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Year 11 - Software Design & Development

Topic Test on Chapter 3 – Software
1. What is a prototype? (2)

A prototype is a model. An enactable model or mock-up of a software system

that enables evaluation of features and functions in an operational scenario
(see p.96).

2. What are the two different types of prototyping? (2)

Concept and Evolutionary.

3. Explain why one type of prototyping is particularly suited to software

development. Compare the two types. (3)

Evolutionary is suited to software development because the initial prototype

can be developed into the final product. Concept is used for ideas only and is
usually a physical model. Evolutionary develops through various versions of
the product.

4. Explain why the prototyping approach is more suited to developing a solution

when the client specifications are vague: (2)

The initial prototype can be used to help clients clarify their ideas; the product
can then be changed as often as necessary to suit requirements.

5. How are the stages of development applied differently in the prototyping

approach? (2)

They’re circular – each stage is repeated through the different versions of the

6. What are the stages of software development? (5)

Defining the problem

Planning the solution

Building the solution

Checking the solution

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Maintaining the solution

7. Compare and contrast the structured approach with the prototyping approach_

The structured approach requires the stages to be distinct. The problem needs
to be clearly identified in the first stage. If an error is found later, it’s
necessary to re-start the whole process. Each stage must be complete before
the next stage is started. Prototyping is more flexible and allows for change;
stages are repeated.

8. Fill in the following table for the structured approach with ONE related example
in each (i.e.: the personnel listed would carry out the task): (5)

Stage Personnel Action / Task

Defining Systems analyst, business Interviews, meetings, IPOs

analyst etc…

Planning Systems analyst, Algorithms


Building Programmer Coding

Checking Testers (programmers also do Testing

testing throughout)

Maintaining Maintenance coders (may be Altering and correcting code

a different team or the same
team) / Programmers

9. What does RAD stand for? (1)

Rapid Application Development

10. Identify two technological developments that have made the RAD approach a
viable approach to software development? (2)

4GL – 4th Generation Languages

Improvements in hardware in terms of speed which makes efficiency of

coding less of an issue.

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11. Why has the RAD approach become increasingly popular over the last ten
years? (other than the reasons above) (2)

High demand for software to be produced quickly.

Changes mean software needs change; solutions become obsolete far more

12. What is the key factor in the end-user approach that distinguishes it from other
approaches? (1)

The user creates the software solution for his / her own use.

13. When isn’t the end-user approach suitable for a small scale, low budget
problem? (1)

If the end-user doesn’t have the required technical skills.

14. Compare and contrast the RAD approach and the end-user approach (4)

RAD is suitable for small projects and re-uses libraries of code, but still
requires a small technical team. End-user is usually one developer
customising macros or a very small project for personal use.

15. Examine the graph below and identify the approaches:

Comparing Software Approaches


Series1 Series1 Series1 Series1 Series1 Series1 Series1


Series2 Series2 Series2 Series2 Series2 Series2 Series2 Series1
High - Low

Series3 Series3 Series3 Series3 Series3 Series3 Series3
Series4 Series3 Series4 Series4 Series4 Series4 Series4

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

(i) Series 1 - Structured

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(ii) Series 2 - Prototyping

(iii) Series 3 - RAD

(iv) Series 4 – End-user (2)

16. Identify 5 characteristics this chart could be based on (eg: how formal the
solution is) (5)

Time; money; complexity; skills required / team; size of project; reliability.

17. A small business, with 10 employees, sells various products by mail order.
They now wish to sell their products over the internet. Select a suitable
approach for this problem and justify your choice: (2)

The RAD approach would be most suited to this project. It’s a small project
for a small business. It’s unlikely they have a large budget. A prototype may
be used to establish requirements.

18. A large mortgage broker employs approximately 150 brokers who advise
homeowners and purchasers on the best home loan for their particular
circumstances. To assist this process a new software program is being
developed to compare all available home loan products and suggest the most
appropriate. Select a suitable approach for this problem and justify your
choice: (2)

The structured approach would be suitable. It’s a large problem which

requires high quality, reliable software. A prototype could be used for the
interface to refine requirements.

19. Letsfly Travel agency wants to upgrade their system as customers have made
complaints about waiting to be served. Letsfly has three employees and a
manager. The current system is crashing daily and Internet connection is slow.
They urgently need a new system with more processing power and storage.
What is the best approach for Letsfly to take? (1)


20. Why wouldn’t the less expensive approaches be used to solve all problems?_
___________________________________________________________ (2)

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Some problems are highly complex and require a highly skilled team. Projects
that require high efficiency and reliability are more suited to the more formal
structured approach.

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