CSCE 2014 - Homework 1
Due Date - 02/22/2011 at 11:59 PM

1. Problem Statement:

The popular website amazon.com is named for the Amazon river, which has a greater water flow than the next six largest rivers combined. Behind the scenes at amazon.com there is a huge database of books and other products and a second database of customer buying habits which is used to recommend products to customers.

The purpose of this programming assignment is to create a small memory-based database of books and a menu-based interface that allows customers to search for books using either the title or author's name. To implement our pseudo-database, we will be using an array of Book objects, to gain experience with this simple data structure.

2. Design:

  • Create a C++ class called "Book" that contains private data fields for the book's title, the author's name, the publisher's name, the publication year, and the cost of the book. In addition to the default constructors and destructor, add methods that will let you "get" and "set" each of these private variables. Finally, add a "print" method to the class to output all of the data in an object.

  • Create a function in your main program to test the "Book" class. Your function should call each of the methods above and verify that the correct results are returned.

  • Create a function in your main program that opens an ascii file called books.txt and reads the data in this file into an array of Book objects. The input file will start with an integer N which is how many book records are in the file. After this, there will be a sequence of book records, with the book's title, author's name, publisher's name, publication year, and cost of the book all on separate lines. A blank line will separate book entries to improve readability. This format will allow you to use the "getline" method to read this data from the file, and "atoi" and "atof" to convert strings to numbers. Use the "print" method to debug your input function.

  • Create function in your main program that implements a menu-based interface for users to search your array of Book objects for books they are interested in. Again, you should use "getline" to read the title and author from the user, and use "print" to display all books that match the user's request. Test your program with several queries you know will succeed, and several you know will fail.

    3. Implementation:

    You can implement this program using either a bottom-up approach or a top-down approach. If you go for a bottom-up approach, start by creating basic methods and classes, and test theses methods using a simple main program that calls each method. When this is working, you can create the main program that uses these methods to solve the problem above.

    If you go for a top-down approach, start by creating your main program that reads user input, and calls empty methods to pretend to solve the problem. Then add in the code for these methods one at a time. This way, you will get an idea of how the whole program will work before you dive into the details of implementing each method and class.

    Regardless of which technique you choose to use, you should develop your code incrementally adding code, compiling, debugging, a little bit at a time. This way, you always have a program that "does something" even if it is not complete.

    4. Testing:

    Test your program to check that it operates correctly for all of the requirements listed above. Also check for the error handling capabilities of the code. Try your program on 2-3 input documents, and save your testing output in text files for submission on the program due date.

    5. Documentation:

    When you have completed your C++ program, write a short report (less than one page long) describing what the objectives were, what you did, and the status of the program. Does it work properly for all test cases? Are there any known problems? Save this report in a separate text file to be submitted electronically.

    6. Project Submission:

    In this class, we will be using electronic project submission to make sure that all students hand their programming projects and labs on time, and to perform automatic analysis of all programs that are submitted. When you have completed the tasks above go to the class web site to "submit" your documentation, C++ program, and testing files.

    The dates on your electronic submission will be used to verify that you met the due date above. All late projects will receive reduced credit (50% off if less than 24 hours late, no credit if more than 24 hours late), so hand in your best effort on the due date.

    You should also PRINT a copy of these files and hand them into your teaching assistant within ONE DAY of the due date. This can be done during class, during lab, or using the department mailbox. Attach a copy of the Programming Project Evaluation Form to your report with your name and project number filled in.