Technology versus Methodology Support for Database Design: A Study of Designer Choice Related to Perception and Performance

Technology versus Methodology Support for Database Design: A Study of Designer Choice Related to Perception and Performance

Thomas E. Marshall (Auburn University, USA) and Michael L. Gibson (Auburn University, USA)
Copyright: © 1996 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/jdm.1996100101
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Information Systems (IS) designers often have to choose between directly applying design methods and/or using technology to support design methods. The purpose of this research is to develop a better understanding of how the choice between design approaches - design methods versus advanced technology - may impact the perceptions and performance of IS designers. The literature suggests that the scope of criteria useful in evaluating design methods and approaches is expanding. Research into methodology and technology support should include aspects addressing how a design approach impacts the designer, facilitates designeruser communications, and supports the implementation process of transforming conceptual models into more computeroriented forms. Through a laboratory experiment, this research investigates database design support by comparing a data modeling design approach (Kroenke Semantic Object approach) to a technology-based approach (Analyst designer software). The research findings provide insights into perceived and performance- based support provided by the different design approaches. In general, performance and perceptions with respect to type of support are not entirely consistent. There appears to be an underlying theme addressing the trade-offs between usability and the technical implementation support provided. When possible dysfunctional consequences exist regarding these trade-offs, IS managers should communicate to their designers that implementation integrity should not be sacrificed for increased usability, or vice-versa. Database designers need to be aware of these issues in design methods, especially those related to design performance, and seek means of mitigating any negative impact on the integrity of the databases designed.

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