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It is no secret that the strength of any worthy organization comes from within. For a respected Higher Education Institution this implies the demonstration of self sustenance, the ability to overcome challenges in-house, and a proven track record of innovation. All the preceding three elements are embodied within the framework of the ARMS Project, an ongoing initiative at the College of Engineering Design Art and Technology to accentuate the use of Information Systems in tackling some of the recurring challenges at Higher Education Institutions in Uganda.

The ARMS Project is a premier Web Systems Engineering research and development entity, actively promoting systematic, disciplined and quantifiable approaches toward successful development of high-quality and ubiquitous web systems. The ARMS Project is nurturing Patrons for Eloquent and Rational Application of Contemporary Methodologies, Tools, Techniques and Guidelines to Meet Unique Requirements of Web Information Systems for Higher Education Institutions and E-Government amongst others.

The ARMS Project is developing an End-2-End Academic Records Management System which is a scalable, robust, versatile, user-centric web based system designed to meet the information support needs of Higher Education Institutions. To meet the Unique Requirements of the Key Academic Records Management Actors within Higher Education Institutions.

The table below gives an overview of the Six (6) On-Line Service Centers for the distinct Actors {the highlighted services are yet to be developed while the rest have been fully developed by end of the Financial year 2010/2011}.

Service CentreServices
Student’s Portal (ARMS SP) Both Web and Mobile Phone ClientsStudent Evaluation of Teaching, Student Registration, Results Display, Online Prospectus, Messenger Service, Bio Data Management, College and University News and Events (Virtual Notice Boards), Online User Help Centre, Academic Analytics Service, Application for Graduation
Internal Course Examiner’s Portal (ARMS ICEP)Results Import, Reports Engine, Student Results Analysis (Graphical and Statistics), Messenger Service, Online Based Help Centre and Video Tutorials, Student Evaluation of Teaching Reports, Virtual Notice Boards, Calendar and Task Manager, Course Resources Manager, Search Service, Student-Clearing Service.
Management Information Systems (ARMS MIS)Reports Engine, Messenger Service, Search Service, Teaching Load Assignment and Management, Bio Data Management, Events and Notices Management and Virtual Notice Boards, Help Centre, Semester Management, Student-Clearing Service, Knowledge Discovery Service, Configuration Management Service.
Administrator’s Portal (ARMS AP)System Monitoring, User Enrolment and Management, End-User Support Services, System Updates, Disaster Recovery.
Prospective Students Portal (ARMS PSP)Prospective Students Inquires and Applications, Student Admission Management, Application Tracking
SMS Based Results Request Service (ARMS RRS)Tracking of Students and Graduates Academic Records by Parents, Sponsors and Prospective Employers

The core project team is comprised of Two Members of Staff, Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa and Paul Isaac Musasizi; Five Graduate Research Assistants, Andrew Muyanja, Catherine Nassimbwa, Simon Peter Miyingo, Joshua Tendo, and Agnes Marjorie Nakiganda; and Six Undergraduate Student Developers Ephrance Eunice Namugenyi, Christine Nagadya, Elizabeth Ahabwe, James Muranga, Allan Muhumuza, and Noah Nyabwana Akiiki at CEDAT.

Besides being on the brink of providing a much-anticipated solutions, the project also boasts of being amongst a handful that have been able to build capacity by exposing and exploiting what would have otherwise been under-utilized students’ potential. A competent application development team has been built from scratch, which can undoubtedly compete with the best in the industry. Students have managed to develop highly specialized skills in the fields of Systems Analysis, User Experience Design, Applications and Database Development, Testing & Quality Assurance as well as the ingredient Project Management Techniques and Skills.

Key undertakings for the Financial year 2011/2012 shall include Integrating a Knowledge Discovery and Decision Support Service in ARMS; Development of the ARMS Results Request Service for Parents, Sponsors, and Prospective Employers to check the authenticity of results and track academic status; Integrating Prospective Students Services in ARMS; Finalizing the ARMS Data Centre; Marketing ARMS 1.0 to Prospective Buyers {Service/Product}; and Venturing into other Domains, including but not limited to Crime Records Management Solutions.