A Hostel Management System

Introduction

INTI International University (IIU) is a private university located in Putra Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. It was previously known as INTI University College. INTI has grown monumentally over the years until 31 May 2010 when the Higher Education Ministry announced it has became the university status. (Wikipedia, 2010)

In 1986, INTI opened its first college at Bangunan Sim Lim brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. It starts with only 37 students on it first enrollment. In 1989 the College was re-located to Jalan Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur. As the number of students continued rising, the INTI established a permanent campus in Subang jaya (INTI College Subang Jaya) and more campuses began built in Kuching, Sarawak, Kota Kinabalu and then Sabah.

The main campus (INTI UNIVESITY COLLEGE) was completed 1998 in Putra Nilai. INTI has a total 9 campuses in Malaysia. INTI became part of Laureate International Universities (LIU) network in 2008 becoming the first Malaysian University to be chosen by the Laureate International Education Group. (New INTI, 2009)

Nowadays, with the emergence of global economy and transformation of industrial economies, the information system and information technology become important within the business sector as the world keep changing with fast developed technology. Information technology and internet-based information systems are playing vital and expanding roles in business. IS can help all kinds of businesses improve the efficiency and effectively of their daily work and workplace collaboration. Information system and information technology are quite a necessary ingredient for business success in today’s dynamic global environment.

Besides, information system and information technology also applied by the education industry to conduct more of their work electronically. There is a need for the education institutions to apply the information system and information technology in their daily work to improve the workflows and reduce workloads. So, we would like to conduct a research of INTI International University

Literature Review

Hostel Management System

As the topic mentions above “Hostel Management System” is software that is developed to help in managing various activities in the hostel. As is well-known, the education institutions are rapidly increasing for the past few years. Therefore, it leads to mushrooming of hostels for the accommodation of the students study in these institutions. And hence there is the appearance of Hostel Management System which helps with dealing the problem of managing hostel and avoid the problem when do it manually.

(Muhammed Shaheer .K.A, Muhammed Shiras.A, Vinod Raj. R, Prasobh.G.V, April, 2009)

Hostel management by manual way is tedious process, since it involves work load and time consumption. In this system, we can easily manage the hostel details, room details, student records, mess expenditure, mess bill calculation, easy way of room allocation and hostel attendance. Thus, there are a lot of repetition can be easily evaded which has reduced the data redundancy. (M. Deepika, A. Chitra, 2010)

Reports in regard to the Room Availability, Room Allocation, Student Transfer and Evacuation are provided too.

Functional Feature:

Creation of Building and Block information.

Provision of various room types (Single / Twin/Single with Air-con Room/Twin with Air-con Room).

Room allotment to the student.

Student checks in and check out.

Monitoring Visitors and Guest register.

Transfer of rooms.

Room evacuation. (Hostel Management System, 2006)

The Administrator can:

1. Allot different students to the different hostels.

2. Vacate the students for the hostels.

3. Control the status of the fee payment.

4. Edit the details of the students & modify the student records.

1) Allotment of the hostels

The officer must checks the certified application forms of the students obtained and verify it with the student database. If the students are found eligible then they are allotted to the hostel.

2) Vacating the room

As the student’s course is over they will vacate their rooms. So it is required for the administrator to remove their records from the database tables. This part includes the option for the room vacation and the deletion of the particular record from the database.

3) Control status of fee payment

As the students every semester need to make rent payment. So, the officer needs to process it and print out the invoice for students to pay rental in finance office.

4) Edit the details of students and modify the student records

As the new student moves into hostel, the officer need edit the details of students and modifies the student records to make sure the data is updated.

(Muhammed Shaheer .K.A, Muhammed Shiras.A, Vinod Raj. R, Prasobh.G.V, April, 2009)

We can improve the efficiency of the system, thus overcome the drawbacks of

Less human error

Strength and strain of manual labor can be reduced

Reduce data redundancy

High security

Data consistency

Easy to handle

Easy data updating

Easy record keeping

Backup data can be easily generated

Figure 1: General functions of the Hostel Management System (HMS)

(Hostel Management System, 2009)

Library Management System

Library Management System is an enterprise resource planning system for a library, used to track items owned, orders made, bills paid, and patrons who have borrowed.

A library Management System has a relational database, software to support the database, and two graphical user interfaces. The system separate software functions into discrete programs which call modules. Example like:

Acquisitions – ordering, receiving, and invoicing material

Cataloging – classifying and indexing material

Circulation – lending materials to patrons and receiving them back

Serials – tracking magazine and newspaper holding

OPAC – public interface for users (Wikipedia,2010)

Library Management System is small footprint software suitable for personal or individual libraries. It provides many functions to the users the control the flow of the library. Such as :

Control the movement of books and other material and avoid loosing the same.

Search if you have a specific book in your collection based on the title, author etc.

Print the spine labels for the book.

Find what a specific person has borrowed from you

(Azhar Hussain, 2009)

By development of the Library Management System help the librarians to manage the library well. It record clearly the transactions of the books daily of the library. These make the insurance of the book become higher. It is not easier to happen lost of books in the library anymore.

E-library is also a part of the Library Management System. E-library system is a type of service which allows the users without stepping into the library, to read the books and conduct research at home, in the office, or at school, using the Internet. Service which enables users to effectively employ electronic data by using an in-library network .This is a new library service that applies rapidly advancing data processing technology and networking technology, and it is expected to become a highly convenient, epoch-making mode of service. (National Diet Library, 2010)

E-library performs well. It features such as:

Member features – Search system which allows the users to search the book by typing the key words or author of the book.

Book features – Category management which allows librarians to add, modify, and remove categories form library resources database.

Book borrow & Return Check in features – Booking management which allows the users to reserve library resources item.

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Report features – Book borrow / return Analysis Report which view information about the real time analysis report.

Miscellaneous – Site Information which provide a simple site map and let people easy to access. (E-library system,2008)

By the development of the E-library system, it provides both convenience between users and librarians. Users can check the book online by not stepping into the library. Users can also booking the book online. These save the time for the users. For librarians, it is easy to manage the category of the book and control the movement of the books. It brings the librarians an easy work.

Figures 2 – General function of the Library Management System

(Library Management System, 2009)

Analysis of the Company

INTI International University Accommodation Office System:

Hostel Management System (HMS)

University background, history nature of business

INTI International University (IIU) is an education institution that has been rapidly improving for the past few years. As the fast increasing student numbers, therefore, to accommodate part of the students studying in the institution, the INTI International University has had to build up more hostels in the campus.

INTI International University, Nilai campus got 16 Halls of Residence named after great men who have contributed to the well-being of mankind. All these hostels at present are manage by the accommodation office. Internet connection, Wi-Fi, Resident Fellow, security, facilities and convenient stores are some of the facilities provided for the convenient of the students. Coin-operated washing machines and dryers are also available is every hall of residents. The INTI hostels have provided many kinds of room such as Single, Twin-sharing, Single with air-con and Twin with air-con. (New INTI, 2009)

As is well known, the education institutions are rapidly increasing for the past few years. Therefore, it leads to mushrooming of hostels for the residence of the students who study in these institutions. As the world keep changing with the fast developed information system and information technology, there is a need for the education institutions to apply the information system and information technology in their daily work to improve the workflows and reduce workloads. Hence, there is system appears in managing hostels to avoid the problem when do it manually.

System Development

The Accommodation Office currently uses the system which is called Hostel Management System (HMS). This system is software that is being developed to help officers who work in accommodation office in managing various kinds of activities in the hostels. Hostel Management System (HMS) is one of the modules of the Total Campus Management System (TCMS). Unlike the Integrated Library Management Utility (ILMU), HMS is only a module. ILMU is a unique system that management the whole library which is same as the TCMS. TCMS is comprehensive workflow management systems that integrate and manage all key function of work progress. It increases the productivity with real time communication between the front office, administrators, and management. It consist reporting, accounting, financing, examination & grade, etc.

Hostel Module

Hostel management module has features of efficiently and effectively managing the entire residential facility in the institute. It has reducing the staff & paper works and improved workflows. This hostel module will keep the updated records of students, lodging, transfer room and other facilities.

Hostel Management System (HMS) is a system which helps in managing various activities in the hostel. According to Miss Azlinda Binti Alias (Officer Accommodation Office), the previous system used in INTI is called Room Master. The older systems (Room Master) only perform three single functions for the hostel. That is check-out, check-in and booking. It didn’t help the staff very much in the hostel. Many works that also need to do manually by the staff. It required more strength and strain of manual labor needed. For example, the staffs need to go to the finance office to get the list of students who enroll for the semester in order to do the check-in for them. It is because of lacking of data-sharing and availability between finance office and accommodation office. In the previous system, staffs in accommodation office need to record all kind of transactions and processes manually which involves more man power. There are many paper works and duplicate task in data entry. It is difficult to handle and store the data. Besides, there is also difficult to update the data while there is always got students move in and move out every semester. With the help of computerized information system, it can reduce the human errors.

With the new system, it brings many conveniences to the staff. Thus, it has improving their efficiency and productivity in works. As the mention in above, Hostel Management System (HMS) is a sub module of the Total Campus Management System (TCMS). TCMS has improved communication and data-sharing between the departments in a collaborative environment. There is a link between HMS and TCMS which enable the staff in Accommodation office can access the information needed from the finance office. Yet, TCMS also control the access to data and information based on user roles which means that there is a control over information each user can view or edit. Staffs do not need like before do their work manually. Hostel Management System has helped the accommodation office in saving the human resource as compared to the previous system (Room Master). All the edited information or updated information will show in the HMS immediately. HMS has provides the best service to the accommodation office in managing daily workflows.

Through the implementation of Hostel Management System, it has replacing manual system where it able the staff to complete the work more efficient and effectively. The system has helped in managing any problem occurring within the hostel accommodation and avoiding any problem when keying in the detail manually.

Therefore, through the usage of this system, they can easily manage the room details, student records, room vacancy details, mess bill calculation, mess expenditure, allocation of room and hostel attendances. Besides, repetition can be easily avoided. It also has reduced that data redundancy and any inconsistency of data.

The accommodation office uses Hostel Management System to key in all the details of the students who are staying in the hostels. This system is mainly used to do room bookings, check in and check out of the students and also the payment for the accommodation. Reports in regard to the room allocation, room availability, student transfer and evacuation are provided too.

System Functions:

Hostel Management System (HMS) has several functions which enable the staffs from accommodation office such as allocate students to the different hostels, reserve the room for the students, control status of rental payment and edit the details of the students & modify the student records.

Allocating students to the hostels

The officers must check the details in an application form of the students and verify it from database to match the application of students. Therefore, when the students are eligible then they are allocated to the hostel. The officers will also allocate the room according the requirements of the students as there are different types of rooms are available.

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Vacating the room

As the students have completed their course In INTI, they will be graduated and vacant their rooms. When the students vacant their room, the officer needs to check whether the room facilities have missing or broken down. If all facilities are completed, accommodation office will return the deposits to the students. Thus, the officers in accommodation office will have to remove the particular student details and records from the student database. This is to ensure there will not be the problem exists when the existing residents’ records coincide with previous residents.

Control status of rental payment

Every student who stays in the hostel has to make a rental payment every semester. The rental payment varies by the types of room available. As the students who need to book the rooms every semester, they need to pass up a form and get the invoice from the accommodation office. The officers need to key in details of the students as well as type of room that the student want, the system will eventually know how much the students has to pay for that particular semester for their chosen room. Lastly, the officer needs to process it and print out the invoice for the students to make their payments at the Finance Office. There is a link between the system of Finance Office and Hostel Management System. Besides, officers are also able to check any outstanding payments which have not been made by the students through the processing of the system.

Editing the details of the student and modifying the students records

As there are new students move into the hostels, they need to register themselves as a residents of the hostels. The officers need to key in the details of the new students who want to move in into the database. Therefore, the officers have to edit the details of the students and modify the student records to ensure the data is updated.

Besides, this system also enable staffs of accommodation office to check whether the student have done their room booking or rental payments, it can also check whether if the students are staying in the hostels or not, and it can retrieve records of where the students have stayed before.

Maintenance

Maintenance of the Hostel Management System (HMS) will only do when the system facing the problem. The systems no need to have a check annually or quarterly. According to the officer of the Accommodation Office Azlinda Binti Alias, she says the system is not facing any serious problem until now.

Regardless to the update, the system will have update when the Hostel Management System (HMS) doesn’t meet the requirement of the Total Campus Management System (TCMS). In this point, Information System Office (INSO) & Information Technology Centre (INTC) which is from the INTI International University departments will handle this update. The staff of the Accommodation Office only is the end user of the system. They dun know about the technical problem of the system. The entire problem will pass to INSO & INTC to handle.

Problem that Hostel Management System(HMS) having & Future Plan

There is a problem that Hostel Management System (HMS) is having. From the interview, we know that when the Total Campus Management System (TCMS) is giving a huge amount of staff is using, HMS will be affected. Example like, when the TCMS is jamming because of many people is using its, HMS can’t send or received the information from the TCMS. The staffs have to wait the TCMS recover only they can do their works.

Future plan of the Accommodation Office is to create an E-service for the residents of the hostel. The E-services will provide residents an on-line booking room functions. Residents do not need like before do their room booking manually. But due to some problem they are considering, the panning is still waiting to approve. The problem they are considering have many, one of them is they are considering that now a day resident’s computer skill is very good. They finding a good security for the E-services to provide the system will be hack by the residents.

INTI International University Library System: Integrated Management System Utility (ILMU)

University background, history nature of business

Tan Sri Abdul Majid Library was established in April 1998 with the opening of the INTI International University, Nilai campus. It has grown and developed over the years and now is located at the university’s new wing known as the Learning Resource Center. The Library serves a growing academic community, at present some of 6,000 members, who are mainly staff and students of INTI International University.

The Library currently has a collection of approximately 90,000 items comprising of materials in various formats such as monographs, serials and multimedia. The INTI International University Library, standing as the heart of the campus, will continue to develop into a dynamic resource center by providing the intellectual needs for its academic community. (TSAM Library, 2009)

Libraries have traditionally played a role of physical store or housing print materials. The accessibility of the web has seen shift the position of library. Records describing local print materials now sit side by side with records providing links to external web resources. Nowadays, the world keep changing with fast developed technologies, people are more easily to access information online. The scope of what a library system describes has broadened in a way with exceeding the expectations of its digitally-literate end-users. Libraries are constrained in the amount of investment they can make on new systems.

The role and function of the library are changing and developing, especially in relation to the provision for collection and circulation, resource discovery, ownership and control, and access to resources. Enhancing usability and accessibility for an increasingly diverse user community is important for library. It demonstrates clearly that how the growth of system developments to deal with the changes of electronic information and its impact on information.

System Development

The INTI library currently uses the system that is calling Integrated Library Management Utility (ILMU). This system helps library in managing daily operation that has reduced librarians’ daily workloads.

Before applying ILMU, all works and processes were done by manually which is wasting times and resources. According to Puan Hafsah Zainuddin( Chief Library), during that time, INTI is small institution, the capital is no enough, people who work in library had to record purchasing, collection, borrowing, returning matter by manually and key into system which is wasting time and inconveniently. It causes the problem of when managing data which is massive as u can image with thousands collection which need to be done manually. There is also causing the existence of human error which we cannot avoid but we also cannot say that with the use of system this problem can be solved. There is why library investing in Integrated Library Management System Utility (ILMU) which has helped in reducing workflow and improve efficiency and providing convenience to both librarians and users of it. It record clearly the transactions of the books daily of the library.

The Integrated Library Management Utility (ILMU) is a kind of Library Management System with the characteristic of having a relational database, software to support the database, and two graphical user interfaces. Its key value to library is its ability to offer a catalogue and to manage workflows. It is also seen as the most cost effective way to handle infrastructure tasks such as acquisitions, cataloguing and circulation. ILMU have developed in association to technical advances and user requirements, mainly in developing electronic interfaces, refining standards and access protocols, purchasing and acquisition processes and cataloguing systems.

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System Functions

The system separate software functions into discrete programs which call modules like Circulation Module, Cataloguing Module, Acquisitions Module, Serials Module and Reporting Module.

Circulation

The Circulation Module enables the library in controlling inventory, managing patron information, payments, and circulation transactions (borrowing and returning). The module has a feature that user-friendly structure that includes customizable menus and mnemonic keys for quick access to frequently used functions.

Cataloguing

The Cataloguing Module has a feature that a graphical text editor, classifying and indexing material, bibliographic file management en powerful tools to handle bibliographic descriptions. In the module’s data dictionary, the library can also define other formats in order to provide access to multiple databases.

Acquisitions

The Acquisitions Module enables the library to fully manage the ordering process with completely integrated with the other V-smart modules. The Acquisitions Module has a characteristic of broad fund management and control functionalities, flexible print options, multiple order types, receiving and invoicing materials.

Serials

The Serials Module is linked directly to the Acquisitions Module for the library to manage all financial aspects of serials orders and subscriptions (journals, newspapers, bulletin and magazine). The Serials Module is use to monitor monthly transactions- the flow of journals, payments and record. Yet, there is a little of serials in library because of the availability of journals online that can help INTI library to save the cost of buying it.

Reporting

The Reporting Module can generate the standard reports and flexible output options. The library can directly obtain system information such as collection details and financial data. The reports such like number of hold placed, number of hold filled, bibliographic records with holds, items-level holds, missing items, the volume of material in a given library at any point in time, based on new acquisitions, items on the shelf, and items out in circulation, with the ability to break down volume in categories.

E-Services Support Systems

E-Services Support Systems provides users check and access information about the collection themselves easily and conveniently with electronic information environment .via the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) also available in the library for users to search for any library items on the shelves which has reduced the work of librarians that have to deal with the inquiries of books by students. Renewal and reservation can be made online through OPAC/Web OPAC and at the circulation counter.

Diagram shows that the module of the Integrated Library Utility System (ILMU) .

INTI University Library follows the Library of Congress system of Classification. The classification is as follows:

Class Letter

Main Class

A

General Works

B

Philosophy, Religion, Psychology

C

Auxiliary Sciences of History

D

History (General) and History of Europe

E&F

History: America

G

Geography, Anthropology, Recreation

H

Social Sciences

J

Political Sciences

K

Law

L

Education

M

Music and Books on Music

N

Fine Arts

P

Language and Literature

Q

Science

R

Medicine

S

Agriculture

T

Technology

U

Military Science

V

Naval science

Z

Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources (General)

Maintainence of The System

The maintainence of the library system will do every quartery a year. The maintanence of the system can devided to three stages :

1st stages- Under this stages, the librarians will fixed the system theirselves. They will check the system performance and solve the problem when it happen system error.

2nd stages- At this stages, the problems cant solve by the librarians. They will contact to the company, and the staff of the company will give instuctions to the librarians to solve the problems.

3rd stages- In this stages, the may have a serious problems occur by the system. The staff of the company will come to INTI library and solve the problems.

Besides that, the library system also need to updated. The company will help the INTI library update the system. All updated data are free in charge. With the system updated, the company also provide a traning program to the librarians in order to learn how to use the updated system. They will anually send a schedule to the INTI library to inform they when to go for the training.

Beside update, the company will also introduce some new module to INTI library. Then the chief of the library will make a decission wheter to buy the module or not. During the interview, the chief have mention that she trying to adopt a new module to the library. The new module functions self-service borrow book. Student can borrow the book through the system without go to the counter. The destination is to reduce the staff worker in the library to reduce the cost.

E-library

E-library system is the most current system that INTI library is using. The system is only allows in the campus. If the student use this system in their home or outside this campus, they will not able to sign in this pages. The aim is to prevent the public hack into the system. There are no securities in this system. Anyone from outside who get the account of the INTI student would able to log in to the system and borrow the book.The system provide many function which it is all link to the Integrated Library Management Utility system ( ILMU). The development of e-library system bring convience to both the student and librarians.

The function of the system is to allow student to check the information of the book that they want. The system link through to the ILMU and will tell them the status of the book that student want to borrow. Student no need waste the time go to the library. It saves a lot of time. Student can also reserve the book that they want to borrow. When student reserve the book. The ILMU system will record the student account and the book that student want to borrow. This will help the e-library to renew the status of the book in the library.

Librarians can also post the note on the e-library to inform student that some new books are coming out. Student can through the system to know what new book that they are interest in. Besides that, the librarian will also use the e-mail services to send the list of new book to the students who are seldom check the e-mail. These let the student always updated with the book of the library.

However in order to use this system, student has to sign up an account. The sign up fees is RM100. If student forget the password, student can send the e-mail to the e-library system. The librarians who control the system will reset the password of the account and send new password to the student through e-mail or sms.

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