User Management System (UMS) -- Detailed System Design
The Great Plains Free-Net (GPFN), a community-owned and operated Internet Service Provider in Regina, Saskatchewan, was embarking on a comprehensive modernization strategy. As part of this strategy, GPFN wanted to offer a number of new services and adopting a more member-centric philosophy. One problem with the previous User Management system was that very few volunteers understood or could manage it. It relied on an inter-related set of some 300 shell scripts and flat file tables from which to manage its database. The new design utilized a relational database engine for the back-end and a secure, web-enabled interface from which members, users, guests and volunteers could apply for accounts, upgrade accounts and approve, reject or revoke applications and accounts.
The system was designed to use a volunteer pool of developers to develop and implement the new system using a combination of MySQL, PERL, HTML and CSS as these were the skills the organization had in house.