A Comparative Study of the EUREQA Tool for End-User Development

A Comparative Study of the EUREQA Tool for End-User Development

Paul G. Austrem (University of Bergen and Webstep AS, Norway)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/jismd.2012070104
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End-user development is a growing domain; however, few dedicated end-user development tools exist allowing end-users to incorporate their domain knowledge into software solutions. EUREQA is a design pattern driven UML class diagram modeling tool allowing end-user developers to create UML class diagram models reflecting their domain knowledge. The UML class diagram can be used as a basis for model-driven development. EUREQA was evaluated with 20 participants recording data through direct observation, screen recordings, the think-aloud protocol and semi-structured interviews. Half of the participants used EUREQA and the other half used the Microsoft Visio modeling tool. The authors found that EUREQA participants scored higher than Visio participants for this task and that skill had less effect on the EUREQA participants’ solutions. Specifically inexperienced EUREQA users struggled less when working with UML class diagram elements compared to Visio participants.
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Background Material And Theory

End-User Development

Lieberman et al. (2006) define end-user development as “a set of methods, techniques, and tools that allow users of software systems...to create, modify, or extend a software artefact” (p. 2). The definition shows the breadth of what can be considered end-user development. Within their definition EUREQA belongs to the tool dimension.

Lieberman et al. (2006) also provide a further refinement of tool-based end-user development with four distinct approaches, programming by example, incremental programming, model-based development, extended annotation or parameterization. Model-based development is the richest of the four approaches at the cost of being the most complex. The richness and freedom allowed in a tool can be considered directly proportional to its complexity. In end-user development it is a design goal to create an environment with a flat learning curve whilst still affording the end-user developer the freedom to achieve their goals.

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