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Methodology

Database Web/Systems Methodology Troubleshooting

IBI develops systems from a proprietary “Results Based, Reverse Design Methodology”.

Key Benefits

  • Results Based
  • Fast
  • What You See Is What You Get
  • Foundation for Enhancements

Results Based, Reverse Design Methodology

Process
IBI develops systems from a proprietary “Results Based, Reverse Design Methodology”.  This means that we start with the “end result” based on requirements, then work backwards through the design, leading up to our Inputs.  We pour over the expected results, then conceptually “brain storm” through the process, capturing as many details as they turn up, but not drilling down into finite details until the “Design Phase”.  We create a prototype that potentially becomes the base for the construction.  While there is often re-work, this prototype opens our eyes to the possibilities and exposes more details that will be necessary for a successful implementation.

Data Modeling

During this first phase we capture many fundamental data entities (things/nouns), keys (identifiers) and attributes (details) about the entities.  For example, Vendor and Store would be Entities, and Store Hours and Address would be attributes.  Plus, we define some of the relationships (verbs) between entities.  A relationship might be defined as: “a Store ‘does business at’ many locations.” Once we have the “Conceptual Data Model”, we start to backfill it with additional details that are obvious in the requirements and in the “end result”.  Complex or unknown items are stubbed, and assumptions are documented for further analysis and approval.

User Interface

Once we have this “First Cut” Data Model, we can start to design the User Interface (UI), showing the Web site “flow” and navigation.  Often, one page will represent one entity or relationship.  However, sometimes it is more appealing to combine some of these onto one page.

There is a parallel effort going on.  The “Graphic Artist” designs the general “look and feel” of the web site.  For example, where does the Company Logo go; what colors do we use; what do the navigation buttons look like; do they use “mouse-over” effects, etc.?

Prototype

As the prototype is developed, additional attributes and “physical flow control” tables are created and implemented into the code.  However, standards are maintained even in the prototype, so conversion to the “real thing” is easier.  SQL will be centralized into an “Include” during the prototype using parameters as properties and for driving methods.  Then, the SQL can easily be migrated to “Data Access Layer” objects.  This improves security and performance in the real Web site, while allowing for quick changes during the prototype phase.

The prototype becomes an iterative process until we (client and IBI) are satisfied with the “look and feel”, and many (but maybe not all) of the results are realized.

Production Ready and Testing

The prototype is then converted to a real Web site, designed for security, integrity and high performance in a multi-user environment.  The site goes through a thorough unit test plan; system test and then a load/stress test.  Usually, some anomalies are discovered and corrected.  The test plans are repeated until there are no “show-stoppers”.  Ideas for enhancements are often brought to light.  We highly recommend postponing these enhancements for another phase because “scope creep” can kill a project.  Momentum is in our favor, and results follow results.  So, roll out the first phase, and then add enhancements.

Rollout and Monitoring

The site is monitored for performance after it is launched.  The celebration party follows shortly after launch.


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