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End-User Systems, Reusability, and High-Level Design

Glenn S. Fowler (
John J. Snyder (
Kiem-Phong Vo (

AT&T Bell Laboratories
600 Mountain Avenue
Murray Hill, NJ 07974 USA


During the past ten years, the number of computer users has grown by orders of magnitude. This has been brought about by dramatic increase in computing power combined with equally dramatic decrease in hardware costs. Beyond "stand-alone" user applications like word processing and spreadsheets, new classes of business applications arise where competitive advantage is created by empowering "end-users" with instant access to relevant information. In many cases, code already exists to access and process the desired information; the challenge is finding a way to couple such processing capabilities to individual user requests in a timely, specific, and friendly fashion. The keys to such end-user systems lie in high-level design and software reusability. This paper describes a language tool EASEL (End-User Application System Encoding Language) for building end-user systems and experiences in its development and deployment.

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