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Third-Generation Versus Fourth-Generation Software Development
July/August 1988 (vol. 5 no. 4)
pp. 8-14

A case study examines how fourth-generation languages do well and how they come up short compared to their predecessors. Two fourth-generation tools dBase III and PC/Focus were used, and a solution in Cobol was developed to use as a benchmark for third-generation-language performance. For each solution, development effort, code size, and performance characteristics were examined. It was found that even though the code sizes were smaller with both fourth-generation tools, Cobol was clearly superior in performance. It took longer to develop the solution in Cobol than in dBase III but less time than in PC/Focus.

Index Terms:
fourth-generation software development; fourth-generation languages; fourth-generation tools; dBase III; PC/Focus; Cobol; benchmark; third-generation-language performance; development effort; code size; performance characteristics; high level languages; software engineering
Santosh K. Misra, Paul J. Jalics, "Third-Generation Versus Fourth-Generation Software Development," IEEE Software, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 8-14, July-Aug. 1988, doi:10.1109/52.17797
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