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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Phases of Object Orientation in C#

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Before the actual development of any product, important steps such as analysis and design need to be performed. There are three main phases:

  • The Analysis Phase
  • The Design Phase
  • The Implementation Phase

Consider an aircraft manufacturing factory where a jetliner is being assembled and several competent engineers and workmen are working with specialized tools. Can you visualize them working on pure intuition, grabbing the tools and sitting down to work immediately? Or, do you see them working according to a detailed design on which they have spent hundreds of hours, and finally constructing the aircraft based on the specified design.

For the safety of the millions of people who fly every day, it is recommended to use a detailed design. After all, it is comforting to know that a lot of thought has gone into first making a model on paper and then translating the design into the physical jetliner. The same thing holds true for almost any item that is constructed. Similarly designers put pen to paper before attacking the fabric with scissores. Architects spend hours drawing layouts of buildings on blueprints before the bricks are laid.

Therefore the construction of software follows the same approach. The software industry still relies mainly on the informal paper-and-pencil approach in the upstream development phases.

It is this paper-and-pencil approach that is termed analysis and design. To analyze and design a system, you need to build a model of the system. This model is simpler than the system that is finally constructed. All the practical aspects of building a system for the real world cannot be reflected in the design. However, this does not undermine the importance of design.

The Analysis Phase

“The purpose of analysis is to provide a description of a problem. The description must be complete, consistent, readable and reviewable by diverse interested parties and testable against reality.” – Mellor
The analysis or the Object-Oriented Analysis (OOA) phase considers the system as a solution to a problem inn its environment or domain. Broadly, analysis is the phase where users and developers of the system get together and arrive at a common understanding of the system. One of the end products of the analysis phase is the specification on how a system functions.

In the analysis phase, the developer concentrates on obtaining as much information as possible about the problem. The developer has to identify the critical rquirements. Analysis, therefore, involves meeting and interviewing the concerned persons to understand systems that are currently in operation and identifying all the causes of problems (if any) in the current system.

The Design Phase

In the design phase, the developers of the system document their understanding of the system. Design generates the blueprint of the system that is to be implemented.

The first step in creating an Object-Oriented Deign (OOD) is the identification of classes and their inter-relationships.

Work in the design phase of software development is comparable to the work of an architect. The architect will need to create a blueprint or a model of the building before the construction of the building starts.

The Implementation Phase

The design phase is followed by OOP, which is the implementation phase. OOP provides specifications for writing programs in a programming language. One of the most popular languages used to write object-oriented programs in C#.

During the implementation phase, programming is done as per the requirements gathered during the analysis and design phases.

Many of the modern applications are bulit by using OOP. Developing complex, large-scale business systems can be simplified by using OOP techniques. Some of the applications that can be built by using OOP techniques. Some of the applications that can be built by using OOP techniques are Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) and Object-Oriented Databases.
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