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Out of scope

• Financial system for the Institute

Constraint Requirements

Performance
·        A minimum response time is not required
Adaptability
·        Support for a variety of input text formats. 
Reliability
·        Negotiated overall availability e.g. 98%
·        Transactional integrity with payments gateway

Systems Management Functional Requirements

Operational monitoring and control
·        Realtime monitoring by MSP of service availability and performance
·        Alerting to IoCP of outages
·        Monthly service level reporting
System instrumentation, accounting, tuning
·        Realtime web statistics

System Interfaces Requirements

Support for XHTML.

ODBC access to database.

LDAP user authentication

SMTP email out and POP3 in

Financial data from payments to IoCP financial system.

User Facilities Requirements

All interaction is via a web browser.   We do not cater for mobile devices or other specialist interfaces. Nor will we automatically process emails.
As many web browsers as possible should be supported, but at a minimum IE and Netscape.
Some consideration should be given to disability access and multiple languages.
Authentication of users will be password only. Two factor authentication should be considered for administrative access.
Two levels of interaction should be provided: simple access for downloading content, and more advanced access for other functions.

Assumptions and Dependencies

Wild assumptions are made about levels of use, based on the absence of any predictive models.

Functionality is specified based on the currently available versions of Apache, MySQL, Drupal and Tortoise.

 

System architecture and construction

All software is to be open source and free unless a good business case can be made otherwise.  Recommendations are:

·        Apache web server

Control, support and maintenance

The production website will be outsourced to a hosting managed service provider (MSP). This will include some or all of hardware, database, web server and the CMS. It will also include file storage for all versions of the content: current production, archives, and changes under review. 
A copy of all versions is to be stored offsite under IoCP control as well.
Hosting of the development version of the website may or may not be outsourced.
As part of hosting services, as much administration, maintenance and support as possible should also be outsourced to the MSP, under a service contract with defined reporting. Exceptions are CMS administration and user administration.

Operational characteristics

Since the website is supporting only the Institute community not the wider user community, transactional loads may not be great. On the other hand, as we have no similar systems on which to model, we have no good indications either way. Another unknown factor that will influence growth of usage is how quickly regional chapters of IoCP will begin serving users directly with their own websites. Given that the Institute is a not-for-profit, we can expect some tolerance of performance issues, so long as they are not long-term.
Therefore it is proposed that hosting be purchased on a conservative performance basis, and upgraded or the provider changed only if necessitated by demand. An on-demand model would be useful.
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