The analysis of a potential Web application focuses on three important questions: (1) what information or content is to be presented or manipulated; (2) what functions are to be performed for the end-user, and (3) what behaviors will the WebApp exhibit as it presents content and performs functions? The answers to these questions are represented as part of an analysis model that encompasses a variety of UML representations.
The following topic categories are presented:

Analysis Concepts for the Web

Analysis Methods


Analysis Concepts for the Web

Objections Against Requirements Analysis

And why you should not believe them.

Web Services Architecture Requirements

"This document describes a set of requirements for a standard reference architecture for Web Services developed by the Web Services Architecture Working Group."

Analysis Methods

User and Task Analysis

20 links that discuss usability and related subjects.

General Systems Analysis

This site contains many useful links that are relevant to WebApps and conventional software

"Capturing Web Application Requirements"

A paper that describes "new conceptual tools for effectively supporting the activity of requirements analysis of web applications.

"Eliciting Requirements through Partial Design"

A paper that describes a prototyping like approach for requirements gathering.

"Task-Oriented to Goal-Oriented Web Requirements Analysis"

The authors of thisa paper argue "that a shift of paradigm is needed in web engineering from task-oriented to goal-oriented approaches ..."

Relationship-Navigation Analysis

A paper by Michael Beiber.

Developing WebApp Prototypes

A brief discussion of WebApp prototypes with useful links.

Data Modeling

The paper "shows how the well-known entity-relationship (E-R) modeling technique can be exploited when creating the middle tier in a 3-tier web application."

Specification Framework

"Both designers and developers need a framework that in all stages of the engineering process allows them to specify the relevant aspects of the application. This paper concentrates on Web applications that automatically generate hypermedia presentations for their output."


Many books dedicated to analysis modeling for conventional software—with particular emphasis on use-cases and UML notation—contain much useful information that can be readily adapted by Web engineers. Use-cases form the foundation of analysis modeling for WebApps. Books by Kulak and his colleagues (Use Cases: Requirements in Context, second edition, Addison-Wesley, 2004), Bittner and Spence (Use Case Modeling, Addison-Wesley, 2002), Cockburn ((Writing Effective Use Cases, Addison-Wesley, 2001)), Armour and Miller (Advanced Use-Case Modeling: Software Systems, Addison-Wesley, 2000), Rosenberg and Scott (Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML: A Practical Approach, Addison-Wesley, 1999), and Schneider, Winters, and Jacobson (Applying Use Cases: A Practical Guide, Addison-Wesley, 1998) provide worthwhile guidance in the creation and use of this important requirements representation mechanism.

Worthwhile discussions of UML have been written by Arlow and Neustadt (UML and the Unified Process, Addison-Wesley, 2002), Schmuller (Teach Yourself UML in 24 Hours, second edition, SAMS Publishing, 2002), Fowler and Scott (UML Distilled, second edition, Addison-Wesley, 1999), Booch and his colleagues (The UML User Guide, Addison-Wesley, 1998) and Rumbaugh and his colleagues (The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, Addison-Wesley, 1998).

Books dedicated to Web site design often contain one or two chapters that discuss analysis issues (although these are often cursory discussions). The following books contain one or more aspects of analysis within the context of Web engineering: Van Duyne and his colleagues (The Design of Sites, Addison-Wesley, 2002), Rosenfeld and Morville (Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, O’Reilly & Associates, 2002), Wodtke (Information Architecture, New Riders Publishing, 2002), Garrett (The Elements of User Experience: User Centered Design for the Web, New Riders Publishing, 2002), Niederst (Web Design in a Nutshell, O’Reilly & Associates, 2001), Lowe and Hall (Hypermedia and the Web: An Engineering Approach, Wiley, 1999) and Powell (Web Site Engineering, Prentice-Hall, 1998) provide reasonably complete coverage. Norris, West and Watson (Media Engineering: A Guide to Developing Information Products, Wiley, 1997), Navarro and Khan (Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials, Sybex, 1998), and Fleming and Koman (Web Navigation: Designing the User Experience, O'Reilly & Associates, 1998).