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Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0130282286
ISBN-10: 0130282286
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The complete guide to requirements analysis for every system analyst and project team member.

Thousands of software projects are doomed from the start because they're based on a faulty understanding of the business problem that must be solved. The solution is effective requirements analysis. In Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture, David C. Hay gives you a comprehensive overview of the world's best requirements analysis practices, organized coherently to help you choose and execute the best approach for every project. In addition, he guides you through the process of defining an architecture—from gaining a full understanding of what business people need to the creation of a complete enterprise architecture.

Practical solutions will help you:

  • Focus more clearly on the goals of requirements analysis
  • Represent the fundamental structures and systems environment of any enterprise more accurately
  • Identify key information processing gaps and discover which information technologies can best address them
  • Clarify the goals of your new system and reflect them more accurately in your models
  • Understand crucial people-related issues that impact requirements
  • Plan smooth transitions to new systems

Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture provides the complete process of defining an architecture—so that you can build a rock-solid foundation for your next software project.

About the Author

David C. Hay has been developing interactive, database-oriented systems since the days of punched cards, paper tape, and teletype machines. He is president of Essential Strategies, Inc., a Houston, Texas-based worldwide consultancy that uses modeling techniques to help construct information strategies and architectures, and defines requirements in a wide range of organizations, including pharmaceutical researchers, news-gathering and broadcasting firms, oil refiners, and government agencies.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall (September 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130282286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130282286
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,605,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Hay was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, mid-way through the last century, when it was significant that his home town was some 250 miles from any city of any size. Back in those days, it mattered. His knowledge of the outside world was limited to magazines, movies, and the public library. (OK, he'd had some friends who'd been there, but he didn't believe a word of what they said.) It was all fiction. This valley was the whole world to him.

Then one beautiful September day, he took his first plane ride. Three hours later, he was by himself in the middle of Los Angeles International Airport at 5:00 on a Friday afternoon--trying to find his way to college.

Pretty much the rest of his life has been spent recovering from that afternoon.

The college was Claremont Men's College (now Claremont McKenna College) in the heart of the smoggy San Gabriel Valley. He remembers it as being pretty traumatic for him, but then this was Southern California in the late 1960s and life was traumatic--and exciting--for everyone. And this "outside world" business was pretty intriguing, too. So much so that when he graduated, he decided that the only logical thing to do was to move to New York City. Why not?

So, with no money, no job, no experience, and a degree in Philosophy, he set out to find his fortune in the big apple.

From there he discovered the rest of the world. Among other things, in 1973, he had a life-changing trip through Eastern Europe during the height of the Cold War. OK, that one wasn't quite so traumatic. He went back to Warsaw the following year to marry the single most wonderful woman he'd ever met.

He got his MBA from New York University the year after that.

In the late 1980s, he discovered data modeling. He took to it in a big way. But not the way most people did. Rather than viewing it as a vehicle for database design, he viewed it as a way to crack open the secrets of a company's semantics, and with that, its very nature. He discovered, among other things that if you model the underlying nature of a business, you have just modeled the underlying nature of pretty much any business.

From this experience came "Data Model Patterns: Conventions of Thought", a groundbreaking book describing a set of standard data models for standard business situations.

At about the same time, he created a consulting practice, Essential Strategies, Inc. (, that offers data modeling services to a wide range of industries all over the world. He uses data modeling to support strategic planning, requirements analysis, analysis of semantics and business rules, and data warehouse design. His clients have included representatives of oil (both production and refining), pharmaceutical research, television and movies, banking, among others. In each case, he goes into the company knowing only what he's learned as a customer, and within a very short time (thanks to the model patterns) understands more about its underlying structure than many who work there.

In 2003, he wrote "Requirements Analysis: From Business Views to Architecture", his unique approach to that subject. This is a compendium of some thirty years' worth of analytical techniques, organized according to his version of John Zachman's "Framework for Enterprise Architecture".

Then, in 2006, he published "Data Model Patterns: A Metadata Map", the only book available that describes a complete schema of metadata--encompassing all aspects of both business and technical views. Moreover, it not only describes data from these various points of view, but also covers functions and processes, people and organizations, locations, timing, and motivation.

In 2011, as an update to the "...Conventions of Thought" book, he published "Enterprise Model Patterns: Describing the World". This does not invalidate anything in the first book, but it is more comprehensive, and it addresses the problem from multiple levels of abstraction. It also is the first business patterns book to use the UML notation.

Because that is a controversial thing to do, he also that year published "UML and Data Modeling: A Reconciliation", which is a discussion of the two approaches to modeling, and a handbook about how to use UML to create a business-oriented entity/relationship model.

He has been an active participant in DAMA International, various Oracle user groups, the Object Management Group, and the Business Rules Group. He has given presentations on various data and methodological subjects all over the world.

A library of his articles may be found at Thanks to the World-wide Web, his writings are read by practitioners from all over the world.

Not bad for a kid from Grand Junction, Colorado, eh?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Craig Kenneth Bryant on November 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
_Requirements Analysis_ is just the opposite of a book like Craig Larman's _Applying UML and Patterns_ or Ed Yourdon's _Modern Structured Analysis_. Both of those books--in fact, most books on analysis--present a single methodology and a single set of tools and notations, then walk you through the steps of the analysis process according to DeMarco or according to Jacobson or whatever.
David Hay is after larger fish in this book, or at least more fish: in these 400 pages, you will find a survey of more techniques and models than you probably could have dreamed of, from the very old to the very new, from the flashy to the obscure: data flow diagrams, UML, Object-Role Modeling, cybernetics, business rules, IDEF0, and on and on. This book will teach you a little bit about a whole lot of analysis techniques and what they can accomplish.
The material is all organized and discussed from the point of view of the Zachman Framework, a beautiful and expansive system that shows us how various techniques fit in to the "total picture" of the who, what, when, where, why and how of enterprises and information systems. It gives us a broader perspective, and often shows us where we are focusing too much on one or two aspects of a system, to the detriment of the others.
But this book is not a cookbook or a procedural guide to performing analysis. There is very little prescriptive advice, and relatively little on the nuts and bolts of what you should do and when. I don't want to suggest that is a shortcoming: it is intrinsic in the very nature of a survey-type book. If you have done some analysis work or studied one or more particular methodologies, this book will give you context and perspective and introduce you to new possibilities you probably weren't even aware of before.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mike Tarrani HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on October 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I had to buy this book when I saw the authors' names on the cover, both of whom I hold in the highest regard and both of whose previous books have deeply impressed and influenced me (Hay's "Data Model Patterns: Conventions of Thought" (ISBN 0932633293) and von Halle's "Business Rules Applied: Building Better Systems Using the Business Rules Approach" (ISBN 0471412937).
As in their other books the authors prove they have a deep understanding of their subject matter, which is the case of this book is the Zachman Framework. The Zachman framework is quickly introduced in Chapter 1, followed by a process model for analysis. Their combined and complementary knowledge of planning and managing implementation projects are evident in the second chapter. This chapter is essential because implementing an architecture based on the Zachman framework is complex and requires careful planning (not to mention selling to stakeholders).
The remaining chapters dissect each view of the Zachman Framework (displayed in columns in the formal model), and provide sufficient information with which to elicit the business requirements and develop the architecture.
What I like about this book is the way the authors make what is a complex undertaking seem straightforward - and it is straightforward if you follow the approach outlined in the book. Another thing I like is the fresh look at the Zachman Framework - the last book of any importance on the topic was [in my opinion] "Enterprise Architecture Planning: Developing a Blueprint for Data, Applications and Technology" by Steven H. Spewak and Steven C. Hill (ISBN 0471599859), published in 1993. This newer book continues where Spewak and Hill left off.
Regardless of whether you plan to espouse the Zachman Framework, or if your goal is to assure that you capture requirements that are meaningful to the business domain, this book will provide you with insights and a structured approach.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Tompkins on January 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What an extraordinary new book David Hay has given us! Ever since I got my hands on this book, I've been recommending it to every applications developer, designer, and analyst I know. This is honestly a book that can reduce the cost of re-work due to inadequate and incomplete requirements definition by getting it right the first time. Regardless of tools that are used for implementation or the repositories or vendors whose products you may use, you will benefit tremendously from this book! Requirements Analysis, all 450+ pages, is excellent. Barbara von Halle in the forward says that this book "is destined to become the authoritative source for defining roadmaps from vision to architecture." I agree completely!
I appreciated the discussion of the Zachman Framework and the rich sense of history that Dave brings to the topic. He is quick to give credit where credit is due and provides the substantial details on how we got from point A to point B. People like me who are deeply engrossed in producing software and database applications with assorted CASE tools will particularly appreciate this complete view. We don't always understand the theory behind the tools we use. Dave is completing our missing education with his excellent work.
Systems rarely fail due to implementation. Almost always the points of failure can be found in the requirements analysis phase of development. As Dave says, "requirements analysis is the translation of a set of business owners' views of the enterprise to a single, comprehensive architectural view of that enterprise." Our failures are in not correctly capturing the business owners' views and in the translation. This outstanding work provides the focus on how requirements analysis can be done productively and correctly.
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