Computer Science
"The Object-Oriented Approach" Please respond to the following

Question Description

You are having a discussion with a systems analyst who has been in the field for 30 years. He makes the statement that traditional methods of systems design are far superior to the object-oriented approach. How would you explain to him the rationale behind using the object-oriented approach?

Are there certain projects in which the traditional approach would work better? If not, explain why not. If so, give at least one example of such a project.

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Final Answer

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Everything has got its own advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of object oriented approach; 

Object-oriented databases make the promise of reduced maintenance, code reusability, real world modeling, and improved reliability and flexibility.  However, these are just promises and in the real world some users find that the object-oriented benefits are not as compelling as they originally believed.  For example, what is  code reusability?  Some will say that they can reuse much of the object-oriented code that is created for a system, but many say there is no more code reusability in object-oriented systems than in traditional systems.  Code reusability is a subjective thing, and depends heavily on how the system is defined.  The object-oriented approach does give the ability to reduce some of the major expenses associated with systems, such as maintenance and development of programming code.  Here are some of the benefits of the object-oriented approach: 

Reduced Maintenance: The primary goal of object-oriented development is the assurance that the system will enjoy a longer life while having far smaller maintenance costs.  Because most of the processes within the system are encapsulated, the behaviors may be reused and incorporated into new behaviors.

Real-World Modeling: Object-oriented system tend to model the real world in a more complete fashion than do traditional methods.  Objects are organized into classes of objects, and objects are associated with behaviors.  The model is based on objects, rather than on data and processing.

Improved Reliability and Flexibility Object-oriented system promise to be far more reliable than traditional systems, primarily because new behaviors can be "built" from existing objects. Because objects can be dynamically called and accessed, new objects may be created at any time.  The new objects may inherit data attributes from one, or many other objects.  Behaviors may be inherited from super-classes, and novel behaviors may be added without effecting existing systems functions.


The traditional approach usually consisted of custom built data processes and computer information systems tailored for a specific business function. An accounting department would have their own information system tailored to their needs, where the sales department would have an entirely seperate system for their needs.

Initially, these seperate systems were very simple to set up as they mostly mirrored the business process that departments had been doing for years but allowed them to do things faster with less work. However, once the systems were in use for so long, they became very difficult for individual departments to manage and rely on their data because there was no reliable system in place to enfore data standards or management.

Seperate information systems for each business function also led to conflicts of interest within the company. Departments felt a great deal of ownership for the data that they collected, processed, and managed which caused many issues among company-wide collaboration and data sharing. This seperation of data also led to unncessary redundacy and a high rate of unrelibable and inconsistent data.

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Major J. (36)
UC Berkeley

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