1. (a) Identify the main components of an information

1.      (a) Identify the main components of an
information system. What is a mission-critical system?

 The
main components of an Information System are hardware, software, people and
data.

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Examples
of Information System: ATM, Online Reservation System.

A mission-critical system is one that is
vital to a company’s operations. An order processing system, for example, is
mission-critical because the company cannot do business without it.

 

(b) Compare enterprise computing systems to
transaction processing systems with example.

 

Enterprise computing

Transaction processing (TP)
systems

Enterprise
computing systems refers to information systems
that support
company-wide
operations and data management requirements.

Transaction
processing (TP) systems process
data generated by day-to-day business operations. TP systems perform a series
of tasks whenever a specific transaction occurs.
 

The main objective of enterprise
computing is to integrate a company’s primary functions (such as production,
sales, services, inventory control, and accounting) to improve efficiency,
reduce costs, and help managers make key decisions.

TP systems typically involve
large amounts of data and are mission-critical systems because the enterprise
cannot function without them.

In many large companies,
applications called enterprise
resource planning (ERP)
systems provide cost-effective
support for users and managers throughout the company.
 

TP systems are efficient because
they process a set of transaction-related commands as a group rather than
individually,

Enterprise computing also
improves data
security and reliability by
imposing a company-wide framework for data access and storage.

To protect data integrity,
however, TP systems ensure that
if any single element of a transaction fails, the system does not process the
rest of the transaction.

 

 

 

 

 

2.      (a) Briefly explain the difference between various
Systems Development Methods.

The
various systems development methods are structured analysis, object oriented
analysis, agile methods.

 

Structured Analysis

Object Oriented
Analysis

Agile Methods

Description

Represents the
system in terms of data and the processes that act upon that data. System
development is organised into phases, with deliverable milestones to measure
progress. The waterfall model typically consists of five phases:
requirements, design, construction, testing, and maintenance & evolution.
Iteration is possible among the phases.

Views the system in terms
of objects that combine
data and processes. The
objects represent actual
people, things, transactions, and
events. Compared to
structural analysis, O-O
phases tend to be more
interactive. Can use the
waterfall model or a model that
stresses greater iteration.

Stresses intense team-based effort.
Breaks development into cycles, or iterations,
that add functionality. Each cycle
is designed, built, and tested in an ongoing process.
Attempts to reduce major risks by
incremental steps in
short time
intervals.

Modelling Tools

Data flow diagrams (DFDs) and
process descriptions. Also, business process modelling.

Various object-oriented
diagrams depict system
actors, methods, and
messages. Also, business process
modelling.

Tools that enhance
communication, such as
collaborative software,
brainstorming, and
whiteboards. Business
process modelling works well with
agile methods.

Pros

Traditional method that has been
very popular over time. Relies heavily on written
documentation. Frequent phase
iteration can provide flexibility
comparable to other methods. Well-suited
to traditional project management tools and
techniques.

Integrates easily with
object-oriented
programming languages. Code is
modular and reusable, which can reduce
cost and development time. Easy
to maintain and expand because new objects can be created using inherited
properties.

Very flexible and efficient in
dealing with change. Stresses team
interaction and reflects
a set of community-based values.
Frequent deliverables constantly validate the project and reduce risk.

Cons

Changes can be costly,
especially in later phases. Requirements
are defined early,
and can change during
development. Users might not be
able to describe their needs
until they can see examples of
features and
functions.

Somewhat newer method
might be less familiar to development
team
members. Interaction of
objects and classes can be
complex in larger
systems.

Team members need a high
level of technical and
communications skills. Lack
of structure and
documentation can
introduce risk factors.
Overall project might be
subject to scope change as
user requirements
change.

Examples

Waterfall Model

 

Spiral Model

 

(b) Describe how CASE is used to support each
phase of the SDLC.

Computer-aided systems engineering (CASE), also called computer-aided
software engineering, is a technique that uses powerful software, called
CASE tool, to help systems
analysts develop and maintain information systems.

CASE
tools provide an overall framework for systems development and support a wide
variety of design methodologies, including structured analysis and
object-oriented analysis.

Functions
of a CASE Tool

Analysis
CASE analysis tools automatically check for incomplete, inconsistent, or
in correct specifications in diagrams, forms and reports.Design
This is where the technical blueprint of the system is created by
designing the technical architecture – choosing amongst the architectural
designs of telecommunications, hardware and software that will best suit
the organization’s system and future needs. Also designing the systems
model – graphically creating a model from graphical user interface, screen
design, and databases, to placement of objects on screenCode generation
CASE Tool has code generators which enable the automatic generation of
program and data base definition code directly from the documents,
diagrams, forms, and reports.Documentation
CASE Tool has documentation generators to produce technical and user
documentation in standard forms. Each phase of the SDLC produces
documentation. The types of documentation that flow from one face to the
next vary depending upon the organization, methodologies employed and type
of system being built.

How the
Organization uses CASE tools:

Here are the ways where the CASE tools are used:

To facilitate single design
methodology:

CASE tools help the organization to standardize the development process.
It also facilitates coordinated development. Integration becomes easy as
common methodology is adopted.
  Rapid Application Development:

To improve the speed and quality of system development organizations use
CASE tools.
  Testing:

CASE tools help in improving the testing process through automated
checking and simplified program maintenance.
  Documentation:

In a traditional software development process, the quality of
documentation at various stages depends on the individual. At various
stages of SDLC CASE tools improve the quality and uniformity of
documentation. It also ensures the completeness of the documentation.
  Project Management:

It improves project management activity and to some extent automates
various activities involved in project management.
  Reduce
the maintenance cost:

Use
of CASE tools makes the software easy to maintain and hence reduce the
maintenance costs.

7. 
Increase Productivity: 

       Automation of various activities of
system development and management processes increases       productivity
of the development team.

 

3.      What is a SWOT analysis? Prepare a SWOT analysis of
your school or your employer.

The
letters SWOT stand for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A

SWOT analysis can
focus on a specific product or project, an operating division, the

entire company, or the
mission statement itself. The overall aim is to avoid seeking

goals that are unrealistic,
unprofitable, or unachievable. A SWOT analysis examines a firm’s

technical, human, and financial resources.

 

Below is the SWOT analysis of my
college

 

Strength

Weakness

Knowledgeable instructors,
Quality Programs, Reasonable fees, Availability of online study materials,
Online Portal, Free Wi-Fi

Remote Location, Limited
Public Transportation,
Expensive car parking,
Strict rules for submitting assignments, Compulsory attendance

Opportunities

Threats

Co-op opportunities,
Placement in MNCs, Multi-cultural environment, Interactive classes, Well
funded Student Unions

Failing students,
Decline in funding for
higher education,
Unpredictable weather
makes commute difficult

 

4.      What is a fishbone diagram, and why would you use
one? Think of a problem you have experienced at school or work, and draw a
sample fishbone diagram with at least two levels.

 

A
fishbone diagram is an analysis tool that represents the possible causes of a
problem as a graphical outline. In many cases, the systems request does not
reveal the underlying problem, but only a symptom. For example, a request to
investigate centralized processing delays might

reveal
improper scheduling practices rather than hardware problems.  In such cases a fishbone diagram used for investigating
causes and effects. When using a fishbone diagram, an analyst first states the
problem and draws a main bone with sub-bones that represent possible causes of
the problem.

Sample fishbone
diagram of a problem that I experienced at work.