Information Systems Development

This chapter focuses on the concepts surrounding the development of information systems. It begins with a discussion of software development methodologies, then covers programming languages and tools, and finishes with a review of implementation methodologies. As you read, reflect upon all the different pieces that must come together in order for a system to be developed.

Integrated Development Environment

Screen shot of Oracle Eclipse

For most programming languages an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) can be used to develop the program. An IDE provides a variety of tools for the programmer, and usually includes:

  • Editor. An editor is used for writing the program. Commands are automatically color coded by the IDE to identify command types. For example, a programming comment might appear in green and a programming statement might appear in black.
  • Help system. A help system gives detailed documentation regarding the programming language.
  • Compiler/Interpreter. The compiler/interpreter converts the programmer's source code into machine language so it can be executed/run on the computer.
  • Debugging tool. Debugging assists the developer in locating errors and finding solutions.
  • Check-in/check-out mechanism. This tool allows teams of programmers to work simultaneously on a program without overwriting another programmer's code.

Examples of IDEs include Microsoft's Visual Studio and Oracle's Eclipse. Visual Studio is the IDE for all of Microsoft's programming languages, including Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Visual C#. Eclipse can be used for Java, C, C++, Perl, Python, R, and many other languages.