This paper describes the Inventory Management System sufficiently to determine the feasibility and usability of a finished system. The core concept is to track the sale of items from the cash registers with additional features for interpreting the data. It uses a client-server model with a connected database to allow multiple stores and warehouses to be connected. This allows for later expansion while still supporting the targeted small businesses. The core features and final framework should be completed within 2 weeks, leaving 5 weeks to implement additional features and testing.
1. Operational Concepts
The Inventory Management System is a real-time inventory ...view middle of the document...
The second feature of the Stock Manager Client web interface will allow the user to modify application settings, such as the threshold for email notifications, frequency of inventory scans (daily at a particular hour, weekly, monthly, etc.), and security settings. The third feature of the Stock Manager Client web interface will allow the user to update the inventory during the restocking process. See Figure 1. Since a web interface will be used, a network that supports the HTTP/HTTPS protocol must exist, whether it is a private network for an isolated customer deployment or an Internet connection for a multi-site customer deployment. The bandwidth of the network depends on the frequency of transactions. A bandwidth of at least 10 Mbps is recommended (small commercial deployment). The database to store the inventory data will use a MySQL database.
Since the software and hardware resources of cash registers are not available due to the variation in software and cost, we will be developing an emulated Cash Register client to interface with actual cash registers. The Cash Register client will emulate purchases by having a simple graphical interface with fields for a barcode number and quantity and a button to make a purchase. See Figure 2. As these resources become available, the actual implementation for specific cash register models will be considered for future releases of the Inventory Management System. JavaPOS will be used as a reference for emulating cash registers, and could potentially be used to create the actual implementation of the future release.
Alternatively, commercially licensed products are available. In particular, the Microsoft ASP.NET (Active Server Pages) framework can be used. This requires a Microsoft ASP.NET web server and a Microsoft SQL Server database, which also requires a Microsoft operating system. However, these alternative system requirements will increase the overall costs for both implementation and deployment.
Figure 1. The three features of the Stock Manager Client web interface.
Figure 2. The emulated Cash Register Client interface.
3. System and Software Architecture
The programming language for the Inventory Management System application will be in Java since the JSP/Tomcat architecture will be used. Both types of clients will communicate with the server using Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) with Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Thus, security will be upheld by HTTPS in both a private network and a network connected to the Internet. The application will use a client-server model. See Figure 3.
Furthermore, the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) will use the MySQL Connector/J driver for the server to communicate to the inventory database. Upon receiving requests from the clients, the server will issue transactions to the MySQL database with ACID properties. The Cash Register clients will maintain local...