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The advent of integrated, shared-data systems has made it increasingly necessary to address the application development process from the architectural and manufacturing perspective rather than from a build-as-you-go job shop viewpoint. Although the Business Systems Planning (BSP) methodology provides an enterprise-wide strategic Information Systems plan, it is still at an abstraction level that leaves the traditional gap between “requirements” and implementations untouched. The Information System Model and Architecture Generator (ISMOD) tool complements and enhances BSP by mechanizing the planning process, thus providing a facility to narrow this gap by allowing orderly and consistent top-to-bottom architectural decomposition of the enterprise environment. It is an enterprise planning vehicle and not an implementation system, but it is the first critical component to support an integrated systems architecture effort. It automates and, to a large extent, formalizes a laborious requirements documentation process preceding code development, and it does this “top to bottom,” from a global, enterprise-wide, information requirements viewpoint. This paper discusses the overall architectural concepts of integrated data systems development, the place of ISMOD within it, and the specific facilities, techniques, and information provided by the system.
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