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Application development for the distributed enterprise

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Rationalising organisational evolution

In today's business environment, it is imperative for enterprises to respond to changes in the market. Business survival depends on successfully meeting market challenges, and these challenges often require an enterprise to evolve. In order to streamline and facilitate evolution within an enterprise, a consortium of professionals designed an innovative product called Application Development for Distributed Enterprise (ADDE).

Digital Economy

This consortium of German, French, Latvian, British, and Spanish researchers knows that market forces and technological changes cause companies to create enterprise-wide, internally distributed systems which must be flexible enough to adapt to changes in the market environment. ADDE facilitates this requirement, as it provides guidance and tools for designing IT-based systems that bolster business activities. In essence, ADDE helps to guide and control an enterprise's evolutionary process which was stimulated by technological innovations. ADDE is intended for use by distributed enterprises, which are organisations spread over several geographic locations, networked yet integrated into a larger co-ordinated whole. In fact, this product supports the design of distributed work practices and information and communication technology systems, by supplying the client with design decisions and guidance on how to proceed with this process. Furthermore, ADDE enhances and extends, rather than replaces, the design practices currently used by an enterprise. Specifically, software development can be described as a process of making decisions in succession. In this context, ADDE delineates possible decisions by outlining the information needed to actually make the decision and by providing the user with various options and the resulting advantages, disadvantages, and repercussions. In fact, ADDE highlights the reality that designing applications for distributed enterprises is a goal-directed decision-making process. Consequently, ADDE takes into consideration the objectives an enterprise sets, as well as the specific characteristics or features of that particular company, in order to guide the user in application design. Features such as a list of decisions, a list of reports that include the information required in the decision-making process, a unified meta-model for software development, and a repository to test feasibility are all key elements of ADDE. ADDE guides an enterprise's evolution using rational application design. This means that each design choice is justified by the characteristics of the enterprise and results in better control of the enterprise's evolutionary course towards its targets. Additionally, ADDE strives to achieve a design that satisfies all the enterprise's needs by testing the ultimate design against quality, cost, benefit, and risks. The design is altered until it is entirely satisfactory. All these features suggest that ADDE might make application design more streamlined.

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