3.1.3. Framework Design
Conceptually, design research artifact can be any designed object (models, frameworks or instantiations) in which a research contribution is embedded in the design 46. This phase includes determining the framework’s desired functionality and its architecture and then creating the actual artifact. The knowledge of theory that can be brought to bear in a solution is required to move from the objective of a solution to design and development of the proposed framework. Based on the required knowledge of a solution identified in phase one and two with the literature review and expert interviews analysis to develop the proposed framework: particular processes are selected; the type of deployment model is decided; strategies for storing data; the cloud vendor. Finally, the proposed framework has been designed.
This phase aims to observe and measure how well the framework supports a solution to the problem. Depending on the nature of the problem venue and solution proposed, this study took the qualitative evaluation analysis techniques.
3.2. Data Source
Both primary and secondary data source was used during data collection. Qualitative data were collected from primary sources; such as ICT professional in MOA, relate documentations like policies, schemes, and rules passed by the government.
We have also used Secondary data source like previous researchers work, annual reports of MOA and publications on cloud computing paradigm and Agriculture, books, journal articles, and the like for specially to deal with the solution domain.
3.3. Data Collection Techniques
In the previous section, it’s mentioned that different data sources which have been used to achieve the objective of the research. In this section, we have explained that the way how and where to gather this information and why we choose those techniques.
Quantitative data was collected through targeted questionnaires administered at MOA ministry of agriculture. Questionnaire items can be presented as either close-ended questions or open-ended questions. In this research, the questionnaires comprised open-ended questions. The reason the researcher selected the open-ended questions was that these questions help to obtain detail information about the current situation in the sector and effectiveness of integrating agricultural services. Accordingly, Questioners was given to 14 carefully selected domain experts from the Department of Information Technology and marketing department of MOA and qualitative feedback data was retrieved from the prototype evaluation session. Details pertaining to the evaluation questions and the analysis results can be found in the chapter five.
Semi-structured interview method was selected for this study because it is most suitable considering the nature of the subject and semi-structured interview does not strictly follow a formalized list of questions. They will ask more open-ended questions, allowing for a discussion with the interviewee rather than a straightforward question and answer format. Semi-structured interviews give the researcher flexibility to establish the own style of conversation depending on the direction of the interview. The best suitable respondents, ICT experts, and marketing personnel were purposively chosen from MOA in order to understand agriculture activities or phenomenon because they understood the technological environment better than the other. Ten IT experts and four marketing personnel from the department of IT and marketing of MOA were interviewed. Interviews were conducted between May 15 and May 30, 2017, and responses were obtained from all selected informants. The objectives and concepts of the study were briefly explained for interviewees. Each informant was interviewed individually by the researcher. Details pertaining to the interview questions and the analysis results can be found in the chapter five.
3.4. Analysis Technique
This research aimed to answer three research questions the first two questions enable to understand the problem domain and the last one for the solution stack. To answer these questions using different data gathering tools like an interview, observation and literature review. These data were organized, analyzed and summarized for a better understanding of the current ICT capability, structure, and usage. As mentioned in the previous section purposive sampling technique was used to understand the willingness of Agriculture sector for integrated service delivery model. The result obtained from the interview have been compared and contrasted with the relevant literature review findings. The analysis made based on the finding of the literature and the data collected from the interview for presenting the requirements to constructing the framework intended in this study.
The literature on the concepts of cloud computing including and related studies was reviewed. Accordingly, interview and review of the relevant literature are employed to develop the knowledge bases required for developing the proposed cloud computing framework.
3.5. The Development of the Prototype
To implement the prototype of the proposed framework we have used different technologies and architectural models listed below.
Aneka is a platform for deploying Clouds developing applications on top of it. It provides a runtime environment and a set of APIs that allow developers to build .NET applications that leverage their computation on either public or private clouds. One of the key features of Aneka is the ability to support multiple programming models that are ways of expressing the execution logic of applications by using specific abstractions. This is accomplished by creating a customizable and extensible service-oriented runtime environment represented by a collection of software containers connected together. By leveraging on these architecture advanced services including resource reservation, persistence, storage management, security, and performance monitoring have been implemented. On top of this infrastructure, different programming models can be plugged to provide support for different scenarios as demonstrated by the engineering, life science, and industry applications
To implement the prototype the component of a visual studio called ASP.Net (Active Server Pages) platform which is built on the top of visual studio standard edition have been used. ASP.Net is a web development platform, which provides a programming model, a comprehensive software infrastructure and various services required to build up a robust web application for PC, as well as mobile devices. ASP.Net is a part of Microsoft.Net platform. ASP.Net applications could be written in either of the following languages such as C#, Visual Basic.Net, JScript, J# and etc. The key development tool for building ASP.Net applications and front ends is Visual Studio. Visual Studio is an integrated development environment for writing, compiling and debugging the code. It provides a complete set of development tools for building ASP.Net web applications, web services, desktop applications and mobile applications.
3.6. Issues of Reliability and Validity
Interview questions were organized in the way helps to answer the research question and respondents who have better domain knowledge were chosen for an interview. The result was organized in a group and compared with another researchers result. Readily available literature was carefully selected from the authenticated sources. The Scientific research method was applied to the interpretation and explanation of findings. Finally, the proposed framework has evaluated by the developing the prototype and the reaction of ICT experts of the MOA to test its’ validity and acceptability.