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This paper gives a Mobile device application for students- "Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner". This application is based on a database created for a Pocket PC. It is a touch screen based Pocket PC application. It is for the candidates preparing for the competitive examinations. The planner is developed on Windows CE 6.0 (The Real Time operating system) platform. The application is data-centric, and involves local caching or data replication. The connectivity and integration of front-end body elements with back-end SQL Server Compact database are done using SQL Server, CE features and its functionality.
The .NET Compact Framework is developed by Microsoft Corporation for optimal performance under the limited device resource constraints . It not only provides the environment in which managed applications run on small scale platform (include Pocket PC, Smart phones, PDAs etc.) but also provides interoperability with the Windows CE Operating system installed on a device so that native functions can be accessed and can be integrated favorite of them into application.
SQL Server Compact 3.5 Edition (SSCE) is relational database management system, developed for mobile devices like smart phones, PDA etc. so it can be termed as "small foot print database engine". SSCE is a small size (Occupies memory of less thanÂ 2 MB), free relational database engine that can be installed on current Windows operating systems like Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 2000 .
The Query Processor (QP): The query processorÂ accepts SQL syntax, selects a plan for its execution, and executes it. The user or program interacts with the query processor, and the query processor interacts with the storage engine (SE). The query processor hides the query execution details from the user. The user specifies the result, and the query processor determines the mechanism for obtaining it. It provides a SQL parser, a query optimizer, an execution engine for SQL queries, and cursor support.
The Replication module (REPL): This component performs replication of data with a backend SQL Server database.
The Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner
2.1 Overview of Application
"The Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner" is a typical touch Screen based Pocket PC application for the candidates who are preparing for Competitive Exams like IIT-JEE, AIPMT, PSC,IAS etc. This application performs following functions:
It manages time for daily routine activities, study, exercise etc. It gives alarm message when time for any activity arrives according to schedule stored into database.
It manages nutrition of candidate. It tells how much nutrients are required daily for particular age group of candidates to keep the health better. It gives detailed nutritional description of food items taken in daily diet.
It reminds closest examination date daily and tells how many days and study hours are remaining for the examination.
It manages whole syllabus for competitive examination. It tells how much portion of syllabus has completed and how much is remaining.
It divides the syllabus into three parts on the basis of level of toughness i.e. Easy, Moderate and Difficult.
It also provides model test papers with the help of which candidate may evaluate himself.
Figure 1.1 Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner With main modules
This application is made up of six major modules which are described as follows:
Module-1 The Syllabus Manager:
This module has three components named as Syllabus Navigator, Syllabus Separator and Pie chart Viewer.
Figure 1.2 Syllabus Manager
The Syllabus Navigator keeps track of completed and uncompleted part of syllabus into database and performs retrieval, insertion, deletion and modification operations on table having details about the syllabus.
The Syllabus Separator divides up the syllabus of each subject into three categories Hard, Moderate and Easy on the level of toughness. The Pie chart Viewer displays Pie charts of syllabus on the basis of completion and on the basis of toughness level.
Module-2 The Nutritional Manager: Daily requirements of different vitamins, proteins, minerals etc. in diet are managed by this module. It takes details about food taken, as input and displays how much different nutrients are taken through that and how much will require more. It suggests also which food items should be included in diet to full fill different requirements of body.
Figure 1.3 Nutritional Manager
Module-3 The Examination Reminder: This module reminds about examination which is closest to today everyday through alert message. It also tells how much study hours and days are remaining for commencement of examination. This module is especially helpful to those candidates who apply for more than one examination.
Figure 1.4 Examination Reminder
Module-4 Time Table Manager (Scheduler): This module manages the daily schedule of candidate for study, exercise and other daily routine activities. It gives alert messages time to time for the scheduled activity stored into compact database.
Figure 1.5 Time Manager (Scheduler)
Module-5 The Progress Analyzer: The performance of candidate in studies can be analyzed through this module. It analyzes the performance on the basis of marks obtained in weekly, monthly tests. It gives graphical representation of his/her performance by plotting graph between test no. and marks obtained in them.
Figure 1.6 Progress Analyzer
Module-6 The Model Test Paper: This module helps the candidate for self evaluation. It takes test of 10 minutes and gives marks scored by candidate on the basis of the formula Marks obtained = 3R-W
Here R=No. of Correct Answers W= No. of Incorrect Answers
Figure 1.7 Model Question Paper
2.2 System Architecture
"The Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner" has two main architectural components which are called front end and back end. The front end is developed into Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 by using language VB.NET 2005.
The backend is developed by using SQL Server CE 3.5. The data stored in database is retrieved and accessed through front end.
The architectural overview of application is shown in Figure 1.8
Figure 1.8 Architectural Overview of application
The completely developed application is first deployed on Pocket PC 2003 Emulator provided by Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 during execution. If application executes successfully then it is deployed onto actual device called Target Device with the help of Active Sync 4.5.
Active Sync 4.5 is as an interface program between host PC and the Target Device. This program is installed on host PC. The deployment process is shown in Figure 1.9. The Pocket PC is the Target Device in Figure upon which the Application is deployed.
Figure 1.9 The Deployment Process
Development of Application
The application development process has two parts:
The Front end development
The Back end Database development
(a) The Front end is designed into Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 by using language VB.NET.
(b)The Backend database is designed into SQL Server Compact 3.5 Edition (SSCE).
The database connectivity with front end application is done into following two ways:
(1) The Remote data connectivity into which connectivity of front end applications is done with server databases (Remote databases) and data are accessed from the server. The replica of database is copied from the server to the device and manipulations, retrieval etc are done locally, in last the changes are made also into original copy of database present on server. The way, in which replica and original database both are kept up to date, is called Data synchronization .
(2) The Local data connectivity into which front end applications are connected to the local databases.
The proposed application stores data on the device (Pocket PC) locally so local data access approach is used.
The application ("Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner") has runtime database creation, table creation and data retrieval. The database connections are also made at runtime, when the Main Form of application loads in to main memory. Each operation onto the tables is performed at run time. The database access is performed with the help of the classes 'SqlCeConnection','SqlCeCommand' ,'SqlCeResultSet', 'SqlCeEngine'.
The SqlCeEngine class is used for creation of database by its object Engine. The 'SqlCeConnection' class is used for constructing the object 'Conn' for connection in between database and different application modules.
The Query is stored into 'CommandText' property of 'cmd' object of 'SqlCeCommand' class. Queries are executed through
'ExecuteResultset()' and 'ExecuteNonQuery()' methods. The query results are stored in to objects of 'SqlCeResultset' class.
The graphs and pie charts are drawn dynamically through an evaluation version of third party software"Component-One Studio". The 'C1Chart' class is used to draw graphs through user defined methods on the basis of data supplied to those methods at run time.
Deployment of Application
The successfully deployed application on the "Pocket PC 2003 Emulator" is now deployed on the lab tool kit "PhyCore LPC3250".
When the solution is debugged through the deployment on Pocket PC emulator, .exe file is created into the debug subfolder of Visual Studio 2005 project folder. The deployment of application is done on the "PhyCore LPC3250" by connecting it with the host PC through USB cable. The program ActiveSync 4.5 installed on host PC detects the device and the following window will appear .
Figure 1.10 The Active Sync 4.5 Window after Device connection
The Explore button of Active Sync 4.5 is clicked then the device folders are shown. The executable file of Visual Studio 2005 solution is to be copied into the "NandFlash" folder of device. The application downloaded on device is ready to run now.
The main purpose of this paper is to introduce the competitive examination planning software on real time platform for Pocket PC.
This paper briefly describes Examination Planning application development through Microsoft Technology.
The proposed application "The Pocket PC Competitive Examination Planner" is the first application related to competitive exam preparation on small scale devices like Pocket PC.
It may play very important role to candidates preparing for competitive exams. The graph and chart based analysis of preparation also helps to candidates for cutting edge preparation in this age of tough competition.