Student Project Express: Completing your student project with Microsoft technologies

Learning to use the Microsoft Developer tools and technologies (.NET Framework, C#, Visual Studio, SQL Server, etc) is something that can prove extremely important for graduates looking for a job once they complete their studies.

Using these for the final student project is a great way to learn in a productive way and is potentially a great way to show how proficient one is when having interviews especially if this is with one of the many Microsoft partners who build and sell products built on top of the Microsoft stack.

And for those of you who are new to our tools and products, I decided to start this small series of blog posts that will take you through a complete project and show you how to use Microsoft technologies end-to-end the “Student Project Express” which will guide you through all the steps needed to complete the project, allowing you to focus on delivering a great solution and write-up!”

During the duration of the series I will cover a few different aspects:

  1. Reading the project brief and defining the solution architecture
  2. Getting hold of the software, install and configure it so you have a fully functional development environment
  3. Designing the database schema
  4. Creating your system back end using Web Services
  5. Creating a user interface for multiple devices (both end user and admin interface)
  6. Integrating 3rd party services and/or connecting with social networks
  7. Debug and deploy the solution in a production environment

The brief for this coursework has been taken almost entirely from one used in a the real MSc in Internet Applications Development by the London Metropolitan University.

So… let’s start by taking a quick look at the project brief.

The full project brief is available here as a Word document. Make sure as a first thing you download and read it carefully as understanding the brief fully is a key part of then being able to develop the solution!

While the next post in the series will go into details into reading the brief and translating it into a solution architecture, I want to just spend a few words about it now.

The objective of the application we will need to design and the develop is…

You must develop an application to provide the students with information regarding the modules in the courses that are currently offered at your University. The web pages must integrate some web services and allow users to view information via a desktop and a mobile browser.

So, we can see right away that we will need to create a set of web services that will be “consumed” by a web interface either on our computer desktop and on a mobile device.

While this is not an extremely complex brief, it will require the use of a number of different technologies and the integration of these which I think makes it the perfect candidate for this type of blog series.

One thing which is worth noticing is that I am not aiming to teach you to program! In order to follow this blog posts you need to understand the basics of database design, object oriented programming, web services, HTML and CSS.

I will provide links to reference material that you can use to learn more about the individual technologies I will be using but having a sound understanding of the fundamental concepts is definitely going to be needed.

This is it for now… feel free to download the brief and try thinking how you would go about creating your solution. And let me know if there are any aspects you would like to see me cover in addition to the ones I mentioned above!

See you in January for a detailed analysis of the brief!

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