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From requirements to implementation of ad-hoc social Web applications: an empirical pattern-based approach

From requirements to implementation of ad-hoc social Web applications: an empirical pattern-based approach

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Social technologies are transforming the Web to a place where users actively contribute to content production and opinion making. At B2E level, enterprises look at social networking tools as possible means for improving their operations thanks to the unstructured interaction they foster among employees. This paper tackles the problem of defining a quick and pragmatic approach for specifying the requirements of ad-hoc social web applications and for going down to their implementation. The approach is motivated by the fact that in most cases the ad-hoc needs that the company foresees are just a peculiar subset of the large set of requirements that are addressed by current social platforms. The main contributions of this work include: the classification of the social interactions that can be observed in virtual communities in a comprehensive taxonomy of requirements (based on a broad analysis of the existing social networking platforms, considering both public and enterprise solutions); the definition of requirement specification as a selection process upon this taxonomy; and the mapping to design and implementation artifacts through automatic generation of design models and of running code. This is implemented through a set of pattern-based model transformations that transform the requirements (specified according to a goal-oriented methodology) to UML models and then to running Java code. A validation of the effectiveness of the approach is provided, in terms of percentage of hand-written code with respect to the parts that can be automatically obtained through the transformations.

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