In this project I aim to investigate if two traditional development methodologies and two web development methodologies are suitable for the development of a web-based system. The methodologies used are SSADM (Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodology), ETHICS (Effective Technical and Human Implementation of Computer-based Systems), RUP (Rational Unified Process), and OOHDM (Object-Oriented Hypermedia Design Methodology). To do this firstly there is an examination into the exact meaning of the term web-based, then to identify the characteristics of a web-based and traditional system. An evaluation criterion is then created, based on the varying characteristics. This criteria is then applied to gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each of the methodologies.
1.1 Reasons for choosing the Project
Currently there are millions of web-based applications floating around cyberspace. They all contain a variety of information and enable asynchronous communication. Yet unfortunately the methodologies that are specifically for the development of web-based systems seem to be a mixture of checklists and ad-hoc approaches (Lowe et al, 1999, p. xvi), which have no formal evaluation or measurement techniques (Lowe et al, 1999 p. xvi). Web-based development is currently at the stage traditional software engineering was thirty years ago.
The focus is primarily looking at implementation and performance issues (Lowe et al, 1999, p. xvi) with little or no emphasis on the modelling or management processes, leading to many systems failing or being abandoned. Web-developers tend to focus on the technical issues of development, because as a community the industry is not yet mature enough to understand what makes an effective development method (Lowe, 1999). As proved by the traditional development organisations it takes a number of years to develop a fully comprehensive methodology suitable for a range of projects.
Even now when using a methodology, one would most likely have to adjust the methodology to fit ones own needs.
With the majority of traditional information systems development, in-house methodologies are used rather than commercial ones. The most predominant reason for this is that they are too cumbersome (Lang et al, 2000, p.5). It is a shock that other reasons such as cost, and difficulty to use appear much lower down in Langs research, than what is previously explained. Users of methodologies tended to identify that they were not suited to the real world. This shows that the majority of methodologies are only partly effective in the job they are supposed to do. Therefore it is unclear whether methodologies are indeed useful in developing systems.
Although web-development has no standard framework or a general understanding of what is involved, various approaches have appeared on the market. These vary from design check lists, to experts pontificating on how to approach various aspects of design; to formalised and structured design methodologies (Lowe, 1999, p.9). These have tended to be a mixture of ideas on conceptual and navigational design, with little or no reference to processes or any of techniques, such as project management that have recently appeared in traditional approaches. No methodology has emerged to cater the needs for a systematic and methodological approach to complex and dynamic web application development (Enguix et al, 1999, p.1).