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Creating Software System Context Glossaries

Creating Software System Context Glossaries
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Author(s): Graciela D.S. Hadad (Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Argentina & Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina) and Jorge H. Doorn (INTIA, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina and Universidad Nacional de La Matanza, Argentina)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch128

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Abstract

Requirements engineering (RE) is the area of software engineering responsible for the elicitation and definition of the software system requirements. This task implies joining the knowledge of the services that a software system can and cannot provide with the knowledge of clients’ and users’ needs (Jackson, 1995; Katasonov & Sakkinen, 2005; Kotonya & Sommerville, 1998; Sommerville & Sawyer, 1997; Sutcliffe, Fickas, & Sohlberg, 2006; Uchitel, Chatley, Kramer, & Magee, 2006). Frequently, this activity is done by people with a software engineering bias. The underlying hypothesis of this choice is that users’ needs are easier to understand than the software’s possible behaviors. This is not always true; however, this is the metacontext in which most RE heuristics and methodologies have been developed. Understanding clients’ and users’ needs is far more complex than merely interviewing selected clients and user representatives, compiling all gathered information in one document. Defining how to put into service a complex software system within an organization requires envisioning how the business process of the organization will be in the future from both points of view: software organization and business organization. This is the key of the RE commitment: to imagine how the future business process will be. This RE commitment requires a good knowledge about how the business process actually is. Understanding the software system’s preexistent context basically means understanding the clients’ and users’ culture. In other words, this part of the RE is a learning process.

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