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Next, we must gather some requirements. We start by interviewing real estate agents to come up with a set of functional requirements, deliberately keeping the requirements for the first iteration of this application quite simple. We'll try the application in one area with a selected subset of local real estate agents. The Real Estate Assistant application will do the following:

  • Provide access to all residential property listings currently available through an online (pre-web) service.

  • Permit querying by price range (minimum and maximum) and type (vacant land, single family, multi-unit, and so on).

  • Provide a list of properties matching one or more of the parameters specified in the bullet item above.

  • Provide details of a selected property. (Note: Fields will be chosen during prototyping exercises.)

  • Be available to registered users only.

  • Enable access via WAP phones and web browsers.

In addition to the functional requirements, we'll come up with some system requirements. These are based on the number of anticipated users of our service in the first year:

  • Support simultaneous access by up to 1,000 users.

  • Provide a response time to a master or detail query of better than 45 seconds from submission to display.

Finally, we specify usability requirements. These ensure that we have some relatively unbiased way of determining whether our application is actually usable! The system must conform to usability guidelines as specified in the usability checklist (to be examined later).

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