A case study on supermarket management system

Modified: 12th May 2015
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Problems can be solved by systems. Systems approach is an organized way to deal with problems. In this dynamic world, a wide variety of system development methodologies have evolved over the years, each framework with its own strengths and weaknesses (Paul, James& Peter, 2004). This report will focus on waterfall type through analyze the process of EQ’s supermarket management system development.


System lifecycle is a structured process of developing and maintaining systems. It lists all processes and sub-processes required while developing a system. A combination of various activities in system development is referred as system development lifecycle (Kääriäinen and Välimäki, 2008).



System development life cycle starts from system study. The system study separates in two phases. Firstly, a survey will help the designer to identify the scope of the system. Secondly, a depth investigation will help the designer understand user’s requirements and problems. Generally, a system proposal will carry out by analyst and offer to user to ensure the content is correct (Steven & Glenn, 2005).

EQ defined YDL as a small sized supermarket. The owner of YDL wanted to reduce employee (keep two people at most), monthly report can be presented faster and establish a membership system.


Based on system study, feasibility study takes place. The proposed system should be tested during this phase in four aspects: workability, requirement fitness, effective use of resources and the cost effectiveness (Steven & Glenn, 2005). The main objective of this phase is achieving the scope.

To achieve the scope, EQ assumed the SMS have six main functions, they are: sales, reporting, goods ordering, membership management, expired offers and inventory management. This proposed system only needs two people, which are cashier and inventory manager. Order goods and generate financial statement can be done by the system automatically. Therefore, a sub-system called membership management was added into this SMS.

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If a new system is decided to develop, the next phase is system analysis. It is a depth investigation based initial investigation and user requirements. Detailed data flow diagrams (DFDs), data dictionary, logical data structures and miniature specifications should reflect user requirements. Identification of data store, sub-dividing of complex process, and manual processes also should be included in system analysis (Steven & Glenn, 2005).

EQ established its project schedule, listed all major activities and tasks in WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), and the deliverables and milestones were also announced in the schedule.





Assigned Role

Task Input



Specify requirements

General introduction about the system

1 week

Management Team

Team liaisons

A requirements document,

A architecture design document

(system design document),

A object design document,

A test plan,

A project plan.

System/subsystem, and requirements overview

2 weeks

Documentation Team

Requirements elicitation

General constraints, assumptions and dependencies

2 weeks

Functional requirements

2 weeks

External interface

1 week

Non-functional requirements

1 week

Milestones R

5 documents


Design the architecture of the systeml

System organization design

1 week

Architecture Team

A architecture design document

System source code

Subsystem design

2 weeks

Architecture Team

Asystem design document

Design the user interface

User interface design

2 weeks

User Interface Team

A object design document

Milestones D

System source code


Design the specific objects of the system

Database and configure the server

1 week

Database Team

System source code


User interface


3 weeks

User Interface Team

Layout design

3 weeks

User Interface Team

Design the specific objects of the system

Connection between subsystems

1 week

Control Team

Milestones De

The system that is available to use


Implement the system

Test the user interface

1 week

User Interface Team

System source code

A document about the problems that the system still needs to be worked on

Test the database

1 week

Database Team

Evaluate the system

List the functions and problems

1 week

Documentation Team

Milestones V

A document about the problems that the system still needs to be worked on


Validate the system

Adapt the user interface

1 week

User Interface Team

A document about the problems that the system still needs to be worked on

Final system

Adapt the database

1 week

Database Team

Adapt and improve the system

Recheck the whole system

1 week

Management Team

Documentation Team

Final system

A document about the functions that the system can provide

Milestones E

Final system can be provided to client

Source: http://www.docin.com/p-41243574.html

Source: http://www.docin.com/p-41243574.html


System design is the most crucial phase in system development lifecycle. Generally, the design advances in two stages: general design and detailed design. In general design process, the features of the system will be specified; costs and benefits of these features will be estimated. In detailed design stage, computer oriented work starts at first. Structure design becomes the blue print of system solution to those problems mentioned in system analysis phase. Furthermore, the programming language, the platform, input, output and processing specifications will decided in detail in this stage (Steven & Glenn, 2005).

Several tools and techniques used for designing are (Steven & Glenn, 2005):

  • Flowchart
  • Data flow diagram (DFDs)
  • Data dictionary
  • Structured English
  • Decision table
  • Decision tree

Based on the scope of this supermarket and proposed system, EQ used C/S model as development model. The source code were written in JAVA,

Server hardware and software environment:

“Hardware: IBM System x3200 M2. The x3200 M2 offers the latest quad-core Intel Xeon processor (up to 3.16 GHz/12MB/1333MHz), 4 GB memory (DDR II 800MHz), expansion slots (2 PCI (32-bit/33 MHz),2 PCI-Express (x8,x1), Remote Supervisor Adapter II), 4.0TB SATA HDDs hard drive.

Software: Microsoft Windows Server 2008, MySQL Cluster 7.0, Avast! Anti-virus Server 4.8.1091, JDK 6 Update 16 with NetBeans 6.7.1” (E-Qun, 2009).

Source: http://www.docin.com/p-41243717.html

Source: http://www.docin.com/p-41243717.html


After designing, the whole system should convert into computer understanding language. The programmer uses computer understanding language to write programs to coordinate the data movements and control the entire process in the system (Steven & Glenn, 2005).

Before implementing the whole system, a test run is done to remove all bugs and measure the stability of the system (CMS, 2009). Firstly, individual units of the system should be tested. Any uncertainty happening must be recorded and debugged. Then, in compliance with test plan, a given set of test data will put into the system. The outputs of the test run should be analyzed. If there’s any output did not match the expected output, the errors in the particular program or system should be identified and fixed and further test should be done until the outputs match the expected results (Parkin, 1997).

Modular development technique was used in this coding and testing phase. EQ divided the programmers in two team, database team and user interface team. Each team focus on their own area.

< Bar code, Product name, Unit, price, Number, Total amount, Date of input and etc.>

Source: http://www.equn.net/product_1.asp

Source: http://www.equn.net/product_1.asp


During implementation phase, the system is loaded onto the user’s computer. Then, user training starts. Generally four topics will be introduced to users: execution of the package, data input, data processing and reporting. After users are trained, computerized working begins at following two strategies (operational): parallel run or pilot run. Parallel run means in a certain period, both systems (i.e. manual and computerized system) are executed in parallel. Pilot run means the new system installs in parts. Some parts executed first and ran in a defined period. Other parts will be implemented only if the results satisfied the expected results (New York State Office, 2009).

After five days training, two employees from YDL had mastered the operational skills. In the later month, manual working and computerized working were running in parallel to avoid the potential failure of system.


Maintenance means error correction and upgrade during the system’s working life. Because of there always have some errors found in the system, system review is necessary to note and correct these errors. In addition, from system review, the developer can know the full capabilities of the system, required changes and the additional requirements. If a significant change needs to be executed, a new project has to be set up and proceed through all the life cycle phases (New York State Office, 2009).

Currently, EQ’s supermarket management system is running in YDL. The supermarket had reduced 2 members. Nearly 500 people were registered as members. Moreover, the owner of YDL wants to turn his business to chain-store operations. EQ has started to evaluate this project.


According to Paul Davidson et al. (2003), waterfall model fits the situations where most appropriate that project has clear objects and solutions, the requirements are comprehensive and stable and etc. In this case, the lifecycle of this supermarket management system shows that E-Qun Web-Studio used waterfall method. This framework type is linear:

Those deliverables and milestones were measurable. The whole project was divided into phases; emphasized on planning, time management, target dates and system implementation at one time; maintained control of project through using extensive documents such as project plan, test plan, etc.


To sum up, the lifecycle for information system development is mainly make up of eight aspects. They are system study, feasibility study, system analysis, system design, coding, testing, implementation and maintenance. Linear type is the simplest framework to develop the system (Paul et al. 2003). In small information system, if the system is not extremely complex, requirements are stable and can be identified easily, project team is less experienced and project schedule is unambiguous, it is strongly recommended that this project uses waterfall method as the develop methodology (Paul et al., 2004).


Alter, S and Browne, J, 2005, ‘A Broad View of Systems Analysis and Design’, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, Volume 15, 2005, pp. 981-999,

CMS, 2009,’ Testing Framework Overview’, Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services,

Available at: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/SystemLifecycleFramework/Downloads/CMSTestingFrameworkOverview.pdf

[Accessed at 23th Dec, 2009]

Davidson, P, Hedrich, R, Leavy, T, Sharp, W, & Wilson, N, 2003, ‘Information Systems Development Techniques and Their Application to the Hydrologic Database Derivation Application’, the Centre for Advanced Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems,

Available at: http://cadswes.colorado.edu/PDF/RiverWare/DavidsonLV2002.pdf

[Accessed at 28th Dec, 2009]

E-Qun Web-Studio, 2009, About Us, E-Qun Online,

Available at: http://www.equn.net/aboutus.asp

[Accessed at 29th Dec, 2009]

Fisher, P, McDaniel, J & Hughes, P, 2004, ‘System Development Life Cycle Models and Methodologies’ Canadian Society for International Health Certificate Course in Health Information System, Module 3: System Analysis & Database Development, Part 3: Life Cycle Models and Methodologies.

Available at: http://famed.ufrgs.br/pdf/csih/mod3/Mod_3_3.htm

[Accessed at 14th Dec, 2009]

J. Kääriäinen and A. Välimäki, 2008, ‘Impact of Application Lifecycle Management – A Case Study’, Enterprise Interoperability III, New Challenges and Industrial Approaches, Springer London Press, London

New York State Office, 2009,’System Implementation’, Project Management Guidebook, Release 2,

Available at: http://www.oft.state.ny.us/pmmp/guidebook2/SystemImplement.pdf

[Accessed at 22th Dec, 2009]

Rodney Parkin, 1997,Software Unit Testing, IV & V Australia,

Available at: http://www.ivvaust.com.au/UnitTesting.pdf

[Accessed at 20th Dec, 2009]


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