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Characterisation of Web Projects

David Lowe, Faculty of Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney, Email:


Web Modelling Requirements Characteristics Specification


Both the research literature and commercial practice is increasingly acknowledging that Web systems development has unique characteristics, primarily reflecting specific elements of the systems being developed. One of the most significant of these differences is the way in which an understanding of client needs is developed and the systems are specified. Specifically, commercial practice tends to adopt an iterative process that carries out the initial specification by exploring with the client potential solutions (using techniques such as white sites). This serves a dual purpose of improving clients' understanding of their own needs as well as beginning the design process. The result is a specification that starts as a set of acceptance criteria and initially evolves into an architectural specification that captures client requirements, and then develops into a build specification (often embedded into the actual built system).

In this paper we present a model of these system characteristics, and show how they evolve over the lifetime of a project. This model is based on data collected from a series of interviews and surveys of commercial developers, as well as the analysis of commercial specifications. We show how this model can be used as the basis for guiding the development process, indicating the inter-relationships between the various emerging characteristics.

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AusWeb 2002, AusWeb 2002, The Eighth Australian World Wide Web Conference, held in Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast, Queensland from July 6-10, 2002. Contact: Norsearch Conference Services +61 2 66 20 3932 (from outside Australia) (02) 6620 3932 (from inside Australia) Fax (02) 6622 1954