Constraints are factors that must be taken into account when solving an information problem.

Typically these factors are classified as:
  • economic, for example, budget available to create an information product;
  • technical, for example, availability, capabilities and limitations of equipment;
  • social, for example, culture, ethnicity, age, location, education, special needs and status of end-users;
  • operational, for example, the requirement to use specific techniques and procedures.
Other realistic constraints would be:
  • performance (e.g. a system might have to process 4 million accounts overnight to be ready for the next business day)
  • hardware limitations (e.g. the amount of RAM or hard disk space a system has; its display dimensions and colour range)
  • compatibility with other equipment (e.g. a new monitor must be both VGA and DVI compatible)
  • the amount of time available to produce the solution (e.g. a new program must be ready by the time a new store opens in June)
  • the skill levels of the team producing the solution (e.g. they have no Flash experience)
  • the equipment available with which the production team can produce the solution (e.g. they have a Visual Basic compiler
  • laws governing the creation, content or behaviour of the solution (e.g. health regulations, copyright or patent laws)
  • social attitudes to the use of the solution (e.g. a camera that does not produce an audible click when a picture is taken to warn people of the event might not be acceptable to the people fearing surreptitious infringement of their privacy in changing rooms)
  • the quality level expected of the product (e.g. a missile defence system's program can't get away with 95% accuracy!)
  • the conditions under which the product is expected to be used (e.g. a PC designed for use by the military might need to be rugged and weatherproof)

external image constraints.jpg

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