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Week 9: Protype

This week we focused on our technology approach and the coding aspects of the project. We started with the theme and the API where other teammates focused this week on the theme, and I was tasked with focusing on the API code. To start I joined a Shopify developer slack group, to ask, and find if they have discussed API implementation much for some help. Nothing returned to be extremely helpful for the type of help I was looking to find for the API implementation. 

This week’s focus on code works well in addition with the document we are preparing for prototyping our project. This resulted in a good start for the technology prototype for the numbers, and parts of the system we decided to prototype. For the report we will need to create a document, and video to demonstrate the prototype. For this we decided to work together on the All The Farms Shopify store theme for this report. This will directly require a number of Liquid files to work within the Shopify system. To work on this project as a team we have decided to use GitHub for our code sharing and version control. Modules needed for this initial prototype would be the home page or product listing modules of the liquid set of files. The complete set is needed for it to be approved by Shopify however we have decided to segment our focus on the most key segments first. For this complete set of files there are templates provided by Shopify, approved by Shopify, and others available to learn from. Fortunately Shopify has provided some good documentation for those looking to learn how advanced theme development techniques. Next week we will further work with the theme files and create the desired features within the liquid template.

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Week 8: Design review

This week we met at the start of the week, discussed our tasks, and what we will each focus on this week. This week I was tasked with communicating with whomever to resolve research details regarding the Shopify API usage. This week on our schedule also marks the ending phase of our research as we move further into the coding phase, which started a few weeks back in our plan. Additionally this week we started using our Trello board with color coding for types of tasks such as coding.

Additionally this week we had to respond to another group’s project design document, and other students had to respond to ours. The group we responded to had a related topic, focused on Hyperledger’s blockchain technology, and a mobile application for wines. Overall I agreed with their design plans for their mobile application structure, to use Flutter and Dart. I also asked if they would be interested in using firebase to make the connection between the mobile app and Hyperledger’s blockchain services.

In response the other group of students responded to our project design with many good questions. Some of their comments were responses to our previous comments, which made for a nice continued conversation, and for added insight. One new idea came in a comment that stood out to me, discussed the idea of having bidding on the site for food products. Other comments focused on the UI design aspects. From them I understood that it is important to consider the individual’s experience, for it to be simple, and for the platform to have customizability through the options.

Moving forward with the research I found from this week we will need to start building the code to accept the API key from the user so that he can present their products on Shopify. There are some examples that go into the process, explaining that the user must accept the access on their Shopify store end, and then we should have access to the product feed.

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Week 7

This week we mainly focused on the design of the project this week. Additionally this week I was tasked with finding code details specifically on linking from Shopify to ATF with the farmers products. This week we also took the time to review a document from a team working on a blockchain project for tracking wine batches. From what I understand about wine and blockchain it seems like a good overall idea, especially for rare wine, and enthusiasts. For the design details I took time this week to look in to Shopify question boards, manual, and other documentation for finding what we may need to achieve the linking task. Unfortunately from what I have found this week we will need to create our own linking for this type of product list, under the farmers profile on the ATF site, or either have the farmer embed their products with Shopify’s help. This is because the access provided by Shopify focuses on the individual consumer, since it is their produce data, and that for the most part remains the data provided for an individual, such as a farmer. This week we also worked on our design, we were each asked to ask questions to expand on what we had previously wrote, and I decided to focus on the parts of the project that concerns code, such as with theme restrictions. This lead me to think about the design over all, such as what types of colors will be selected. It was also very interesting to read the design of the other group. I remember reading about their project, and I am excited to see what the final product will be. Their design document gave me insights to such things as the types of software systems that they would be using for parts such as the blockchain part, and it helped me conceptualize what we still need for our project.

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Week 6: Design Time!

This week went well as it started with our morning meeting where we discussed the scope of our project from what we gathered last week. Each member presented their findings, sometimes screen sharing for better understanding, and this was used for discussion topics such as the project’s theme design. I returned what I gathered from my previously designated API type topic for listing products on the All The Farms website. Overall the information affirmed that what we had in mind was mostly achievable, and this week we have focused more on how that might be done in code. Specifically I focused on the API code and how we may integrate our code with the All The Farms website looking at things such as Shopify developer documentation on what we agreed would be a possible implementation. I did find this code which could be used to create a product list on our hosted site below the farmer’s profile page. The previous week we corresponded with the technical lead on it and agreed that there may be a route that is similar to what I found linked in the Shopify developer documents as an embed product container, with a few customization options for the farmer on the Shopify end. This can just serve as the groundwork for how we may work with Shopify and their API as there may be a more efficient solution that the way I was describing, such as where the farmer would have to embed that code themselves on the All The Farms website. This way I have been able to describe is one way that I imagine All The Farms would be able to present a product of a farmer on their All The Farms profile page with a buy button, and option such as for a description. The access to all of the API data may just be limited, or there may be more that I have yet to uncover which may help open up our options for making the most value for our farmers.

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Week 5: Technology Review

This week our team primarily focused on preparing technology, making contact with our technical lead as well as the team. A teammate and I asked questions starting conversations on topics such as the database integration with Shopify. In the future we will need to do more research on Shopify, and what they offer in regards to API’s. Additionally I focused on understanding the Rapid Acceleration Development (RAD) model for a high level, conceptual model for processing our projects tasks. 

This week I also took some time to get familiar with a prototype sketch up of their website design. This prototype they created helped me get a better understanding of how they developed their design across pages. Specifically sorting out the design beforehand can help reduce a large portion of the workload in comparison to if you attempt to build a website design all at once. We are also starting to organize our tasks each week as a group so that we are all familiar with what we are up against each week!

Being that the group communications were successful this week made it good, though it could be better, and so far we have been focusing on topics that are a bit further into the future. As a part of the technology reviewing this week I took a bit of free time to brush up on website syntax such as React. Javascript React is responsive so it will work well converting between desktop and mobile displays. As we move forward and expect to work more with API’s we will be working on parts that may have similar attributes to the document object model in the React language. Additionally I focused on understanding the Rapid Acceleration Development (RAD) model for a high level, conceptual model for processing our projects tasks.