INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY BLOCK REVISION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Dec 2010

QUESTION ONE

There are three main types of network topologies namely; star, ring and bus. As a network administrator, you have been asked to produce a briefing document that discusses each topology in terms of cabling cost, fault tolerance, data redundancy and performance as the

number of nodes increases. (12 marks)

Information security management is about viewing and managing risks in terms of the        causes, effects and therefore costs of loss of security. Required:

Identify and briefly describe the stages involved in systematic management of information systems (8 marks)

 

                                                                                                                                                                               (Total: 20 marks)

ANSWERS TO QUESTION 1

QUESTION ONE

 

  •  Network topologyThis refers to the method of arranging and connecting the nodes of a network.

 

STAR TOPOLOGY

With this topology, there are a number of small computers or peripheral devices linked to a central unit called a main hub. The central unit may be a host computer or a file server. All communications pass through the central unit and control is maintained by polling. This

topology is commonly used for linking microcomputers to a mainframe.

Node

 

This topology has high cabling costs associated with it since there must be a connection to and fro the central unit each node (terminal) in the network to the individual devices.

 

This topology is fault tolerant in that problems with a communication link between a node and the central unit do not disrupt communication for the rest of the network. However, if the central unit fails, the whole network fails. This fault tolerance depends mainly on the status of the central unit for this type of network.

The star topology lowers in performance as the number of nodes increase. The central unit in such a case, will be faced with a larger number of nodes to service and since it can only handle one request from a node at a time then there will be a longer waiting time incurred by nodes wishing to use the central unit.

 

This topology could be used to reduce the redundancy of the data stored on the network by providing a centralized data store on the central unit.

 

BUS TOPOLOGY

In this topology, each device handles its communication control. There is no host computer, however there may be a file server. All communication travel along a common connecting cable called a bus. The bus network is a common arrangement for sharing data on different

microcomputers. Diagram:

 

Network terminator

 

The bus configuration requires very little cable to connect the computers and therefore it‘s less expensive than other cabling arrangements.

 

This configuration is relatively fault tolerant as the failure of a node does not bring down the entire network. However, the failure of the connecting cable (bus) results in entire network failure.

As the number of nodes increases, the performance of the bus topology decreases. A large number of nodes would result in heavy network traffic, which would slow down a bus considerably since computers would interrupt each other and use a lot of bandwidth.

 

This topology may also be used to eliminate data redundancy on the network. In this case, a file server is used to provide a centralized shared data store. All the other nodes wishing to use the data could access the file server through the bus.

 

RING TOPOLOGY

In this topology, each device is connected to the other devices, forming a ring. There is no central file server or computer. Messages are passed around the ring until they reach their destination. This topology is commonly used to link mainframes over wide geographical areas.

 

Diagram:

A lot of cable is required for this topology and hence the cabling costs are very high.

 

This topology has low fault tolerance since failure of one component on the network can affect the whole network.

 

The larger the network, the more the time it takes for data to travel round the ring and hence the longer the wait time for a distant destination node along the ring.

 

This topology does not eliminate data redundancy since there is no central computer or file server to provide a centralized shared access to stored data.

 

Stages involved in systematic management of information systems:

  • Identification of the organization‟s assets

This involves taking an inventory of all the organization‘s information security assets e.g.

computers, data, personnel, programs, networks, etc

 

  • Determination of the risks to the assetsFor each asset a list of associated risks is produced. For instance, for computers, associated risks include:

 

  • Fire
    • Vandalism o Theft, etc

     

    • Estimating likelihood of occurrence of each risk

    The likelihood of occurrence may be generally classified as high, low or medium.

    • Computation of expected annual losses due to occurrences of the risks.
    • Surveying applicable risk controls and their costs.
    • Selection of appropriate controls

    The selection is largely determined by the cost of the control. Where the cost of the control exceeds the estimated loss due to the occurrence of the risk, the control is discarded and an

    alternative one selected.

    • Projection of annual savings due to the controls An estimate of the annual cost savings to an organization should be produced with the costs of the controls in mind and the levels of occurrence of the associated risks reduced.
    • Implementation of the risk controls This should be after management has assessed and approved the selected controls and their cost savings.
    • Review of controls to determine their effectiveness in preventing the occurrence of risks. Implementation of review findings.                         QUESTION TWO 

      What contribution does prototyping make in resolving the complexity of information

      systems development?   (8 marks)

    • ‘ Conceptual  design  sometimes  called  feasibility  design  involves showing  the  feasibility of meeting the management objectives for MIS.

      Explain the tasks involved in conceptual design.                                 (9 marks)

      What are some of the challenges faced in systems maintenance?           (3 marks)

                  (Total: 20 marks) QUESTION TWO

       

      • Prototyping/ Heuristic development

      This refers to the process of creating a system through trial and error. This approach uses faster development tools such as 4th generation languages (4GLs) that allow a user to see a high level view of the workings of the proposed system within a short period of time. The initial emphasis during development of the prototype is usually placed on the reports and screens, which are the system aspects most used, by end users.

       

      Contribution of prototyping to the resolution of complexity of information systems development:

      • Prototyping simplifies the process of systems analysis.

      Through the use of prototypes, the task of getting user requirements such as reports requirements and screen requirements is very easy as prototypes (preliminary working versions of an information system used for demonstration and evaluation) could be used to

               capture all user requirements.

      • Prototyping simplifies systems design

      In throwaway prototyping (Approach to prototyping whereby the final version of the prototype is discarded and a new system developed using a high level language), the throwaway prototype forms the basis for system designs. The systems designers only need to produce a system design that can be implemented using a high-level programming  language.

      • Prototyping guarantees acceptance testing

      The process of presenting a prototype version to the end user for evaluation is a form of acceptance testing. This process is carried out with every version of the prototype cycle. Thus, prototyping assures that the system is acceptable to the end user because it involves rigorous acceptance testing. Since the end user was involved in the implementation, then it follows that he‘ll accept the program.

       

      • Tasks involved in conceptual design:
        • Establishing the operational feasibility of a systemA system request is operationally feasible if it‘s highly likely that the system will be accepted once implemented. It‘s organizationally feasible if the potential impact of the system to the organization is not adverse. The process of establishing the operational feasibility of a system involved collection of views from users of the current system on whether the current system is liked and effectively used. Establishing the operational feasibility also 

          involves determining whether end users will be involved in planning the new system. The more the end users are involved in the earlier stages of the lesser the resistance they would pose. Establishing whether management supports the development of a new information system is another task involved in establishing the operational feasibility of a system.

           

          • Establishing the technical feasibility of a system

          A system is technically feasible if an organization has or can acquire the equipment and personnel to develop and install the system. Establishing technical feasibility involves

           resolving the following issues:  o  The ability of the organization to acquire the necessary equipment.

          • The ability of the organization to acquire the necessary technical expertise.
          • The ability of the organization to handle the projected growth of the organization forthe foreseeable future.
          • The ability of the hardware and software to supply adequate performance.

           

          • Establishing the economic feasibility of introducing or developing a new system A system request is economically feasible if the cost of developing the system plus running costs are far outweighed by the benefits of the new system. Establishing the economic feasibility of a system request involves developing a business case for each recommended course of action. A business case is a structured proposal for business process improvement that supports planning and decision making including decisions about whether to buy or develop, which vendor to choose and when to implement. Business cases are summarized by use of well known financial matrices such as net cash flow, discounted cash flow, and internal rate of returns.

           

          • Preparation of the feasibility report showing the technical, operational and economic feasibilities.

          Challenges faced in systems maintenance:

          • Poorly documented programs –These make corrective maintenance very difficult.
          • Poor user cooperation –Users who are uncooperative in identifying system errors orinefficiencies hinder corrective maintenance.
          • Lack of standards in the system being maintained. This makes it difficult to carry outadaptive, corrective and perfective maintenance.
          • Changing user needs –This results in frequent maintenance which is tedious and costly
          • Changing hardware and software. This necessitates frequent adaptive maintenance,which is tedious and costly.
          • Poor management cooperation. Lack of cooperation in the form of adequate fundingand goodwill may hinder systems maintenance.QUESTION THREE 

            One of the reasons for adopting a database as a basis f or an information system is to enhance data/program independence.

             

            Required:

            • Explain the importance of data/program independence. (4 marks)
            • Recommend suitable  security  features  that  need  to  be  instituted  in  a              database  environment  where  many  transactions  take  place  concurrently

            such as a bank.                                                                      (6 marks)

            Examine the factors  which may complicate the audit of computerised systems

            (6 marks)

             

            What implementation problems are likely to occur if proper documentation was not

            produced during program design?                                                                 (4 marks)

            (Total: 20 marks)

            ANSWERS TO QUESTION THREE

            • a) Data/ program independence This refers to the independence between data stored in files and the software programs required to update and maintain those files.

             

            Importance of data/program independence:

            It enables changes to a database to be implemented easily. For instance, in a system changes in data such as tax rates or ZIP code length do not require changes to the programs that access the data.

             

              Security features that need to be instituted:

            • Backup and recovery procedures to enable recovery from system failure.
            • Authorization- To prevent unauthorized access to data. Authorization may be throughusernames and passwords.
            • Transaction locks i.e. writhe locks and read locks. These prevent the problem of lostupdates (situation that arises when two or more programs try to update a database concurrently but the resultant update is incorrect)

            o Checkpoints and journals. A checkpoint is a ―snapshot‖ of the database before it wasupdated by a program(s). A journal holds the details of subsequent updates to a

            database. Checkpoints and journals assist in recovery from system failure.

            • Provision of different views of the database for different categories of users inorder

            tolimit access to sensitive data.

            • Encryption –Coding of data by special algorithm that renders them unreadable

            withoutdecryption. Encryption prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data.

             

            • Information systems audit

             

            This is an activity aimed at reviewing and evaluating whether proper and adequate information system controls, procedural controls, and physical facility controls have been developed and implemented. The scope of an information systems audit includes:

            • Budgeting and finance o New systems development o Applications o Operations
            • Data security and

            privacy o Recovery

             

            Factors that may complicate the audit of computerized systems:

            • Large system size

             

            A large system size implies that each scope of the audit will have many subsets of activities. This necessitates proper planning and scheduling of the activities. Therefore a large system size makes the audit long.

             

            • Absence of software to assist in the audit. This would mean that the entire audit would have to be manual. This is tedious.

             

            • Uncooperative staff (Information systems staff)

            The information systems auditor will be required to interview information systems staff concerning the use of the system i.e. the activities and procedures involved. Uncooperative staff would complicate the task of the auditor.

            • Complex organizational structure

            The MIS auditor is required to have a thorough understanding of the organizational structure before performing an audit. This is because the organizational structure largely determines information flows within the organization and thus the audit. A complex organizational structure would thus complicate the work of the auditor.

             

            • Many system interfaces

            A system interface is a point where two systems meet and share inputs and outputs. Numerous system interfaces make it difficult to trace system inputs and outputs during sample transactions.

             

            • Implementation problems:
              • Poor programs due to poor pseudocode, flowcharts, decision tables.
              • Inappropriate hardware due to poor hardware specifications.
              • Poor error handling and recovery procedures in the implemented system because of poor technical documentation.
              • Incompatible software due to poor software specifications.

QUESTION FOUR

 

  • It is envisaged that the World Wide Web (WWW) will enable institutions to take services closer to the people. Required:

 

  • As a close advisor of ABC Tutorial College you are required to explain how

WWW can make this a reality.                                                         (6 marks)

  • Suggest any  two  managerial  issues  that  are  critical  for  its  successful

implementation                                                                             (4 marks)

 

The organisation for which you work is contemplating designing a batch processing system to manage their payroll applications and a real-time system to manage their inventory applications.

QUESTION FOUR

 

  • It is envisaged that the World Wide Web (WWW) will enable institutions to take services closer to the people. Required:

 

  • As a close advisor of ABC Tutorial College you are required to explain how

WWW can make this a reality.                                                         (6 marks)

  • Suggest any  two  managerial  issues  that  are  critical  for  its  successful

implementation                                                                             (4 marks)

 

                  • The organisation for which you work is contemplating designing a batch processing system to manage their payroll applications and a real-time system to manage their inventory applications.

ANSWERS TO QUESTION FOUR

 

 World Wide Web (WWW)

 

This refers to a system with universally accepted standards for storing, formatting and displaying information in a networked environment. Information is stored as electronic

―pages‖ that contain text, graphics, animations, sound and video.

 

  • How the WWW can take services closer to people:
    1. WWW enables online teaching/instruction. A tutor of ABC College could conduct a class for many students of the college located in different geographical areas. The students simply need to log-on to ABC‘s website and access the live streaming video of the class which is being conducted at ABC‘s head quarters.

 

  • WWW can facilitate sharing of information to online users. The information could be placed in web pages and links provided between webpages to enable easy access to the information. Thus, ABC College could for instance share study packs online to registered students thus enabling distant students to easily access study resources.

 

  • WWW makes it possible for students of ABC Tutorial College to easily participate in discussion forums. A discussion group facility could be implemented in the

College‘swebsite to enable students to post their views via e-mail. Students need not travel to the College to participate in discussion forums.

 

  • WWW can enable students to sit for tests/exams at their own convenient locations through online testing. Students only need to go to the closest exam center as opposed to going allthe way to ABC‘s headquarters.

 

                    • Managerial issues critical for the successful implementation of WWW:

Proper planning of resources e.g. funds, hardware, and software required, personnel required, etc

  • Adequate control mechanisms have to be put in place to ensure security of the system.
  • Training of staff to ensure they are competent with the system.
  • Education of staff on the importance of WWW so as to reduce potential resistance to the introduction of WWW into an organization.
  • Reengineering of business procedures to accommodate WWW where possible in order to ensure maximum utilization.

 

  • b) Batch processing system This refers to a system where data is collected together over some interval of time and then processed together as a batch

 

Real-time system

 

This refers to a computer system capable of processing data so quickly that the results are available to influence the activity currently taking place.

 

Suitable file designs:

 

For the batch-processing system, I would recommend a database system of files with sequential organization (records are arranged according to the value of a certain field e.g. records may be arranged according to employee number in the employees file). The payroll program requires data from different files (e.g. personnel, accounts, etc) to generate a payroll. An integrated file approach/database system would thus enable the payroll application(s) to access many different files without problems of data redundancy.

 

For the inventory applications, I would recommend application specific files (Files (on any media) in which records are grouped according to a common purpose or dedicated to a single application.) Inventory applications such as stock inventory systems require only specific types of data e.g. stock Id, description, stock quantity, price, etc, which can be organized and

maintained in a specific file e.g. a stock file or a stock inventory application. With an application specific system, file security is maintained since the files are read from and updated by specific programs, to which access is limited, usually by a password, the programs used to access the files being in a user account or accessible area.

 

  • Differentiation

 

This is the integrations of a system into sub-systems.

 Entropy

This refers to the tendency towards disorder (chaos) in a system. The more closed a system is, the greater the entropy.

QUESTION FIVE

 

  • State any four components of an information system that you would propose for an

accounting system of an organization                                                                  (4 marks)

  • Explain the application of Internet in the following areas:
    • (4 marks)
    • (4 marks)
  • Propose the type of information system you would recommend for the following applications:
    • Maintenance of general ledger (1mark)
    • Formulation of competitive market strategies (1 mark)
    • Financial sensitivity or risk analysis. (1mark)
    • Ticket reservations. (1mark)

 

  • Identify the major factors that influence the structure of an information system.

(4 marks)

(Total: 20 marks) 

ANSWERS TO QUESTION FIVE

 

  • Components of an accounting system:

 

  • People component.

The people needed in the accounting system include accountants, managers, database  administrators, systems analysts, etc  2. Computer hardware.

These include computer monitors, hard disks, magnetic tape, processors, printers, etc

  • Computer software

 

Examples include operating systems, word processors, accounting packages,  communication software, etc

  • Telecommunication system/communication network
  • Databases to store all the data operated upon by software.
  • Procedures

 

The formal operating procedures exist in physical forms as manuals or instruction booklets. Three major types of procedures that must be present are:

 

  • User instructions – for application users to record data, to use a terminal for data entry or retrieval, or use the result
  • Instructions for preparation of input by data preparation personnel oOperating instructions for computer operations personnel
  • (i) Application of the internet to healthcare:

 

  • Advertising of drugs on websites
  • Online purchase of common drugs e.g. cough medicine, aspirin,etc

 

  • Doctor-patient communication e.g. a doctor could use e-mail or chat services to communicate with a patient to check on the effect of a prescribed medication has thus

eliminating the need for the patient to travel all the way to the clinic.

  • Circulation of regarding epidemics to enable people to be cautious about preventive

Application of the Internet to banking:

Online banking

This refers to a computerized banking system that enables customers to do most of their banking transactions via home computers linked to proprietary networks or the internet. Online banking has enabled customers to perform balance enquiries online and even cash/cheque deposits. For cash/cheque deposits, the cash/cheque is mailed using a safe

courier service.

  •  Transaction processing systems. Maintenance of a generational ledger is a procedure at the operational level of the organization. It‘s routine and thus it‘s best handled by a transaction processing system which is designed to carry out routine, repetitive procedures.

 

 

Past Papers

 

 

  • An expert system. Formulation of market strategies is a task carried out at the strategic level of an organization. It‘s an unstructured process, which is non-routine in nature. Expert systems

would address this task since they are designed to handle unstructured decision-making.

  • A decision support system. Financial sensitivity or risk analysis may be considered as a semi-structured task since certain steps must be followed and at the same time each step may be open to a flexible approach.

 

Transaction processing system. Making ticket reservations is a routine, repetitive procedure at the operational level of a ticket reservation company. It‘s best handled by a transaction processing system since transaction processing systems are designed to carry out routine, repetitive tasks.

 

Factors that influence the structure of an information system:

 

The nature of an organization

This would influence the standard operating procedures and tasks of a system.

Changes in Information technology

These changes influence the hardware and software since an organization will be forced to upgrade to keep up with such changes. They include changes in the version of an operating system e.g. from Windows 95 which has limited networking and security capabilities to Windows 98 which has advanced networking and security capabilities. Changes in hardware may be due to the introduction of faster microprocessors e.g. the Intel Pentium IV 2.6 GHz microprocessor which will force organization‘s running real time applications to upgrade in order to improve on response times.

 

Environmental factors such as         legislation,       business           market         

Legislationinfluences the standard operating procedures of a system by specifying the dos and don‘ts e.g. the Company law in Kenya lays a frame work for the operation of companies. Market conditions may dictate the system outputs e.g. Competition may force a business to design the system to produce periodic reports that enable the progress of the

           organization to be gauged.             

 The people in the system

The staff that works with an information system may influence the information that is contained in a system. For example, knowledge workers such as doctors and engineers may influence the content of the systems they handle since they are supposed to contribute to the information contained in the systems.

QUESTION SIX

 

  • The company for which you work is currently facing financial crisis. The financial controller has proposed that the company should seek for alternative sources of software. One of the options available is that of freeware from the Internet and magazine vendors. As the organisation’s information technology manager, advise on the implications of adopting

this proposal. (6 marks)

  • Briefly explain the following programming objectives:

Utility.  (2marks)

Reliability.     (2marks

Maintainability.     (2 marks)

Efficiency.   (2 marks)

Security.   (2 marks)

List any four application packages you would recommend for administrative work in an

office                                                                                                            (4 marks)

`                    (Total: 20 marks) 

ANSWERS TO QUESTION SIX

 

  • Freeware  This refers to freely available software which can be acquired from the sources listed i.e. the Internet, magazine vendors, etc

 

Implications of using freeware:

 

  • Cost savings –Because the software is free
  • Compromised software quality

 

Almost all freeware is offered only for the purpose of evaluation. This contains many uncovered errors by adopting such freeware an organization compromises in the quality of its systems.

 

  • No systems maintenance offered by the software creators or distributors. Since freeware is free, the creators or distributors have no obligation to provide maintenance. The organization acquiring freeware would thus have to perform its own maintenance. This may be costly.
  • Compromised system quality

 

 

Freeware is usually an avenue for the propagation of viruses thus it compromises system              security.

  • Poor software documentation

 

Freeware is not issued with hardcopy documentation. The softcopy documentation available with freeware is usually sketchy or incomplete.

 

(i) Utility

This refers to the ability of a program to satisfy the needs of the user.

Reliability

This refers to the extent to which a program can be expected to perform its intended function with required precision. A reliable program is therefore one that constantly performs

its functions correctly.

Maintainability

This refers to the effort required to locate and fix an error in an operational program. A              maintainable program is thus one in which it‘s easy to locate errors and fix the errors.

Efficiency

This is a measure of the amount of computing resources required by a program to perform              a function.

Security

This refers to the ability of a program to guarantee security of the data it handles e.g. to be able to prevent unauthorized access.

c) Application packages:

 

Word processors e.g. MS Word

Communication software e.g. MS Outlook

Database management software e.g. MS Access

Spreadsheets e.g. MS Excel 5. Presentation software e.g. MS PowerPoint.

QUESTION SEVEN

  • Examine four reasons that may make an organisation outsource some of its non-core

information technology activities or services.                                                  (8 marks)

  • Why is it essential to make periodic reviews of information systems projects

(6 marks)

In  conducting  a  cost-benefit  analysis,  state  any  three  cost  items  and  any  three

intangible benefits  you would Consider                                                        (6 marks)

(Total: 20 marks)

ANSWERS TO QUESTION SEVEN

 

  • a) Outsourcing

 

This refers to the process of contracting computer center operations, telecommunications networks, or applications development to external vendors.

 

Reasons for outsourcing:

  • Cost Effective

Outsourcing if well initiated and managed could be more cost effective than maintaining an  organization‘s computer center or information systems staff.

  • Outsourcing enables a company with fluctuating needs for computer processing to pay for only what it uses rather than build its own computer center, which would be underutilized

when there is no peak load.

  • Outsourcing enables an organization to free up scarce and costly talent for activities with higher payback.
  • Outsourcing frees an organization‘s information systems staff of the task of keeping up with technological change or innovative practices. This thus eliminates associated training costs.
  • Outsourcing enables an organization with minimal/no human resources (IS staff) to perform systems development since it contracts the process of development to external vendors.
  • Outsourcing may mean getting quality, since the vendors outsourced to are usually specified in their field and thus they have the necessary expertise required to produce quality systems. b) Importance of periodic reviews of information systems projects:

 

To ensure that information systems are being developed according to laid out standards, which guarantee quality.

  • To inspect the work of inexperienced staff.
  • To ensure that systems development is according to the project plan in terms of time spent at each stage, costs, manpower, etc
  • To evaluate the possibility of involving new methods and techniques so as to enhance systems quality.
  • Periodic reviews enable project staff to identify and correct errors early in systems
  • To identify problems encountered during development e.g. inadequate funds, inadequate manpower, etc
  • c) Cost-benefit analysis

 

This refers to a phase in the project selection process whereby the economic performance to a proposed system project is evaluated in terms of the probable costs and benefits.

 

Cost items considered during a cost-benefit analysis:

 

  • Hardware costs. o Telecommunication costs.
  • Software costs.
  • Service costs e.g. training of users, maintenance o Personnel costs.

 

Intangible benefits

 

These are benefits that cannot be quantified. Intangible benefits that may be considered during const-benefit analysis:

 

  • Improved asset utilization.
  • Improved resource control.        iii Improved organizational planning.
  • Increased organizational flexibility.
  • More timely information. vi Increased organizational flexibility. vii More timely information.

 viii Increased organizational learning. ix Legal requirements attained.  x Enhanced employee goodwill. xi Increased job satisfaction.  xii Improved decision-making. xiii Improved operation.  xiv High client satisfaction.

xv Better corporate image.

QUESTION EIGHT

 

Your organisation is considering computerising its range of activities but due to shortage of systems development staff, only a few of the proposed systems can be approved for

development.

 

  • Give four possible courses of action that may be taken to overcome the shortage of staff       and thus allow full implementation of the system (8 marks)
  • Suggest three  types  of  decisions  that  electronic  point  of  sale  system  can  support

indicating sales information required to support each decision. (6 marks) (c)  Outline  three  functionalities  or  tools  that an  automated software         development  tool requires.         (6 marks)   (Total 20: marks) 

  • ANSWERS TO QUESTION EIGHT
  •  Measures that may be taken to overcome shortage of staff:
  • Outsourcing
  •  
  • The organization could outsource systems development to an external vendor who will thus provide the systems development staff to overcome the shortage.Hiring of more staff
  •  
  • Systems development staff e.g. programmers and a system analyst could be hired to  overcome the shortage of expertise thus making all development options open.Contracting the services of freelance programmers
  •  
  • Their services could be used for the duration of the project and then terminated at the end of the project.
  • Training of organizational staff
  •  

Staff in other organizational departments e.g. accounts, sales, human resources, etc could be trained to perform certain roles in systems development and thus overcome the shortage of staff required to perform those roles. For instance, the staff could be trained on how to test

            the system and also how to carry out basic systems maintenance.

Electronic point of sale system

 

This is basically an electronic cash register that is linked to a computer, or that records data onto cassette or cartridge. In its simplest form, the electronic point of sale system may simply transmit details of a transaction to the computer for processing. The more complex terminals can communicate with the computer for such purposes as checking the credit position of a customer, obtaining prices from file and ascertaining availability of stock.

 

Types of decisions supported:

 

  • Granting or denying purchase of goods by a customer.
  • Reordering of stock when levels are low. 3. Awarding discounts on purchases.

 

 

Information required to support decisions:

 

  • A customer‘s outstanding balance may determine whether the customer is denied or granted purchase.
  • Stock levels will determine the reordering of stock.
  • To award a discount on a purchase, the gross value of the sale and the discount rate are required in addition to the minimum value of sales that qualifies for a discount. c)  Automated software development tool (CASE tool)

This refers to a tool that computerizes the step-by step methodologies for software and systems  development to reduce the amount of repetitive work the software needs to do.Functionalities or tools required by an automated software development tool:

 

Automated graphics facilities for producing charts and diagrams. These could come inhandy when diagramming various aspects of the system during documentation.

Screen and report generators, which aid the user to produce quality reports, and

Data dictionaries- these describe in detail the components of graphical models (Data flowdiagrams, Entity relationship diagrams, Flow charts, etc).

Extensive reporting facilities for report production.

  • Analysis and checking tools- useful for organizing and documenting systemsrequirements that are obtained from the analysis phase. Checking tools enable the

         developer to ensure development standards are adhered to.

Code generators to produce program code. 7. Documentation generators to produce systems documentation.

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