Non-functional requirements: Data Currency & Internationalization

This is my third post on non-functional requirements. Let me reiterate that non-functional requirements describe characteristics of a system as opposed to how a system functions or operates.

Data Currency
Many systems collect data and provide data for users. Data currency, refers to how up-to-date this information is. Trading systems require access to real-time information or their business value is negligible. If you were a day-trader, would you be willing to use yesterday's prices to execute your trades?

Other types of systems do not have as stringent requirements (e.g., data warehouses.) Data currency can affect your choice of solutions to a business problem in that if real-time information access is required, specific procedures such as batch uploads cannot be utilized.

Implications could be the need to have multi-language descriptions of products as well as pricing schemes for different currencies. Web sites such as ebay have regionalized sites where prices are displayed in a user's native currency. In general, internationalization focuses on the countries, time-zones, currencies and languages that will be supported.

The proliferation of web applications is pushing us towards a more global view. Today you may only have to deal with 2 languages, but tomorrow it could be 3, 4, 5 or more!

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