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Web-based Information systems


Section 5 - Conclusion

Although presenting similarities with traditional information systems, Web-based information systems possess characteristics that require a different set of methodologies and tools in order to develop high-quality systems. WISs need to address the requirements of a more numerous and diverse user base. They include structured and unstructured data in their content, and the visual appearance of the Web interface bears more consequences on the success of the system than in traditional systems. In fact, Web development has been described as "a mixture between print publishing and software development, between marketing and computing, between internal communications and external relations, and between art and technology."37

What should drive the development of a Web-based information system, though, is its user base. Studies in the field of Web Engineering have concentrated on the design and implementation of WISs in order to accelerate systems deployment and respond to the high pressure of Internet-time. More research on requirements analysis and users' requirements are needed. Because of the complexity of Web-based Information systems, it is crucial to develop clear and systematic development approaches that cover "all" stages of a WIS development life cycle.

Requirements analysis, however, is important since it is the foundation on which all systems are built. Without a clear statement of the organization's business objectives, a complete understanding of the problem domain in which the system is developed, and an accurate picture of the systems' users, developers cannot build a high-quality Web-based information system. In their conclusion to a 2001 survey on multimedia and Web development techniques and methodology usage, Barry and Lang conclude "User-centered approaches must be developed that translate needs into system representations. Modeling techniques that aid in requirements representation and communication will be an essential part of the multimedia and Web developer's tool set in the future."38

section 4