Journal of Information Technology

Document Type

Research Article


In the last few years the rapidly expanding application of computer technology has brought the problems of software production increasingly to the fore, and it is widely accepted that current software development techniques are unable to produce high quality software at the rate required to keep pace with this. To try to improve this imbalance, the field of software engineering has been advanced as a possible solution, attempting to apply the formal methods of an engineering discipline to software design and implementation. One of the most promising areas to be developed in this field is that of integrated project support environments (IPSEs), which attempt to spread the focus of attention during software development from the coding stage to embrace the whole development cycle, from initial requirements specification through to operational maintenance. These environments hope to improve production efficiency and quality by providing a complete set of support tools to help with each stage of software development, and to supply the necessary tool integration to ensure a smooth transition of use between these tools. This paper provides an introduction to IPSEs through analysing the motivation for providing integrated support for the production of software, and describing something of the evolution of environments for software development. This provides the context for describing current and future research trends in this area.