My name is Ana Castro and I am a currrently a student at De Anza College taking CIS50. There is always something new to learn about computers and I would really like to solidify my knowledge of the basics behind computers and information systems, more specifically, the process behind creating IS's and ways that I can apply them in my career once I graduate.
Lifecycle- Concept Development
Users: Landscape companies that offer gardening services that want to provide immediate solutions to their customers irrigation's system problems such as a broken pipe or over watering during rainy season.
Users need: The basics such as wireless internet connection, any device that can show the status of the system. Customers location, weather information for their customers location , type of irrigation system (ex. drip, sprinklers), type of vegetation, a user friendly interface that explains in detail the issue taking place with the irrigation system and or weather conditions.
System needs: Constant and reliable communication between main system and the customer's irrigation system (irrigation system needs to be monitored by sensors constantly), server and network to store and allow easy access the customers information and data regarding their system.
Lee: Hello Ana! Good luck with your studies here at De Anza and in the future!
Lifecycle- Hardware Requirements
Users will need to have computers, and servers. It would be helpful also to have smart cell phones so they can access the information outside the office. Additionally, weatherproof (wireless or wire) sensor nodes need to be installed at the customer's house. Finally, power cables and standard weatherproof wires to wire the system at the headquarters as well as the customer’s home.
Lifecycle- Design Specifications
The objective of the system is to detect issues with the a clients irrigation system without having to inconvenience the client by proving real time monitoring of weather and components of the system.
Some of the "what specs" would be
Inputs: Weather conditions (rain or no rain),Sensors detecting a leakage in the irrigation system,Notifications made my clients via email/text/phone.
Outputs: Summary of location of sensor along with clients contact information for staff users,Notification to the client via email/text/phone that a problem was detected and notified to the company,Summary of notifications made biweekly due to weather conditions (optional, dependent on the client),Provide a list of the most immediate solutions such as turning off the irrigation system.
Some of the "how specs" would be
Data would be sent directly to main server where: Address of the sensor would be located along with the clients contact information,Bring out the layout of the irrigation system, Pinpoint location of sensor within the layout,Keywords such as "broken pipe" would call actions such as turn off system.
My system would involve setting sensors that would allow controllers to adjust the irrigation system of a customer based on weather conditions and other issues such as broken sprinkler or water pipe. There are current devices out there that help control irrigation systems for the weather so this aspect of the system would be bought and incorporated to the overall system. Since there is no current device with a system that is able to detect a broken part we would have to find or create devices that can server the purpose of notifying us that there was broken part that needs to be fixed and take action in real time to prevent water to be wasted.
I feel that it would be better to build around what has been bought and if possible adjust what we bought to make it work with the additional parts of the system in order to save some money. For example, there are applications that help organize databases and will also ensure the data gets send and received. In other words create subsystems with the different applications and make them work under a larger system. The implementation needs to be done in a timely manner so that we can keep track of the progress of our system in the customers house and to begin the process of saving the customer money.
In regards to what I would offer that other companies don't currently offer is real time response, notifications of weather changes and quick action to problems such as broken parts that can lead to large water bills. Additionally, I will offer an accessible web site and user friendly irrigation system with modifications for elderly users. In my research I found that many companies only offer things like sensors and controllers but not overall real time response to other issues.
Integration and Testing
Since my system in composed of two subsystems which are dependent upon the input of my clients (the smart irrigation system/sensors) and the information provided by us it will require for the different sections to be build separately then joined. For this project many people will be involved. First there needs to be people who will help with the creation of the two subsystems (3 persons). Additionally, we will need people who will go out into the customers homes and install the sensors into their current system or install a new smart irrigation system ( the number of people will depend on how many clients we have and how fast we would want to implement the system). Finally, the overall system will be build by taking the different subsystems and joining them. The point of focusing on working on individual subsystems was to reduce error on the overall system. Some of the most challenging issues for testing will proper connection of sensors and having accurate real time connectivity.
In regards to legal issues, one of the major issues that I can see is going over the limit amount of water. Some cities and or states are undergoing droughts and limit the amount of water used for gardens/vegetation. This can be solved by finding out what the limits are and creating an irrigation system that can work with those limits. Also, we can suggest a new landscape design with a smart irrigation system that can help them maintain an aesthetically pleasing vegetation and can help them and the state conserve water and money. Some of the problems that I can foresee taking place between the customers and us will be loss of connectivity. If something breaks and we are not aware of it or we are aware of it and cant reach them or take action, it can cause customers to have to pay a higher water bill, this can result in them loosing trust on our company and overall system.
Deployment and Acceptance
One of the services that I liked from Less Software was that they offered was inventory management and IT professional. They offered the information system platform and the training for all users. Some of considerations that must be included in the deployment and acceptance process are whether there is enough staff trained in case our user's have questions, that our customers have all the necessary devices to help them connect to our system, that we the necessary hardware and software in our facilities to implement the information system acquired. After looking of the process of deployment and acceptance I would incorporate having the necessary hardware and software to support the system, an infrastructure support group and early involvement of customers in the acceptance criteria. I found this site very helpful.
Once my system has been deployed the next stage is to keep the system working/running and if there are new users to teach those new users to learn to use the system. Some of the things things that need to get done for the production phase would be to first make sure that we have a person that can monitor the system, set up customer support services for users, make preparations for a possible disaster for data recovery, set up dates for when there for in detail analysis of the system and see if upgrades will be necessary and have teams ready if fixes need to be made.
I found this site to be really helpful in terms of understanding what are some of the important steps in the Production phase.
Retirement and Rollover
Once my system is ready to retire what I will do is to let the customers know ahead of time that we will be retiring the old system and if there is still water in the world to irrigate vegetation then we will upgrade to the new system. If this is not the case we will let them know that we will be collecting all of the sensors and devices that were connected to the irrigation system as well as remove any software that was installed on their devices to facilitate our services.
If we are able to determine a more efficient way to help with the irrigation system and this new system requires different inputs and outputs then we will have to retire the old system and create a new one. We will transition to the new system similarly to how we transition with the fist system. We will let the customers know that there will be new devices set in place and that there will be a period of time for testing followed by training on how the system works both for customers and employees. I am hoping to be able to have a less invasive irrigation system that requires less fragile sensors and more accurate "real time" connectivity.