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"Explain what is meant by Rapid Applications Development (RAD) and discuss the reasons for the increased use of this method for information systems development in recent years".

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Introduction

Computer Based Information Systems

Assignment 2

Leslie Spiers

8th December 2001


“Explain what is meant by Rapid Applications Development (RAD) and discuss the reasons for the increased use of this method for information systems development in recent years”

Bocij defines RAD as “a method of developing information systems which uses prototyping to achieve user involvement and faster development compared to traditional methods such as SSADM”[1]

Bocij goes on to clarify his understanding of the term “prototyping” and defines it as “a preliminary version of a part or a framework of all of an information system that can be reviewed by end-users.”[2]  He furthermore states that the process is iterative and that end-user involvement is considerable in proposing modifications prior to the development of further prototypes and in advance of the construction of the final solution.

In a similar way, Turban McLean and Wetherbe refer to the importance of iteration and the development of

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Middle

[6]

RAD packages include a variety of tools, and developers enhance and extend the original version through the iterative process.  RAD projects are suited to a wide range of platforms and in particular client/server ones.. They are most appropriate in situations that deal primarily with data such as sales reporting and decision support.  RAD is not however the best option for applications that require calculations such as engineering or finance.

RAD is not a new approach to systems design and was developed in its original guise by the Du Pont Company where it was known as “rapid iterative production engineering” which in itself was an aspect of Information Engineering.  Du Pont recognised that in the fast moving marketplace in which it competed, it was neither desirable nor commercially sensible to engage in systems development that from the day the system was “live” it was obsolete.  Delays and cost over-runs in system implementation were common – in 1994 31.

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Conclusion

This major project was completed in 3 months using a development team of 3 staff and was concluded in November 1996.[10]


[1] Bocij,P et al, 1999, Business Information Systems – Technology Development and Management, Pearson, ISBN 0 273 63849 1 p 269

[2]ibid p 269

[3] See Turban Mclean and Wetherbe, 1999, Information Technology for Management, John Wiley and Sons, ISBN 0 472 17898 5 p 614

[4] ibid pp 614-615

[5] Cited from Eva Malcolm, Requirements acquisition for rapid applications development, Information and Management, Vol 39 Issue 2 December 2002 pp101-107

[6] ibid

[7] Cited from Lindburg Kurt R, Software developer perceptions about software project failure: a case study, The Journal of Systems and Software 49 1999, p177

[8] Cited from Eva Malcolm, Requirements acquisition for rapid applications development, Information and Management, Vol 39 Issue 2 December 2002 pp101-107

[9] See Alter Steven, Information Systems-a management perspective, ISBN 0 201 35109 9 hc, Addison Wesley Educational Publishers, 1999, p439

[10] See www.borland.com/delphi, Delphi Case Study, Rhône-Poulenc, Cranbury New Jersey, June 2001

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