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IADIS International Conference Information Systems 2011



Adelaide Bianchini, Maruja Ortega and Ascánder Suárez

Computer Science and Information Technology Department. Universidad Simón Bolívar.
Valle de Sartenejas. Caracas 1080. Venezuela

This paper presents a technique and an artifact collection produced by a methodology for the development of Web
applications based on the MVC architecture pattern. The modeling technique starts with the Use Cases, as input for the
construction of special diagrams (Behavior Diagrams), that describe the actors in a web application, the User-System
interactions, and the data shared between them. This information leads to the design of a Web application in terms of the
elements required by the MVC pattern, namely: Views (presentation), Model (actions, functionality), and a Controller
that describes the relationship between Views and actions. The methodology is supported by a CASE Tool – COHESIÓN –,
which provides different mechanisms to create the Behavior Diagrams, and generates the code of the application using
frameworks like Struts, Struts2 and Django. The methodology has proved to be highly effective and straightforward in
the design and development of several Web applications we have implemented in our university.

Web Engineering, web application design methodology, MVC architectural pattern

The complexity of Web applications has grown significantly: from static systems (Web sites) oriented
towards information content dissemination, to dynamic systems like online transactions, e-banking, e-
commerce and B2B applications, enterprise-wide planning and scheduling systems, collaborative
environments, Web services and mobile Web applications. Over the past decade several methodologies have
been proposed to improve the quality of Web application development and considerable attention has been
given to Web Engineering, a discipline proposed to provide a systematic and disciplined approach for the
development, documentation and maintenance of Web applications (Selmi et al., 2005).
Web Engineering is more complex than traditional Software Engineering since it raises new issues such
as rich interface design (for presentation and interaction), navigation modeling support and content modeling.
Methods and models from Software Engineering are not expressive enough for the specific characteristics of
Web applications (Schwinger and Koch, 2004). Also, Web application development is characterized by: i)
small and multidisciplinary development teams, ii) many small software deployments (iterative and
incremental process); iii) several stakeholders from diverse fields; iv) in multiples cases there are informal
specifications of requirements; and v) short deadlines to delivery the final product (Ziemer, 2009).
The core contribution of this paper is the presentation of artifacts called Behavior Diagrams, used to
specify and design Web applications, based on the MVC architectural pattern. These diagrams provide the
development team with structural and functional information about the application that leads and supports the
implementation phase, in an easy way.
This article is organized as follows: Section 2 reviews the basic concepts in our approach, some aspects of
WebFDM –Web application Flexible Development Method, in particular, the technique used to produce the
artifacts that model the functionalities of a Web application. Also, we will introduce COHESIÓN, the CASE
tool being developed to support the design and implementation process of Web applications using WebFDM.
Section 3 is about related works. In section 4 we use an example to explain the creation of the Behavior
Diagrams. Finally, we present conclusions and our plans for future works.