Incremental Method Enactment in Software Engineering Tools
Tuijl, G.J. van
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Today, organizations employ all kind of models or methods to support their software development. When a method becomes too complex or the need exist to enhance their method, a model is created and typically updated with new information. Often however, the model hardly complies with the actual working situation due to continuous changes in the actual process. This research presents a solution to maintain the integrity of the actual way of working in a software engineering tool consistent with the employed models. By developing a custom-made enactment mechanism, we incrementally update the interface of the CASE tool called Jira when an adaptation in the model occurs. The models are based on the notion of Process Deliverable Diagrams and we apply incremental method evolution to our models. Based on the evolution of the models, the lay-out of Jira is tailored to fit the new model. The results of this research show that it is possible to incrementally enact an increment in a CASE tool when a custom-made mechanism is in place. From this study, we can conclude that already employed CASE tools within organizations need to incorporate a great amount of flexibility and that Process Deliverable Diagrams need more fine-tuning in order to be suitable for process automation. In addition, the employed CASE tool needs to contain extensive workflow support. Based on our research findings and expert evaluations through interviews, we concluded that incremental method enactment was only desired in medium/large-scale organizations if the enactment mechanism provides a sufficient amount of functionality and adaptability and stays simple. Also, the enactment mechanism was perceived as very useful for companies that are already using Jira.