Re: Task-based vs. System-Based Procedures

Subject: Re: Task-based vs. System-Based Procedures
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: susan-gallagher -at- vertel -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 08:34:07 PST

Susan Gallagher said:

Structured systems analysis and design documents are the cave
paintings of the software industry. Today we perform object-
oriented analysis and design.

Tony Markatos responds:

1.) Others have told me that SSAD is obsolete. Funny thing, a couple of months ago, I visted the local major university's book store (Cleveland State U.). Guess what they are using - today - to teach their core systems analysis course. You got it, a Yourdon book on SSAD. A visit to a local library revealed several books on SSAD published in the latter 90's.

2.) The last I read (about a year ago) OO techniques are still being applied to a very small percentage of projects - like about 5%.

3.) I agree with what Yourdon said: The first steps in an OO project are (and most are unaware of this) is the creation of Entity Relationship Diagrams. (And, I add, to the degree necessary, DFDs.) OO lacks a true analysis tool - a tool that actually guides the analyst along.

Susan Gallagher said:

..despite the underlying design of the software, there are
task-based software interfaces and function-based software interfaces.
Neither can be classified as good or bad, only as appropriate to the
target market.

Tony Markatos responds:

Lets look at the word "function". Functional analysis tools, such as data flow diagrams, have been around for over 80 years - well before the advent of the computer. A function is not "a software thing". A function may be implemented via software, but a function can also be accomplished by a person without a computer.

What is a function? Function=Task. Calculate Sales Tax, Update Inventory Count, and Visit Grandma are all examples of functions (provided that their accomplishement is within the scope of the system under consideration). They are also tasks.

Susan, the by-line of another popular TW related listserv is: Tasks are what an end-user does to accomplish buisness goals; functions are what a developer implements into software. This is a major "rap" against the field of Systems Analysis; any analysis/design that is not very heavily focused on the end-user and his/her goals is not worth much. The statement is not true.

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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