Nature of solution

What is it?

This is where you look at the implementation of the system and decide on the aesthetics and storage of the system. Essentially you are looking at data structure design and input/output design.

Data dictionary

At this point you are not deciding on what data needs to be stored. The first step is to go through the requirements specifications and write down all of the data items which may need storing. This is best done in a table like the one below –
Customer table


Data type






Store customer surname

Customer ID



Each customer will have a unique number – Primary Key

As you are listing them try and assign them to tables. Once you have created the data dictionary you then need to normalize your database. You should refer to your lesson notes for this. Tables should then be written in the following form -
CUSTOMER(Customer ID, Surname, forename, DOB, email, phone number)
The next step is to create an ERD diagram to show the relationships between the different tables. Your final data structure design will include –

You do not have to show the steps of normalization nor do you get any marks for doing it. However if you do not normalize your database then you will get a lot of problems during implementation!

Input / output design

As you will most likely be producing a GUI you will need to design each screen before you implement them. This follows the exact same idea as what you did for F452 designing an interface. You will decide on how to make the users experience efficient and complete.
Note – You must include online help! You will potentially lose a lot of marks if you miss out online help.
When designing you need to -

Note – To speed things up design your forms in whatever you will be developing in. That way you only have to do it once!

Mark descriptions

5–6 marks

A clear set of objectives with a detailed and complete design specification, which is logically correct. There is evidence to show that the end user has seen and agreed these designs. There are also detailed written descriptions of any processes/modules and a clear, complete definition of any data structures. The specification is sufficient for someone to pick up and develop an end result using the software and hardware specified in the requirements specification.

3–4 marks

The major objectives of the new system have been adequately summarised, but omissions have been made. There is a brief outline of a design specification, including mock-ups of inputs and outputs, and the process model has been described (including a diagram: structure diagram, data flow diagram or system flowchart). There is some evidence that the end user has seen these designs. However, there is a lack of completeness with omissions from the process model, inputs and outputs. Data structures have been identified but there may be inadequate detail.

1–2 marks

Some vague discussion of what the system


High mark boundary

Middle mark boundary

Low mark boundary

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