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Web Engineering Hardcover – Dec 8 2005

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Web Engineering - A New Engineering Discipline at the Horizon Sept. 20 2006
By dw - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Have you recently been tried to create a web page or web application or tried to web enable an existing application? Have you researched how this should be done best before you started to create the program code? If so, you may have come across "Web Engineering", edited by Emilia Mendes and Nile Mosley. The editors make the claim that an established engineering discipline like Software Engineering despite its usefulness for development of traditional applications does not provide sufficient solutions to the challenges web based applications pose. The assumption the editors (and all authors of the chapters in the book) make is that there is and will continue to be a fundamental difference between traditional software applications and web-based applications. It is indeed an interesting question whether Web Engineering as a new engineering discipline is needed or not. You might think that the difference between both areas is too small, knowing that many full-fledged web applications started their life as "normal" applications and were later on "web enabled", i.e., a layer was put on top of them to make them appear in web browsers.

Nevertheless, there seems to be a consensus that there is not such a high degree of maturity in the engineering discipline for software (be it web-based or traditional software) as it exists for example for car manufacturing. What does not appear to be acceptable to customers of other products, i.e., the fact that customers receive insufficiently tested and hard to use products where users sometimes emerge into beta-testers instead of using the product from day one on after shipment and have to install numerous patches before the product starts working flawlessly can be a reality in the software domain. The book tries to provide a solution to this problem.

To structure the domain the book is organized in thirteen chapters. In each chapter the book addresses a different aspect of web engineering. Each chapter is written by a different team of authors. A great variety of aspects is covered. Only a few areas, for example supportability of web-based applications in customer support cases and security of web-based applications are missing from the description. Overall the book gives valuable guidance when planning the creation of web applications. Practitioners can use the book as a checklist to make sure that no relevant aspect is overlooked when creating a web based application. Each chapter represents an item on the checklist. People in academia benefit from the book as it is probably the first comprehensive write-up of the topic of Web Engineering. It covers the spectrum of Web Engineering broadly - diving deep down to the mathematical foundation for some aspects, only scratching the surface of others. Even if engaging in hands-on work is not the motivation for reading the book it definitely gives an excellent overview of almost all relevant aspects of the engineering of web-based applications.