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Systems Analysis, Prototyping and Iteration

design and implementation. . to ensure that their information and operational requirements are met. in the various functional areas of the organisation. Systems analysis follows stages of investigation. Each stage should involve close consultation with potential users.Systems Analysis This is a process used in the design of new systems.

The design stage should produce a system specification. which should detail all necessary materials and procedures needed to fulfill the specification. . hardware requirements and the inputs. processing and outputs required of the computer software. The specification should detail all the necessary clerical procedures.

This maintenance task is the responsibility of the systems analyst. when the operational or information requirements of users change. occasional modification. . it will require continual monitoring and probably.After implementation of a system.

SDM Waterfall Model .

They should be recorded so that at the end of the project the software can be tested to ensure it fulfills the requirements. .Feasibility  The feasibility study determines whether a particular development project should go ahead. Requirements analysis  The requirements for the new or modified system are gathered at this stage. If the project is to proceed then a project plan and budget estimate for the other stages of development will be produced.

e. how will the program work. Above all the design should be documented including reasons for making particular choices if a number of options were available.g. what models or algorithms will be used.g. what are their inputs and outputs. .Design specification Design focuses on:     high level design. e. what libraries are required. what programs are needed. Having a detailed design will make generating the code easier but will make changing things difficult whereas a more broad brush design will leave more work in the implementation phase but allows room for the details to come out as the development progresses.g. data design. e. what are their interactions with other software or the operating system. This makes it much easier for new developers to join a project and helps when new features are required. The level of detail in the design may be a matter of personal choice or may be specified by particular development procedures. data structures in the software. low level design. for input and output.

Coding  In this phase the designs are translated into code. Testing  The overall system is tested to ensure that it works on the intended platform(s). Programming tools such as compilers and quality assurance tools are used to generate good quality source code and the software application. The use of debuggers and profiling tools will be useful at this stage to identify errors in the code and get the best possible performance from the code. giving correct results or showing the required behaviour defined in the requirements document. Optimum performance is especially important in scientific computing applications. . Testing of small self-contained parts (modules) of the overall application may take place depending on the modularity of the code.

design. In addition users will want more or different functionality and will definitely want it to run faster or address bigger problems! The software development process should be able to accommodate changes at this stage through a well thought out design and any changes should have their own requirements. There may be bugs caused by unexpected input values (add them to a test suite) or by unexpected (inappropriate) use of the software (tighten up the documentation).Maintenance  Once the system is delivered to users it will inevitably need maintenance. . coding and testing stages.

It is therefore critical that the analysts and the programmers understand the end-users’ requirements. even though they may well be involved in signing off. it is possible to rework earlier stages in the light of experience gained at a later stage. This can be quite difficult with the waterfall model.In the waterfall model. . However the end user is rarely involved in the development stage. Each stage is signed off and the next stage is proceeded with.

and the end user can have a considerable input into the development of a project. which can be overcome using Prototyping. in which a model of the system is developed in partnership with the end-user. The features are worked out with the end user using a prototype.The waterfall model has disadvantages. .

Benefits are: Misunderstandings are detected at early stages The user will notice any missing functions. Can be built quickly to demonstrate systems It can be used for training before the system is finished . incomplete or inconsistent requirements.

The final result could be completely different to what was requested in the first place. . Meetings with end users can become time consuming.Drawbacks are: Project management can be uncoordinated or even sloppy.

Evolutionary prototyping – each prototype built is a step closer to solution. Piloting .Different Methods of Prototypes – Test the feasibility of the design proposal Modelling – building to develop an understanding of the user’s requirements Throw-away prototyping – Pilot and modelling are throw away types – once they achieve their purpose the real system is built.