CS507 - Information Systems - Lecture Handout 09

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Infrastructure

Infrastructure, generally, is the set of interconnected structural elements that provide the framework for supporting the entire structure. It usually applies only to structures that are artificial. The term is used differently in a variety of fields; perhaps the single most well-known usage is in economics, where it refers to physical infrastructure such as buildings and roads.

The notion that a structure has an internal framework is popular especially in business organizations where a dependency on interconnected information technology systems has become as prevalent as a city's dependency on interconnected conveyance systems for power, people and things. Information infrastructure consists of the physical facilities services and management that support all computing resources in an organization. There are five major components of infrastructure

  • Computer hardware
  • General purpose software
  • Networks & communication facilities
  • Databases
  • Information management personnel
  • Each of these components is designed in such manner to collectively meet the needs and objectives of the organization.

The infrastructure will include

  • The detailed configuration of the hardware
  • Design of the operating system,
  • Documentation of the operational and application software, and
  • Documentation on how to technically manage and operate the entire system
    • Infrastructure also includes the integration, operation, documentation, maintenance and management the components as defined in infrastructure.
    • It is guideline to how specific computing resources are arranged, operated and managed.

Architecture

Architecture more specifically is related to defining the information needs and how these will be obtained through the various application software modules. Architecture is the “Blueprint” that provides the conceptual foundation for building information infrastructure and specific applications. It is a way of mapping information requirements and resources. Architecture covers following components:The business needs of the information
• Existing planned information infrastructure and applications in the organizations.

  • The business needs of the information
  • Existing planned information infrastructure and applications in the organizations.

Information Architecture

In context of web design Information (Or design for related media Information). Architecture is defined by the Information Architecture Institute as

  1. The structural design of shared information environments.
  2. The art and science of organizing and labeling web sites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability.
  3. An emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.

An alternate definition of Information Architecture exists within the context of information system design, in which information architecture refers to data modeling and the analysis and design of the information in the system, concentrating on entities and their interdependencies. Data modeling depends on abstraction; the relationship between the pieces of data is of more interest than the particulars of individual records, though cataloging possible values is a common technique. The usability of humanfacing systems, and standards compliance of internal ones, is paramount.

The term information architecture describes a specialized skill set which relates to the management of information and employment of informational tools. It has a significant degree of association with the library sciences. Many library schools now teach information architecture.

Components/Sub-Systems of CBIS

Following are the components / subsystems of CBIS

  • Transaction Processing System
  • Management Information System
  • Support Systems
  • Office Automation System
  • Decision Support System
  • Knowledge System
  • Executive Support System

Let’s consider them one by one.

Transaction Processing System

This system is used to record transactions of routine and repetitive nature.
For Instance

  • Defining eh transaction recording structure
  • Placing customer orders
  • Billing customers
  • Other basic business transactions

Features

  • It is a repetitive number crunching system.
  • Today the transaction processing systems are more sophisticated and complex but spirit is same, that is to record routine business transactions, irrespective of their complexity, so as to help in analysis and report generation at a higher level.
  • Help to cater needs for operational level management.
  • Rapid Response

Fast performance with a rapid response time is critical. Businesses cannot afford to have customers waiting for a TPS to respond, the turnaround time from the input of the transaction to the production for the output must be a few seconds or less.

Reliability

  • Many organizations rely heavily on their TPS; a breakdown will disrupt operations or even stop the business. For a TPS to be effective its failure rate must be very low. If a TPS does fail, then quick and accurate recovery must be possible. This makes well–designed backup and recovery procedures essential.

Inflexibility

A TPS wants every transaction to be processed in the same way regardless of the user, the customer or the time for day. If a TPS were flexible, there would be too many opportunities for non-standard operations, for example, a commercial airline needs to consistently accept airline reservations from a range of travel agents, accepting different transactions data from different travel agents would be a problem.

Controlled processing

The processing in a TPS must support an organization's operations. For example if an organisation allocates roles and responsibilities to particular employees, then the TPS should enforce and maintain this requirement.

Data Processing Tasks

  • Major data processing tasks which a TPS is expected to per form are
  • Data identification and Gathering – keying in the data or obtaining it directly from machines by providing suitable interface
  • Data manipulation/Analysis – refers to transformation of data into information
    • Classifying
    • Sorting
    • Calculating
    • Summarizing
  • Data storage – data is kept somewhere in a sequenced manner until when needed.
  • Document Preparation – output for managers as reports or as input to other systems.
  • Goals a TPS is supposed to achieve are predefined and highly structured, for instance
  • Checking a customer’s credit limit every time an order is received
  • Checking inventory level before accepting an order
  • Payroll generation on monthly basis

Management Information System

MIRS makes information available to relevant users by producing pre-determined and pre-designed reports required by the management. Management information system helps middle level management planning, controlling and decision making. The data stored can be used or manipulated to produce differently defined reports from pre-defined reports. It can be presented graphically or pictorially. The reports generated by the MIS are used for analytical decision making by the management. The application software can construct projections, build scenarios, do what if analysis to enable better decision making.

For Example

MIS will use the TPS data to generate monthly and weekly summaries as per requirement (product, customer and salesperson. Major purpose is report generation. We would discuss major types of reports.

  • Periodic reports – daily, weekly, monthly, annually, format is predefined and structured for convenience.
  • Special – Management by Exception reports only when a special event occurs which needs to be monitored. For instance
  • Report sequence to highlight- fast moving & slow moving
  • Group the exceptions together – Aged accounts receivable
  • Show variance from the norm – Sales analysis report