The client approached us with a requirement of developing the user log-in page for his already existing website www.frontier.com. His idea was to provide his users a platform where they can sign-in into the website using log-in credentials provided by the super admin; and can perform certain tasks including send/receive messages, view alerts, upload the text, files and date range selected from calendar, view generated RSS feeds along with reporting for abuse.
Frontier.com is one of the largest rural local exchange carriers of United States. It offers local and long-distance telecommunication service, broadband Internet, digital television service, and computer technical support to residential and business customers in 27 states of U.S. Developing the user log-in page for this website was undoubtedly a prestigious project for us, and we took up the project to stretch our boundaries. The requirements were truly huge, and we geared ourselves up to overcome every technical or non-technical hurdles to turn this project into a success story.
To start with, we have developed a robust log-in page wherein various factors of user authentication were taken into account. Our objective was to provide the end users with the convenience of self‐service password management with security protocols. The super administrator of the site can control user enrollment. No anonymous log-ins will be entertained here. Please read along to know about the various features of the page as well as the log-in functionality:
- Web‐based authentication for approved users, without using Active Directory/server OS‐dependent.
- Authentication services.
- Credential emails automatically sent via SMTP to newly enrolled users.
- Portal access and enrollment of unlimited users.
- Existing users will be able to change their passwords through a page on the website that prompts from user.
- The Super‐administrator has got the privilege to batch‐enroll new users from .csv or .xls(x) files, from which the system captures the user-name, password, and user‐group description of any particular user.
- Super‐administrator will upload a file in either .xls or .csv format containing the attributes like user name, user group name, password, email address etc. and delivers it to the users through SMTP delivery.
- The uploaded format cannot be modified once finalized. The column headers of the Excel files are fixed and don't allow changes.
- Self‐service password change functionality for existing users.
When a user log-ins, he will be re-directed to his home page from where he can access the following modules:
- Competitive Offer Pricing
- Local Competitive Intelligence
- Alerts & Reports
- Message Board
The features and functionalities of these modules are discussed in details below:
Competitive Offer Pricing:
The objective behind developing this module was to alleviate users who access telecom offers, a platform where they can compare different deals. The module can retrieve matrixed data values of various telecom service offers from the database repository, via query menu with interdependent drop‐down and check-box filters.
In this section, we have enabled the users to compare various offers available. For that a user needs to enter a zip code of a region and he needs to select the following options from drop down menus:
- LAM (Local area Market)
- Residential or Small Business
- HIS speed
- TV packages
- Offer Scenario
Users would need to enter the following details to compare a deal with a client offer:
- Voice Plan
- Count of additional voice line
- Voice Feature
- Fiber Optic Service [select check-box]
- HIS Plan
- Video Plan
- Security Plan
- Term Length
After selecting all the required choices, a user can view the comparison of a deal offered by the client and his competitors. Users will be able to view the searched results categorized in two sections - "core services" and "non-core services". The pricing details will be listed along with the feature details and the query results can also be printed.
Local Competitive Intelligence:
This module allows the field personals of “Fronteir.com” to upload information (such as service notes) and files with competitive response impact, They are also provided access to uploaded query information and subscribe to RSS feeds for any market or region of interest.
- User would be able to upload text files in doc, image as well as pdf formats.
- While uploading files, users will be able to select the primary and secondary carrier values. Users can provide the first two preferred carrier values out of which only one carrier value will be recorded.
- The uploaded files will be assigned a URL pointing to a directory where the files would be stored
- Registered users are allowed to download the files after logging in the website, but they are not allowed to browse the files directly from their end
- File names will be encoded and hidden from users so that users cannot access/download files directly from the browser
Alerts: & Reports
The objective behind this module is to send alert to users about the emails from the super admin. Alerts can be received daily and converted into XML files with tags to indicate the headline, body text, footprint regions, footprint markets, and source URLs/names. These attributes would be uploaded into a database table, along with a URL pointing to a directory where the files are stored, for front-end browsing.
The objective behind developing this module is to give field personnel a platform where they can share their concerns about certain issues, and also request information from their colleagues. Authenticated users are able to post messages, create threads and can reply to other messages. The admin has been enabled to block/report spam to a post, if it has been found inappropriate or irrelevant; and if required admin can also delete the post.
This page carries the email addresses of concerned person(s) for issues like training assistance, support issues and competitive intelligence request. By clicking on the email addresses, users can send direct emails to the related person(s) about the particular issue.
From the administrative panel of the website, the super admin of the Frontier.com can manage and handle the following functionalites:
- Super admin is able to overwrite existing records as well as add new ones .
- Super Admin is also able to fetch historical data based on some filters of last 3, 6, and 12 months. For selecting the range, there are filters given on the admin page .
- Admin has also been empowered to provide log-in credentials for the users. Super admin can upload files in .xls or .csv format. He/she can maintain the database of the uploaded files
- Super‐admin can change the banner image as well as home‐page image from his/her panel
- Offer details can also be managed and maintained by super admin
- The site's own information as well as competitors' information can also be managed by the clients. The value calculation details of the comparison between Frontier and its competitor would be stored in the database and would be managed by the super admin.
ASP.Net 4.0, SQL Server 2008