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Web Application Development

Web Application Development

Web Application Development

1. Introduction

The internet has emerged as a dominating area of IT development. The ever-expanding applications within the global community that communicates, trades and exchanges information (seamlessly) has meant that the Internet and its associated technologies is a rapidly growing and changing area that requires in-depth knowledge as well as a wide range of skills. These web technologies have also been used to develop e-Commerce, intranet, extranet and social networking systems to meet the needs of modern businesses and associations.

Learners should already be familiar with website design and management, and will be able to apply their own web development skills to this unit. Learners will enjoy extending their web development skills by understanding the concepts of web-based applications using server-side technologies. This unit takes client-side web-development one step further by introducing server side application development. This unit focuses on server-side technologies and how server-side scripting can be used to create sophisticated web-based applications.

Learners will understand the concepts of web-based applications using one or more different server-side scripting languages, such as ASP, JSP and PHP. Many web-based systems also include database systems, which enables data to be processed dynamically. Learners will gain experience of developing web-enabled database systems, using SQL statements combined with server-side scripts to manage the process of information.

Learners will develop skills in specific techniques and also able to select when and where they are most appropriate, basing this decision on client and user needs. They will also ensure that their applications comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines.


1.1 Aim:

To enable learners to understand the concepts of web applications and apply the skills to develop and test web applications using server-side technologies.

1.2  Objectives


On successful completion of this unit a learner will:


1.     Understand the concepts of web application development

2.     Be able to design web applications

3.     Be able to implement web applications

4.     Be able to test web applications.

2.      Unit / Module Content


1.    Understand the concepts of web application development

Users: types eg expert, regular, occasional, novice, special needs; requirements, eg psychological, cultural, social and environmental, health and safety, education and work

Site analysis: purpose eg communication, real-time information, commercial, government, education, business, entertainment, downloading/uploading, web storage; fit for purpose, eg meets organisational and site objectives; planning, eg storyboarding, structure, hypermedia linkage, search engine key words, graphical design, user interface, audio/video sources, animation, text design; maintenance, eg plans, logs, disaster recovery, testing

Accessibility: features eg alternative text, resizable fonts, support for screen readers, adjustable fonts. 

Legislation: laws, guidelines and standards, eg Disability Discrimination Act, Data Protection Act, E-Commerce Regulations Act, W3C validation, copyright and intellectual property rights

Functionality: functions, eg shopping cart, reserve order, manage user profile, web content management, upload files

Scripting languages: server-side eg ASP (Active Server Pages), ASP.NET, PHP (HypertextPre-processor), JSP (Java Server Pages), Cold Fusion, Perl, Java Applet, Flash; advantages eg faster processing time, data processing, data storage; client-side eg JavaScript, VBScript

Security:security requirements, eg user accounts, account restrictions, procedures forgranting and revoking access, terms of use, system monitoring

2 Be able to design web applications


Identification of need: nature of interactivity eg online transactions, static versus dynamic; client needs and user needs, eg image; level of security, eg user/administrator access; development timescales, support and maintenance contracts, costs, visibility on search engines; end user need eg appropriateness of graphics, complexity of site, delivery of content

Design tools: concept designing, eg mood boards, storyboarding; layout techniques eg frames, tables, block level containers (DIV), inline containers (SPAN); templates; colour schemes; screen designs, use case diagrams, pseudo code; other eg outline of content; database design, eg data flow diagrams, entity relationship diagrams

Database design: documenting the design; back end design, eg defining relationships, normalisation, naming conventions; front end design, eg user interface, security measures.

3 Be able to implement web applications


Structure: layout of pages; navigation; format of content and cascading style sheets (CSS); page elements, eg headings, rules, frames, buttons, text and list boxes, hyperlinks/anchors,graphical images, clickable images/maps; interactive features, eg catalogue of products,shopping cart; images and animation.

Content: proofed, correct and appropriate; reliability of information source; structured forpurpose, eg prose, bullets, tables

Development: mark-up languages eg HTML (Hypertext Mark-up Language), DHTML (DynamicHypertext Mark-up Language); client-side scripting languages eg JavaScript, VBScript; featuresand advantages of software languages; web authoring software tools

Tools and techniques: navigation diagram eg linear, hierarchy or matrix; building interactivitytools, eg pseudo-code for client-server scripting; adding animation and audio/visualelements; ensuring compliance with W3C; meta-tagging; cascading style sheets

Server-side interaction: manage and process data, eg client, server; action events, actionresponses, login/logoutServer-side scripting languages: ASP, JSP, PHP, Cold Fusion, Perl

Database connectivity: common methods of using/accessing databases on a web server egSQL (Structured Query Language), MySQL, ODBC (Open Database Connectivity), JDBC (JavaDatabase Connectivity), ADODB (ActiveX Data Objects).


Web-programming concepts: objects, eg response, request, application, session, server,error, file system, text stream, drive, file, folder, dictionary, ADO; components, eg email, file,file uploads, date/time; syntax, variables, procedures, forms, cookies, sessions, applications.


 Reference List

Ø  You must ensure that all external sources used to provide evidence in your work must be referenced accordingly to avoid plagiarism and collusion

Ø  All work should be comprehensively referenced and all sources must be fully acknowledged, such as books and journals, websites (include the date of visit)

Ø  You must use correct and consistent Harvard referencing style

Ø  A full reference list should be at the end of the assignment, and should start on a new page labelled 'References' or ‘Reference List’

Ø  Do not include a ‘Bibliography


Ø  Use for information that is too long to include in the body of your assignment


Ø  Use for information that supplements or complements the information you are providing

Ø  Start each appendix (if applicable) on a new page. If there's just one appendix label it ‘Appendix’ without a number, but if there are more than one label them Appendix A, Appendix B, etc. In the main text of your assignment, refer to the Appendix by the label, e.g. Appendix A.



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