Ideas on Enterprise Information Systems Development

This blog is devoted to ideas on Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) development. It focuses on Lean Thinking, Agile Methods, and Free/Open Source Software, as means of improving EIS development and evolution, under a more practical than academical view. You may find here a lot of "thinking aloud" material, sometimes without scientific treatment... don't worry, this is a blog!
Every post is marked with at least one of Product or Process labels, meaning that they are related to execution techniques (programming and testing) or management techniques (planning and monitoring), respectively.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Proof of Concept for the BLDD Tool - Part IV

One way of making a tool prove its utility is using it in scenarios where things go wrong. Figure 1 shows what happens if the code implemented is not in compliance with the requirements. The user will see a message saying that the scenario didn't pass.

Figure 1: Error generated by code not compliant to requirements

In the message in Figure 1, the error was generated because the last step was not implemented correctly: the message "9 sales awaiting to be sent" was not generated by the system, therefore, the developer must check the code and correct it. In that way it is possible to immediately identify where the system must be improved to work as expected, which is very useful when it is still in development, or when changes are needed.

Imagine that the "9 sales awaiting to be sent" message represents an improvement to this business process. I insert it on my specifications and run the simulation, so that I can identify exactly the point where the system must be modified to become compliant to the requirements. This is exactly what BDD proposes, the difference here is that we are joining a graphical representation to it and giving the user the option of running the business process step by step and see how the system is behaving.

In other words, the user can check a live process and the live system that answers to this given process. If anything goes wrong, the tool will identify what and where, making corrections easier.

It is important to note that this is a proof of concept, my idea was to launch it quickly so that more people can discuss and contribute to both the method and the tool. Besides Woped, we used Cucumber, which in turn uses BDD's Ubiquitous Language (Given-When-Then), however, as I said in this thread's previous post, we may define an UL for every BP representation and make the underlying text mirror the representation. That's our next step.

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