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Describe about a Essay on Collaborative Development Resit?



UML Diagrams

UML or Unified Modelling Language diagrams are a standard method of modelling the basic design of the software system in order to provide a general view of the overall functionalities of the system. There are different forms of UML diagram which can be used to represent both the structural and the behavioural aspects of the system (Omurca, 2013).

Use Case Diagram:

Use case diagram defines the structural elements of the system. Generally, in a design document, Use case definitions should be written for all the Requirements of the system. The requirements of a system are represented using a use case model in the Use Case Diagram. The use case diagram for the actors of this case study is given as below. The diagram helps to point out the features of the system and the software requirements (Choi and Han, 2013).

structural elements of the system

Here, the administrator is the primary actor. The arrows signify the communication between the use cases or processes i.e. fundamental requirements of the system. It represents the scenario of the basic functionalities of the software from the point of view of an external observer (de Haan, Vrancken and Lukszo, 2011). The use cases are pointing out what the actor i.e. the administrator has to do and the steps taken by him to perform that specific task.


UML Activity Diagram:

UML Activity Diagram

Activity diagrams define the behavioural aspects of the system. UML Activity diagram can be regarded as a type of flowchart (Liu and Dong, 2011). Through the UML activity diagram the basic dynamic nature of the system is represented. It contains the dynamic process flow of the system software. The graphical representation of the step-by-step process flow includes the basic activities of the system inside the rectangular boxes. The black dot signifies the start of the process and the black dot with a circle around it signifies the end of process or activities. It provides a high-level conceptualization of the overall functionalities of the system (Kuhn and Bergel, 2014). The boxes represent the activities, the arrows point out the direction or the flow of the activities. The diamond shaped figures represent conditions and constraints involved in the work flow of the activities.

Critical Evaluation:

The current plan of “West Midlands Fire Service” is to create a new software system which will operate on the idea of Intelligent Remote Monitoring Solution or IRMS to bring command and control approach to a whole new level. The fire service company took the command and control approach to make decision making in a more distributed method. This method implements the conventional idea of command and control centre in more creative ways. Basically, the main objective of this new system is detecting and tackling incident areas and managing and allocating resources in a more efficient way (Choi and Han, 2013). It fully utilizes the facilities of the advancements of present day technologies and networks to communicate with central servers and other connected terminals to handle urgent incidents by tracking the nearest resources available. To achieve this task, they implemented a mapping system which can be useful for tracking and highlighting particular resources around the areas where the incidents take place (Omurca, 2013). The basic functionalities of the implemented system are:

Track resources and allocate Ids to each resource

Group resources according to their skills

Highlight the areas on the map where resources are available

Allocate best resource to incidents depending upon the situation

Replay the incidents so that a particular individual person can be highlighted and see if they need first aid

Hide and show roles that are involved in the incidents

Provide debrief and training to tackle incidents properly

Add or mark locations where resources are available

Communicate to central server the locations containing resources.


Version Control System

In this particular project they have used the Version Control System technology to implement the functionalities of the administrator and the commanders. The version control system is mainly used where distributed data processing is involved. The mechanism of this system helps to keep track of each and every change made to the source code in order to operate in a distributed environment (de Haan, Vrancken and Lukszo, 2011). This system supports a collaborative development by co-ordinating among the all the versions of the software system. This ultimately helps in sharing a common source code among the software developers. It makes it easier to perform bug fixes and resolve other issues regarding the proper working of the source code (Omurca, 2013).

In addition to this the common coding style i.e. the PHP Coding Style has been used to develop the system software as it is plain simple and easy to understand. Moreover, the comment styles help to comprehend the functions of the statements more easily (Liu and Dong, 2011).


Problems that have hindered the performance

One of the main issues of version control system is that the source code changes very often. As a result the contents also need to be changed. The possibility of loss and damage of shared data can be high while using the version control mechanism to merge the codes (Dwivedi and Clarke, 2012). Moreover, implementing the whole system based on to a large touch screen causes overhead. The implementation of the map and the proper functioning of it, everything solely depends on the availability of networks. Therefore, the performance of the system gets weak whenever there is a problem in the network or whenever there is heavy network traffic. Moreover, due to this system being of distributed type, the communication between the administrators of the central servers and local commanders or clients is completely dependent on availability of internet/ network (Fuller and Millett, 2011). The software system takes full help of GPS or Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi or GSM networks (Global System for Mobile communication). GPS system operates fully relying on the reception of signals by radio. Thus satellite failure or radio interference can cause huge troubles in the communication process. On the other hand, malfunctioning of the Wi-Fi networks can hinder the performance of the overall system.

Issues encountered during collaboration and communication

The issues that can most possibly be faced regarding communication and collaboration in this software system are:

Refresh function in the map was not coordinating properly.

The information panel had some difficulties to display updated information. The display button had encountered some problems and was not functioning properly previously.

The mechanism used to implement radius around the fire-affected area was not working properly.

The features used for operation of fire-fighter, area manager and watch manager in the map were not always matching the ranks. The resources that are found and marked in the location on the map need to be communicated directly to the central server (Liu and Dong, 2011).

Moreover, there were some issues regarding the database connection and synchronization of log in and other database information. Communication with the database developers had to be organised in order to solve the problems. In addition there was some issue with the communication among the coders as there a communication dysfunction in the gitlab (de Haan, Vrancken and Lukszo, 2011).

The communication is generally carried out virtually with the help of networks. Thus network infrastructure needs to be strong enough to support the communication process (Hinsen, 2013). Moreover, the collaboration development through the help of version control approach encounters some difficulties due to the different coding style and approaches of the software developers located in different places. Often there are cases when the role of a particular person involved in an incident is not clear (Kuhn and Bergel, 2014). In those cases replaying the whole incident also does not help sometimes.


Way to deal with the issues

By centralization of the distributed platform, sharing of important with the clients or customers is possible in a timely manner (Leon, 2000). This in turn helps them to gain insight to the project and collaborate in the process.

If the software developers and coders can work from a common station and the sharing and merging of their codes are done effectively based on reliable communication strategies then there will be fewer problems which might crop up. The utilization of the communication platforms such as base camp which was used can be optimized for maximum productivity and minimum errors (Liu and Dong, 2011).

Communication and proper co-operation are very important factors when it comes to managing a new system over a network. One way to resolve the problem of communication is make the information available in proper stations.

Moreover the system can be managed in such method so that in a conceptual perspective or from the point of view of the customer/client the platform is a centralized location.

Explanation of what can be done differently

In order to get rid of the issues that were faced during the development of the software system, some of the actions can be taken in a different approach.

The database connection problems can be resolved by adapting the best practices of database management using PHP applications. The open methods and close methods of database connectivity have to be performed correctly by the database administrators and database users taking care of the overhead that might be caused (Kuhn and Bergel, 2014).

Moreover, the adaptation of embedded Ethernet could bring in positive changes and improvements to the system. Otherwise the adaptations of Midlands Fire Service Company are quite appropriate considering the nature and type of system they attempted to develop (Choi and Han, 2013). The version control system boosts up the performance to a great extent as the customer demands are easier to be met by keeping history of all the software versions and track the source codes. Thus bug fixes and other issues can be solved quicker and more efficiently (Morioka, Oinaga and Nakamura, 2011.

The issues that generated with the functionalities of fire-fighters and area and watch manager ranks could have dealt with different mechanisms.

Instead of using PHP as the common programming language, Java could have been used as there is not much difference and Java provides almost all the facilities that were previously provided by PHP programming language (Liu and Dong, 2011). All though both Java and PHP are very powerful programming language, the major difference is PHP is a server side program whereas Java runs on the client side.


Reference List

Choi, M. and Han, S. (2013). Remote sensing imageries for land cover and water quality dynamics on the west coast of Korea. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(11), pp.9111-9124.

de Haan, J., Vrancken, J. and Lukszo, Z. (2011). Why is intelligent technology alone not an intelligent solution?. Futures, 43(9), pp.970-978.

Dwivedi, A. and Clarke, S. (2012). End-user computing, development, and software engineering. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Fuller, S. and Millett, L. (2011). The future of computing performance. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Hinsen, K. (2013). Software Development for Reproducible Research. Computing in Science & Engineering, 15(4), pp.60-63.

Kuhn, T. and Bergel, A. (2014). Verifiable source code documentation in controlled natural language. Science of Computer Programming, 96, pp.121-140.

Leon, A. (2000). A guide to software configuration management. Boston: Artech House.

Liu, Y. and Dong, X. (2011). Research on the IDE of Visual Programming Language. AMR, 219-220, pp.140-143.

Morioka, K., Oinaga, Y. and Nakamura, Y. (2011). Control of human-following robot based on cooperative positioning with an intelligent space. Electron. Comm. Jpn., 95(1), pp.20-30.

Omurca, S. (2013). An intelligent supplier evaluation, selection and development system. Applied Soft Computing, 13(1), pp.690-697.

Safonov, V. (2008). Using aspect-oriented programming for trustworthy software development. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Interscience.

YIN, H. and YAN, H. (2011). Storage solution to security of embedded remote upgrade. Journal of Computer Applications, 31(4), pp.942-944.

Yung, C. (2013). DDMan: A Management System for Distributed Software Development in Cloud Computing Environments. IJEEEE.

Dargan, P. (2005). Open systems and standards for software product development. Boston, MA: Artech House.

Zhao, Y., Li, Z., Shen, H. and Ma, D. (2013). Development of global specification for dynamically adaptive software. Computing, 95(9), pp.785-816.

Choi, M. and Han, S. (2013). Remote sensing imageries for land cover and water quality dynamics on the west coast of Korea. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185(11), pp.9111-9124.


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