Wally’s Widgets: Virtual Storefront
This software project would consist of a website storefront, an e-Commerce site that allows “customers” to select and purchase “widgets” – imaginary objects of no actual value. The website would be backed by a small database that tracked inventory, and would be adjusted to reflect “sales” of widgets. A “shopping cart” would provide a running total of all widgets purchased, and present several options for paying.
Any company that might consider starting an e-Commerce site would find this an educational experience, and introduce some of the complexity required in starting and maintaining an e-Commerce site.
Users would need to select widgets from the site, and specify the quantity desired for each widget. The software would output the amount of imaginary money required to purchase the quantity of widgets specified.
Documentation would be helpful for the support staff responsible for maintaining the website; inventory management personnel would also benefit from proper documentation.
The inventory database would represent one set of persistent data; money collected from sales transactions would be another.
Processing algorithms would include querying inventory when selections were made, to ensure sufficient stock for transactions, adjusting stock when transactions were processed, and an accounting method for currency accepted as trade for inventory.
This site would require an Apache web server capable of hosting the web-facing interface users would see, a MySQL database to contain inventory and currency data, and PHP to present MySQL data to the web site. Many Linux distributions contain all the necessary components, such as Ubuntu.