Information Engineering

Information Engineering is a collective term for the methodology (ie, the methods, techniques, tools and their application ) information management, a central concept of economic computer science, which is used, among other things, to designate departments, institutions, subjects and ( UAS ) programs (short- term: IE). In the literature introduced by Clive Finkelstein, according to another view by James Martin; both understand including the application of formal methods for planning ( planning), analysis (analysis), design (design) and the implementation (construction ) of information systems to enterprise -wide basis or in key business areas. The methods build on each other and depend on each other in some way.

Definition by James Martin

James Martin puts it this way: "The application of an interlocking set of formal techniques for the planning, analysis, design and construction of information systems, Applied on to enterprise wide basis or across a major sector of an enterprise".

Because companies are complex and complicated, enterprise-wide planning, analysis, design and implementation of information systems without tools is not possible. Referring to Tools Information Engineering of J. Martin is defined as follows: "An interlocking set of automated techniques in Which enterprise models, data models, and process models are built up into a comprehensive knowledge base and are used to create and maintain data processing systems ".

Definition by Clive Finkelstein

Clive Finkelstein emphasizes the personal aspect of Information Engineering, when he states: "The availability of managers and users with expert knowledge of ... of Their business is an essential requirement". Next he demands of managers and users on the one hand and professional developers on the other hand partnership. It defines Information Engineering as follows: " Information Engineering is an integrated set of techniques, based on corporate strategic planning, Which results in the analysis, design and development of systems Which supports Those plans exactly. Information Engineering is Applied by managers and users with no knowledge of computers, but instead on expert with knowledge of Their business - in Conjunction with expert systems Which Provide rapid feedback to management for refinement of the strategic plan. "

Another feature of the definition of Clive Finkelstein is that information engineering based on strategic planning. Since, in practice, procedures are called Information Engineering, extending " from the bottom up ", a distinction is made between two fundamentally different approaches.


Clive Finkelstein and other authors describe the spread in practice approach as conventional or as dv- driven Information Engineering. Conventional information engineering is based on the functions or processes in the enterprise. Modern Information Engineering is mission -oriented, business -driven Information Engineering (original called DP -driven and business-driven ). It is based on the strategic corporate objectives and progresses "top to bottom" continued ( in particular on the existing, modified or new business model) until it has arrived at the functions and processes that are implemented. In other words, Modern Information Engineering follows the top-down approach.

An aligned to the needs of practice labeling of Information Engineering is given with the following principles ( according to Ernst & Young International, Ltd.. ):

  • Emphasis on the sharing of data: data and its structure are analyzed independently of the application task. There are data models used and to define business data across applications so that the enterprise-wide data needs are met and the data sharing are encouraged.
  • User Orientation: During the design process, the role of the user is stressed by methods such as critical competitive factors, Joint Sessions (JST ), and prototyping can be used.
  • Strategic basis: Determined and sustained commitment of top management, which is ensured by the definition of goals and objectives. The use of critical competitive factors ensures that a good strategic information systems are created for the company.
  • Focus on business analysis: planning, analysis and design are more importance is attached as the implementation by conceptual and logical models of business data and business processes are created and used.
  • Rigorous application of methods: the use of formal methods in all phases of the development process consistency is secured and allows testing for correctness.
  • Automation of methods: By tools productivity of system development and maintenance is increased, and the coordination and updating of data allows with which can be verified whether the information systems support the critical competitive factors permanently.
  • Communication: Through use of graphical models, the communication between developers and users is encouraged.
  • Decomposition: Since the successful use of complex and complicated systems is not possible, the systematic decomposition is supported.
  • Joint Session technology: It is used by a structured workshop environment that is supported by certain moderation rules, visual aids and CASE tools.

Methods / techniques

Typical examples of Information Engineering, the following methods and techniques (with appropriate tools ):

  • Strategic Information Engineering: Scenario technique; Portfolio analysis; Success factor analysis; Performance measurement systems; Cost-effectiveness analysis; Cost-benefit analysis; Evaluation methods (evaluation); Process models.
  • Administrative Information Engineering: Methods of user participation; Methods of business process management; Knowledge management methods; Methods of cost estimation; Methods of cost and management accounting; benchmarking; Checklists; Risk analysis; Quality models.
  • Operating Information Engineering: Hardware and software monitoring; Accounting systems; Service -level agreements.

Some methods and techniques are complementary, for example, measurement systems and methods of cost and performance accounting for the controlling mainstreaming at all three levels of the IM model. Some methods and techniques are to be understood as subsystems of other methods or techniques or to use in this sense, by identifying, for example, complement methods of cost estimation methods of cost and management accounting, the quantity structure required for cost accounting purposes (mainly staff costs ) help. The complex and intricate relationships between the methods and techniques can not be explained without knowledge of these methods and techniques.

Department of Information Engineering


A few universities in Germany offer Information Engineering now as a full-fledged degree program ( in addition to the "normal" computer science ). Among these is the University of Konstanz, here is an excerpt from the official accreditation information:

"As an educational objective, an information engineer is provided which searches data in a usage- based view, filtered, organized and prepared as information that summarizes and presents. "

The study proves to be very practical and dispensed with ( too) much theoretical / mathematical digressions. Totally they are of course not excluded, they belong to the basic knowledge in the field of information science.

Due to the higher education reform this young program is offered exclusively as Bachelor-/Master-Studiengang.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT ) offers a bachelor's and master's degree program with the name " Information Engineering and Management".


In Austria, Information Engineering as a part-time Master's degree program ( course " Information Engineering and Management" at the Campus Hagenberg University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, the seat of the faculty of computer science, communication and media ) or as a specialization subject in the degree program in computer science are occupied ( Johannes Kepler University of Linz ).