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Information Systems Development Methods


In this method, the process of defining and analyzing data requirements to support the business process of an organization is known as data modeling. All data is stored in a model called concept model which has data definitions. It is implemented using logical models. There are different data models and techniques used to standardize data and to make the data consistent, predictable and manageable. It employees the following

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Conceptual schema: Describes the semantics used in a domain, as the entities in a domain and the relationships between the entities. A conceptual model expresses the facts of a domain by using a model. Any database management system’s logical structure cannot satisfy the requirements of a conceptual definition. The need for a conceptual view brought into focus the semantic model. This modeling technique defines the meaning of data in terms of the inter-relationship that it has with other data. A semantic model can be used for purposes like planning of data resources, the building of shared databases, and the integration of existing databases. The semantic model integrates relational concepts with powerful abstraction concepts.

Logical schema: Describes the structures of information within a domain, like for example, descriptions of tables, classes, and XML tags.

Physical schema: Describes the data storing mechanisms used in the real world like the number of partitions required, tablespaces, and the number of CPUs required.

The above three perspectives are independent of each other and as such any change in technology may affect the physical schema but the logical and conceptual schemas remain intact. This framework uses different data modeling methodologies are:

Bottom-up models: this modeling methodology is used mostly in reengineering efforts. These models start with the existing data structure, then fields, and then end with the final report. This is more application-specific and an incomplete modeling methodology. The models that are based on this methodology are known as physical data models.

Top-down models: Logical data models adopt this methodology. Models following this methodology follow an abstract way of gathering information from subject matter experts. Any system designed by using the logical model may not implement all the aspects of the logical model. However, this model serves as the reference point for these systems.

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Diagrammatic modeling techniques

This method uses diagrams that show processes, data, and events of the framework. Generic model: This model defines the general relationship type along with the components they try to relate. The generic model creates generally a binary relation and a part-whole relation. A generic model allows the classification of any individual thing and specification of part-whole relationships in a project. By providing for an extensible list of relational types this model is more like a natural language, unlike other models that have fixed and limited scope.

User involvement

In this framework, the users of the system are used and this helps to reduce resistance. The top executives meet to figure out the areas in which they need to improve and the type of system that will be needed. The best method that considers this framework is agile methods. Agile methods, in contrast, stress the development of design and adaptation to changing user expectations, rather than hard, inflexible preplanning (Fowler 2005). Thus, in agile software development, both the development environment and development philosophy are radically shifted from traditional controlled, planned development to flexible, adaptive development.

An agile development environment is one in which new software solutions are designed with a cooperative partnership between software developers and the intended end-users of the new software. The core activity to this empowerment is short, daily progress meetings in which each person cites their activity and progress, and then informs the team of any noted problems or specific needs that have come up in their work (Aguanno 2005, pp. 42-44). This is supported by the direct involvement of the end-users in the process as team members and the primary testers of the software as it is developed (Aguanno 2003, pp. 147-157). Agile methods focus on the empowerment of these teams in the development process, allowing them to make immediate design and action decisions based on the feedback from the end-user/testers rather than on managerial review. Here, transforms this into a more spiral model of planning-development-integration, which is repeated for each core function of the software solution. Agile development teams test each function as an integrated process in the development cycle itself instead of attempting to complete the entire project before testing begins and continues with each progressive stage building upon the previous stages.

System Framework

The Basics of Design: System design is the very base foundation of how an e-business establishment functions for the international market. The question is what is website design? Before visualization of the different elements found in a website is established, certain procedures are taken into consideration to be able to create a workable online post that could be used by both the clients and the administrators of the business. Naturally, these procedures include technicalities that require the attention of expert programmers. Among the said procedures concerned is that of web authoring, scripting, and coding of the different functions and features of the website.

Coding and Scripting: Coding and scripting are two identical elements that are used to establish a programmable design. Naturally, this involves the creation of text-based commands that are supposed to yield computer-generated presentations for better visual attraction on the part of the end-users of the website. There are several approaches that could be considered when coding. Also, take note of the different software assistance provisions that are designed to make coding and web visualization much easier to control. Among the said programs include HTML coding, HTML editing, and other tools that instigate easier scripting procedures. The proper use of HTML coding actually intently creates a better visual presentation for the website being created. Color combination, background effects, texture, and other elements that contribute to the presentation of the entire domain are all handled through HTML scripting; it is through this that the design is enhanced and the presentation of the site becomes effectively attractive making the individuals respond to the information that the site offers the surfers of the net(McNell, 2008).

Web Authoring Tools:-With HTML scripting used to instigate the design, web authoring tools further increase the functionality of the websites. Likely, it is through the proper creation of functions for the different elements that make up the website that the domain itself becomes efficient in completing its task as expected by the organization using it. For websites created to handle business advertising and improve business operations, it is very important that the functionality of website features is implemented. This means that websites ought to serve as connecting domains that allow the administrators or the operators of the business to directly communicate with their prospect clients and be able to transact with them to create deals that would mandate revenue.

Website authoring tools also enhance the web linkages that the site has to other domains in the web that could generate site traffic. This means that the linkages imposed within the site ought to invite more visitors from a larger scope of the market.

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Implementation of Creations: – Utilizing both the web authoring tools along with effective scripting and coding, a website could already be established. However, this is the mere beginning of the state towards internet popularity. Believably, the competition continues as the website enters the arena of international recognition. It could be considered though that with ample control of a well-established website, such competition could be gradually won(McNell, 2009). Note the following diagram that shows the basics of the most important procedures taken into consideration with web authoring:

The basics of the most important procedures taken into consideration with web authoring

Diagram Analysis

As seen from the diagram posted above, there are three particular phases of development that could be recognized for the sake of creating an effective website that would be able to suffice the needs of the clients while allowing the administrators to control the systems involved in the proper operation of the domain. Practically, it could be seen that the phases of development follow a certain process that intends to make a specific innovative approach in creating a website that does not only invite but specifically works for the needs of the clients. Planning, actual design creations, and the build-up of the website all follow a certain sequence that aims to make a definite indication of functionality in the process of establishing a website that responds to the tasks that it is expected to complete (Hoole, 2009).

At the end phase, the build-up phase, it could be seen that somehow the innovation and the changes never stop. The need for the website to continuously improve through the operations that the websites encounter every day is an essential part of the development of the site for the sake of a development that would increase the competence of the entire domain in serving the concerns of the clients. Believably, it could be observed that somehow it is through this that the website becomes more capable of remaining in the industry for as long as it could hold the position that it takes in the web. With these different phases of development, it is expected that somehow practical developments could be taken into consideration when the effectiveness of the website creation is well-grounded in a good foundation of proper programming. True, the practical application of different elements of proper programming naturally creates a definite establishment of competence when it comes to website design. It is through this approach that websites today are functioning for the best cause of the administrators that are operating the said systems. Understandably, it could be noticed that this is the reason why websites are constantly morphing in form hence making a great impact on the ways by which society actually sees them(Mayo-Smith, 2001).

Fixit TV and Video repairs


In the V-model, the risks involved are minimized and quality is built into the project from the very start of planning. This results in the costs of development and use of the end product being dramatically reduced. The V-model also improves communication, creating an environment in which each stakeholder knows, at least generally, what to expect. The V-model creates this successful environment by establishing a three-phase development process consisting of specification gathering, implementation, and acceptance testing. In the specification phase, the V-model develops the basic requirements for the project by taking into consideration user needs, the functional requirements to address those needs, and the associated design specifications. During implementation, project protocols and components are developed to meet each of the established specifications. As each is developed, they enter the acceptance testing phase, during which they are deployed and monitored to detect any flaws and oversights (Watkins, 2009).

The Boehm spiral model is a slightly more complex development model that may reflect the typical software development project more accurately (Boehm 1986). Barry Boehm outlined the spiral model and described it as an iterative process consisting of four basic steps: the gathering of system requirements, preliminary design, initial prototyping and testing, and secondary prototype development. The model then folds into a spiral with a return to system requirements gathering in preparation for the next round of development, building upon the success of the prior cycles (Gao, Tsao, and Wu, 2003).

This final point is critical when software development projects meet the real world. In a typical environment, such as a repair shop, the ability to refine the end product addresses not only the potential to cure oversights in the original development but to also respond to changing conditions. In the “Fixit TV and Video repairs” scenario, the core repair shop operations component would be developed, tested, and refined to ensure a solid basis for system expansion. Once this was established, the many features desired by the owner of the repair shop would then be developed and tested, most likely beginning with the automation of repair time availability and customer orders, then expanding into more services.

In all, the spiral model of development would increase the success probability of the repair shop project by breaking the project into workable subsets. In doing so the potential embarrassment of failure is minimized, a critical consideration in an upper-scale operation as described in the “Fixit TV and Video repairs” scenario. In this scenario two primary issues could result in a failure of the development and justify a spiral development approach:

  • Remote Access repairs charges and Payments – Remote access of any type is fraught with peril. Payment information would have to be encrypted to reduce the chance of information theft and a means of protecting wait staff datapads from damage would have to be implemented.
  • Technology Integration and Staff Acceptance – For much of this project, ease of use is an important consideration. Staff members would be more likely to accept the new technologies if they were easy to use and non-intrusive to their work.

User framework

Examining the “Fixit TV and Video repairs” scenario, it is clear that there are several layers of concern. The first area of concern is in the general automation of the ordering and transmittal of the orders to the appropriate staff for fulfillment. The second area of concern is the enhancement of customer services and extension of those services to integrate the repair shop with the customer’s outside pursuits. The third area of concern is the protection of sensitive information and maintaining the security of the Fixit TV and Video repairs’ technological services. Though not cited specifically in the scenario information, integration of management operations would establish a fourth area of concern.

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As each of these areas has a high level of compartmentalization and avoiding the embarrassment of failure is a high priority, the development project would necessitate a spiral development structure. Information gathering in preparation for the project would require a mix of staff interviews and general observations of the repair shop operations to establish an understanding of repair staff, customer and management needs. Direct involvement of the staff in the design process would also alleviate the client’s concerns regarding staff acceptance of the technology by developing a sense of personal investment in the project with each staff member.

Development of the system would be done in five stages. Stage 1 would automate the inventory storage, ordering process between repair staff and sales staff necessitating the development of an inventory storage system and sales system for staff and an order display for the repair staff. The inventory storage system, ordering system, in anticipation of Stage 4 expansion, would be designed as a web application. Stage 2 would normalize this by creating displays for each repair staff to individually alert staff members to specific TVs or videos that are needed to be repaired. Stage 3 would create a back-office management system into which inventory usage and sales receipt data would be posted and accessible by the Fixit TV and Video repairs owner. An extension of this would allow staff to alert management to specific inventory needs, should they arise. In Stage 4, the Stage 1 ordering system access would be expanded to allow remote entry of orders by wait staff using data pads or by customers using their own devices for access and expand the ordering system itself for the posting and access of a dynamic repair that would include options for manager recommendations, daily repair scheduling, and customizable spare parts item availability. This stage would, of necessity, include security protocols for the protection of customer payment information and identity privacy. Stage 5 would create an inter-personnel communication system that would facilitate improved coordination of staff members and establish a means of fulfilling the Stage 6 feature of discrete communications between customers and staff. Stage 6 would shift attention to improvements in customer service, including remote customer access to the ordering system and the establishment of privileged customer services.

In total, the deliverables for this project would consist of a web application order placement, a repair shop management application, Fixit TV and video repairs management application, a customizable repair charges application, an inter-personnel communications application, and a privileged customer services web application. Design of the order placement and privileged customer service applications as web-based applications would facilitate long-term compatibility with the customers’ personal technology devices and the use of remote access data pads by staff members.

Reference List

Aguanno, K., 2004. Managing Agile Projects. Ontario: Multi-Media Publications Inc.

Boehm, B. 1986. “A spiral model of software development and enhancement.” ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes. (11:4, pp. 6-8).

Fowler, M., 2005. “The New Methodology.” Martin Fowler. Web.

Gao, J., Tsao, H. & Wu, Y., 2003. Testing and Quality Assurance for Component-Based Software. Norwood: Artech House, Inc.

Hoole, G., 2009. The Really, Really, Really Easy Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own Website: For Absolute Beginners of All Ages. New Holland Publishing.

Mayo-Smith, J., 2001. “Two Ways to Build a Pyramid.” Information Week. Web.

McNell, P. 2008. The Web Designer’s Idea Book: The Ultimate Guide To Themes, Trends & Styles In Website Design. Toronto:The How Publication.

McNell, P. 2009. The Web Designer’s Idea Book Volume 2: The Latest Themes, Trends and Styles in Website Design. Toronto: The How Publication.

Watkins, J., 2009. Agile Testing: How to Succeed in an Extreme Testing Environment. New York: Cambridge University Press.

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