Posted by: ahmedashfaque | September 30, 2014

software architecture considerations

When people think of building a software, they have some idea of its architecture. When they do estimation for building the software product they first break the software product into parts. Then they make estimate for each of the software component. Adding all these estimates becomes estimate for the effort required to build the entire software product.

There are some problems associated with effort estimation though. It is the software product itself which is not defined correctly. This results in wrong effort estimates for the software product development. Let us take one example.

This software product is about building a travel reservation for a train network system. People journey on a train after getting a confirmed ticket. to make reservation for a journey the user logs in the system to find suitable trains between 2 stations. The system displays available trains for the date of travel. The user chooses one of the trains. The system then displays availability of seats on that particular train. If any seat is available then the user can book a ticket using the system. The booked ticket ticket shows passenger’s names, their ages, their sex, seat number etc. The ticket also shows the train number, date of travel, time of departure and arrival of the train at originating and destination stations.

In India, the Indian Railways changes the timing of train arrival 7 departure at stations every six months. So whenever their is change of timings, the system should be updated with new timings. These new timings should be shown on the website where booking is done as well as on the tickets.

When the architecture of the software system is done, the date of travel field for website should not be different from the date of travel field for the tickets. Somehow the Indian Railways booking system has these 2 fields different. So what is happening is that users can see date of travel along with time of departure & arrival of trains at their origin & destination stations on the website but the hour & minutes part of the date of travel is not printed on the tickets. This is creating problems for travelers. Sometimes the new timings for trains is updated for tickets and users see them on their tickets but sometimes the database administrators do not update the new timings field for tickets and rather leave it blank. So the travelers do not see the hour & minute of departure & arrival of their train at the station on their tickets.

The people who had designed this software may not have done their job properly.



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