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Model Systems and SSADM


The Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM) was developed by LBMS in 1980/81 for CCTA, the UK government IT agency. Version 1 was designed to support government IT staff in replacing large, tape-based, serial batch processing systems with redesigned systems reflecting updated user requirements, implemented in 3rd generation languages, and running on database platforms.

During the next 15 years, the method was extended to address interactive user interfaces, 4th generation languages, client server, distributed applications and object-oriented design. CCTA made it generally available (while retaining ownership of the trademark "SSADM" and copyright of the reference manuals), and introduced a formal qualification. a training accreditation scheme and a compliance scheme for SSADM support tools.

By the mid-1990s SSADM was the most widely-used application development methodology in Europe, with over 5,000 certified practitioners. It was also adopted in many other parts of the world.

By the late 1990s SSADM, like other large "structured methodologies", had become overshadowed in the market by other approaches, with rapid development based on UML models prominent.

In 2000, CCTA renamed SSADM as "Business System Development". The method was repackaged into 15 modules and another 6 modules were added. The British Computer Society's Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) operates the updated training scheme, which leads to a Diploma in Business System Development.

Model Systems

John Hall was the original architect of SSADM, and he and the late Keith Robinson were the co-developers of Version 1. Alan Cook was one of the first two SSADM consultants and acted as mentor to the first CCTA support group. Alan, John and Keith left LBMS in 1983 to found Model Systems.

Model Systems rapidly became one of the primary sources of SSADM support, providing consultancy, project assistance, training and tools. Model Systems undertook more SSADM research and development than any other company, and Model Systems staff wrote or co-wrote more than 20 SSADM textbooks and reference manuals; for example, John Hall co-authored the reference manuals and user guide for version 4.2, the last entire methodology update.

Current Support

For organizations using SSADM, Model Systems can provide:

  • In-house training, training material and training for trainers
  • Project support: methodology customising, project review, quality assurance
  • >
  • Mentoring of internal support groups
  • Research and development

We have also, in collaboration with our Swiss partner KnowGravity adapted substantial parts of SSADM (including data modelling, object class modelling, object behaviour modelling, three-schema architecture), and present them in modules, using UML conventions.


  © Model Systems, 2002

Last updated 8 March 2002