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Im Dev Meth

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  • 1. ARTICLE IN PRESS Reviews / International Journal of Information Management 27 (2007) 57–60 58 Information Systems Development Methodologies, Techniques & Tools, fourth edition, David Avison, Guy Fitzgerald, McGraw-Hill Education, Maidenhead, 2006 (656pp., ISBN 10 0-07-7114175, £41.99). This book is a comprehensive guide to the assortment of tools, techniques and methodologies that are applicable to the development of information systems. It is an invaluable tool for students and lecturers alike and has references to a vast variety of relevant literature. The book has been used as the key text in numerous computer science, business and information system courses and is now in its fourth edition. As well as giving detailed descriptions of tools, techniques and methodologies, the book is vast in content and also can act as a reference guide to more experienced students and lecturers who require quick varied information from one, very reliable source. The book ranges from covering traditional techniques to more recent and agile techniques and is probably more appropriate for higher level students and lecturers who already have an appreciation of the complexity of information systems development. Lower level students tend to study one particular methodology in depth such as Structured Systems Analysis and Design Methodologies or Object Oriented Analysis and Design, however the text is still an essential buy for lower level computing and business students as it encompasses a number of core modules. The book is split into the following seven main sections: introduction, the life cycle approach, themes in information systems development, techniques, tool and toolsets, methodologies and methodology issues and comparisons. There is a bibliography at the end of the book providing invaluable references to the extensive literature of information systems. The book is also supported by a range of resources specifically for lecturers in the online lecturer centre at www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/textbooks/avison-fitzgerald. The resources include exam questions and additional power point slides. Each chapter is very well organised and is split into the following subsections: a part introduction that introduces key themes and provides a road map to related topics in the book assisting in navigation. Key terms that are highlighted to assist in properly grasping new terminology. Figures of discussed concepts and techniques to aid the reader in visualisation. A chapter summary in order to assist in learning reinforcement. Review questions focussing on encountered concepts and application of these concepts. Further reading suggestions pointing to number of sources including books and journals. In addition to previous versions of the book, this version has new and revised material including: Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), component development, Oracle, Strategic Options Development and Analysis (SODA), open source software, PRINCE2, agile development themes and methods and requirements elicitation and capture. Particularly interesting sections of the book include the descriptions of the individual software tools that are commonly used in information system development such as Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Project, Microsoft Access, SELECT Enterprise and Dreamweaver. The book makes the reader appreciate the context of information systems development and the requirement for a valid Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) in part one and two. Part three of the book allows the user to grasp an appreciation of the themes encountered in information systems development. Part four, five and six discuss techniques, tool, toolsets and methodologies in excellent detail. Part seven of the book compares different methodologies by the use of a framework for analysing the underlying philosophies of methodologies and making the reader aware that there are different schools of thought (hard and soft) and different approaches (objectivist and subjectivist) that can be used in information systems development. Despite that sometimes technical nature of the concepts and tools is discussed, the text is not particularly technical in nature. The text is easy to read and process with suitably used visualisations to aid the assimilation of the material. The general feel of the book is that it provides easily understandable and concise descriptions of tools, techniques and methodologies applicable to a field of enormous and incomprehensible complexity. The authors are both distinguished professors of information systems and should be proud of their book which succeeds in describing a huge compilation of valid techniques and tools from a field that is a vast, changing, multi-disciplinary area.
  • 2. ARTICLE IN PRESS Reviews / International Journal of Information Management 27 (2007) 57–60 59 Thomas Hainey School of Computing, University of Paisley, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK E-mail address: thomas.hainey@paisley.ac.uk doi:10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2006.09.002 Content and Workflow Management for Library Websites: Case Studies, Holly Yu (Ed.), Idea Group Inc, Hershey, PA, 2005 (259pp., ISBN: 1-59140-534-3, $69.95 paperback). The issues and challenges dealing with access to and control of information, in the subject area of Web librarianship, are valuable in many ways (e.g., FAQ’s, problems, solutions, return-on-investment, etc). The focus of these issues has, interestingly, shifted from static and dynamic Website to a customizable interface tied into the parent organization’s mission for the delivery of services and products. But, qualitative and quantitative data are hard to find. This is more so about the finer details, such as administrative, operational, and technical, based on in-house know-how (rather than outsourced operations), that are harder to find. The appearance of a book with documentation of the technical solutions, using the case study method, is a compliment that Holly Yu, California State University (CSU), deserves from such an ever eager audience— including geeks, techies, librarians, Weberians, Cyberians, Web administrators, system administrators, etc. A glance at the contents of Content and Workflow Management for Library Websites gives a complete picture: Library Web content management: needs and challenges; methods and tools for managing library Web content; developing a distributed Web publishing system at CSU Sacramento Library: a case study of coordinated decentralization; Indiana University Bloomington Libraries presents organization to the users and power to the people: a solution in Web content management; ScratchPad: a quality management tool for library Web sites; Web site maintenance workflow at a medium-sized university library; PHP and PostgreSQL Web content management systems at Western Michigan University Libraries; database-driven Web pages using only JavaScript: active client pages; tactical electric power digital library; developing committees to create a Web content management system; glossary; index The strength of Content and Workflow Management for Library Websites is that it supplements the existing literature on Web librarianship. Its survey updates the knowledge-base, and highlights the trends, covering data published in books and articles up to the year 2003. ‘‘In researching this preface, the author found that the literature is relatively scant on the overall management of Web content in libraries, but rather extensive in business. Most articles on the management of library Websites dealt with the design of the site and evaluation of it’’ (p. vii). There are, however, few concerns about the content, and the intended audience. Among the published works, there are at least three significant books on this very subject area using the case studies technique, viz., Community college instruction Web pages, Marcia K Suter, et al. ed. (Association of College and Research Libraries, 2004); Creating Web-Accessible Databases: Case Studies for Libraries, Museums, and Other Nonprofits, by Julie M. Still (Information Today, 2001), and Database-Driven Web Sites, edited by Kristin Antelman (Haworth Press, 2002). Incidentally, Yu’s preface does not list the above titles—a survey supposedly meant to justify the need for a new book (p. xiv). Anyone who uses these 13 citations will miss some other valuable sources, falling under the same genre of Web librarianship. In this context, we librarians must bear in mind the necessity of environmental scanning, a technique to identify not only what already exists but also to find what the competitors are up to. The good news lies in the next chapter, wherein the editor does mention at least Antelman’s book. Thus, this survey, and the contents of this book manifest a pre-2004 state-of-the-art infostructure. More on this subject of datedness will be dealt later.