Systems design

Systems design is the process or art of defining the architecture, components, modules, interfaces, and data for a system to satisfy specified requirements. One could see it as the application of systems theory to product development. There is some overlap and synergy with the disciplines of systems analysis, systems architecture and systems engineering.


If the broader topic of product development "blends the perspective of marketing, design, and manufacturing into a single approach to product development, then design is the act of taking the marketing information and creating the design of the product to be manufactured. Systems design is therefore the process of defining and developing a systems to satisfy specified requirements of the market or customer. Until the 1990s systems design had a crucial and respected role in the data processing industry. In the 1990s standardization of hardware and software resulted in the ability to build modular systems. The increasing importance of software running on generic platforms has enhanced the discipline of software engineering.

Object-oriented analysis and design methods are becoming the most widely used methods for computer system design. The UML has become the standard language used in Object-oriented analysis and design. It is widely used for modeling software systems and is increasingly used for designing non-software systems and organizations.

Systems design: Topics

  • Requirements analysis - analyzes the needs of the end users or customers
  • Benchmarking — is an effort to evaluate how current systems are used
  • Architectural design - creates a blueprint for the design with the necessary specifications for the hardware, software, people and data resources. In many cases, multiple architectures are evaluated before one is selected.
  • Design — designers will produce one or more 'models' of what they see a system eventually looking like, with ideas from the analysis section either used or discarded. A document will be produced with a description of the system, but nothing is specific — they might say 'touchscreen' or 'GUI operating system', but not mention any specific brands;
  • Computer programming and debugging in the software world, or detailed design in the consumer, enterprise or commercial world - specifies the final system components.
  • System testing - evaluates the system's actual functionality in relation to expected or intended functionality, including all integration aspects.

See also


Further reading

  • Maier, Mark W., and Rechtin, Eberhardt, The Art of Systems Architecting, Second Edition, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2000
  • J.H. Saltzer ea. (1984), End-to-End arguments in Systems Design in: ACM Transactions in Computer Systems Vol. 2, nr 4 (Nov 1984), pp 277-288.
  • Ulrich, Karl T. and Eppinger, Steven D., Product Design and Development, Second Edition, Irwin McGraw-Hill, Boston, 2000
  • Levin, Mark Sh., Composite Systems Decisions, Springer, New York, 2006

External links

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