Courier Management System Based on ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity Framework
|✅ Paper Type: Free Essay||✅ Subject: Information Technology|
|✅ Wordcount: 3399 words||✅ Published: 23rd Sep 2019|
Implementation of Courier Management System Based on ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity Framework
The main goal of the portfolio is to implement a project using knowledge acquired through courses taken and class projects at graduate level. The primary focus of this portfolio project is to produce a web application. This project was completed integrating ASP.NET MVC 5 framework and Entity Framework architectures. Hence, an application – Courier Management System was built using these two frameworks. Courier management system is an application that helps companies to keep track of packages and deliveries of packages to customers. The tradition approach involves use of paper or board to track deliveries of packages. Hence, the use of Courier Management System makes it easier to follow up on the deliveries. The Courier Management System developed in this project has the below features such as user management, consignment, consignment modification, proof of delivery and consignment status.
Table of contents
- Technology Overview
2.1 ASP.NET MVC 5
2.1.1 ASP.NET MVC Architecture
2.1.2 Advantages of ASP.NET MVC framework
2.2 Entity Framework
2.2.1 Entity Architecture
2.2.2 Advantages of Entity framework
- Courier Management System based on ASP.net MVC Framework and Entity Framework
3.1 System Design
3.2 System Functionality
3.3 Use Case and Class Diagram
3.4. Application Screenshots
ASP.NET MVC was announced in 2007. Model- View-Controller (MVC) architecture gained popularity because of some of the features it offered such as responding directly to HTTP requests, building out web frameworks, and writing beautiful HTML codes using handlers and modules. (ASP.NET MVC, 2018)
In the MVC architecture,
- Model: consists of application data
- View: defines how the application’s UI will be displayed
- Controller: Communication, overall application flow, and application-specific logic
are handle by the user,
Object Relational Mapping (ORM) is a programming technique that maps the application objects to the data stored in the database. In other words, they introduce a direct mapping mechanism between the object and database. Entity is one such ORM solution. In Entity Framework, Entity data model represents whole database even when it is not required. Hence, we need to make sure it uses single unit. This helps the application to perform consistently as it does not required loading of unnecessary objects such as tables and views. (Spring in action, 2008)
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When the architectural design is considered, many factors must be considered. Some of the aspects are such as compatibility, extensibility, fault tolerance, maintainability, reliability, security and usability. This application has been designed considering these factors in consideration. The first step in implementing this project was to understand and analyze the requirement of stake holder i.e. courier companies in this case. After that, the system was designed using client server architecture following software development life cycle guidelines. Some of the steps include creating use case diagrams, class diagrams, organizing entities, analyzing and identifying modules or sub systems.
The proposed application – ‘Courier Management System’ has the advantages offered by both ASP.net MVC and Entity architectures as its design is based on the integration of these two frameworks. This application can be used by some of the courier companies in Nepal. It will help companies to operate their business in a more effective manner. The Courier Management System developed in this project consists of features such as user management, consignment, consignment modification, proof of delivery and consignment status.
The documentation is organized as following: The technology overview of ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity framework is discussed in section 2. Similarly, system design and system functionality of Courier Management System is explained elaboratively in section 3.1 and 3.2 respectively. Additionally, use case diagram, class diagram and application screenshots are included in section 3.3 and 3.4 respectively. Section 4 concludes the project and mentions future improvements. At last, the references and appendix are provided simultaneously.
2. TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW
This section presents detailed information about the ASP.NET MVC and Entity frameworks. It also contains the explanation of architecture of these frameworks and their advantages. The first
part of this section explains ASP.NET MVC 5 framework and second part of the section explains the Entity framework.
2.1 ASP.NET MVC Framework
ASP.NET MVC Framework is an open source web framework for building modern web applications and services. It is a powerful framework that has emerged to be an industry standard in the recent times. It assembled on the Common Language Runtime (CLR) that permits programmers to write ASP.NET code using any supported .NET language. It would help to develop flexible and loosely coupled web applications. It is an outline for building web applications that applies the general Model-View-Controller pattern to the ASP.NET framework (Singh 2014).
On a high level, the application lifecycle of ASP.NET MVC 5 application can be visualized as below:
Figure 1: ASP.NET 5 Application Lifecycle – High-Level View
2.1.1 ASP.NET MVC 5 Architecture
Figure 2: ASP.NET MVC Architecture
MVC is implemented in ASP.NET MVC using these 3 components:
- .NET Framework
- Entity Framework
- SQL Server
2.1.2 Advantages of ASP.NET MVC Framework
The main advantages of ASP.NET MVC are listed below:
- Allows the full control over the rendered HTML
- Provides clean parting of concerns(SoC)
- Allows Test Driven Development (TDD)
(ASP.NET MVC Overview, 2018)
2.2 Entity Framework
Persisting (or preserving) data is a complex task and a necessity of almost any web application. Entity Framework is an ORM (Object-Relational Mapping) structure which had picked up fame in the ongoing occasions as a proficient steadiness arrangement. Entity Framework is a object-relational mapper that empowers .NET designers to work with a database utilizing .NET objects. It eliminates the requirement for a large portion of the information get to code that designers typically need to compose(Freeman, 2018)
2.2.1 Entity Framework Architecture
Figure 4: Entity Framework Architecture
The Components of the Entity Framework architecture are as follows:
EDM (Entity Data Model): consists of Conceptual model, Mapping and Storage model
Conceptual Model: contains the model classes and their relationships
Storage Model: database design model that includes tables, views, stored actions, and their dealings and keys
Mapping: comprises of information that how the conceptual model is plotted to the storage model.
LINQ to Entities: the query language that used to write queries compared to the object model
Entity SQL: Another query language
Object Service: It is a main entry argument for retrieving data from the database and recurring it back
Entity Client Data Provider: convert LINQ-to-Entities or Entity SQL queries into a SQL query and connect with the ADO.Net data provider that in turn sends or recovers data from the database.
ADO.Net Data Provider: communicates with the database using standard ADO.Net. (Dykstra & Anderson, 2014)
2.2.2 Advantages of Entity Framework
The key advantages of Entity Framework are listed below:
- Implement queries against the conceptual model
- Refer data returned from the data source as objects
- Trail changes that were made to the objects
- Circulate object changes back to the data source
- Combine objects to controls
3. Courier Management System Based on ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity Framework
Customers always want to make sure that their packages are delivered to right location in a timely manner. The conventional way i.e. manual process of tracking these details is tedious, takes a lot time and makes managerial work difficult.
The business of courier companies depends on the good service provided to the customer. In order to overcome these issues, maximize daily functions, increase productivity and profits, it is necessary to implement courier management system.
This section explains Courier Management System in detail. It includes system design, different functionalities of system, use case diagram, class diagram and application screenshots.
3.1 System Design
In our application, ASP.NET MVC forms the Presentation and Business layer and Entity framework is used for the persistence to the database. The client i.e. browser sends an HTTP request to the web server (IIS), which is handled by the presentation layer of the application (Razor view engine) also known as the View. The request is processed through the service and business layer to the infrastructure layer where the entity framework acts as an intermediary layer to interact with the database server to get the data from the database server. After the result is retrieved from the database, the entity framework sends the result to the presentation layer and then, to the client.
Figure 5: Courier Management System – System Design
3.2 System Functionality
The courier management system has the below features:
The Courier Management System features user management, which consists of an option to manage the users and employees according to the company’s branch locations. The administrator of the Courier Management System can create, delete, update and view the user details, branch, user roles, position through the User Management.
Under Consignment, the user fills up the consignment details required to keep the record of the consignments / courier packages into the database.
- Consignment Modification
After the consignment is added, the user can track and manipulate the consignment details under Consignment Modification option.
- Proof of Delivery
After the consignment is delivered to the consignee, the user can search through the consigner details and add the Proof of Delivery to the system through this feature.
- Consignment Status
The user can track the status of the consignment at any moment from any branch location by searching the consignment number.
3.3 Use Case and Class Diagram
Figure: Use Case diagram for the Course Scoring System
Figure: Class Diagram for Courier Management System
3.4 Application Screenshots
This part contains secreenshots of the application.
User Management Screen:
Consignment Management Screen:
Consignment Modification Screen:
Proof of delivery Screen:
Consignment Status Screen:
ASP.Net is a powerful framework which can be integrated with Entity framework. The primary goal of this project is to implement a Courier Management System using two frameworks. The objective of my project is to learn, understand the ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity frameworks (both frameworks have become popular in enterprise level applications in the recent times) and implement a ‘Courier Management System’ integrating these two frameworks. This project would be a good reference for anyone trying to gain the practical knowledge of ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity frameworks and build a real-time web application integrating them. The Courier Management System features User Management, Consignment Status, Proof of Deliveryetc. User Management consists of an option to manage the users and employees according to the company’s branch locations. The administrator of the Courier Management System can create, delete, update and view the user details, branch, user roles, position through the User Management. This application can be used by different courier companies in Nepal to increase efficiency and productivity. This project can be used as resource for other projects involving integration of ASP.NET MVC 5 and Entity framework.
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One of the features in Courier Management System is that it is centralized, if we consider the fact that the database maintained in the system is critical and having a centralized database can be a great risk to the smooth operation of the company. Since a physical damage or software/system malfunction can cause the loss of data from the server. To avoid such consequences, the database maintained in the Courier Management System should be made distributed. It means that the database for the Courier Management System are maintained in more than one database servers, in which the data are backed up and synchronized concurrently among these database servers which can be spanned across various locations. Hence, future work will include expanding Courier Management System into a distributed environment.
- ASP.NET MVC. (2018, March). Retrieved from https://www.asp.net/mvc
- ASP.NET MVC Overview. (2018, March). Retrieved from www.microsoft.com: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd381412(v=vs.108).aspx
- Dykstra, T., & Anderson, R. (2014). Getting Started with Entity Framework 6 Code First using MVC 5. Microsoft Inc.
- Freeman, A. (2018). Pro ASP.NET MVC 5 5th Edition. Apress.
- Craig Walls, Ryan Breidenbach. Spring in action [M]. Greenwich: Manning Publications, 2008.
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