CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John A. Scigliano

Committee Member

Jacques Levin

Committee Member

Junping Sun

Abstract

Conventional approaches to building critical and secured systems are based on the use of commercial tools for development and maintenance. Changes in the marketplace and the acceptance of the open-source model have brought this assumption into question. The combination of open-source's rapid rise and the introduction of pervasive computing has made the computing industry more receptive to open-source tools and products. The open-source model allows systems to be controlled by a single individual or a small developer group that reduces dependence on individual experts. The availability of free system source codes, an expanding commercial support market, and increasing global collaborative projects makes open-source an important development in the computing environment and an exciting innovation in software engineering.

Open-source projects require a level of modeling to successfully implement a solution. This study implemented a Web application prototype that models medical business logic and state that is secured. The researcher adopted the object-oriented design methodology and prototyping that improved security and lowered overall development cost. The open-source community had played an increasingly significant role in the business plans of established computing companies, in university research labs, and in the development of new companies focused on open-source support and integration issues.

The openness of the Internet presents both system development and privacy issues. The availability of free tools and instructions on how to compromise systems is alarming within the online community. Thus, open-source security tools are helping protect people's privacy by enforcing authentication, confidentiality, and information integrity to prevent unauthorized access. Open-source growth motivated this research to develop a medical prototype for online collaboration. Open-source tools including PHP, MySQL, Apache Web Server, and the Linux operating system were used to develop the secured application through prototyping.

The main contribution of this study is that it demonstrated the exclusive use of open-source software and tools for an online application. The researcher hypothesized that open-source tools like PHP, MySQL, XML, and LINUX are the answer to building dynamic multi-tiers and cost effective systems faster. The research also explored major tools available for open-source software development.

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