DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN E-SERVICE APPLICATION MODEL
Background Of The Study
An e-service is any asset that is made available via the Internet to drive new revenue streams or create new efficiencies. E-Services or “eServices” is a highly general/generic term usually referring to the provision of services via the Internet (the prefix ‘e’ standing for “electronic”, as it does in many other uses). It is a true Web jargon, meaning just about anything done online.
Until recently, the Internet was about the creation of e-commerce systems, and it was dominated by web sites and storefronts. We have now entered the next Internet evolution: the proliferation of e-services. E-services are modular, nimble, units of service made available from a business to other businesses and to consumers. Almost any business asset can be turned into an e-service and offered efficiently via the Internet. E-services come in the form of modular units, which can be combined and recombined to solve business problems and to help businesses to overcome the limitations of a static business infrastructure.
Successful businesses (for instance the Restaurant business, which this research uses to demonstrate E-services; “E-restaurant”) will be those capable of turning their business assets into e-services and deliver them via the Internet or at customers door step. It is easy for young academic graduate to own business outfits via e-services without having the initial huge capital required to start such business but using the modeling concept of the e-service technology that is widely acceptable to make financial benefit and thereby creating a living out of it.
Self-employment, particularly to most Nigerian graduates is only a last resort after years of failed effort to be engaged in the organized public or private sector of the economy. It is obvious that the challenges of inertia particularly in the area of finance are key factors to such entertained fear in the mind of the would-be business starter
Variety is the spice of life they say; therefore, alternative form of business operation and an initial small capital base to jump-start businesses are worth pursuing.
E-services provide this alternative largely; with e-services, warehouses exist abstractly on web pages with its far-reaching participatory audience. The paraphernalia of office is replaced by the web technology, for example, official records are sent, stored, queried, calculated and analyzed within the technology. The automation e-services provide through this technology accounts for its low financial involvement when compared to the existing business system that e-services can alternate.
1.2 Statement Of The Problem
The technology race which e-services is a child of, is all about cutting cost; with the advent of e-services, businesses can be tailored in their different forms as models of operational system at minimal operational and logistic cost. The compliment of piloting such models via the internet is equivalent to gaining “cheap” popularity and accessibility. Enumerated below are some of the problems that exist with the former system.
The huge infrastructural cost of establishing a business from scratch particularly for a school leaver
A poor reach of product and services.
A static infrastructure in terms of location of business that gives no room for customers’ convenience
1.3 Aims and Objectives
The aim of this study is to design and implement a workable model of business operations that is capable of sensitizing a section of entrepreneurs particularly those constrained due to insufficient capital to establish businesses and to embrace alternative form of business operation using the technology on ground. The objective of the study includes:
To provide a platform that can be used to initiate a Restaurant business through the internet; E-restaurant.
To provide a workstation to the operators that has a degree of automation to run the outfit.
To provide superior customer and firm interaction through IT.
To work within an environment that provides analysis through
queries for business intelligence and competitive advantage.
1.4 Purpose of the Study
To demonstrate e-services application using known and common business environment; the Restaurant.
Microsoft access, a database management system was used to store information received from the patronizing customers.
Because of the web involvement, the HTML was used to design the web interactive and menu driven static pages.
Finally the ColdFusion, a web site technology which provides
the dynamism the web pages needs to romance with the database.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study is meaningful to any entrepreneurial-minded fellow with small capital to initiate business.
It is service at customer’s convenience; the developed website in this case, will enable customers order for their meal online and could be delivered to them at their doorsteps as specified in their order list without necessarily moving physically to the restaurant.
The demonstration and final deployment (or concept) of E-restaurant from e-service (an original contribution) can be transferred to other service oriented businesses.
1.6 Delimitations and Limitations
The case study of this project is Home Touch, located at Palm groove, Lagos. This project work is delimited to the supply of African dishes to customers at designated addresses. The study further confines itself to the service of food and not its preparation. Although Home Touch is being used as our case study, food can be sourced from some other eateries such as Mr. Biggs, Chicken Republic, and munches. Only registered person or organization is regarded as customer in the system. The analyses sought on the DBMS are purely through structured query language SQL commands. This design can function appropriately within a range of fifty daily customers; increase in customer ratio would require an improvement on the design functionality.
The facilities offered by this study are limited to the elite class, thus is the range of its customers. Microsoft Access as a DMBS has a limiting number of entities it can hold and the security of other DBMS like the ORACLE can be considered for improved security software systems.
1.7 Project Report Organisation
Chapter one begins with introduction in it the investigator explains how he became interested in the problem and why he felt the study was worth pursuing, establishing the need for the study. The statement of the problem, elaborate upon the information implied in the title of the study so that even an uninformed reader may secure an idea of the nature of the problem, which underline the rationale for the study. The Purpose of the study, is a quick overview of the study itself; stating the scope of the study. It helps to highlight the important aspect of the study and enable the reader to appreciate the nature and scope of the study. The Significance of the study tells for whom the study will be meaningful and gives some indication of its value for others. Delimitations are those restrictions deliberately imposed on the study by the investigator himself; other facets of the study by the nature of the research situation itself may limit the researcher in making generalization, these are the limitation; under the delimitation and limitation. Chapter two is the review of related literature, to set the theoretical base of the research and to set the current research into perspective. Chapter three is on Methodology, the study of how to perform scientific research. It is the part of any analysis or research that is used to find out what type of data is maintained, what fact to find, how to find them and how to record them for usage. In order to achieve these, Structured System Analysis Design and Methodology were used. Chapter four is on system design where data are presented objectively using the top-down system design, flow chart and forms. Chapter five is on system implementation Chapter six software testing, integration and deployment and finally chapter seven which is on summary, recommendation and conclusion.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Model: A concept (based in structure and design) that can be copied from; in same environment or transfer with modification in other business endeavour respectively.
Hustler: someone that hung around the market place seeking for novice customers who are ignorant of price and wares, to render his services.
Osoafia: A manual and rude method of service providing particularly
in the eastern market of Nigeria though the operators are
Knowledgeable in wares and their locations in the market place.