Very small example bookstore database

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Best-Book-Buy Online ([url removed, login to view]) Bookstore Project

Requirements Specification Document

1. Introduction

The purpose of this case study is to present a data-intensive application for which a database can be designed. It is described with sufficient degree of detail so that the application can be implemented in languages like Java or Visual Basic using ODBC connectivity to the relational database. This case study is an illustration of the typical project we have been using to teach an undergraduate class in database design.

The user interface is defined in screen format – these screens can be implemented using Visual Basic or Java as needed, or a simpler version of the interface using simple text menus may be implemented. There are a few reports included in the application specification. They are for illustrative purposes and may be modified as well. The methodology to be followed uses conceptual design in the Entity Relationship Model (Chapter 3), followed by a mapping of the ER schema into the relational schema (Chapter 7). The application is broken into a number of tasks and the inputs and outputs are related to the tasks by means of an Information Flow Diagram. Students should use Chapter 12 to understand the overall process of database design used for design of large databases. SQL programming (Chapter 8) and database access from application programs (Chapter 9) is illustrated with examples for implementing the tasks.

3-B is an information management system that supports some of the services involved in an online bookstore, such as The information system that we describe here is a simplified version of a full-fledged online bookstore system. The reader may consider this document as an initial specification provided by the end-users and requirement analysts on what the application should look like. In other words, this document can be considered as the initial requirement specification document.

When the customer accesses [url removed, login to view], the first page that she1 sees is depicted below.

Figure 1: Welcome screen.

1 We will use she to refer to the customer with no intended bias.


The rest of this document is organized as follows. We describe the operations and screens that a user will go through when one of the above options are selected. Then, we discuss some general aspects relevant to the system as a whole.

2. Search Only

Let’s say that the user only wants to search the bookstore for a specific book. She clicks “Search Only” and the screen in Figure 2 pops up. Internally, the system will create a temporary shopping cart for this new user. Briefly, a shopping cart is just a temporary structure in main memory that will hold the books that the user may decide to purchase while browsing The shopping cart is an important component of the system, and we defer more detailed discussion on this component to later in this document after presenting the main functionalities of the system.

Figure 2: Search screen.

The user enters some keywords in the “Search For” field, determines where these keywords should be examined (e.g., on the title of a book), and within which category. By default, the system assumes that the user wants to search using “Keyword anywhere” over all categories. The search is executed by clicking the “Search” button. When the system finishes executing the search, the screen depicted in Figure 3 pops up. The option “Manage Shopping Cart” is addressed next.

Initially, the “Search” button is deactivated, and it will only be activated when the user enters some keywords in the “Search For” field. The search is conducted by checking whether the keywords provided appear at the beginning of the field(s) indicated in “Search In.” For this system, we do consider the case where the keywords can appear in any position in the field. Otherwise, an index at the word level would be required, and the cost of maintaining such index as well as navigating it could become prohibitive, degrading significantly the performance o

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