Rapid Development with Oracle CASE: A Workshop Approach

Rapid Development with Oracle CASE: A Workshop Approach

by Christopher Billings, Maria Billings

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780201633443
Publisher: Addison Wesley Professional
Publication date: 08/16/1993
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 7.38(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.41(d)

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PREFACE: This is a book about means-both manual and computerized-for managing the increasingly complex process of developing application software, especially in an ORACLE environment. Such methods and tools are generically classified under the heading of CASE: Computer-Aided systems (or Software) Engineering. CASE tools are now available in a perplexing array of shapes and sizes, and the term 'CASE' has become one of the primary buzz-words in the world of information systems (IS) development. These last two facts point to a third: that the IS industry is trying to cope with totally unprecedented rates of change in both hardware and software technology as well as in the ever more sophisticated ways that organizations choose to apply those advances. As a result, the effective use of CASE methods and tools to optimize the benefits of these changes has become critical.

Oracle Corporation is now the third largest software company in the world. This remarkable feat has been accomplished in part because Oracle chose, many years ago, to develop a relational database management system (RDBMS) that would operate on virtually every significant hardware platform in the world. And they have succeeded.

Many large organizations now find themselves with computer systems from a variety of manufacturers, all containing their own databases and, usually, their own data formats that are practically inaccessible to one another. Oracle's RDBMS and connectivity tools integrate those different systems and make their collective data accessible to users across the entire enterprise. Additionally, Oracle provides state-of-the-art application development tools for optimizing the use of thisintegrated information, now combined as the Cooperative Development Environment (CDE).

Taking into account Oracle's achievements in mastering the labyrinthine complexities of data and process integration, it's no surprise that their CASE tools are of a corresponding quality. In face, Oracle's CASE is so powerful and so comprehensive that these attributes actually lead to a peculiar problem.

Organizations often acquire integrated CASE toolsets with dreams of streamlined, centrally controlled IS development based on accurate models of data and processes along with automatic, repository driven systems generation. Then they discover how much expertise is required right at the outset-that they need analysts who understand the methods behind the tools and can form a strategy for their proper use. As a result, CASE tools are frequently underutilized, mishandled, or simply left on the shelf. Worse, the truly remarkable benefits of CASE are lost and systems continue to go into production below standard.

As CASE consultants, we've been observing this unfortunate scenario for some time. Oracle Corporation's CASE*Workshop concept was the basis upon which we began formulating our own workshop approach-specifically with the aim of providing a rapid technology transfer to clients, along with a working application that could spur interest in and commitment to more extensive use of CASE by their organization.

To do this, we needed to carry the workshop idea a step further. Rather than using standardized system specifications as a basis on which to apply the methods and tools, we wanted to speak with the client beforehand and select a functional area of their enterprise that could be taken from analysis through implementation, ideally in the course of a two-week workshop. Besides allowing participants to work with Oracle's CASE tools in a framework of familiar processes and information requirements, this method would also deliver a sample database and application specific to their needs.

This book is a result of developing and refining the CASE workshop concept. It can be used by consultants as a model for carrying out their own workshops. But perhaps more importantly, it can serve as a fastpath tour through Oracle's CASE tools, showing step by step what actually has to be done to get the most out of these products. We sincerely hope that the book proves as useful for others to read as it has been for us to think about and to write.

We are very grateful to Renee Taylor for her investment of valuable time and support to our project. We would also like to thank our technical editors, especially Liz Johnson and Vicki Morris, both from the Oracle CASE USA staff, for their highly professional contributions, which have significantly added to the quality of this book.



0201633442P04062001

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.
Aims of this Book.
A Little Background.
Workshop Timeline.

2. Planning.
A CASE Study Scenario.
The Workshop Method.
Preparing for our Workshop.
An Introduction to the Team.
Interviewing for Business 'Direction' and Boundaries.
On Introductory Briefings.
On Interviewing.
How to Begin?
Our Directional Interviews.
Recording Strategy-level Information.
Access to CASE.
Initial Set-up of an Application.
Diagramming Functions in CASE.
Designer I Using the Entity Relationship Diagrammer.
Strategy Summary.

3. Analysis.
Preparing for a Detailed Look at the Business.
An Analysis Interview.
Reaching Elementary Functions and Avoiding Mechanisms.
On Normalization.
More Details.
Refining Entities in CASE Dictionary.
Defining Attributes in CASE Dictionary.
On Domains.
Unique Identifiers.
Business Units.
Using Dataflow Diagrams.
Cross-checking with the Matrix Diagrammer.
Reports during Strategy and Analysis.
On Feedback Sessions.

4. Data Design and Implementation.
Preparing for the Design of a Relational Database.
On Denormalizing.
Creating Table and Tablespace Definitions.
Default Database Design.
Creating Sequence Definitions.
A Detailed Look at Column Definitions.
Column Validation and Derivation.
On Edit Text.
Key Constraints ReferentialIntegrity.
On Indexes.
Additional Design Issues.
Creating a Relational Database with the DDL Command Generator.
Implementing Reference Tables.
So Where Are We?

5. Application Design and Implementation.
Creating Module Definitions.
Refining Module Definitions.
Detailed Data Usage of Modules.
On User Preferences.
Specifying Links.
CASE Generator for SQL Forms.
Further Examples.
Designing and Generating a Report.
SQL Plus Reports.
SQL ReportWriter Reports.
Designing and Generating, and Testing Menus.
Project Delivery.
Additional References.

Appendix A: User Extensibility.
Appendix B: Reverse Engineering and other Re-Words.
Appendix C: Journaling.
Appendix D: Diagrams.
Appendix E: List of Figures.

Preface

This is a book about means-both manual and computerized-for managing the increasingly complex process of developing application software, especially in an ORACLE environment. Such methods and tools are generically classified under the heading of CASE: Computer-Aided systems (or Software) Engineering. CASE tools are now available in a perplexing array of shapes and sizes, and the term 'CASE' has become one of the primary buzz-words in the world of information systems (IS) development. These last two facts point to a third: that the IS industry is trying to cope with totally unprecedented rates of change in both hardware and software technology as well as in the ever more sophisticated ways that organizations choose to apply those advances. As a result, the effective use of CASE methods and tools to optimize the benefits of these changes has become critical.

Oracle Corporation is now the third largest software company in the world. This remarkable feat has been accomplished in part because Oracle chose, many years ago, to develop a relational database management system (RDBMS) that would operate on virtually every significant hardware platform in the world. And they have succeeded.

Many large organizations now find themselves with computer systems from a variety of manufacturers, all containing their own databases and, usually, their own data formats that are practically inaccessible to one another. Oracle's RDBMS and connectivity tools integrate those different systems and make their collective data accessible to users across the entire enterprise. Additionally, Oracle provides state-of-the-art application development tools for optimizing the use of this integratedinformation, now combined as the Cooperative Development Environment (CDE).

Taking into account Oracle's achievements in mastering the labyrinthine complexities of data and process integration, it's no surprise that their CASE tools are of a corresponding quality. In face, Oracle's CASE is so powerful and so comprehensive that these attributes actually lead to a peculiar problem.

Organizations often acquire integrated CASE toolsets with dreams of streamlined, centrally controlled IS development based on accurate models of data and processes along with automatic, repository driven systems generation. Then they discover how much expertise is required right at the outset-that they need analysts who understand the methods behind the tools and can form a strategy for their proper use. As a result, CASE tools are frequently underutilized, mishandled, or simply left on the shelf. Worse, the truly remarkable benefits of CASE are lost and systems continue to go into production below standard.

As CASE consultants, we've been observing this unfortunate scenario for some time. Oracle Corporation's CASE*Workshop concept was the basis upon which we began formulating our own workshop approach-specifically with the aim of providing a rapid technology transfer to clients, along with a working application that could spur interest in and commitment to more extensive use of CASE by their organization.

To do this, we needed to carry the workshop idea a step further. Rather than using standardized system specifications as a basis on which to apply the methods and tools, we wanted to speak with the client beforehand and select a functional area of their enterprise that could be taken from analysis through implementation, ideally in the course of a two-week workshop. Besides allowing participants to work with Oracle's CASE tools in a framework of familiar processes and information requirements, this method would also deliver a sample database and application specific to their needs.

This book is a result of developing and refining the CASE workshop concept. It can be used by consultants as a model for carrying out their own workshops. But perhaps more importantly, it can serve as a fastpath tour through Oracle's CASE tools, showing step by step what actually has to be done to get the most out of these products. We sincerely hope that the book proves as useful for others to read as it has been for us to think about and to write.

We are very grateful to Renee Taylor for her investment of valuable time and support to our project. We would also like to thank our technical editors, especially Liz Johnson and Vicki Morris, both from the Oracle CASE USA staff, for their highly professional contributions, which have significantly added to the quality of this book.



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