Software Engineering Approaches

Introduction to Software Engineering Approaches

Based on the preceding discussions, it can be said that the basic objective of software engineering is to:

Develop methods and procedures for software development that can scale up for large systems and that can be used to consistently produce high quality software at low cost and with a small cycle time.

So the key objectives are consistency, low cost high quality small cycle time and scalability.

The basic approach that software engineering takes is to separate the development process from the developed product. The main thing is that is that the development process controls the entire key objective mentioned above. Hence, to satisfy the objectives one must focus on the software process. This software process is nothing else than the software development life cycle i.e. SWDLC described previously. The software engineering approach itself, is the SWDLE is required to have a sequential, well defined accurate and disciplined process.  If it is followed to develop any software product, the resultant product will be the desired software product. 

The various software engineering approaches are the various SWDLC models. The basic SWDLC   is an ideal SWDLC which is followed and modified by all the various SWDLC models. They have their advantages and disadvantages depending upon their functionality performance and working capability.

Design of proper SWDLC models and their control is the primary goal of software engineering.

Fourth Generation Techniques (4GT)

Fourth generation techniques consist of many software methods and tools that have one thing common that each enables the software engineer to specify some characteristics of software at a high level. The tool will automatically generate the programs unit on the developer specification. The 4GT paradigm   refers to the ability to specify software using specialized language forms or a graphic notation that describes the problem to be solved in terms that the customer can understand.

Now, the various software development environments that support 4GT tools are non procedural generation high level graphics capability, spreadsheet capability and automated generation of HTML and similar languages used for web site creation. The various steps included in4Gt.

1. Requirements gathering to collect requirements from customer.

2. Design strategy to design all the modules.

3. Implementation suing a 4GT is performed to automatic generation of code.

4. Conversion of 4GT   implementation into a product, testing should be performed meaningful documents should be made and integration is done.

5. The 4GT developed software must be built in a manner that enables maintenance to be performed.


  • Use of 4GT gives a viable approach and credible solutions to much application.
  • Less time is required to produce software.
  • Productivity is greatly improved.


  • 4GT tools are not so easy to use.
  • The resultant source code produced by 4GT tools is inefficient.
  • Maintainability of large software system is required.

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