COMP 2406 – Fall 2020 Movie Database Project
When a user is logged in, they should be able to view and manage information about
their account. The application must provide a way for the user to:
1. Change between a ‘regular’ user account and a ‘contributing’ user account. If
a user changes account types, it should only affect their ability to carry out an
action in the future. That is, anything created by a user while they have a
contributing user account should remain unaffected if the user switches back
to a regular account.
2. View and manage the people they follow. The user should be able to navigate
to the personal page of any person they have followed. The user should be
able to stop following any person that they have followed.
3. View and manage the other users they follow. The user should be able to
navigate to the user page of any user they have followed. The user should be
able to stop following any user that they have followed.
4. View recommended movies. These recommendations should be made based
on what information your web application knows about the user, such as what
movies they have reviewed or what people/users they have followed.
5. Search for movies by title, name, and/or genre keyword, at minimum.
Additional types of search can also be included. The user must be able to
navigate to the movie page for any of the search results.
When viewing a specific movie, a user must be able to:
1. See the basic movie information, including at minimum: the title, release year,
average rating, runtime, and plot.
2. See the genre keywords and allow the user to navigate to search results that
contain movies with that genre keyword.
3. See the director, writer, and actors the movie has, which should also allow the
user to navigate directly to each person’s page.
4. See a list of similar movies to this one and allow the user to navigate to the
page for any of those movies. How similarity is defined is up to you, though
you should be able to support your algorithm design with logical arguments.
5. See movie reviews that have been added for the movie.
6. Add a basic review by specifying a score out of 10.
7. Add a full review by specifying a score out of 10, a brief summary, and a full
review text. You can use automatically generated text from an available
package to fill these values quickly but must support manual entry as well.
Viewing People (directors, writers, actors)
When viewing the page for a particular person, the user must be able to:
1. See a history of all of this person’s work. Each movie entry should allow the
user to navigate to that movie’s page.
2. See a list of frequent collaborators of this person. That is, a list of people this
person has worked with the most, according to your database information.
3. Choose to follow this person. If a user follows a person, the user should
receive a notification any time a new movie is added to the database that
involves this person, or any time this person is added to an existing movie.
Viewing Other Users
When viewing the page for another user, the current user must be able to:
1. See a list of all of the reviews this user has made and be able to read each
2. See a list of all of the people this user has followed and be able to navigate to
each person’s page.
3. Choose to follow this user. If a user X follows a user Y, user X should receive
a notification any time user Y creates a new review.
If a user’s account type is set to be a contributing user, the user should be able to do
everything a regular user can do and also:
1. Add a new person to the database by specifying their name. If the name
already exists, the user should not be able to add the new person.
2. Add a new movie by specifying all of the minimum information required by
your system, including at least one writer, director, and actor. The user should
only be allowed to add people to a movie if that person exists in the database
already. You can include an ‘auto-fill’ feature to generate a random movie
quickly but must also provide a way for the user to manually create a movie
3. When viewing a movie, be able to edit the movie by adding actors, writers,
In addition to the web-based client that most users will use, your movie database
application must also provide a public JSON REST API that supports the following
routes and parameters, at minimum:
1. GET /movies – Allows searching for movies in the database. Returns an
array of movies that match the query constraints. Must support at least the
following query parameters:
a. title – A string that should be considered a match for any movie that
has a title containing the given string title (character case should be
ignored). If no value is given for this parameter, all movies should
match the title constraint.
b. genre – A string that should be considered a match if the movie’s list of
genre keywords contains the given keyword. If no value is given for
this parameter, all movies should match the genre constraint.
c. year – A number that should be considered a match if the movie’s
release year matches. If no value is given for this parameter, all
movies should match the year constraint.
d. minrating – A number that should be considered a match if the movie’s
overall average review rating on your site is greater than or equal to
the given value. If a movie does not have any reviews, the number
value of its rating should be considered 0.
2. GET /movies/:movie – Allows retrieving information about a specific movie
with the unique ID movie, assuming it is a valid ID. The returned JSON should
contain the basic movie information (title, year, actors, etc.) and also
information about the reviews of the movie.
3. POST /movies – Allows a new movie to be added into the database. It will
accept a JSON representation of a movie and is responsible for checking the
data is valid before adding it to the database. Your documentation should
specify the required data and expected format. If a person is specified as a
writer/director/actor within the movie but does not currently exist in the
database, a new person should be created and added to the database.
4. GET /people – Allows searching for people within the movie database. At
minimum, this must support an optional name query parameter. If the query
parameter is included, it should return any person in the database whose
name contains the given name parameter. The search should also be done in
a case-insensitive nature. If no parameter is given, all people should match
5. GET /people/:person – Retrieves the person with the given unique ID, if they
exist. This should include, at minimum, the name of the person and the
movies they have been a part of.
6. GET /users – Allows searching the users of the application. At minimum, this
must support an optional name query parameter. If the query parameter is
included, it should return any user in the database whose name contains the
given name parameter. The search should also be done in a case-insensitive
nature. If the parameter is not specified, any user should match the search
7. GET /users/:user – Get information about the user with the given unique ID,
if they exist. This should contain their username, their account status (regular
user or contributing user) and the reviews the user has made.
You will also be required to submit a project report that must explain the overall design
of the system, outline any assumptions that were made, provide supporting arguments
for the design decisions that were made, discuss technologies used within the
application, document your server’s API, describe any testing completed as part of the
project, highlight key features of the system, and provide documentation on how to
use/test the system. You must be able to justify your design and implementation
choices from a perspective that considers scalability, robustness, extensibility, and
maintainability, as well as the overall user experience. It is important to document the
design decisions you make, as well as your reasoning for making those decisions and
any alternative approaches you tried or considered as the term progresses. This will
make writing a quality report near the end of the term significantly easier. We will
discuss potential sections and other outline details for the project reports throughout the
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