Communications of the Association for Information Systems


The software analysis process consists of two main activities: data modeling and functional modeling. While traditional development methodologies usually emphasize functional modeling via dataflow diagrams (DFDs), object-oriented (OO) methodologies emphasize data modeling via class diagrams. UML includes techniques for both data and functional modeling which are used in different methodologies in different ways and orders. This article is concerned with the ordering of modeling activities in the analysis stage. The main issue we address is whether it is better to create a functional model first and then a data model, or vice versa. We conduct a comparative experiment in which the two opposing orders are examined. We use the FOOM methodology as a platform for the experiment as it enables the creation of both a data model (a class diagram) and a functional model (hierarchical OO-DFDs), which are synchronized. The results of the experiment show that an analysis process that begins with data modeling provides better specifications than one that begins with functional modeling.





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