Hardcover: 768 pages
Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 7th edition (November 22, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.3 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #30,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Computers & Technology > Business Technology > Management Information Systems #11 in Books > Computers & Technology > Computer Science > Systems Analysis & Design #26 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Operating Systems
This is my first review on ; I'm writing to point out some serious issues which have not been addressed by the previous 13 reviews.To begin, I'm a second semester grad student in IS and this is the required text for my Systems Analysis & Design class.I am now in my 7th week of class, and about halfway through the book. Others have mentioned that this book is overly broad and not deep enough - this is an understatement. I can only vaguely describe some of the stages of systems analysis. The problem, as I see it, is that the authors (un)creatively decided to use an iterative, rather than sequential, approach to teaching the subject matter. Chapters 1 and 3 present the main ideas. Chapter 5 goes into more detail about those same ideas, repeating some (but not all) of what was already discussed. I'm presently on Chapter 7 and can't decide if what is being discussed is even further elaboration of previous chapters. Why not have the subject matter be more sequential, like every other college textbook? Because iteration is one approach to systems analysis and design and the authors thought it a good idea to use this approach for a textbook.Another negative effect of this approach is redundancy and lack of depth. Iteration not only makes it difficult for the newcomer to ascertain whether the current chapter's topic is new or not, it also takes a toll on a student's confidence. I believe that if the layout had been sequential, there would be more room for depth and clarity, not mention making the reading flow more naturally.I am quite interested in learning the subject. But I'm almost halfway through the semester and I still don't know how or where to begin and proceed with the process.
I was forced to purchase this book as part of masters program class. Lets start off by stating that the price of this book is ludicrous and universities that force students to purchase this book are nuts! Why, because there are far better books on the subjects that this book tried to cover and they do a much better job and are far more up to date. A masters program is suppose to help you master a subject and give students information that they can use in the real world -- the book falls short and there many other better books on the subject. The short version is this book tried to do to much and the authors put their own twists on the subject and failed on both accounts.Lets begin with the fact that this book has way too many errors for what they are charging for the book. Diagrams that are clearly wrong, page references that point to the wtong pages, and writting style and fonts that are difficult to read. I am unsure if this book was actually edited for its content. It is more of a Ph.d research paper than a book that someone can actually use.The book suffers from two things:1) The authors use terms that are not standard industry terms often times in the book and sound like they are more trying to create their own new software development methodology than to teach concepts (BTW: The world does not need the FAST method they push). To make matters worse the table of context stinks and often important terms are not listed. My professor then created his own lecture slides that used the proper terms but our only reference was this stupid book. If my exams did not count on this book, I would have pulled one of many other books off my bookshelf instead of using this book. I cannot describe how P.O.'d I am at this book!
Whitten and Bentley have put together a very good text for a one-semester intro to systems analysis. After a wide-ranging introductory section, the real meat of this book appears in Parts 2 and 3: Analysis and Design.Part 2 spends just one chapter on requirements discovery. This is the one section of the book that I found a lot thinner than it should be. The first problem is that requirements engineering is a field all its own, and has (or should have) direct connections to every work product that comes after in the development cycle. Although later chapters (especially use cases and even protoyping) offer additional ways to elicit meaningful requests from users, the whole task of making sure that the requirements are complete, consistent, and traceable to downstream effort is barely addressed. The second, and I think bigger problem is that the authors talk only about requirements from the users, plus "non-functional" requirements like reliability and performance. There's a lot to debate in categorizing requirements as non- or functional, depending on the kind of application, but the real defect in the discussion is one they share with most other authors in the field: they simply ignore the standards and regulations that affect system development. The SEC, FAA, and FDA impose requirements, as do legal enactments (HIPAA, ITAR for crypto, Sorbanes-Oxley), look&feel, and standards for networking, data exchange, and a gazillion other areas. Depending on the field you work in, you'll spend a lot more time worrying about regulatory and standards compliance than about anything the customer said.Despite this uninspiring start, Part 2 moves along well.
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