It is critical to define object-oriented (OO) technology within a framework of a powerful solution to particular, existing programmer/user needs. One attractive option is the Rapid Application Prototyping, Integration and Deployment (RAPID) architecture. Using a tool that utilizes a RAPID-like strategy gives programmers and users a practical framework in which OO can address business problems quickly. The RAPID approach results in OO applications that can be created more rapidly and remain more useful than applications created with conventional tools. A RAPID/OO prototyping method also provides for programmers to build program objects once and use them in various combinations to develop distinct programs.
Computing Canada. Jan 19, 1994, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p22, 1 p.
Rapid Application Development, Applications programming, Prototype, Product Development, Applications programming -- Methods, and Computer software industry -- Product development
Rapid application development (RAD) is a successful technique first developed in the mid 1980s. This method of prototyping helps to show end-users how a system will ultimately work. RAD has five stages: modelling, prototyping, integration, optimization and deployment. RAD is better than the old 'waterfall' approach of creating specifications and then moving to coding and testing because RAD yields systems that are better quality and more flexible. Successful RAD use in information systems (IS) departments requires that IS staff be trained in RAD tools and concepts. New products are emerging every day, and one solution would be to use standards, such as structured query language when implementing RAD.
Computing Canada. March 2, 1994, Vol. 20 Issue 5, pS18, 2 p.
Client/server architecture, Case Study, Applications programming, Software Selection, System Conversion, MIS, Canadian General Electric Company Ltd. -- Information management, Client/server architecture -- Usage, Applications programming -- Management, Aircraft engine industry -- Information management, and Management information systems -- Planning
General Electric Canada Ltd's (GE)'s information systems (IS) department reports that its move to client/server computing has not been as trouble-free as first anticipated. The firm wanted to convert its billing and purchasing transactions systems to client/server, but when the project was half finished, GE realized its software vendor would not be fulfilling its promises. GE then selected Easel Corp's Enfin object-oriented client/server application development tool to save time and complete the project. The firm is pleased with the results because Enfin provides good prototyping features, and the project was completed after four months. The largest barrier in the project was linking the Enfin application on the IBM AS/400 database and the firm's local area network.
Beta-testing is very common in software development, but many users are confused about the need for testing an application that functions well. In reality, software testing is a complicated venture. Developers need to address a multitude of issues, including whether a design is compatible with users' work patterns, terminology is correct and fields are on the screen in a logical arrangement. These issues may seem trivial until a user examines a program that has not been tested enough. Poorly-developed software can lead to lost productivity. Prototyping leads to creating the final program. At this stage, programmers must address software bugs. There can be as many as four beta testing cycles to address problematic bugs. The final stage is gamma testing, which is the final round of testing before release.
Computing Canada. Jan 19, 1994, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p19, 1 p.
Standard, Contracts, User Need, Applications programming, Quality Control, Software Validation, and Applications programming -- Contracts
A UK survey reports that failure costs for software developers are approximately 20 percent of revenue for firms with incomes of $5 to $10 million. Most expenses are connected to prototyping, but around 50 percent of rework costs can salvaged by using a quality management system, such as the one supported by ISO 9000. Already ISO 9001 is applying to software in many European market segments, and there is a rumor that contracts will in 1995 call for developers to abide by ISO 9000. Users in 1994 can use the acquisition contract as leverage to provide applications programming quality control. Users would do well to focus on acceptance test identification, operational requirements and test case details, as well as delivery of a user manual early on in the process.