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Focused Requirements Engineering Method for Web Application Development

Focused Requirements Engineering Method for Web Application Development
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Author(s): Ala M. Abu-Samaha (Amman University, Jordan) and Lana S. Al-Salem (SpecTec Ltd & MEP, Greece)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 9
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.ch244

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Abstract

The requirements phase of the system/application development process typically involves the activities of requirements elicitation, analysis, validation, and specification. The main goal of such a process is “to develop a requirements speci- fication document which defines the system to be procured and which can act as a basis for the system design” (Sawyer, Sommerville, & Viller, 1996). Hence the underpinning assumption of the requirements engineering (RE) process is to transform the operational needs of an organisation into complete, consistent, and unambiguous system/application specifications through an iterative process of definition and validation (Pohl ,1994). The Web engineering (WE) literature provides a limited number of methods and techniques that can be used to manage the RE process in a Web development context [e3-value framework (Gordijn, Akkermans, & van Vliet, 2000), SOARE approach (Bleistein, Aurum, Cox, & Ray, 2004), e-prototyping (Bleek, Jeenicke, & Klischewski, 2002), AWARE (Bolchini & Paolini, 2004), and SSM/ICDT (Meldrum & Rose, 2004)]. Despite the availability of such a limited number of Web requirements engineering (WRE) methods, many researchers criticised such methods for their failure to address the necessity to align the Web application’ requirements to the organisation’s business strategy. Hence, the recommendation of many researchers (Al-Salem & Abu- Samaha, 2005a; Bleistein 2005; Bleistein, Cox, & Verner, 2004; Vidgen, Avison, Wood, & Wood-Harper, 2002) is to utilise a general WRE framework for the development of Web applications that can align the application’s requirements to the organisation’s business needs and its future vision. The objective of such a WRE framework is to incorporate the elicitation/analysis of business strategy as part of the application’s RE process. This chapter presents a WRE method that extends Sommerville and Kotonya’s viewpoint-oriented requirements definition (VORD) and Kaplan and Norton’s balanced scorecard (BSC) to elicit the Web application’ requirements and to plan/analyze the business strategy, respectively. In addition, eWARE (extended Web application requirements engineering) deploys the concept of “requirements alignment” to attain business objectives during the requirements discovery, elicitation, and formalisation process to identify the services of the Web application that will achieve the business objectives in order to improve the organisation’s profitability and competitiveness. The chapter is organised into a number of sections. The second section of this chapter provides a background to Web applications in terms of defi- nition and differentiating characteristics. The third section provides a discussion of eWARE method in terms of phases and activities. This section is divided into two subsections to cover the activities of the two prominent phases of the eWARE process in more detail. The fourth and fifth sections provide a discussion of possible future trends in WRE and a number of concluding remarks.

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