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Case Study

Social Networking app to trade user belongings



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Client required a community platform to showcase one’s properties or belongings. This is a social
networking site dedicated to users who would like to exhibit and share their antique belongings
and unique collection with other users. The application includes all social networking features
such as comment, like, rate etc.

Client required the following:

 Ability to upload and download photographs of properties
 Ability to rate properties
 Ability to like, post on wall, blog, comment etc.
 Third-party chat integration
 Interactive user-interface
 Comprehensive dashboard with links to details
 Managing and adding friends
 Advanced search and filter abilities

Apart from this, the application allows a property with maximum likes to be displayed as the
property of the week. It also allows adding a wish list for each user. Wish list includes items that
users wish to possess in the near future.



















Client Requirement
Project Challenges
Team faced the following challenges:

 Developing an active social networking portal capable of handling millions of users at
the same time without slowing the site down.

 Incorporating web usability principles in the website design to ensure easy navigation
for all types of users.

 Synchronizing and incorporating an extensive list of features designed for enhancing
the users' community networking experience.

 Implementing a reliable framework that instantly connects users with groups,
individuals, events and other happenings across the web.



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Technologies Used









Manpower










Planning


Keeping in mind the structure of the website and the challenges involved a four-
tier development approach was adopted consisting of:

 The Database layer containing MySQL Server Database, Tables, Stored Procedures and so
on.

 The Interface layer and Database Abstraction layer for converting data between the
incompatible type systems in databases and accessing data from the database
respectively.

 The Business Logic layer consisting of all the business logic procedures for modules like
User Profiles, Invitations, Forums, Blogs etc.
Operating System &
Server Management
Red Hat Linux OS, Multi-Server Architecturewith Staging & Production
Environment through Version Controlling releases, Server
Optimization, Security & SSL Implementation, Scheduler for Back-ups,
Alert Monitoring System Integration, Server Performance Tuning at
regular intervals, Software Firewall Configuration & Maintenance
Development Tools &
Environments
PHP5+, Microsoft Visio, Symfony Framework, Zend Studio, HTML,
J ava Script, CSS, AJ AX, SVN etc.
Database MYSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master
SlaveReplication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups

Project Leader

1

Developers

2

Designers

1

Quality Assurance Testers

1


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 The User Interface layer which forms the Graphical User Interface of the website.

Architecture

The online networking characteristic of the website called for the design approach to be built
around PHP and MySQL Server. Modules like User Profiles, Invitations, Forums and Blogs were
developed in PHP such that they can be executed directly from the UI layer. These PHP files
consisted of all the business logics used for respective modules like Save (Add/Update), Delete,
Get Single Object, Get Multiple Objects for Listing and were designed to be capable of handling
many more logics which were not related to the database. In order to most effectively access
the database in an object-oriented context, an interface translating the object logic to the
relational logic was used to communicate with the relational databases in an object-oriented
manner.

An intermediary abstraction layer was created for accessing data from the database. Stored
procedures were used only for complex retrieval of data from the multiple tables and were
entirely avoided with conditional syntax to ensure smooth performance of the website. The UI
layer was kept free of any business logic with images, applications and data being called from
their respective servers. Sub-domains were used for the different areas of the website to
guarantee scalability. Third party tool was integrated to increase the efficiency and functionality
of the application.



Development Highlights


The site was equipped with a robust architecture to offer centralized access to multiple users
using blogs, groups, chat and other tools under one roof. Customized viewing options were
designed to enhance user experience and allow personalization. Extensive pre-development
research was carried out in order to integrate the third-party chat tool and build a fully-
functional system according to the latest standards. SEO activities performed ensured high
visibility for the site over the internet.

For timely delivery of this solution, we specifically used Symphony Framework with RAD (Rapid
Application Development) methodology. System includes many parts developed using Plug-ins
and Pluggable objects. Web usability guidelines were strictly followed during development and
the interface was made easily navigable through judicious use of AJAX, CSS and HTML controls.
The site was developed and fully functional within a span of 2 months.