Software Architecture

Introduction

The aim of this assignment is to perform architectural modelling for a software

solution. You are presented with a business scenario where a software solution is

sought to help improving services and increasing user experience. You are expected

to use materials provided to you in the lecture series plus information obtained from

external sources in the course of doing this assignment. This information should then

be used in modeling the software architecture. Once this has been done, you are

expected to compile a software architecture document.

 

The Scenario

As with other universities, The University of Intellect1 (UoI) (UoI is a fictitious university and the problem in the case study is completely

fictitious.)uses an assessment

process by which course and module marks are submitted to the university by

individual lecturers. The marks will then be discussed by an examination board

for approval and ratification. The fate of students in a particular course depends

on the decision of the examination board for that course, which depends on the

accuracy of information presented before it. UoI is facing a number of problems

with its current student progression information system due to reported delays,

errors and discrepancies in mark entries for modules and courses. In the past

academic year, UoI received a number of complaints from both students and

staff because of delays and/or errors in the preparation of final student results

and course marks reports, as well as feedback to students. The university’s executive management team have taken the issue seriously and therefore wish

to invest in the purchase of a new information system to help in the exam marks

submission and the generation of the final marks reports to be presented to the

examination board meetings in a timely and accurately manner. The university

also wishes to grab this opportunity to improve its services to students and staff

by allowing the students and staff to have access to relevant information in the

student records. In addition, it wishes to employ mobile technologies such as

SMS and Mobile Apps to notify students of changes to any of their assessments

or results.

The university uses a number of systems to keep records of current students,

such as the Student Records Information System (SRIS) and LDAP, which any new

system must interact with seamlessly in order to prevent problems with

duplicate information. The university has recently invested in an Assessment

Moderation System (AMS) where all assessment materials are moderated

internally and externally. All assessment materials are moderated internally by

other staff members within the university, who are not involved in setting up the

assessment. The materials then go through moderation by external examiners

who are academic staff from other Universities. The AMS system is used (by

moderators) in isolation of the new e-Grade system and will continue in this way.

However, the e-Grade system shall use information made available in the AMS

system during the process of the exam board meetings.

The aim is to produce an on-line web based system to help in the exam marks

submission and the generation of the final results. The system would also be

used to aid in preparing course mark reports to be presented before the

examination board meeting for discussion and approval. When module tutors

have all marks ready, they submit the marks for the module components (exams

and/or assignments) to the system. Once they are in the system and after

ratification by the exam board, the marks may be made available to students for

viewing.

The user needs for the system includes the following features or functionality:

• An assessment administrator would use the system to add and modify

courses and modules within courses. Details of the courses and modules are

entered including level, code, number of credits and final degrees.

• New students are to be added into the system by the assessment

administrator to be registered into a specific course.

• Lecturers submit their marks for all the modules they teach using a variety of

methods. For example, they may enter an individual mark for an individual

student or they may use a bulk entry mode to enter marks for all

components for all the students registered on the module, by uploading a

file.

• When all the marks are ready in the system and on the request of the

assessment administrator (or assessment officer), the course marks report is

generated containing the marks for each module (including each component mark and the module total mark) in the course and the decisions suggested

to the board. At the end of the board meeting, the assessment administrator

would record the final board decisions where the final decision is different

from the one suggested by the system. All the information is presented

online during the examination board meeting.

• The decisions suggested by the system depend on the circumstances of each

student and governed by the rules and regulations of the university;

examples of these rules are presented below. However, broadly speaking the

outline decision of the system would be one of the following:

  1. Proceed to next level (for non-final year students).
  2. Award degree and compute classification (for final year students; see

rules and regulation for classification computation).

  1. Re-sit all failed modules (with list of modules and components to redo)
  2. Repeat year with attendance.

• The assessment officer or the assessment administrator may use the system

to review the current status of the marks available in the system. For

example, either of them may need to verify which module marks are already

submitted and which still waiting to be entered into the system. These details

may also be requested as an assessment progress report.

• Students may use the system to view their results once their results have

been discussed and approved by an authorised examination board.

• The system may send update messages to the students in the case that their

marks become available on the system or in the case of a change has been

made.

 

Assignment Tasks

Produce architecture documentation for the suggested solution showing multiple

views of the solution. Your documentation should contain the following views:

[1] Use Case View; a use case view should describe the users’ view of the system

and should include the following:

  1. Identify and name the actors of the system.
  2. For each actor in the system, identify and name the use cases for the

actor.

  1. Draw a detailed use case diagram for the system. Where possible use

actor and use case relationships.

  1. For each use case, identify
  2. The primary and secondary actors.
  3. Pre-conditions

iii. Post-conditions

  1. Triggers

[2] The Physical and Logical View, including

  1. Deployment view.
  2. Component-and-Connector view.
  3. Identify any architectural styles that you have used in the system,

with rationales for their use.

[3] Security architecture: this view should capture any security requirements

that you think the software developers must take into consideration when

developing the application. Typically, this should contain:

  1. Issues related to service availability and component dependability.
  2. User types and privileges for access control.

 

Marking Scheme

This assignment mark, which contributes to 50% of the total module mark, is

distributed as follows:

Use Case view 30%

Physical and logical view 30%

Security architecture 20%

Report language and structure 20%

 

The following marking scheme will be applied in assessing your work:

A+ (>= 80%)

The report’s structure, language and presentation are of high standard, which result

in a high quality, professional document. The analysis and modelling are excellent

taking into consideration the various views of the system in a logical and rational

way. The use of UML notation is excellent showing detailed understanding of the

language and its modeling techniques. The results are of high standard and quality

using critical evaluation of the presented facts and the conclusions are well founded

and verified.

A (70-79%)

The report’s structure is excellent with proper use of scientific language and

terminology with good presentation style. The analysis and modelling are well

presented and argued with respect to the users’ needs. UML diagrams are used

appropriately and all diagrams are consistent with each other. The results presented

are good both in terms of quantity and quality. The results are critically evaluated in

the context of the scenario and the conclusions are substantiated and crossreferenced.

B (60-69%)

The report’s structure is above average containing all elements of a standard

technical report and the language and presentation are of good standard. The

modeling and analysis are good and demonstrates good knowledge of the subject

with good use of UML notation. The report presents good results, which are

consistent with the conducted research and critical evaluation, and the conclusions

are well established and supported by the findings.

C (50-59%)

The report’s structure and language are adequate. The subject research is adequate

showing some understanding of the general topic and related work. The modeling

and analysis are adequate showing basic understanding of software architecture

modelling with basic use of UML notation. The report presents adequate results, and

the conclusions summarise the main findings.

D (45-49%)

There is basic structure and presentation that need a little additional work to

become adequate. The modeling and analysis are inadequate and lacks basic

understanding of software architecture modelling and use of UML notation.

However, the flaws in the model may be rectified with some minimal effort. The

work and approach are inadequate and cannot lead to clear conclusions. There are little results presented in the report but no evaluation, and the conclusions are

inconsistent with the findings modelling.

E (40-44%)

The report’s structure is poor and the presentation is basic, or vice versa. The

modeling effort is limited and does not cover all aspects of the problem. The work

has a flawed approach and/or the evaluation is invalid. The results and findings are

flawed and the conclusions are not supported by the rationales presented in the

analysis.

F (<40%)

The report’s structure and presentation are very poor. There is no or very limited

research or approach for tackling the problem. The results and findings are

meaningless and there is no clear conclusion.

p(10)

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