End Users as Application Developers
The demand for new or expanded computer-based information systems far exceeds the capacity of present DP organizations to meet this demand. Assuming that a massive expansion of DP personnel is not feasible, one solution is to make existing computer professionals more productive; and efforts in this direction have met with a fair measure of success. Another approach is to allow end users to function as their own developers. In this way, the programmer “middle man” is eliminated and users can create and modify their own applications as the need arises. Not only does this help relieve the DP department’s development workload, but it also helps lessen the maintenance load. However, to accomplish this transfer of application development from DP professional to DP user, certain key variables must be understood. This article discusses these variables, including the nature of the development process, a user classification scheme, the scope and orientation of systems, and the respective roles of design and maintenance in the applications development life cycle. In particular, the misunderstood mature of “maintenance” is explored, as well as the potential value of the use of application prototypes. Finally, there is a discussion of specific tools and techniques that may aid the end user in acting as application developer.
|E. R. McLean
|applications development, information systems, end users, DP professionals, systems maintenance, distributed data processing