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The continuous advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, has improved a lot in our nations, making life easier for individuals, organizations and institutions. Every field now sees the importance of ICT as the world goes global and tend towards ubiquitous computing. Advancements in ICT has also reduced time taken to complete tasks or activities, many tasks can now be automated with the help of technology against the manual way of processing, storing, accessing, communicating and providing information from one person to another or among group of people (Richards, McGreal and Friesen, 2002). The role of information is inevitable in our daily lives; information is extremely important to the successful performance of any organization. The constant and steady stream of communication and information helps to build credibility and reflect a sense of transparency in our daily interaction. Various people assemble together for the purpose of communicating with one another towards achieving personal or organization goal.
The latest development in business activities demands for easy access to the location of businesses, their service(s) or product(s) so that effective transaction will be achieved always. If the information about businesses is known within a country, it will boost the economic activities of such country because of easy access to businesses.
This study therefore, aims to explore new functionalities and technologies for developing a directory for business identification and location.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Over the years, various business directories have been implemented and deployed to improve business identification or location by customers or other businesses. However, there are still improvements that could be done. For example, business listing has been an issue in Nigeria, companies do not have a wider range of business view. Also, unemployment issues may be as a result of poor business presence, businesses may have job opportunities that they want to advertise to the general public.
Finally, network related issues are observed to be another issues affecting business outreach. Therefore, issues of poor network access, rate of data usage, loading and responds time of commands are aimed to be addressed in the new system.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
This project is aimed to develop a mobile based directory for business identification and location. The following specific objectives will help in achieving the stated aim:
- To assess the current business directories in terms of functionalities and technologies used.
- To design a new directory for easy business identification and location using enhanced technology (Laravel, VueJs, MySQL and Push Envoy).
- To implement the proposed business directory.
- To validate the proposed business directory.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This project is purposefully to address the problem of poor access to business locations and services within Nigeria. As such, the project will be beneficial to business owners, customers and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The business owners will benefit from the system as it will provide them with solutions that will increase their target market. Some of the benefits for the business owners are:
o Reduce the problem of poor access to business locations and services: many businesses are not being patronized not because they don’t sell quality products or render good services but because they can’t be located by potential customers. The new system will provide a business location directory that will be available to customers.
o Increase target audience: the new system provides the business owners to reach out to a larger number of potentials customers and this will increase the business sales and increase profit.
o Advertise job vacancies: the new system provides the business owners to easily advertise job vacancies to the public and with this they can easily employ more work force for the business.
The users of the system will benefit from the following functionalities:
o Easy access to business location: The users will have easy access to business locations. The system will provide the users a helpful guide on how to reach the business. This includes the business location and address.
o Access to business services and products: users will be able access business products or services offered by businesses.
o Access to business contact address: users can easily get business phone numbers and email address to contact the business owners.
- Federal Government Nigeria
With a good business grounds in the country the government will benefit from the following:
o Increased payments in tax: with a high increase in business activities, there will be a higher increase in tax payments by business owners and this will increase the economy of the country.
o Reduced Unemployment: With a good business environment more businesses will spring up and it will reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.
1.5 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The project scope is to develop a more efficient business directory application that runs both on desktop and mobile phone for business identification and location.
The limitation of this project includes but not limited to:
1. It is not a new concept but a modification of existing concepts using the new development technology to develop an effective business directory application.
2. Learning of new technology.
3. Integration on third party API’s that may demand charges.
4. Not every business can be registered.
1.6 Definition of Terms
Learning Objects: In the context of this research, a learning-object-is-a-resource with a clear educational-application. It is in digital form – examples: a Microsoft Word Document or a PDF document.
Business Directory: A business directory is an archive, storehouse or container that allows storage, cataloging, accessing all business related information.
Identifier: An identifier is simply a unique identity attached to one object, it aids referencing such object directly when its identifier is requested. An identifier can be a serial number, identity number (also written as ‘ID’) or an index number.
Object: An object in the context of this research refers to a project record returned by a database – queried using an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) approach. An object (i.e. a business record) returns or contains the business name, business email, phone, address, location, category and the date and time the object record was created.
Database: A database is a repository that allows storage, retrieval and manipulation of data. A database can be used efficiently with the aid of a Database Management System (DBMS) – it comprises of tools that allows storage, access, retrieval and maintenance of data stored in a database, examples of DBMS include XAMPP, WAMP, LAMP and AppServ to mention a few. A database understands only the Structured Query Language (SQL) which is used to communicate with it, popular databases used by well-known Information Technology (IT) firms include are MySQL, Oracle and Django DB.
Web-Browser: A web-browser-is-software program that interprets the codes written in markup languages in graphic and visual (like images, text, audio or animation) form. This allows users to easily request and access a website or to search for information through a search engine (either Google, Ask, Bing and AOL among others).
Keyword: A phrase or just one word that is used to search for a certain result or set of results.
User: A user is system, application, request or person that can use a computer or software to perform a specific task.
Metadata: A set of data that describes and gives information about other data.
Dataset: A collection of related game plans of information that is made out of disengaged segments however can be controlled as a unit by a PC.
Relational Database: A database composed to see association among relations of information delineates tables from which data can be gotten to or reassembled in different courses without rearranging the database tables.
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