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Design

The Design section of each chapter is devoted to discussing the problem and designing a solution. This usually means writing down a list of business requirements and desired features to implement, as well as the design of the necessary database objects for the data storage, and the structure of the classes to retrieve, manipulate, and present the data to the user. At the beginning of a project you start out by thinking about your client's needs, and how you might meet those needs, and possibly even expand on them to give your client more functionality than the minimum needed, while still staying within your time limits and budgetary guidelines. As stated in the problem section, your client in this scenario is a pub owner who wants to have a web site to promote her pub, providing online information about upcoming events, reports about past events, and more. This initial idea can be expanded in many ways, to create a site that has a lot more interesting things, good for its users (who are also potential customers for the physical pub) and for the store owner. We can begin by writing down a list of features that a modern content-based site should have, and a few reasons why they are useful:

To recap everything in a few words, the TheBeerHouse site will have everything a modern content-based site will have, including dynamic articles and news, polls for user-to-site communication, forums for user-to-user communication, newsletters and RSS feeds to notify members about new content on the site, an e-commerce store for selling products online, home page personalization, and content localization.

Although the sample project is built around a fictitious pub, you'll recognize in this list of requirements the common features of the majority of content- and commerce-based sites you find online now, and sites that you're likely to develop in the near future, or maybe even sites you're developing right now.


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