DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT OF AN E-BILLING SYSTEM


Content

ABSTRACT

The project is to create an application that should provide service to the user, collect user usage records, and generate invoices of each credit expire, each billing cycle depends on the billing type, collect payments and adjust customers' balances.

The e-Billing system has the capacity to illustrate and analyze the basic billing system and the main functionalities that surround the billing system from a business prospective and explains how each interacts to complete the billing cycle.

Also, development of a billing system emulator that is capable of can billing more quickly, accurately and update customer record and enables customer to view bill information.

This Billing system can be deployed in a real world situation. For example, it could be implemented for a telecommunication company to have effective billing of the customer and it could also be deployed as contractor to already existing networks.

Hopefully, at the end of the day the program will be able to satisfied the under listed objectives that would bridge the gap on short coming in the billing system

1.      Services: Service is the entity offered by the company and targeted to the customers.

2.      Accounts: The customer account includes customer contact profile information, account type, login information, and payment method

3.      Ratings: Rating is the process of converting usage records from one form to another, like converting usage units to its cost.

4.      Payments: Each customer in the system has an account balance, which affects any invoices requested by the customer and any payments done by the customer.

5.      Invoices: It is the entity generated by the billing system to inform the customer that he must pay for his service usage or ordering

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION                                                                               

1.1      Background Information

1.2           Statements of Problem

1.3      Aims and Objectives   

1.4           Methodology

1.4.1     Deployment

1.5        Significance of Study  

1.6           Limitations

1.7      Organization of Report

 

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW                                                                 

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Brief History

2.3 Past Project On The Billing System

2.4 Problem Of Existing System

2.5 Characterstic Of The Proposed System

2.6 The Billing System

2.7 Billing Types

2.8 Structures For Tariff And Charging

2.9 Database  

2.9.1 Database Server

2.9.2 Relational Database Management System

2.10 Programming

2.10.1 Object-Oriented Programming

 

CHAPTER THREE:            ANALYSIS AND DESIGN

3.1      Introduction

3.2      System Analysis

3.3      The E-Billing And Invoice System Emulator Overview

3.4      Requirements Specification

3.4.1   Functional Requirements

3.4.2   Non-Functional Requirements

3.4.3   User Requirements      

3.4.4   System Requirements

3.5      System Design 

3.5.1   System Modeling

3.5.1.1 Use Case

3.5.1.2 Sequence Diagram

3.5.1.3 Activity Flow Diagram

3.5.1.4 Class Diagram

3.5.2   Database Design

3.5.2.1 The User Info Table   

3.5.2.2 Data Plans Table

3.5.2.3 Logs Table

3.5      Summary         

 

CHAPTER FOUR: SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION AND TESTING           

4.1      Introduction

4.2      The System Requirements       

4.2.1   Software Requirement

4.2.2   Hardware Requirements          

4.3      Software Implementation

4.4      Software Testing

4.5             Database Implementation

4.6          Summary        

 

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1     Summary         

5.2      Achievements  

5.3      Challenges And Constraints

5.4      Conclusion

5.5      Recommendation

 

List of Figures

List of Tables

Reference

Appendix

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

E-billing is the delivery of electronic bills to end consumers (B2C) and providing a payment option for them [1] and it can simply be explained as a technology which enables the replacement of paper with electronic documents delivered through email or a website [8].

Telecommunication Billing is a process of collecting credit usage, aggregating it, applying required charges and finally generating invoices for the customers.Telecom Billing process also includes receiving and recording payments from the customers.[2]The billing process involves receiving billing records from various networks, determining the billing rates associated with the billing records, calculating the cost for each billing record, aggregating these records periodically to generate invoices, sending invoices to the customer, and collecting payments received from the customer[2].

 

1.1       BACKGROUND INFORMATION

What is the billing system?

The billing systems process the usage of network equipment that is used during the service usage into a single Call Detail Record (CDR) [1]. In GSM 1900, traditionally in North America, the mobile user pays for both incoming and outgoing calls. The reason being that one subscriber cannot tell if the other subscriber is a mobile subscriber because of the American integrated numbering plan [2].  GSM specifications do not govern tariffs or packages because each operator decides this. This project will be focusing on billing system and the main difference between common and basic billing system usually used in telecommunication. It will involve analyzing the basic billing system from a management and business point of view and describing the basic functionalities.

We can divide the system into five parts as follows [1]:

1.      Services: Service is the entity offered by the company and targeted to the customers.

2.      Accounts: The customer account includes customer contact profile information, account type, login information, and payment method

3.      Ratings: Rating is the process of converting usage records from one form to another, like converting usage units to its cost.

4.      Payments: Each customer in the system has an account balance, which affects any invoices requested by the customer and any payments done by the customer.

5.      Invoices: It is the entity generated by the billing system to inform the customer that he must pay for his service usage or ordering.

 

1.3        STATEMENTS OF PROBLEM

·         Overcharging: In telecommunication, the billing system is a very sensitive part and it is faced with a lot of challenges like the overcharging which makes customers/ users complain. This problem may arise from the rating , that is rate given to each call lines and the time  by the inaccuracy of the billing system

·         Poor customer service: Most of the billing systems have poor customer service thereby not given room for customer complaint and attention to their complaints therefore, a Report Generation system will be developed for the user and management of eBilling and Invoicing System. This system will have both details and summary type reports for analysis of the data calculated.

·         Security and Simplicity: Customer, Products, and Billing Generation i.e. it will Automate the current manual bill generation system and maintain the searchable customer, charge database and charge invoice, maintain the data security, user rights.

 

1.3       AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The aim of this project is to create an application that should provide service to the user, collect user usage records, and generate invoices of each credit expire, each billing cycle depends on the billing type, collect payments and adjust customers' balances.

The main objectives of the project are:

·          To illustrate and analyze the basic billing system and the main functionalities that surround the billing system from a business prospective and explains how each interacts to complete the billing cycle.

·         To develop a billing system emulator that can bill more quickly and accurately.

·         To update customer record

·         To develop a billing system that enables customer to view bill information.

 

1.7              METHODOLOGY

Visual basic.Net was used for the implementation of this e-billing system and invoice emulator, which is one of the latest programming software used now with modern features and it helps users to view the Graphic user interface (GUI). Microsoft access was used for the backend to store customer database which include their respective details:

Front end: Visual basic.NET

Back end: Microsoft access

VISUAL BASIC USED FOR THE PROJECT

Visual basic is a programming language that translates an abstract idea into a program design we can see on screens. Visual basic presents a three step approach for creating programs which are:

a)         To design the appearance of the application

b)      Assign property settings to the objects of your program.

c)      Write the code to direct specific tasks at runtime.

The advantages of Visual Basic [18]:

1)      It is a very simple language and it is easy to understand. Things that may be difficult to program with other languages can be done in Visual Basic very easily.

2)      Since Visual Basic is so popular, there are many good resources (Books, Web sites, News groups and more) that can help us learn the language.

3)      You can find many tools (Sharewares and Freeware’s) on the internet that will save you some programming time. For example, if you want to ping a user over the internet in your program, Instead of writing the ping function yourself, you can download a control that does it, and use it in your program.

The disadvantages of Visual Basic [18]:           

1)      Visual Basic is powerful language, but it's not suit for programming really sophisticated games.

2)      Its much slower than other languages.

1.7.1        DEPLOYMENT

This project can be deployed in a real world situation. For example, it could be implemented for a telecommunication company to have effective billing of the customer and it could also be deployed as contractor to already existing networks. The server will be connected to their intranet, thereby automatically providing access to the website from anywhere within the network’s range. Also depending on the number of clients expected, the condition requirement for the server computer might have to be improved to accommodate more traffic.

 

 

1.8          SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

This software will make billing effective and accurate in order for telecom companies to be able to ensure their revenue and maximize customer satisfaction. Also, it will produce software which integrates separate modules to track call usage, track and audit telecom bill and analyze each expenses. Again, it will generate complex reports and analyze according to user defined parameters meaning that every aspect of the telecom billing system can be examined analyzed and reported. And in the user side it ensures transparency of the billing transactions carried out.

 

1.6       LIMITATIONS

a)      It can only be used by telecommunication companies for their billing process and will cover only prepaid and postpaid.

b)      There is a very few study about this subject and the ones found are considered to the billing system companies.

c)      The short duration of the study and implementation.

 

 

1.7  ORGANIZATION OF REPORT

This project has a layout of 6 chapters which is subdivided into the following:

1.               Introduction: Giving a brief summary, this segment gives an introduction of the billing system, then the connection with the telecommunication perspective giving its aims objective, limitations, methodologies and the significance of study.

2.               Literature Review: This chapter explores the concept of the e-Billing system, the types and important telecommunication mechanism in which billing follow.

3.               Design and Implementation of the E-billing system emulator: The design of the phone emulator and the emulator billing system.

4.               Testing and evaluation: Testing functionality and usability of the prototype billing and invoice system.

5.               Conclusions: The conclusion of what was gained from this project. Future developments in e-billing technology and recommendations for future work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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