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Three-Tier Web App: Architectural Insights and Implementation Essay


Learning Outcomes assessed

1. Understanding of multi-tier web application architecture and corresponded infrastructure setup.

2. Use of Servlets as a middle layer technology for web application development

3. Use of JavaScript and AJAX for web front development.

4. Use of JSON/XML as for exchanging messages between web portal and server application

5. Use of HTML/HTML 5 and CSS for web portal rendering.

6. Use of JDBC/Hibernate to operate Database (MySQL).

7. Understanding of how authorisations and authentications of web applications are conducted and are able to implement them for the web application.

In this assignment, you are required to implement a university library book-loan management system, which is composed of three tiers (web portal, middle layer and database). The functional requirement of the system is as the followings:

1. Admin users are able to browse/add/remove/update/search books through a web portal. Information about books are stored in a back-end database. Each book record should contain:

a. Book id

b. Book Title

c. Authors of the book

d. Publisher

e. Published year

f. Total pages of the book

g. Book status (on loan/on requested/on shelf)

2. Student users are able to borrow/return/renew books. At any time, there should be no more than 6 books under a same student’s account.

3. Both type of users will need to log into the system. Therefore, your system should provide basic user registration/login/logout functions.

Task Details

Note: for guidelines what to hand in and what the marker will be looking for, see the marking scheme.


1. Web portal: Your web portal should contain at least the following pages:

1. Login/Registration page for both admin and student users.

2. Admin user’s book management page: where admin user can perform the required operations. The page should show a list of books who are available.

3. Student user’s book management page: where student users can see all the books available. Through the page, they can:

· borrow new books

· return books

· check information of books that they have borrowed

The architecture of the assignment needs to be strictly three tiers based. This means web portal  is only used for rendering contents, taking inputs from users and feeding back results. The portal is not supposed to handle any business logics (JSP, PHP, Ruby on Rails style portal and things similar will not be accepted and marked). You will need to use javascript+HTML  5+CSS for your web portal development. Necessary third-party libraries are allowed in the implementation.

2. Middle Layer: A middle layer that talks to both database and web portal through message exchange. It should handle all business logics. The middle layer needs to be implemented conforming to Java Servlet standard. It needs to be done in JAVA rather than any other programming languages.

3. Database: MySQL database will be used to store data. You will need to define your database schema that support your application. For this assignment, you don’t need to worry too much about the DB normalisation rules and etc. You can use fewer tables as long as they satisfy your needs.

4. Message Exchange: The messages that are exchanged between the portal and middle layer need to be JSON. This makes the whole system a completely decoupled manner. No portal will be relying on any specific middle layer’s implementation and vice versa. Both of them are only dependent on the contents of the messages exchanged and interpretations of those messages.

What You Should Submit:

· The zip file should contain the following contents:

b. Your web portal folder. This folder needs to be directly deployable and runnable on tomcat 7+ servers. Folder that fails to be deployed or run will be regarded as a failure, and you will lose half marks for web portal section.

c. A war file which can be directly deployed on tomcat 7+ servers. Failure on the deployment will lose you half marks for middle layer sections. You will need to be very careful with the all the libraries that you choose to use. Make sure you pack them up in the war file so when the war is deployed, the tomcat server will not complain about missing libraries.

d. A db.sql file that contains all the data you’ve created or used or tested for your project. It can be restored to MySQL database.

e. A report that explains your design, implementation details and any potential problems that you are aware of your development and potential improvement that can be done. Full lists of messages (json syntax) that are exchanged between your Servlet service and portal.

Explain how the http protocol is used in your implementation if any.

The source code text file must contain all the source codes you implemented. The content of the file is copied and pasted from all your own *.java source files.


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