Analyst : Yes we'll take care of that. Any other suggestions?

Librarian: No. You have already covered all the fields.

Analyst: Thanks for your co-operation. It was nice talking to you.

Librarian: My pleasure. Bye.

Our analyst took interviews of few members of the library in order to know about their viewpoint about the new system. One of such interview is given below.

Analyst interview with one member

Venue: Reading Room

Analyst: Hello. If you are free, I need to ask you few questions.

Member: Sure. I pleasure.

Analyst: Do you know the library people are planning to have an automated system?

Member: Yes , I do and I'm feeling good about it.

Analyst: Are you ready to pay more if there is a computerised system?

Member: In the overall functioning is going to improve then I think no one will object to paying more. It should help us finding the books easily. But by what amount, it should matter.

Analyst: Well as far as I know they are planning to hike the membership fee from 400 to 500 for half year and 1000 for full year.

Member: That would be too much. Then in that case, they should increase the number of books to be issued. Also the number of days a book can be kept by member should also be increased.

Analyst: What you do think, how much books to be allowed for issue and for how many days.

Member: Well these people should increase number of books from 3 to at least 4. And the number of days for which a book is kept should be increased by 4 days. Presently it is for 10 days. It should be 14 days. Only then the fee
hike will be justified.

Analyst: Yes, they have such plans.

Member: Then it should not bother members.

Analyst: Are you keen on online registration of members instead of normal paper one?

Member: Yes. It'll be a good practice.

Analyst: Should there be a facility to reserve a book in advance?

Member: Presently they have many copies of a single title. Usually a book is always available. I never have felt the need to reserve a book in advance.

Analyst: On what basis a book should be categorised?

Member: Well, it should be on the basis of subject.

Analyst: What do you think on what basis a search for a particular book can be done?

Member: It can be searched using subject or title.

Analyst: How often you visit this library?

Member: Daily

Analyst: Do you think magazines and cassettes should be made available in the library?

Member: I think it's a good idea.

Analyst: Do you like this library?

Member: Yes, very much. That's why I come here daily.

Analyst: Have you ever recommended this library to your friends, relatives, or to your acquaintances?

Member: Yes I very often do.

Analyst: Till now, to how many you have recommended?

Member: About 30 people.

Analyst: And how many of them have actually become its members?

Member: 25 people.

Analyst: That's really nice. People actually take your recommendation very seriously. Thank You. It was nice talking to you.

Member: Thank You.

After interviewing different people, analyst got to know about their opinions.

Questionnaires

Since the time was less it was not practical to interview every library staff. So to get the opinion of all staff, the analyst distributed questionnaires to all of them.

The questionnaire for library staff

Instructions: Answer as specified by the format. Put NA for non-applicable situation.

1. What are your expectations out of the new system (computer based)? Rate the following on a scale of 1-4 giving a low value for low priority.

a) better cataloguing
b) better managing of users
c) better account and books management
d) computer awareness
e) any other _____________

2. How many users are you expecting?
_____________________

3. How many books are there in library?
____________________

4. How you want the books to be categorized for searching (like by title, author name or by
subject) ?
_____________________
_____________________
_____________________

5. Is there any difference in the roles (privileges) of two members?
Yes\No Please specify if Yes
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

6. Do you want facility of booking a title in advance
Yes\No

7. Do you have data of book entered into some kind of database?
Yes\No

8. How do you want users to be categorized?
__________________ or
__________________

9. Would you like online registration for users rather than printed form?
Yes/No

10. Do you already have some existing categorization of books on the basis as specified in question 4 above
Yes/ No

11. Any other specific suggestion / expectation out of the proposed system.
________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________

Questionnaire for library members

In order to get the views of the existing members, the analyst also distributed questionnaires to the member also. The questionnaires used by analyst for the library members is shown in fig 4.8 .

Instruction: Answer as specified by the format. Put NA for non-applicable situation.

1. Are you willing to pay extra for a library if it is fully computerized and eases finding of
book, etc.
Yes\No
___________________ ( if Yes, how much extra are you willing to pay)

2. What you feel should be necessary for a book to be searched?
( by topic, by title, by author ,…. )
___________________
___________________
___________________
___________________

3. Are you keen on online registration instead of the normal paper one.
Yes/No

4. How many titles do you feel should be issued to a single member?
______________

5. What should be the maximum duration for the issue of certain book to a member?
_______ Days.

6. Should there be a facility to reserve a book in advance?
Yes/No

7. How often do you visit the library? Choose One.
a) daily
b) once in two days
c) weekly
d) bi-weekly
e) monthly

8. Should there be a facility to reserve a book on phone?
Yes/No

9. Should magazines and cassettes be included in the library
Yes/No

10. Do you recommend this library to your friends, relatives, or acquaintances?
Yes/No (if yes, to how many you recommended and out of them how many actually became the members)

Recommended :_____________ Became Members : _________________

Now we'll look at the techniques that the analyst employed to document the various business rules of the library.

Analyst identified the following business rules.

1) Procedure for becoming a member of library.

Anyone whose age is 18 or more than that can become a member of library. There are two types of memberships depending upon the duration of membership. First is for 6 months and other is for 1 year. 6 months membership fee is Rs 500 and 1 year membership fee is Rs 1000.

The decision tree illustrating the business rule is given below.

Is Age < 18

Y

.

.

Age > = 18

.

Y

Y

Is Memebership for 6 months ?

.

Y

.

Is Memebership for 12 months ?

.

.

Y

Grant Membership

.

X

X

Deny Membership

X

.

.

Charge Membership Rs. 500

.

X

.

Charge Membership Rs. 1000

.

.

X

Fig 4.10 Decision table for membership rule

2) Rule for Issuing Books

If the number of books already issued is equal to 4 then no more books is issued to that member. If it is less than 4 then that book is issued.

Now the analyst has a good understanding of the requirements for the new system, we can move to the designing. Design of the system will be discussed in the later chapters.

  

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Preliminary Analysis - Case study: Library Management System

Again referring back to our "Library management system" discussed in earlier chapters, we now apply to it the concepts that we have studied in this chapter.

Preliminary Analysis:

Request Clarification.

First the management of the library approached this ABC Software Ltd. for their request for the new automated system. What they stated in their request was that they needed a system for their library that could automate its various functions. And provide faster response.

From this request statement, it is very difficult for the analyst to know what exactly the customer wants. So in order to get information about the system, the analyst visits the library site and meets the staff of the library. Library staff is going to be the end user of the system. Analyst asks various questions from the staff so that the exact requirements for the system become clear. From this activity, the analyst is able to identify the following requirements for the new system:

  • Function for issue of books
  • Function for return of books that can also calculate the fine if the book is returned after the due date
  • Function for performing different queries
  • Report generation functions
  • Function for maintaining account s
  • Maintaining the details for members, books, and suppliers in some structured way.

Now that the requirements are known, the analyst proposes solution system.

Solution: The desired system can be implemented with Oracle RDBMS in the back end with Visual Basic as the front end. It will have modules for handling issue and return functions, generating reports, performing checks, and maintaining accounts. It will also store the data relating to books, members, and suppliers in a structures way. In our case, the data will be maintained in a relational way.

Feasibility Study

Now the next stage in preliminary analysis is to determine whether the proposed solution is practical enough to be implemented. For this feasibility study is done.

First technical feasibility is done.

Major issues in technical feasibility are to see if the required resources- trained manpower, software and hardware are available or not.

ABC Software Ltd. is big IT Company. It has developed similar projects using Oracle and VB. It has a special team that is formed to work in this combination of projects, that is, Oracle and Visual Basic. So manpower is readily available. The software is available with the company since it has already worked with the same software earlier also. So our solution is technically feasible.

Technical feasibility doesn't guarantee if the system will be beneficial to the system if developed. For this economic feasibility is done.

First task that is done in economic analysis is to identify the cost and benefit factors in the system proposed. In our case, the analyst has identified the following costs and benefits.

First task that is done in economic analysis is to identify the cost and benefit factors in the system proposed. In our case, the analyst has identified the following costs and benefits.

Costs

Cost

Cost per unit

Quantity

Total Cost

Software

Oracle

50,000

1

50,000

Visual Basic

30,000

1

30,000

Windows Server 2003

15,000

1

15,000

Windows XP professional

5,000

4

5,000

Hardware

Central Computer

100,000

1

100,000

Client Machine

50,000

4

50,000

Development

50,000

1

50,000

Analyst

50,000

1

50,000

Developer

20,000

2

40,000

Training

20,000

1

20,000

Data Entry

5,000

1

5,000

Warranty ( 1 month)
Professional

20,000

1

20,000

Total Cost

5,55,000

Benefits

According to new policy: A member is required to pay Rs 500 for a half yearly membership and Rs 1000 for a year membership.

Expected increase in number of members : 75 per month
40 new members for 1 year and 35 new members for half year

Free collected from new members in one year= 12 (40 * 1000 + 35 * 500)
 = Rs 6,90,000
  
For four years= 4 * 6,90,000
 = 27,60,000
  
Now using Net present value method for cost benefit analysis we have,
  
Net present value( or gain )= Benefits - Costs
 = 27,60,000 - 5,55,000
 = 22,10,000
  
Gain %= Net present value / investment
 = 22,10,000 / 5,55,000
 = 4.018
  
Overall Gain= 401.8 % in four year
  
For each year 
  
First year 
  
Investment= 5,50,000
Benefit= 6,90,000
  
Net present value for first year= 6,90,000 - 5,50,000
 = 1,40,000

Gain %

= 1,40,000 / 5,50,000
  = .254
 = 25.4 % in first year
  
Second Year 
  
Investment= 5,50,000
Benefit= 13,80,000
  
Net present value for second year= 13,80,000 - 5,50,000
 = 8,30,000
  
Gain %= 830000/550000
 = 1.50
  
 = 150 % at the end of second year
  
Third Year 
  
Investment= 5,50,000
Benefit = 20,70,000
  
Net present value for third year= 20,70,000 - 5,50,000
 = 15,20,000
  
Gain %= 1520000/550000
 = 2.76
  
 = 276 % at the end of third year
  
Fourth Year 
  
Invetment = 550,000
Benefit= 2760000
  
Net Present Value for fourth year = 2760000 - 550000
 = 2210000
  
Gain %= 2210000 / 550000
 = 4.018
  
 = 401.8 % at end of fourth year
  

From CBA we have found that it is economically feasible since it is showing great gains(about 400%).

After economic feasibility, operational feasibility is done. In this, major issue is to see if the system is developed what is the likelihood that it'll be implemented and put to operation? Will there be any resistance from its user?

It is very clear that the new automated system will work more efficiently and faster. So the users will certainly accept it. Also they are being actively involved in the development of the new system. Due to this fact they will know the system well and will be happy to use a new improved system. So our system is operationally feasible. After the feasibility study has been done and it is found to be feasible, the management has approved this project. So further work can de done that is the design of system that will be discussed in the later chapters.

  

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