These principles apply to applications.

Principle 16: Technology Independence

  • Statement:
    • Applications are independent of specific technology choices and therefore can operate on a variety of technology platforms.
  • Rationale:
    • Independence of applications from the underlying technology allows applications to be developed, upgraded, and operated in the most cost-effective and timely way. Otherwise technology, which is subject to continual obsolescence and vendor dependence, becomes the driver rather than the user requirements themselves.
    • Realizing that every decision made with respect to IT makes us dependent on that technology, the intent of this principle is to ensure that Application Software is not dependent on specific hardware and operating systems software.
  • Implications:
    • This principle will require standards which support portability.
    • For Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) applications, there may be limited current choices, as many of these applications are technology and platform-dependent.
    • Subsystem interfaces will need to be developed to enable legacy applications to interoperate with applications and operating environments developed under the enterprise architecture.
    • Middleware should be used to decouple applications from specific software solutions.

Principle 17: Convenient to Use

  • Statement:
    • Applications should be convenient to use. The underlying technology is transparent to users, so they can concentrate on tasks at hand.
  • Rationale:
    • The more a user has to understand the underlying technology, the less productive that user is. Convenience is a positive incentive for use of applications. It encourages users to work within the integrated information environment instead of developing isolated systems to accomplish the task outside of the enterprise’s integrated information environment. Most of the knowledge required to operate one system should be similar to others. Training is kept to a minimum, and the risk of using a system improperly is low.
  • Implications:
    • Applications will be required to have a common “look-and-feel” and support ergonomic requirements. Hence, the common look-and-feel standard must be designed and usability test criteria must be developed.
    • Guidelines for user interfaces should not be constrained by narrow assumptions about user location, language, systems training, or physical capability. Factors such as linguistics, customer physical infirmities (visual acuity, ability to use keyboard/mouse), and proficiency in the use of technology have broad ramifications in determining the convenience of an application.