Tuesday, June 22, 2010

4GL Technologies for MBA Assignment of MI0024 Software Engineering

“What are 4GLs explain in brief.” The question has been taken from MI0024 SMU MBA of Software Engineering. It is the question of Information System (IS) for Sikkim Manipal University MBA MI0024. I have already shared software process and different models also for MI0024 assignment.

For small applications, it may be possible to move directly from the requirements gathering step to implementation using a nonprocedural fourth generation language (4GL), or a model composed of a network of graphical icons.

However, for larger efforts, it is necessary to develop a design strategy for the system, even if a 4GL is to be used. The use of 4GT without design (for large projects) will cause the same difficulties (poor quality, poor maintainability, poor customer acceptance) that have been encountered when developing software using conventional approaches.

Implementation using a 4GL enables the software developer to represent desired results in a manner that leads to automatic generation of code to create those results. Obviously, a data structure with relevant information must exist, and be readily accessible by the 4GL. To transform a 4GT implementation into a product, the developer must conduct through testing, develop meaningful documentation, and perform all other solution integration activities that are required in other software engineering paradigms. In addition, the 4GT developed software must be built in a manner that enables maintenance to be performed expeditiously.

Like all software engineering paradigms, the 4GT model has advantages and disadvantages. Proponents claim dramatic reduction in software development time and greatly improved productivity for people who build software. Opponents claim that current 4GT tools are not all that much easier to use than programming languages, that the resultant sources code produced by such tools is ‘inefficient,” and that the maintainability of large software systems developed using 4GT is open to question. 4GT begins with a requirements gathering step.

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