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Over the last few weeks, we’ve been analysing the structure that Exam View will take, and have decided to build the project in three layers.

  • The Presentation Layer is what people will actually see. It could take the form of a Moodle block, a simple web page, a Mac OS dashboard widget, or a plug in for any other web system.
  • The data layer is the back end that stores student records. In Glasgow Met’s case, this is UNITe. This isn’t strictly a development layer, as we will only be interfacing with it.
  • The Model Layer is where the magic happens. This layer is responsible for pulling student records from the data layer, and translating them into a format the front-end can understand.

Writing the system in this way gives us a few advantages. Firstly, it’s easier to work with a different data store, since only the functions that communicate with the data store need to be rewritten. Also, if we want to integrate Exam View into a different system, only the presentation layer needs to be rewritten.

Here is a diagram showing the layout of the system, and how the layers communicate with each other.

This diagram represents the three tiers of the Exam View system, and how they communicate together. It is a pictoral representation of the text written above. The presentation layer makes calls to the model layer, which in turn contacts the data layer, formats any exam results and passes it back up to the presentation layer for display to the user.

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