Software & Systems Engineering

Two disciplines for e-computing?

Born with the industrial emergence of general-purpose DBMS, the main information systems and enterprise management systems have undergone over the years several, and sometimes divergent influences. These divergences were due to both the strategies of the IS managers and to the commercial strategies of the software salesmen. The former were concerned by centralization and power, whereas the second group were seeking a certain hegemony on the market by bringing forward the argument that a sole supplier was in the interest of the user. It was in this way that ERPs came on the scene wishing to be generic and adaptable to the diversity of the functions within the enterprise, such as the commercial departments, after-sales services, manufacturing and logistics departments, as well as to the diversity of the economic fields of the users. The opponents of the universal tool and sole supplier approach invoke all sorts of reasons for its rejection. For example, the sole supplier curbs innovation, or again, the internal systems tending towards inter-enterprise systems, a same enterprise cannot manage the idiosyncrasies of all ERPs in creation. Conversely, the defendants of the computer engineering radicalism explain that the setting-up of a modern information system requires the integration of multiple applications and that only a supplier is able to carry this out in a reliable manner, in particular, when the communication between applications depends on real time.

The development of the Web has radically changed this exchange of arguments and counter arguments concerning applications architecture. Today, whether about creation, overhaul or the fusion of information systems, the predominant concerns are those of opening up, interoperability, respect of standards, ease of maintenance and testing or the taking into account of functional and non-functional requirements. However, according to surveys carried out good precepts such as tools and methods for software and systems engineering do not appear to have been assimilated by those who develop applications to what is now called the "e-computing". These different aspects are precisely those, which will constitute the guiding principles of the ICSSEA '2001 Conference.

Organized by the Center for Mastering Systems & Software (CMSL) of CNAM (Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers), the 14th edition of the ICSSEA Conference aims at providing a critical survey of the current status of tools, methods, and processes for elaborating software and systems. Particular emphasis will be laid on software & systems engineering approaches useful in defining, building and deploying today's many e-computing applications, i.e. the net-based ones, or, conversely, on the impact of Internet on the above two complementary disciplines.

The program will be a combination of invited lectures, parallel sessions with presentation of papers, tutorials, and workshops focussing on particular topics.

Copyright (C) CNAM-CMSL 2001, Tous droits réservés.