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Business placement work

This report contains information and the snapshots of the website that I’ve created for my

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3rd year business placement work. The site I’ve designed is about e-learning products. Company that I was working for has over 800 e-learning products about IT & Desktop and Business and Professional Development courses. Each course is accessible only online 24 hours a day. The Site I’ve been asked by my

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employee to design a new website which will take over the current one. The website is called Teknoloji Destekli Egitim which means Technology Based Training.

I’ve used Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Firework, Adobe Photoshop, MS Frontpage and some other minor tools. Current website is still online and can be found at http://www. tde. com. tr. The reason that my

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project is not yet online is, the company I was working for asked me to enable online payments and automation of the system. Now I would like to explain briefly what changes I’ve made and what is meant to be on the site. Old site (Figure 1A) Old site, which can be seen on left (Figure 1A) gives basic information and new courses which are available on the site. Also some other discounts and payment options.

Before my

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project only payment which was accepted was money orders. Also on the left frame of the page, some IT Certificate courses’ information is available. On the top right of the corner users can login to the system with their assigned username and password. With the old system, when a user wants to buy a course they need to go through the steps (which I will explain in more details later) and when we receive the payment, we allow them to use the course. All this process was manual and needed some hand work for us to adjust the database (which stores personal information) so that user can login to the system.

With the automation of the system I’ve allowed the company to accept credit cards online and with the help of ASP (Active Server Pages) programming, they can buy the course and login the system within seconds once their payment is authorized by the Bank. All the information that user supplies is stored on two different SQL Server databases. One database holds the users password, login name, e-mail, course name, course id… and the other database stores how many hours/minutes has the course been used by the user. All the courses have time limit that’s why second database is quite important at this step.

Each course has a total learning time which is assigned by the course producing company called NetG (http://www. netg. com). If a course has 8 hours of total learning time, we limit the access to that course to 24 hours which is 3 times more than the actual specified learning time. User can access the course anytime, anywhere he/she has an internet connection within 1 year. Once 24 hours has been exceeded, then user can not enter to that course anymore. FIGURE 1B On the new site I’ve changed pretty much everything in design including the websites logo(can be found on the cover page or on the picture left.)

All the courses are stored on MS Access database and I’ve included a search bar on the first page. Also I didn’t specify the width in terms of numbers. I’ve used percentage which enables a better view for all resolutions. I’ve also removed all the frames used on the site and created a navigation bar with Macromedia Fireworks. Upon removing the frames within the page a navigation bar which is on the left gave more functionality to the site, because user can also find the subtopic’s by this way so that they don’t have to spend too much time finding the course or the Certificate Program they want.

Also just above this navigation menu there 9 main navigation buttons which are accessible through the site. This buttons include, help, main menu, contact, login, all courses, frequently asked questions and sample courses. All courses give the list of all the available courses offered by the company. Sample courses include 9 sample courses in different topics. Contact’s page includes a form which sends an e-mail directly to the person who is responsible for Customer Relations. Also telephone and fax numbers, address and e-mail are included on this page.

FAQ page includes most commonly asked questions like how to buy a course, how to contact us, how are the courses, courses’ duration etc. When a user logs on to the system, user can see the assigned courses and previously taken courses. Also the time information (like how many hours did the user use and how many hours left). With in the same page user can start taking the course. While a user or a non-user visits the site and if they would like to have some information about the offered courses then can visit the courses (in Turkish “Kurslar”).

All the offered courses are included in here and this page is connected with the shopping cart so that they can buy the course right after they browse the course/courses they require. Upon clicking on the course or the topic takes you to the subtopics of that page. On the subtopic or the course page you can add the course to your shopping list and right after that you can choose the preferred payment method which are credit card, money transfer or mail order. But as I’ve mentioned before credit card system is currently not working since the company is still negotiating with the bank.

When the user buys a course there are two options; * As the site has been designed to work with credit card functionality, when user pays with the credit card and if it has been authorized by the bank, all the information and the course information is forwarded to the database and it is available for user to the within seconds. All this process is automatic and did not need human interaction. System send the related person an e-mail saying that the user bought the course and forwards some of the personal information like e-mail, username, First name, last name etc.

Second option is, user wants to pay with money order or bank transfer; Related employee gets the e-mail and all other details. Then waits for user to send the scanned image of bank transfer statement or money to receive to the company. Once the company receives it, we make the account active and available to use. This is the old system and I’ve included this also to the new system so that other than the credit card, people or users will be allowed to use other payment methods.

Shopping cart that I’ve used in the system was a pre-built shopping cart available freely and open source which allowed me to make some major changes in the design so that I could use within the same interface with the site. I’ve removed some features and added some other “send it to a friend” and “fast checkout” option. After the shopping is done I’ve also added some ASP tag’s which send e-mail both to company and the user. Company receives users’ information and the user receives the buying information, reference number, contact details for the company, username and the password.

Also I was the one to find the best suitable SSL certificate for a secured payment system for users’ privacy and to find the bank available bank to support e-commerce in Turkey. I had the first contacts with the bank and SSL Certificate Authority. But since I have to return to London to continue my

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education and our company took things slow, online payment system is not yet available. This is why the new site is not pushed online and still currently under the subfolder tde-test. Using ASP programming language reduced the time consuming human work on the company itself.

Only business that the company is providing is all about this (which is e-learning solutions. ). Also as the company we are translating this e-learning materials to our native language and providing the service in Turkish as well. As translation projects takes long time we try to reduce the work that we spend on other subjects. With the help of the site all the payment processes are tracked and stored on the database and accessible to the relevant employee. Also courses were assigned to the users manually in the old system. I’ve created the new logo with Adobe Photoshop with some text fading effects and text fonts.

Because the old system had darker colors, we thought that the site needed a face change and we altogether decided to change it to a bluish color. Also every button (eg. Add to cart, check out, mail to a friend) is created with Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Fireworks. When a user visits the site, they can browse all the courses and the information of the site without logging in to the system. If a non-member visits the site and logins to the system they can go thought the last step and when it comes to the final step (which is payment) user is asked to login or signup.

After that stage user can finished the buying process within seconds. I’ve tried to keep the images and coding as simple as possible so that while loading the page it won’t take too much time(this is pretty much important in Turkey because over 80% of the Turkish population is still using modem – dialup internet connection. ). When I have involved with this project, I’ve been asked to create a simple site ECDL/ICDL project which our company was involved in. That site can be found at http://www. tde. com. tr/ecdl.

The system is pretty much the same as the old site but it included web based messaging. Users are able to ask a question from the site and then they can get their answers from the site again once it has been answered by us. Conclusion To sum up all of the above, this new site reduces the human-work significantly. Also in my

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opinion, design and functionality of the site improved which contains better navigation features with better interface. Removing the frames and adjusting the screen sizes with percentages made the site more user-friendly and easy to use.

Because there are some negotiations going over with the bank site is still not yet fully available on the internet. I’ve find this project quite interesting for my

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self because I had no idea about the ASP programming which the site is mainly designed with ASP right now. Using the programming and learning it while you are doing for something in real life makes things much easier than I’ve ever thought. It was something huge for me and I’m happy to have this project finished even much better than I was actually expected.

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