Information engineering

Information engineering ( IE ) or information engineering methodology ( IEM ) is a software engineering approach to designing and developing information systems . It can also be considered as the generation, distribution, analysis and use of information in systems.


Information engineering involves an architectural approach to planning, analyzing, designing, and implementing applications. It has been defined by Steven M Davis as: “An integrated and evolutionary set of tasks and techniques that enhance business communication throughout an enterprise enabling it to develop people, procedures and systems to achieve its vision”. Citation needed ] It is also defined as the generation, distribution, analysis and use of information in systems. Citation needed ] This paper describes the use of computer-assisted learning and the use of computational methods.

Information technology has many purposes, including organization planning, business re-engineering , application development , information systems planning and systems re-engineering.


Information engineering has a somewhat chequered history that follows two very distinct threads. It originated in Australia entre 1976 and 1980 and in the literature Appears first in a series of six items by InDepth la même name published by Computerworld US in May – June 1981. [1] Information Provided first engineering data analysis and database design Technical That Could be used by database administrators (DBAs) and by systems analysts to develop database designs and systems based on an understanding of the operational processing needs of organizations for the 1980s.

Clive Finkelstein is acknowledged as the “Father” of Information Engineering (IE), [2] [3] having developed its concepts from 1976 to 1980 based on original work carried out by him from strategic business planning to information systems. He wrote the first publication on Information Engineering: a series of six InDepth articles by the same name published by US Computerworld in May – June 1981. He also co-authored with James Martin the influential Savant Institute Report titled: “Information Engineering”, published In Nov 1981. The Finkelstein thread evolved from 1976 as the business driven variant of IE. The Martin thread evolved into the data processing-driven (DP) variant of IE. From 1983 till 1986 IE evolved into a strong business-driven variant of IE, which was intended to address a rapidly changing business environment. The then technical director, Charles M. Richter , from 1983 to 1987, guided by Clive Finkelstein, played a significant role by revamping the IE methodology and IE software product (user-data) , Opening the way to next generation Information Architecture .

The Martin thread was a database design-driven from the outset and from 1983 was focused on the possibility of automating the development process through the provision of techniques for business description which could be used to populate a data dictionary or encyclopedia Source material for code generation. The Martin methodology provided a foundation for the CASE (computer-aided software engineering) tool industry. (Higher Order Software), KnowledgeWare , Information Engineering Workbench, and James Martin Associates, originally DMW and now Headstrong (the original designers of the Texas Instruments’

At the end of the 1980s and early 1990s the Martin thread incorporated rapid application development (RAD) and business process reengineering (BPR) and soon after also the object oriented field. This paper describes the evolution of the Finkelstein thread in the evolution of enterprise architecture. This paper describes the “Enterprise Architecture for Integration: Rapid Delivery Methods and Technologies”. First edition by Clive Finkelstein (2006) in hardcover. The second edition (2011) is in PDF and as an iBook on the Apple iPad and Kindle ebook on the Amazon.

Information engineering topics

IE variants

There are two variants of information engineering. These are the DP-driven variant and the business-driven variant.

  • DP-driven: The DP-driven variant of Information Technology was designed to enable the DP-driven development environment. DP-driven variant of IE.
  • Business-driven: IE was extended into strategic business planning for the business-driven variant of information engineering. This variant was designed for rapid change in the customer / server, object-oriented environment of the business-driven 1990’s.

Business-driven IE is documented in the later books by Clive Finkelstein.

DP-driven Variant of IE

  • Information Strategy Planning: The fundamental objective of Information Strategy Planning (ISP) is to develop a business plan for implementing business systems to support business needs. The existing systems are in the context of the development of new and improved systems.
  • Outline Business Area Analysis: For each development project, business analysts define the business processes and data potentially required in the new system. These are modelled using process decomposition diagrams, process dependency diagrams and entity-relationship models.
  • Detailed Business Area Analysis: The purpose of a DBAA phase is to provide detailed models as a solid basis for system design. Processes are decomposed to the business process and the business logic of the processes is expressed in data actions against the fully normalized data model. In this way, the process and data models are tested against one another before construction.
  • Business System Design: The purpose of a Business System Design project is designed to define the design, construction, and installation of the system. The elementary processes are designed into procedures that can be executed by users. Unambiguous and consistent specifications with the volume of detail necessary to make planning and technical design decisions are prepared.
  • Technical Design: A Technical Design. The key issues are: how to use the computer and how to use it.
  • Construction: The objective of the Construction project is to produce a system, as defined in the technical specification, on time and within budget. The system should be of an acceptable quality, and contain all necessary operating and user procedures. The task is complete when the acceptance criteria for the business system are met.
  • Transition: Transition is defined as the period during which newly developed procedures gradually replace or are interfaced with existing procedures. The execution of a Transition project.

Business-driven Variant of IE for Rapid Delivery

  • Strategy Analysis: This is a rapid delivery method for senior managers and business unit managers for the refinement of existing business plans.
  • Strategic Modeling: A strategic modeling model for a business model. This is a business model, where many-to-many associations have been decomposed to identify priority activities and processes identified by management. This paper presents the results of this study. It results in reusable processes for rapid delivery and reusable systems.
  • Tactical and Operational Modeling: Tactical and Operational Modeling: Tactical and Operational Modeling .
  • Activity Modeling: Activity models, based on IDEF0 and activity-based costing, are used to document priority business activities for rapid delivery.
  • Process Modeling: Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) is used, supported by modeling tools, to define process model diagrams in BPMN of priority activities for rapid delivery into production.
  • Code Generation: BPMN process model diagrams are used to generate XML-based code in Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) for execution.

IE techniques

Some techniques that are used during an IE project are:

  • Entity analysis: Identifies all the things that the company may want to hold on. The analysis classifies all of the things into different entity types, revealing how they relate to each other. Which is being described in the entity model.
  • Function analysis and process dependency: a major business activity. From this decomposition diagram, which shows the breakdown of a business function, and the process dependency diagram, which shows the interdependencies of business processes.
  • Process logic analysis: describes the sequences of actions carried out by each action.
  • Entity type lifecycle analysis: describes the significant changes in entities and confirm that processes have been modelled to effect these changes
  • Matrix cross-checking: cross-references between data objects and processes to verify that they are necessary and complete.
  • Normalization: provides a formal means of confirming the correctness of the entity model.
  • Cluster analysis: helps define the scope of design areas for proposed business systems.
  • Data flow and data analysis: a possible comparison between the business area models and the systems currently supporting this area, these current systems are analyzed using data flow and data analysis techniques.

Software tools

There are several tools supporting Information engineering

  • Information Engineering Facility (IEF) from Texas Instruments Software . This was subsequently sold to Sterling Software and then to Computer Associates. It still exists, in an evolved form within the Advantage suite. As of 2006 referred to as ALL: Fusion Gen, capable of generating J2EE and JAVA web applications in addition to legacy client / server and mainframe platforms.
  • Metastorm’s ProVision product provides support for many types of modeling techniques using a repository-based tool.
  • Microsoft Visio provides diagramming support for some diagrammatic techniques, such as ER modeling using Crow’s notation , data flow diagram, process modeling and swimlane diagrams.

Other tools include Bachman’s Data Analyst, Excelerator, and more. See computer-aided software engineering .

Further reading

  • John Hares (1992). “Information engineering for the Advanced Practitioner”, Wiley.
  • Clive Finkelstein (1989). An Introduction to Information Engineering: From Strategic Planning to Information Systems . Sydney: Addison-Wesley.
  • Clive Finkelstein (1992). “Information Engineering: Strategic Systems Development”. Sydney: Addison-Wesley.
  • Ian Macdonald (1986). “Information engineering”. In: Information Systems Design Methodologies . TW Olle et al. (ed.). North-Holland.
  • Ian Macdonald (1988). “Automating the Information Engineering Methodology with the Information Engineering Facility”. In: Computerized Assistance in Information Systems Life Cycle . TW Olle et al. (ed.). North-Holland.
  • James Martin and Clive Finkelstein . (nineteen eighty one). Information engineering . Technical Report (2 volumes), Savant Institute, Carnforth, Lancs, UK.
  • James Martin (1989). Information engineering . (3 volumes), Prentice-Hall Inc.
  • Clive Finkelstein (2006) “Enterprise Architecture for Integration: Rapid Delivery Methods and Technologies”. First Edition, Artech House, Norwood MA in hardcover.
  • Clive Finkelstein (2011) “Enterprise Architecture for Integration: Rapid Delivery Methods and Technologies”. Second edition in PDF at and as an ibook on the Apple iPad and ebook on the Amazon Kindle.

See also

  • Information technology
  • Software Engineering
  • Computer Science


  1. Jump up^ “Information Engineering,”part 3,part 4,part 5, Part 6″by Clive Finkelstein In.Computerworld, In depths, appendix.May 25 – June 15, 1981.
  2. Jump up^ Christopher Allen, Simon Chatwin, Catherine Creary (2003). Introduction to Relational Databases and SQL Programming.
  3. Jump up^ Terry Halpin,Tony Morgan(2010). Information Modeling and Relational Databases. p. 343

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