Archive for the ‘Design and Development’ Category

Project Feasibility

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Our initial plan and goal was to have a prototype of Shopster ready until the Dragon’s Den Pitch, but due to limited time we were not able to do that. However, it is possible to be implemented as a working project in a small amount of time.

We would implement the first version of Shopster using Android SDK, because the majority of our team is an Android-device holder. Android could give us the initial blossom to the application due to the fact that it is used in a big number of different devices as Operating System. We could also make a version for iPhones but this is can be done in the future, depending of the success of the initial application. Existing third-party APIs can be used to get some information and data for our application, such GPS locations for shops from FourSquare, Facebook’s and Tweeter’s APIs for users to connect to them and ProductWiki’s API in order to give some information about every single product of each offer (if the offer is for a specific product). These actions imply short implementation time and minimum effort for development and operational maintenance.

In order to have some initial offers in the system, we would post some offers ourselves. Without any initial offers we will not going to be able to attract any users. Another way to attract users is the use of the reward system and the free-registration of the normal users in the application.

An application like Shopster must be in some ways profitable. We would use the “freemium” model in order to generate profit. These ways are well explained in a previous post, the “Potential Profit through Shopster”

Concluding we can clearly say that our project is more than capable to be implemented and be used in the real world.

Shopster UML Use Case Diagram

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011
Shopster's UML Use Case

Shopster's UML Use Case

Design of Mockups

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Above you can see the mockups of our application as well as a simple navigation diagram. If you want to see a screen in more detail you can click to the links below.

  1. Login Screen
  2. Home Screen
  3. Register Screen
  4. Profile Screen
  5. Offers Screen
  6. Search Screen
  7. Nearby Shops
  8. Offers by Shop
  9. Friends Screen
  10. Groups Screen
  11. Subscriptions Screen
  12. View Offer Screen
  13. Add New Offer Screen
  14. Offers Results Screen
  15. Shop Screen
  16. User Comment Screen
  17. Map Screen
  18. Shop Photos Screen
  19. Submit Comment Screen

Best Buy Open Products API

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

The api set provides a REST based interface for Best Buy retailers entire product catalog which is updated regularly and access to information like pricing, availability, specifications, descriptions and images for nearly a million current and historical products.

Products can be searched using some 70 different product attributes like: productid, name, type, sku id, regular price etc. There is a search function using keyword which is in beta state.

It also has a bias function where the user can specify how important or unimportant a particular search attribute is to him/her by attaching certain weight to the search results.

The api can also be used to search the availability of stores within the specified distance with a particular product in stock. It also includes Napster’s product catalog.

Another important feature which can be used by Shopster is the review api which allows retrieval of review information like reviewer, rating, date submitted, and review commentary.

* only access to best buy company info- not necessarily a disadvantage.
* popular only in US.

Amazon – product advertising api

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Amazon provides product advertising api for users to advertise amazon products. It provides details like items for sale, customer reviews, seller reviews, as well as most of the functionality that we see on, such as finding items, finding similar items, displaying customer reviews, and product promotions.

The api is free.

The function (itemsearch) takes a range of parameters to specify the customers requirements to view a set of items. The api provides access to the Amazon database which is called catalog. The results can be narrowed down by specifying search indices(eg:- to narrow the search results to just books category).

The search results are returned in XML format.

Using the service requires the user to register for an AWS access ID.The web service supports both REST & SOAP request. It supports languages like: JAVA, C#, PERL, PHP.

The Amazon api provides customer reviews as part of their api which could be integrated into Shopster so that the users can view reviews for their selected products. Reviews hosted by a trusted host like Amazon will add value to the application.

Database Diagram

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Database Diagram

Database Diagram

Rewards and RateFriendPerCategory tables pending, waiting for decision

ProductWiki api & Widget

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Since Shopster application provides information related to product offers, it is useful to provide other shopping-related features that users will find helpful. There are numerous such services which provide their functionality through free apis. One such service is ProductWiki.

ProductWiki provides api support for accessing product information in their databases. The api provides two kinds of queries; one for a specific product (for eg:- iphone) using the productid and one for a general search of the product. It supports product search using different identifiers such as Amazon Standard Identification Number, Universal Product Code, European Article Number, Manufacturer Part Number and ProductWiki-specific productid. The api provides two return types: xml and json. User registration is required to get the api key.

The result of the api query is the information provided in the productwiki page of the corresponding product like: images, key features, pros and cons, reviews, related products from competitors, tags etc.

ProductWiki also provides a ready-made widget: “ProductWiki connect” that can be integrated into a website. In contrast to the api which provides an interface for accessing the data, the widget is used  for accessing the ProductWiki specific features like product voting. pulling data from networking websites.


Navigation Diagram of Shopster

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
Navigation Diagram

Navigation Diagram