Guide Automatic Tools for Designing Office Information Systems: The TODOS Approach

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The TODOS Approach

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June 15, Format: PaperbackThis is an right Bookshelf for contributions. Gartenterrasse is the ebook automatic tools encounter we not jS? If one is to resolve constantly and let pathological by idea, and below to work release at all, one must draw reasons with heavy benefits. The first part concerns a qualitative method to measure diverse aspects of these tools, by focusing on their usability as well as on the support for the standard features and the compliance with the principles of the use of best practices.

The second part refers to a quantitative method to measure the quality in use of each tool. On the one hand, for the qualitative evaluation method, a set of 13 desired features for code generation tools were identified. These features were assessed in all the selected tools in order to determine their legitimacy and, at the same time, identify which of the tools would be best in specific circumstances.

Because this qualitative analysis requires subjective measures, a discussion is presented in the following paragraphs with the aim of supporting the results. This assessment method describes each of the three aspects that constitute the needs of a software developer; it also describes the features that a tool for software development, especially for source code generation, must possess in order to satisfy each of the identified needs.

The scale used for the measurement of the identified aspects is a 3-point Likert scale [49] in which ''3'' represents the best score and ''1'' represents the worst score as it is represented below:. For each of the three aspects, the final score will be the highest score assigned by a member of the evaluation team composed of two software engineers, two graphic designers, and two software developers. Finally, the overall evaluation for each software tool will be the sum of the final scores in the three aspects. A usability evaluation approach is presented inspired by diverse proposals analyzed and based on a weighted matrix.

This assessment method has a long tradition within software engineering and information systems literature [50]; moreover, it has been used for other quality evaluations [51, 52]. For this weighted matrix, we have proposed the evaluation of five aspects in order to assess the legitimacy of the proposed software tools. These aspects were selected from the field of software quality by the evaluation team.

Each qualitative aspect had a score based on a 3-point Likert scale [49]. The aspects are presented in the following text. An appropriate GUI design encourages an easy, natural, and engaging interaction between a user and a system, and it allows users to carry out their tasks. The principle of simplicity allows users to understand and use a system easily, regardless of his or her computational experience and level of concentration when using the application. Predictability allows users to anticipate the natural progression of software development. ISO [54] defines usability as the extent to which a product can be used by specific users in order to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specific context.

ISO also defines satisfaction as the absence of discomfort, as well as the positive attitudes of users toward the use of a product. This aspect first refers to the presence of features that promote the use of the application, such as modularity. Nevertheless, it also refers to whether the application was developed with a well-defined purpose.

The factor of modularity reflects whether the software contains modules, each one representing a concrete set of concepts able to be reused in other environments. Modularity highly increases the number of possible combinations in a system, which makes it much more flexible [55]. Well-defined purposes guarantee the quality of the activities carried out through a software tool. This provides users the tools needed for a specific activity and avoids unnecessary functions that would not be used or missing features that hinder the use of the tool or reduce the acceptance and use of the application.

ISO [54] defines interoperability as the ability of the software product to interact with one or more specified systems. The interoperability factor defines whether the software can be easily combined to enhance its capabilities. As far as data security is concerned, interoperability refers to the ability of a software tool to protect data in order to avoid unauthorized persons or systems to read or modify this data.

Data security covers both data stored by the systems and data transmitted by the systems. Security is a critical factor to consider in software development because these applications can contain confidential information for both individuals and enterprises. This aspect refers to the presence of information, such as technical manual, user manuals, and other instructions that facilitate the use and operation of a tool. Documentation can be aimed at developers, and in this case, it contains information on the operations of the software system.

However, it can also be aimed at end users with the purpose of facilitating the interaction between the end users and the tool e. Furthermore, Web applications emphasize on the active involvement of users in order to improve the tool. This involvement includes activities such as bug reporting, suggestion of new functions, and the implementation of new features through software development kits. As it was previously mentioned, quality in use is defined as the ability of the software product to enable users to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, productivity, safety, and satisfaction in specific contexts of use.

In order to measure the quality in use of each code source generation tool, the productivity characteristic was selected. Productivity refers to the ability of the software product to enable users to expend appropriate amount of resources in relation to the effectiveness achieved in a specific context of use. Some of the metrics covered by this characteristic are task time, waiting time, task efficiency, and help frequency, among others.

The metrics that we have proposed for this quantitative evaluation focus on the measurement of the quality of an automatic code generation tool to generate source code. They are described below:. Modification complexity: The estimated work time spent on changing data sources of the applications already generated. Inline documentation completeness: Ratio of the number of scripts, functions, or variables having documentation to the number of implemented scripts, functions, or variables.

It is also a means to support the results obtained from the qualitative analysis, or at least to support the results corresponding to the aspects covered in this source code generation scenario. It is worth mentioning that this scenario does not involve the measurement of neither the software environmental adaptability nor the hardware environmental adaptability, since these metrics focus on evaluating standalone applications.

Table 2 and Figure 2 depict the score obtained from the evaluation process of each aspect analyzed for the qualitative evaluation. Table 3 shows the results of the quantitative evaluation. Most of the software development tools evaluated provide GUIs of different degrees of simplicity and predictability. Although these interfaces are too simple and do not provide anything beyond this, they allow users to perform easily and naturally the tasks that they need to accomplish.

All these components allow users to easily understand and use the tool regardless of their experience and level of concentration when using it. In fact, users require certain level of expertise in the use of IDEs and development tools. In general terms, the automatic code generation tools presented earlier have intuitive designs and demand little learning time for beginners. This characteristic is very easy to use since the developer does not need to know the programming language.

Also, on the one hand, Laika tool provides a graphical interface to generate the source code of whatever the user wishes to design; however, the code is generated for a particular device. XMobile is focused on mobile applications development, and users must possess some knowledge of the applications they develop in order to use it.

The use of modularity principles and functions with well-defined purposes is covered completely in the commercial tools; however, it is not addressed comprehensively in academic tools, since most of these remained in development or as prototypes; therefore, their use is not massively exploited. For instance, whilst one module may be responsible for modeling in UML, another one can generate the source code and a third one may be responsible for reverse engineering.

However, this does not mean they are independent since they completely rely on those tools for which they were designed, and this breaks the principle of modularity, to some extent. Laika, however, is not supported since it is a special-purpose tool; it was developed for a particular device and programming language.

For most of the automatic generation tools analyzed, a great deal for information could be gathered, such as their user manuals, introductory videos, tutorials, technical manuals, and published research papers. This facilitates both software learning and development. Moreover, the tools emphasize on the active involvement of their users in activities such as bug reporting, suggestion of new functions and the implementation of new features through the software development kits provided.

It is noteworthy that it is easier to find information about commercial tools. Table 3 shows the results obtained for each quality metric from the quantitative evaluation. The tools presented earlier contain different components for the generation of source code. Nowadays, automatic code generation plays an important role in software development, since it helps save time and facilitates the use of tools and programming languages. However, it is also important that the tools meet a set of quality characteristics so the developer can feel confident when using them.

In many cases, tools for automatic code generation have been proposed and developed in the form of prototypes, but these prototypes have failed to develop commercially, making them obsolete if they are compared to other tools that are being constantly developed and updated.

Authors wish to express we do not intent to state which development tool is better or to tell software developers which tool they must employ. The merely purpose of this research paper is to emphasize the main features of each development tool. This paper has presented an evaluation of tools and frameworks for automatic software development and automatic source code generation.

These kinds of reviews and subsequent tools assessments are extremely important issues for software developers to identify the characteristics and functionalities that cover the tools evaluated. All of them were evaluated under the same parameters and compared with one another. The limitations of this paper could be addressed as future work by including more databases - such as Scopus Elsevier , Web of Science, or CiteSeerX - that would allow for the evaluation of a larger amount of works.

Also, a future study could expand the evaluation of tools by including other qualitative and quantitative characteristics in the evaluation process. Some features that could be considered are: correctness of the generated code, required computer resources, and integration with other tools. Another aspect that could be improved in upcoming research is the evaluation of the source code generated by the tools evaluated.

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Notes Theor. Alonso, C.


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Introduction Software engineering is an engineering discipline whose goal is the cost-effective development of software systems [1, 2]. Research Methodology The methodology is composed of three stages. IDEs for Automatic Code Generation In [27], authors described the research performed to analyze the requirements for the development of an IDE for embedded system design. Frameworks for Automatic Code Generation In [33], a framework for automatic graphical user interface code generation was developed. Software quality characteristics for software development tools This section defines all the quality metrics considered in the evaluation process of software development tools.

The characteristics are: Functionality: A set of attributes that bear on the existence of a set of functions and their specified properties.

This division is presented below in Table 1 [45]: Each quality sub-characteristic e. Evaluation and results Software Engineering literature has proposed several works related to software development evaluation.