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The Basics of Information Systems

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The Basics of Information Systems
There are various different types of information system available to the business organization.
These types of systems may be designed around a number of different kinds of hardware and software.
On the following interactive slides we will examine a Transaction Processing System, a Decision- Oriented System and a Communications System. Each of these systems uses technology to improve work flows.
On the next slides, click on the icons to read the different stages of each system.
1. A Transactions Processing System
1 Input
A transactions processing system, processes input provided by a user. The input then becomes immediate output and is used to modify the database of stock records in the system
2. Validate
The input is first edited for errors and corrected, if necessary.
3. Update
The input then becomes immediate output and is used to modify the database of stock records in the system.
4. Output
Output is produced in any of a number of different formats and modes of presentation, such as a printed report, a display on a screen, or a verbal response.
Two. A Decision-Oriented System
1. Workstation
The decision maker uses a workstation to run a decision-support system.(DSS)
2. Retrieval System
Database
The DSS software allows the user to retrieve data from the database.
3. Model Management
Model Base
The same software might contain a model management subsystem allowing the user to apply different kinds of models for analysing the data.
4. Analysis and Presentation
The system also provides different modes for presenting the results of analyses to the decision maker.
Three different kinds of information systems
A Communications System
1. Computer
Here there are two users who communicate through a central computer. Each user operates a workstation and sends messages to a file that contains electronic mailboxes for all subscribers on the system. When user 2 connects with the central computer from his or her workstation, there is a message notifying user 2 that there is new e-mail waiting to be read. User 2 can read the mail, forward it to someone else, and/or send a reply to user 1.
2. Mailboxes
Each user operates a workstation and sends messages to a file that contains electronic mailboxes for all subscribers on the system.
3. Communications Link
When User 1 connects with the central computer from his or her workstation, there is a message notifying User 1 that there is new e-mail waiting to be read. User 1 can read the mail, forward it to someone else, and/or send a reply to User 2.
4. Communications Link
When User 2 connects with the central computer from his or her workstation, there is a message notifying User 2 that there is new e-mail waiting to be read. User 2 can read the mail, forward it to someone else, and/or send a reply to User 1.
Using Different Types of Technology
It is helpful to distinguish among the types of information systems according to the technology employed.
Click the segments to read about the systems.
1. Batch System
2. Inquiry System
3. A Fully Online System
1. Batch System
In a batch system, all input is processed at one time to produce the desired output. The input data is collected and used to update the files periodically-daily, weekly, or monthly.
The data is frequently out of date in this type of system because updating is periodic, but batch processing is very economical. A payroll system is an example of an application that is often operated in batch mode because pay checks are issued periodically.
2. Inquiry System
An inquiry system can be used to process retrieval requests for information on-line. Often inquiry systems accept and edit input on-line for later updating in batch mode. This input is saved in a file and is used to update the system later.
A production control system could be operated in this manner to accept input from terminals on the factory floor during the day. Then, in the evening, when the computer schedule is less heavy, the files could be updated in a batch processing run.
3. A Fully Online System
A fully on-line system actually modifies files as the information is entered from terminals. A command and control system or real-time system is one in which information has to be fed back instantaneously to control an operation.
For example, the air traffic control system operates in real-time so the controller can see exactly where aircraft are located at any time. An Internet/Intranet application uses Internet standards to link host computers with user machines in a client-server architecture.
The most popular architecture today is client-server throughout the organization. In this architecture, a user's client workstation requests data and programs from a server, a larger computer with a great deal of storage capacity.
Lesson Summary
Although there is no one correct framework to use in designing an information system, it is important that a manager has some conceptual model when deciding on an information system.
Frameworks are designed around the decision making activities of the organization and to improve the processing of information.
Information Technology links the organization together and helps it to accomplish its tasks.
A significant feature of frameworks is that a change in one component is likely to cause changes in others.