Journal of Information Technology

Document Type

Research Article


From a CASE point of view business applications can be divided into three broad classes depending on their generality: those requiring general workbenches, those requiring specifically tailored workbenches, and those that could use blueprints. A CASE environment for all seasons is not what many business users really need. They would prefer an environment tailored to the specific class of application under development, one that will bring that application into being most efficiently and effectively, and keep it in vigorous operation over its lifetime. We have therefore concentrated on one particular application class of interest to the business community, namely interactive, data-centred systems. A model for the application class of interest is presented. The main CASE environment requirements identified, which should be integrated through a common project database and tailored to the characteristics of the application class, include business profile, semantic data model, state transition control model, system dictionary active during development, inheritable and tailorable objects such as reports, transactions and other user interactions, procedural facilities, configuration control, project control including costing and scheduling, and interfaces to decision support systems. It is noted that development and production have quite different characteristics and require separate environments. The need for flexibility and adaptability in some CASE environment areas, such as effort estimation and project control, is recognized and it is suggested that existing rule-based techniques should be used. Limitation of a CASE tool set to a rather narrow but common application class should result in substantial productivity gains.