It's always amazing how much you don't know, or even worse, what you don't know you don't know. A new analyst joined us for the new methodology project, and we were discussing various tools for modeling and analysis, and he informed me, to my initial disbelief, that there were tools out there that could generate complete systems from Data and Function models. I thought I was pretty good at keeping up with trends, but this had escaped me, so it was time to catch up.
This happened within the context of our new development methodology project, which also included CASE tools that might support such new methodologies. The approach was pretty good: find the methodology that best met our needs, and then pick a tool that best supported that methodology. I was the lead analyst, charged with gathering requirements that would be used for RFPs and detailed evaluation. Key IT people from each unit participated in requirements sessions. I know we produced a good, long list, but the details have faded from memory. This group was not working in "controlled isolation", so I am sure that what any or all of us knew about existing products, and also from looking ahead to tools, influenced the results. I know I was already looking for candidate products, and reading up on all of them.
What emerged from the requirements list was a desire for a methodology that helped us deliver low-maintenance systems, and wouldn't it be nice if a tool automated that methodology to speed up the process a little. Of about a dozen methodologies I found (pre-Web, so the big magazines like Computerworld were a key source), there were only a few that matched up in any real way. One was PRIDE, which is still out there, and the other was the Information Engineering Methodology (IEM) .
Next time, looking at the two methodologies...