This refers to the process of building an experimental system quickly and inexpensively for demonstration and evaluation so that users can better determine information requirements. This approach makes use of a prototype, which is a working version of an information system or part of the system meant to be only a preliminary model. Once operational, the prototype will be further refined until it conforms precisely to user‘s requirements. Once the design has been finalize, the prototype can be converted to a polished production system.
These tools provide automated graphics facilities for producing charts and diagrams, screen and report generators, data dictionaries, extensive reporting facilities, analysis and checking tools, code generators and documentation generators.
Effects of the prototyping approach and CASE tools on the development plan:
1. Reduction in systems development time since CASE tools automate all the majoraspects of systems development and prototyping speeds up requirements analysis.
2. Reduction in labour costs
Since CASE tools automate major aspects of systems development, some manual roles will be eliminated meaning that the labour costs due to the development team will be reduced. Prototyping also reduces development costs because it reduces the risk of producing a system, which will be rejected users due to lack of conformity to requirements
3. The adoption of prototyping and CASE tools would also imply that the systems development would require more resources (Software). CASE software would be required to automate development and thus enable prototyping. This has an effect on the development budget as the new requirement would have to be reflected.