MB: Is the customer looking for web-based software that leverages cloud architecture? Or will the software only be used in a fixed facility?
SL: Your customer knows as much about computers as your average college senior. Some of her work is currently on Square, which has a physical presence in the store, but mostly in the cloud. Spec out what you believe best for your customer. I’m pretty sure there is something about her computers she hasn’t told us about yet, so don’t lock anything down yet.
MB: How many users can or need to access this solution simultaneously? What type of redundancy functionality will the system need?
CM: I generally get 15-30 people for physical auctions. But if the site gets popular, that might get to 150-300 or even 1,500-3,000.
SL: If you go with a cloud solution, there is automatic redundancy. If you go with the what the store has, no need for redundancy, because if that goes out, there will be no uplink.
MB: Is there an expected delivery date? What type and who will manage the database?
CM: You’ve probably heard this before, but if I really needed to have this in place by March of this year. So, delivering bit-by-bit would be best.
Captain Maryland said “People can use the site to virtually raise their hand and bid, if they’re logged in” in the interview. Logged in would imply an account of some sort for users. Is that something the website already supports?
CM: Right. When we conduct on-site auctions, we register bidders, so that we have something on them before they can bid. So, bidding on the web-site should require that the bidder have an account on my system. They should have to check that they agree to the auction rules (mainly, (a) if you call out a number higher than the existing bid or at the current ask, that’s your bid, (b) if you call out a number lower than the existing bid, then that’s your add (for instance, if the bid is $100, and you say “$20”, then your bid is $120), and (c) if you win the bid, you have to pay for it immediately).
SL: Follow-up on an earlier question from MB: CM has an existing web-site, using an existing computer being rented from a service bureau. CM neither knows nor cares whether this is a physical computer. Anything to be added having to do with the store’s web-site should be piggypacked onto that.
1.Do you have in mind any auction book categories and also auction bidding start prices?
2.How do you accept the payment?
3.How long each auction item to be open?
4.How do you want to deliver the item to the successful bidder?
5.Do you want to store customer’s personal information? or Do you want to use third party IAD provider?
6.Do you want the website to be responsive system?
7.How customer navigate to auction page?
Anusha Ramanan (AR): Do you have in mind any auction book categories and also auction bidding start prices?
Captain Maryland (CM): The auctions have a list of things for sale. We decide on an order that doesn’t really have much to do with order so much as expected sales price. Each item will have a minimum bid if we own it, and if it’s here on consignment, it may not have a minimum bid.
AR: How do you accept the payment?
CM: Right now we’re running everything through PayPal. PayPal users can use their PayPal account, their bank account, or their credit card.
AR: How long each auction item to be open?
CM: The auction will be live, although it would probably be a good idea to allow people to select a minimum bid, an increment, and a maximum bid for items they’re interested in. That would mean that besides the live auction page, we’d need a list of what is to be auctioned on a particular day. Anyway, I’m getting away from your question. Each item is typically auctioned for a few minutes.
AR: How do you want to deliver the item to the successful bidder?
CM: Typically by mail (book rate), but if the customer wants some other form of shipping, they can pay that or give us their account number (for UPS, FedEx, or DHL).
AR: Do you want to store customer’s personal information? or Do you want to use third party IAD provider?
CM: Our web-site is storing a link to the PayPal accounts for many customers. Customers have a choice as to whether we store their PayPal link or not. To bid on the auction, the customer must be set up to pay, because we charge them as soon as Sandy (my sidekick and auctioneer) says “Sold”.
AR: Do you want the website to be responsive system?
Sheldon Linker (SL): I’m not sure what you mean by this. You can ask again in a clearer manner. Note that your customer is planning on conducting live auctions with pre-registered users.
CM: I want them to be able to bid if they’re logged in, but I’d like anyone to be able to watch. Hopefully, they’ll get excited and register. That means on the live auction page some people should see a bid button and some should see Log In and Create Account buttons.
SL: And a bid amount?
CM: Right. Sorry.
AR: How customer navigate to auction page?
SL: It’s your job to translate general customer needs to specific requirements.
Are there any particular day/days of the week to be scheduled for auction day? Or is the company intending to be doing auction all days of the week?
CM: Saturday evenings, 8:00.
CM: Right. Sorry. I thought everyone knew I was in Maryland, so Eastern time.
JC: Would a single customer have full control over a single drone?
JC: Do the drones already have the capability to be controlled remotely?
SL: Sort-of. There are driver modules you can get for that. Check an example here.
JC: Is there a time limit for how long users can control a drone?
CM: If there is no line, no. If there is a line, ten minutes.
JC: Will users wait in line to control a drone if all are being used?
SL: Looks like we just got the answer to that one too.
JC: Will there be a drone for each section of the store or will they be able to explore the whole store?
CM: They can have free run of the store.
JC: Are there preset routes through the store that the drones will follow?
JC: Do users need prior experience operating a drone in order to be able to use it successfully?
CM: It took me about a minute to get it right. It’s pretty easy.
SL: Quad copters are pretty easy. It’s not like the old collective and cyclic.
JC: Should we be worry about drones potentially damaging the store’s stock if a customer crashes a drone?
CM: No. They’re pretty light, and there’s a protector around the fans.
CM: You-all were very helpful last year. My web-site and Square work well together, and they do handle inventory. The drones are only for customers to look around within the store. We treat them like “inside cats”. We don’t let them out.
BA: What is the budget for this project?
SL: Immaterial from your perspective. You’re gathering and documenting requirements. Generally the way that works is that if the budget is too high, the choices are (a) increase the budget, (b) scale back the requirements by cutting or delaying lower-priority items, or (c) cancelling the project. That’s why IEEE 830 demands priorities.
BA: What is Captain Morgan’s expected date of completion?
SL: Again, immaterial. Schedule will be set once the requirements document is in hand and budget is set.
BA: Describe the steps for using the system from start to finish?
SL: Your questions will have to be more specific for that sort of thing.
BA: What does success look like?
SL: For you, success looks like presenting a requirements document that addresses the Captain’s needs as stated through her interviews and this forum.
JC: [Do you] have the necessary audio and visual equipment for streaming live?
CM: I do.
JC: [Do you] have a chosen platform already for adding live streaming to her website?
CM: I’m not sure whether I should be using Facebook, Discord, or something you’ll be building into the site?
JC: [You] mentioned that [you] can use the satellites to find people with fevers and get people with the virus to stop spreading it. What is [your] plan for stopping people once [you detect] people with a fever?
CM: I’d like to use the uplink to tell the satellites to use their green lasers, set at low enough power to be harmless, but to draw green circles around people so that they know they’re a problem, and so that others know not to get near them. I’ll hold a press conference right before that feature goes live.
JC: Does Captain Maryland want the capabilities she requested for the satellites incorporating into her current website or on their own separate platform?
SL: I’m pretty sure she doesn’t want that on the store’s site for public consumption. You can build a totally separate channel, or use a page that only she and her sidekick can see.
JC: In the followup interview, [you] said [you] needed something to help [you] define patterns with data. [Are you] looking to define patterns by visualizing the data or by making calculations on it? Or both?
CM: I’m not sure what you mean.
SL: She had said “I need something that will help me define specific patterns with data entry fields, such as group size, above so many degrees, and so on.”. I think the better would to have used would have been “parameters”. The key point is “data entry fields”. Again, this could be handled through her uplinks, either through a private page on the web-site, or by some separate means. In both of these “either” cases, those are system operational requirements, so you’re going to have to pick a method and explicitly state which, giving your reason.
JC: I thought of another question. Does Captain Maryland need an option to start and stop the satellites monitoring for people causing violence and for people with fevers? Or will the satellites be continually monitoring?
SL: The satellites had some other task that they’re being repurposed from. I’m sure we need a mechanism to return them to their regularly scheduled programming.
JC: After defining a pattern, does Captain Maryland need the ability to edit or delete a pattern?
SL: That’s one we never have to ask a customer. You always need the ability to edit, and also the ability to delete or deactivate.
IP: For the fighting crime, should [you] be notified by the application for each detection category (arsonist, people with fever and violent group)?
CM: Well, yeah. I mean, if possible, that’d be nice. I’d like to know what I’m getting into before I get into it.
IP: To disperse a violent group by sending the wave from the “Turtles”, does the application do it automatically based on provided data/patterns such group size, temperature, arm movement and people armed with some type of weapons with the exception of law enforcement?
CM: It should decide to, but should contact me with the recommendation. We can’t ever allow an automated system to use a weapon, even a nuisance weapon, on its own.
IP: If so, will those specific patterns/terms provided to create a form for CM to enter?
CM: Yes. Those are the fields (SL: parameters) I was talking about.
IP: Is there a use case which requires the application to notify the police?
CM: Only if a firearm has been used and the police are not already present.
IP: For the drone, is there a protection already in place to minimize the user error? Such as sensors and store maps so that the user does not fly drone into things.
CM: The drones are small and lightweight, and have caged fans. So bump away.
IP: For the auction, the existing on store is hosted on Square.
SL: Correction — The inventory and card-present charging runs through Square. Card-not-present charges (all of them right now) run through PayPal. Everything else runs through a web-site that the previous year spec’d out.
IP: Can we assume Square is flexible and scalable to add more functionalities to accommodate the auction and the drone? or it will be a separate solution.
SL: You can write this up as an add to the existing custom system, or as a separate one. In most cases, expanding an existing custom system is simpler than adding a new system to the mix.
IP: Please clarify the consignment bid item which may not have the minimum bid. How do customers start the bid for the consignment items?
CM: Sandy, my sidekick and auctioneer, will choose a suitable opening bid. Let’s say he thinks something is worth $100. He’ll typically start the bidding at around $50, so that bidding gets hot and goes past $100. But, if there’s no bid at $50, he might go to $25. Often, though, he doesn’t have to at all, because often bidding starts as soon as he introduces an item, before he asks for an opening bid. That’s fine, too.
IP: For the bid mount (minimum, increment and max). The maximum amount, is it the amount that the customer would be willing to pay for the bid item?
CM: Did I say maximum? If so, I’m sorry. There may or may not be a hard minimum. The increment is suggested. Someone can use a bigger or smaller increment, although often Sandy will reject an increment too small. For instance, let’s say that the last 2 bids were $95 and $100. He’ll ask for the next bid at $110. He’ll likely take a bid at $105, but almost certainly wouldn’t accept a bid at $101.
IP: For regular shipping, is the existing online store shipping method sufficient?
CM: Yes. We don’t need to invent any new shipping methods.
WP: I see that the you would like the auction system on your current website. Do you want ‘The Turtles’, cameras, and alerts to be linked or found on your current website? Or do want a separate security system to be made?
CM: I’m not sure how all the security stuff works. Right now my site has pages that the public can view, some with added items for logged-in users. It has other pages that I and my employees can use, and one page that only I and Sandy can use. Auction control should be limited to me and my employees. Control of the “turtles” should be limited to me and Sandy. Use of the nuisance weapon should be limited to me.
SL: Likely easiest for your programmers if you add to the current website or write a separate application for CM’s Windows PC.
WP: If you would like a separate security system made, what would you like it to be named?
SL: Don’t even worry about things like that in a requirements document.
WP: What is the name of your current website?
WP: Would you like the people that are around your brick and mortar to be notified or alerted that the police are on there way in the cases that polices are needed?
SL: Go back and reread the transcripts. Use of the “turtles” and operation of the store are entirely separate. Remember that your customer has a “day job” and a superhero career. Like most superheroes, she doesn’t let one interfere with the other (to the extent possible).
WP: Would you like the you like the people that are around your brick and mortar to be notified or alerted that they have a high temperature?
CM: I don’t want to treat the people around my store any differently than others. Right now, the store is not open to the public. I don’t hold comics to be an essential in-person business.
EK: Do you want us to develop two independent system, one for online auction and the another one for infrared detection system?
SL: Asked and answered.
EK: How do you want the system to send notification when it detect violent groups (text, call or email )?
CM: Text, please.
BT: The website we developed for you shows all the items you have in the store, warehouse, and consignment. Customers can view all the available items on the web. Why do you need the customers to use drones to see the stock if they can see the list of available items on your website? Items to be auctioned and their images already exist on the website.
CM: There’s a completely different feel. Looking at the website feels like looking at the catalog used to advertise the auction. Looking at the auction itself gets people into the whole thing, and really increases sales.
Does the drone provide navigation assistance? Meaning, if the user selects an item online, does the drone guide the user to the location of the selected item?
CM said “I can use radio to figure out who is who in these cases, even in groups, and figure out who’s calling the shots. Plus, I can use radio to keep in mind where law enforcement are.” Does she want to use Infrared cameras to see the event live and figure out who is who?
The Forum is officially closed, but I’ll repeat something that was said before. The drones are small devices in the shop each with a camera, and the Turtles are satellites in space, with all kinds of sensors and other cool superhero stuff.
MD: Are the Turtles located just around the store or throughout the community?
CM: The drones are in the store. We don’t let them out. The “Turtles” are maneuverable, currently in orbits altitude 320 NM, 62° orbital inclination, 120° orbital offset from each other.
MD: If they are just for protecting the store, do you plan on making more for the community?
CM: The drones are for customers looking around the store. The Turtles are being assigned this protection role.
SL: Remember that your customer has and does superhero stuff, and separately a source of income.
MD: Do they have fixed locations or are they mobile?
CM: The drones are maneuverable within the store, and we don’t let them out. The Turtles can maneuver at 0.06g.
MD: How many are they currently, how many do would you like to eventually have (if you want to expand)?
CM: Drones break, we fix them, we sometimes have to get rid of them, we can buy another one. So let’s consider the number entirely variable. For instance, one could break during an auction, so the number in place is really variable. I have three Turtles. I’d love to have more, but I can’t get any more.
IP: Does the existing drone module have the function to detect the battery level for notification purposes? are existing drones capable to automatically return to base for charging when battery is low?
My apologies, i have another question. Will you shutdown the customer real-time browsing during the auction?
CM: There is a battery level indicator. When they run out, they just settle to the ground. There’s no “return to base”.
CM: Excellent question. I guess we need a new inventory status of At Auction.