Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Memories of IT - mid-80's - Analysis and CASE Tools

So now I move on to the next project, replacing yet another batch system with something newer and shinier, and I am doing the Analysis phase. In a timely fashion, a few things arrive that will help me greatly...
  • a fast, collating, stapling photocopier, which I would need for distributing the requirements documents
  • an IBM PC AT, with a hard drive, a mouse, and a graphics card. The drive storage was tiny by today's standards, 10 meg. The monitor was still monochrome, an annoying orange-yellow.
  • and the reason for the AT, a copy of Excelerator 1.0
Excelerator was my first CASE tool. I think the vendor sales guy drove up from Boston to Toronto and gave us a copy out of his trunk. I entered my level 0 DFDs in it, and then I could easily change it as needed. When it was stable, I would generate a print file on to a diskette, and then go to a PC attached to a plotter to print the diagram. (No LAN yet.)

Next, I could select a level 0 function, and then draw a new diagram , exploding that function to level 1, keeping a link to level 0. This was like gold for me, so pencil and erasers were now history.

Excelerator did not support Data Models in 1.0, but I used a general diagram to at least draw the diagram and kept definitions and such in a text document.

Looking back, I would have to say that the quality of what I produced was probably low, but I was young, all was new, and there weren't many examples to compare to. I am fortunate to have had the time to learn and improve since then, and it hasn't stopped; there is always room for improvement, and new things to learn.

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About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.