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Friday 5 June 2015

Developing using the PAD Architecture

Cerebro Technologies’ website was upgraded in May 2015. It was a significant upgrade from what it used to be. As one of the developers, I remembered when I ventured into web designing before dabbling into web development and software development.
The story began sometime in January 2002, the year I moved from Benin City to Lagos to get into the university (Lagos State University precisely). I was already introduced to a basic knowledge of the computer by one of my biggest mentors and confidante Mr. U.A. Oleghe (Later became a permanent secretary in Edo State ministry of Finance). While in Lagos, I was navigating between attending JAMB lectures and doing a business. My eldest sister wanted to learn web design and brought in a guy called “Charles” for home tutorials. During one of their lectures, I just showed up in one of their classes and sat in to learn since I had this early love for programming. Her tutorials lasted one week and it was over. I told her am very much interested and she asked Charles to come the following week to take me through. After the tutorials, I was grounded in the concept of HTML. But something was missing - how to process forms – Charles on his on part was less knowledgeable in that, and so I began my research. Meanwhile, I could design websites but could not get involved in web development.
 In 2008, a friend, Adeoye Oduaiye, graciously came home and took me through the installation and set up of a WAMPServer. That singular act began my journey into web and software development. I was able to process forms using PHP and store data in a database. I studied MySQL and how to work with relational database systems. I was always processing forms on the server side and by development standards this was unacceptable. During my research, I discovered that one needs to handle events and form validations using JavaScript and do the back-end form processing using PHP. I also discovered that you could process data asynchronously using what was later known as AJAX. These emerging technologies were looking complex but I had to try and keep up. It was in 2014 during my Masters degree in the United Kingdom that I’d become grounded in the PAD architecture of web development and come to appreciate it significantly. PAD architecture has 3 layers – Presentation, Application and Data. The Presentation uses CSS and HTML for appearance, The Application using JQuery for event handling and form validations, AJAX for asynchronous data processing and PHP for server side data processing.  One could use any of the RDBMS known for the data layer but I favoured MySQL. 
 After acquiring such knowledge in Web development, we began to develop the new Cerebro Technologies’ website. We developed the conceptual model and entity relationships and embarked on the physical table design. We used Adobe Fireworks, to design the user interface and most of the graphics work. Next, we used Adobe Dreamweaver to design the individual web pages, and linking respective pages with the JavaScript and CSS files. The AJAX and JQuery codes were contained in the JavaScript files. After a week of coding and designing, the site was ready. It was uploaded using FileZilla.


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