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Systems design is the process of defining the architecture, components, modules,
interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements. Systems
design could be seen as the application of systems theory to product
development. There is some overlap with the disciplines of systems analysis,
systems architecture and systems engineering.
Systems design is therefore the process of defining and developing systems to
satisfy specified requirements of the user.
System design is the process of defining the elements of a system such as the
architecture, modules and components, the different interfaces of those
components and the data that goes through that system. It is meant to satisfy
specific needs and requirements of a business or organization through the
engineering of a coherent and well-running system.
Systems design implies a systematic approach to the design of a system. It
may take a bottom-up or top-down approach, but either way the process is
systematic wherein it takes into account all related variables of the system
that needs to be createdfrom the architecture, to the required hardware
and software, right down to the data and how it travels and transforms
throughout its travel through the system. Systems design then overlaps with
systems analysis, systems engineering and systems architecture.
Short for Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method, a set of standards
developed in the early 1980s for systems analysis and application design
widely used for government computing projects in the United Kingdom.
SSADM uses a combination of text and diagrams throughout the whole life
cycle of a systemdesign, from the initial design idea to the actual physical
design of the application.
SSADM uses a combination of three techniques:
Logical Data Modeling -- the process of identifying, modeling and documenting the
data requirements of the system being designed. The data is separated into entities
(things about which a business needs to record information) and relationships(the
associations between the entities.
Data Flow Modeling -- the process of identifying, modeling and documenting how
data moves around an information system. Data Flow Modeling examines processes
(activities that transform data from one form to another), data stores (the holding
areas for data), external entities (what sends data into a system or receives data from
a system, and data flows(routes by which data can flow).
Entity Behavior Modeling -- the process of identifying, modeling and documenting the
events that affect each entity and the sequence in which these events occur.
SSADM application development projects are divided into five modules that are further broken down into a
hierarchy of stages, steps and tasks:
Feasibility Study-- the business area is analyzed to determine whether a system can cost effectively support the
business requirements.
Requirements Analysis-- the requirements of the system to be developed are identified and the current business
environment is modeled in terms of the processes carried out and the data structures involved.
Requirements Specification-- detailed functional and non-functional requirements are identified and new
techniques are introduced to define the required processing and data structures.
Logical System Specification-- technical systems options are produced and the logical design of update and
enquiry processing and system dialogues.
Physical Design -- a physical database design and a set of program specifications are created using the logical
system specification and technical system specification.
Unlike rapid application development, which conducts steps in parallel, SSADM builds each step on the work that
was prescribed in the previous step with no deviation from the model. Because of the rigid structure of the
methodology, SSADM is praised for its control over projects and its ability to develop better quality systems.