A12 project workflow and development
The A12 platform aims at speeding up the creation of web applications and reducing custom development efforts. How are these objectives reflected in the project workflow? And what happens if individual requirements enter the stage?
A12 projects typically start with business workshops where requirements are discussed and first specifications or user stories are sketched out. In contrast to classical software projects, these discussions have a stronger focus on considering a modeling perspective right from the start. Which business entities are involved and how can they be represented in the form of data models? How do different kinds of users interact with these data models? If users have to input data, which criteria determine if the data is valid?
Using the A12 tools, first rough versions of data models, validation rules and online forms for interacting with these data models can be created. The result is a fully functional prototype. For further refinements, business experts and analysts iteratively adapt and extend the prototype depending on their users’ or customers’ requirements. This can be done completely without a development team. The application is updated by updating the models.
Dealing with individual requirements
Many business requirements can be implemented directly using the A12 modeling tools and existing building blocks. From time to time, however, new requirements may occur which cannot be covered with the current state of the platform. This is where individual software development comes into play.
The first step of dealing with new requirements is to determine whether they are project-specific or more general in nature. If the required features are very specific and probably not applicable in other A12 projects, they will be handled as custom developments – specially designed for the project in question. If the required features are potentially valuable in other A12 projects, they will be handled as A12 Platform Extensions. They are made available for general use.
Platform Extensions – How projects benefit from each other
A12 Platform Extensions ensure that projects don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Instead, they draw upon more and more thouroughly implemented and tested solutions for common requirements. This approach for transferring knowledge and sharing technical solutions is both beneficial for new projects and for existing projects based on A12. New projects have a larger A12 feature set at their disposal from the start. Existing projects may update or extend parts of their application with new A12 features without having to dive into time-consuming and costly custom developments.