The introduction of information systems is carried out based on different phases. EBIT develops and introduces information systems for the power supplying industry. These systems are based on geographical information systems. There is an introduction process reaching from problem definition, situation analysis over business process modelling, software requirements analysis, selection of software, development and testing up to reorganisation and system operation. All steps are supported by well-known CASE-Tools. This software engineering practice shows one deficiency: Lack of reuse. Even though many of the projects are similar to previous ones, the steps are always carried out as for the first time. Therefore EBIT's current practice comprises potential for improvement in many factors such as costs and effort as well as quality. It's the objective of the experiment to improve the current practice, i.e. to reduce costs and effort and to improve quality.
There are methods and tools on the market that could support model reuse. The quality will be improved by use of a standardised model, which will be applicable to customers with similar situation. Using reference models, developed with well-known methods and tools, will reduce costs and effort for the software engineering process. The objective is to reduce the costs for the introduction of net information systems especially for very small and small power supplying companies in Europe.
The requirements, methods and tools supporting model reuse should fulfil, will be analysed and defined. Information about methods and tools (e.g. the ARIS toolset of IDS Prof. Scheer GmbH) on the market that likely meet the requirements for the purpose of creating reference models will be collected. The methods will be evaluated regarding the requirements and the degree of fulfilment. The method and tool that will best meet the requirements will be used for the project. Based on this software-tool reusable models will be generated which support the phases situation analysis, business process modelling / optimisation and software requirements analysis. For the practical experimentation EBIT will choose as baseline project a net information system of a very small German power supplying company. The application in the baseline project will show the usefulness and benefits of the reference model.
EXPECTED IMPACT AND EXPERIENCE
The results of the project will be of great interest for EBIT as well as for the power supplying industry in Europe. Reuse should be the key factor to reduce costs and effort for the introduction process of information technology. Power supplying companies will benefit from the experiment. Therefore the experiment will encourage more companies to introduce information systems. There will be an influence on the area of geographical information systems, because there will be a growing demand for commercial products.