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Commercial application development projects frequently take longer and cost more than their sponsors would wish. One problem area is an uncomfortable “join” between the work of business analysts, responsible for understanding and specifying the business function required, and programmers, responsible for designing and building the implementation on a particular hardware or software platform. Proposed here is a small set of analysis constructs that can be used to specify precisely the business function that a commercial application must implement. The constructs cover data, processes, and user interfaces, but are free of platform-dependent implementation detail. The set of constructs is based on a common structure shared by commercial applications regardless of the business function being implemented. Instances of the constructs can be created to completely specify the business function of a particular commercial application. A separate transformation process can then take place to implement the business function specified on a target platform. The transformation required does not depend on the business function specified, but on which construct is being transformed, on nonfunctional requirements such as performance and security, and on the architecture of the target platform. The constructs allow a better separation of design concerns and provide more precise and complete communication between business analysts and programmers.
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