Following the requirements, the design stage addressed how to build the systems. The design of the system had to incorporate the functional and non-functional requirements mentioned in the analysis.

Choice of Development Tools

Development tools (e.g. development language, data storage and others) are very important to the success of a project. A wrong choice may spell disaster before the project is even underway and so these decisions should not be taken lightly.

Development Language

The most important decision to be made with respect to development tools is the programming language with which to develop the software. The choice of programming language is limited to a choice of either C++, Java, Perl or PHP.



Ideal Language Features

One of the most important interfaces that the chosen development language must offer, either as a part of the core language or by readily available extension to the language, is CGI. As CGI is an interface it allows you to write programs that access this interface in any development language - the requirement that the development language must already offer support for this interface is due to restrictions on development time.

HTTP is the underlying mechanism on which CGI operates therefore, as HTTP is a mostly text based protocol, “ease of text manipulation” and “inherent pattern matching” are very important features that we would like in our chosen development language.

Due to the very limited development time available, the other main consideration is the availability of core functionality, software libraries and extensions available to the development language.

The section below contains a list of advantages and disadvantages of the development languages being considered to implement the software.

Perl is a scripting language, and was originally developed for text processing purposes and as such Perl’s pattern matching boast features not found in other language’s implementation of pattern matching. Due to the nature of the language, it is often used to automate non-trivial system tasks and used as an all-purpose development language - it can be used to rapidly create very powerful programs to perform incredibly complicated tasks. A major advantage of the Perl programming language is its large following and the availability of software packages to achieve almost any goal - (In Perl) Most of the things you want to do have already been done. Two very good examples of this are the Net::NTTP and the CGI Perl modules, both of which would prove invaluable when creating a piece of software of this type.



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