Data Request Interface Component

Developed by Jay Benson

The Data Request Interface allows users to create accounts, request files, view file request states and download files.


The Data Request Interface served as the Public Portal component of the permissions system allowing users to create accounts and subsequently request files Zamani Archival System. Additionally, the Data Request interface includes the Account page where users can see their current permissions for files they have requested and allows them to download requests that have been accepted.


In order to dynamically generate the content required for the Data Request Interface components, cURL requests were made to Solr as well as the FOXML FILE datastream.

Account Management

The account management functionality allows users to create an account on the Public Portal of the Zamani Archival System. Users are required to accept the Terms and Conditions of the Zamani Data Archive before creating their account. This ensures that all users have agreed to any copyright restriction on the Zamani data set before they were able to request or download any content from the Archive. User's may also request a new password if the current one has been forgotten.

Login Home screen allowing users to login or sign up
Login form
Registration form
Change Password form
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Request Interface

Users are able to request files with a reason once logged in but pressing the request button when viewing and individual metadata record in the Search Interface. If a user is logged in and has previously requested a file they are instead shown the current state of their request ("pending", "accepted", "declined"). Once a user has requested a file the primary adminstrator of the Zamani Data Archive is informed via an email specifying the details of the request.

Request Interface after request button has been clicked and user is logged in.

Account Page

The Account Page is the final component of the of the Data Request Interface. It allows users to view their current request states and download either single files or batches of files as a compressed ZIP archive. Users are also able to view additional information related to viewing the spatial data found in the Zamani Data Archive as well as the Terms and Conditions of use.

Account Page for a user with an 'accepted', 'pending' and 'declined' state.


Usability Testing

A usability test was conducted with 15 participants, consisting of University of Cape Town students. The System Usability Scale (SUS) was used to measure user's perceived usability of the Permissions System to meet its intended purpose. The Permissions System is composed of the Data Request Interface and Request Management functionality. These components were tested together as they tested the entire user file request process. Every participant was able to complete all the tasks in the usability test for the permission system.

The Permissions System received a mean SUS score of: 83.125

User Acceptance Testing

In order to evaluate whether the requirements of the project were met, a user acceptance test was used. This testing allowed the development team to demonstrate all the required functionality of the system to the clients. Additionally, the clients were asked to evaluate whether the requirements of each component of the Zamani Data Archive were met. The requirement-based test case criteria for the Permissions System are shown below.

ID Criteria
1.1 Account Management
1.1.1 Register an account
1.1.2 Terms & Conditions of the Zamani Project Archive in registration
1.1.3 Activate registered account
1.1.4 Request a new password
1.2 File Requests
1.2.1 Request a file with a personalised message
1.2.2 Zamani Archive Admin notified by email
1.2.3 View file request status
1.3 File Downloads
1.3.1 Single file download
1.3.2 Batch file download
After the demonstration of the Permission System the Zamani team were asked to evaluate whether the criteria had been met. The results of this evaluation can be seen below.

ID Test Cases Pass/Fail Tested By Date Tested
1.1 Account Management Pass Zamani team 20/10/2014
1.2 File Requests Pass Zamani team 20/10/2014
1.3 File Downloads Pass Zamani team 20/10/2014


In order to provide a subjective label for the outcome of the Usability Test an adjective rating scale (seen below) was used. Using this scale we that the Archival Tools fell between the 'Good' and 'Excellent' categories. It can thus be deduced that the tools provide a high level of user perceived usability.

SUS adjective rating scale

All test cases where passed in the user acceptance testing, which confirmed that the original requirements of the project had been met. The overall reception from the client was excellent. This was confirmed when the client indicated that they felt the Zamani Archive was ready for production. The clients indicated that they wished to do future work on the Permission System, including improvements and new requirements such as batch requests.