Capstone Experience: dunnhumby

Our team is working on a web-based solution that takes a user’s Facebook data and combines it with shopping data accumulated by dunnhumbyUSA to generate a personalized infographic showing the user their shopping habits. Since the last blog post the dunnhumbyUSA project team has moved into the final stages of the design and build phases of the project. To get to this point we have completed all of the planning deliverables and have our database set up and ready to receive data from dunnhumbyUSA. Along with this, we have also set up our development environment using technologies such as Visual Studio 2010, Team Foundation Server, SQL Server, and the C# Facebook SDK.

In order to get to this point in the project we have had to overcome, and are still working through, several challenges. One of the major challenges that we have had to face is settling on the requirements for the design of the application from our client. As the project moved forward, our client began to have more ideas as to how the functionality of the application should flow. Because of this we have had to go through many iterations of design until we settled on the current form. Another challenge that we are currently facing is handling data coming from Facebook. A large part of this comes from general unfamiliarity with the C# Facebook SDK and how it interacts with Facebook’s API which features client side scripting for authentication. No members of the group have had previous experience with using JavaScript for authentication in MVC. We are, however, making progress and learning a lot from this experience.

The part of the project that we are currently working on, and have made the most headway in, is the backend development and the user interface. This has involved setting up our application to handle user validation, reading and writing input from the user to the database, and handling the data coming from Facebook. The user interface and flow of the application are being finalized at this stage and will be completed soon. After this is completed we will begin work on the generation of the infographic itself and inserting the specific user data into it. From there we will complete the build phase and be on schedule to deploy in December.

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