In-Depth

The grand order of things

Long-range views and nitty-gritty needs can come into conflict. That has been true throughout the history of software development. Components are a new attempt to impose order on mayhem, but traditional obstacles are still encountered.

"In an ideal world, you would develop the infrastructure components first before the business logic," said Maja Tibbling, application architect at Emery Worldwide, Redwood City, Calif. Where is that ideal world? Components are supposed to be self-contained, and should lend themselves well to parallel development. But Tibbling and others agree that reality is not so clear-cut.

Monica Hutchison, project leader for the Australian government child support system project at Tier Technologies, Walnut Creek, Calif., noted: "Doing simultaneous development of workflow management components while we were developing the core business system presented some difficulties."

The complex interplay of business logic and incomplete infrastructure services resulted in non-functioning components, which meant rework, Hutchison said.

About the Author

Tony Baer is principal with onStrategies, a New York-based consulting firm, and editor of Computer Finance, a monthly journal on IT economics. He can be reached via e-mail at tbaer@tbaer.com.

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