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Web-based Information systems



Although the Internet was originally conceived to share information among scientists, its global reach, portability, and relatively low set-up costs have encouraged its use for commercial purposes. Today, the Internet and the World Wide Web support applications ranging from "small-scale, short-lived services to large-scale enterprise applications distributed across the Internet and corporate intranets and extranets."1 These new information systems, called Web-based Information Systems (WIS), are growing increasingly complex because of new demands from organizations and new developments in Web and network technologies.2 In order to control the scope and complexity of these systems, traditional information systems methodologies, such as those used for software engineering or database design, have been adapted and improved to address specific constraints of Web-based information systems. Because of the shorter development life cycle of WISs, which is driven by the rapid pace of innovations in Web technologies, studies have concentrated on the design and implementation phases of the system life cycle. However, requirements analysis is as essential in the development of a high-quality Web-based information system as it is in the development of a traditional information system.
This paper discusses the importance of requirements analysis in the development of a WIS and how it differs from a more traditional information system. Section 1 provides a brief review of the various types of WISs and compares their characteristics with those of traditional information systems. Section 2 introduces current WIS development life cycles and methodologies. Section 3 discusses elements of WISs requirements analysis. Section 4 describes how usability methods can be helpful during the WIS's requirements analysis stage, and Section 5 provides a summary conclusion for the paper.
content | section 1