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Introduction to Information Systems Analysis Foundations and Building Blocks

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Title: Introduction to Information Systems Analysis Foundations and Building Blocks


1
Introduction to Information Systems
Analysis Foundations and Building Blocks
  • INFO 503
  • Glenn Booker

2
Syllabus
  • This class focuses on understanding the ways in
    which the concept for a product can be turned
    into requirements and a design
  • Best to reach me by e-mail phone if urgent
  • Will cover most of textbook will not cover
    object-oriented methods since thats a very
    different approach (see INFO 620)
  • Yes, the text is quite repetitive

3
Syllabus
  • All course materials are on my web
    site http//users.snip.net/gbooker/
  • Be sure to read the General Course Information
    and Document Review Notes (http//users.snip.net/
    gbooker/general.htm) and (http//users.snip.net/g
    booker/doc-review.doc)

4
Why So Many Military Sources?
  • They have vast experience with the development
    and acquisition of complex software and systems
  • Which was paid for with tax dollars, so
  • Many of their lessons learned are freely
    available!
  • (Under References, look for SEI, INCOSE, and
    STSC.)

5
My Biases
  • DOD and FAA background, so I apologize for the
    TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms)
  • Speak up if I use one you dont know
  • Use a Systems Engineering approach information
    systems are a special case
  • Mostly work with long-lived systems, so
    maintenance issues get extra attention

6
Soundstage Entertainment Club
  • is a case study which is followed throughout the
    textbook
  • It will not generally be discussed in class
  • FAST Framework for the Application of System
    Techniques, (p. 80) is a term for the system
    analysis and design approach used by the text it
    is a condensed version of a typical systems
    development method

7
Information Systems
  • Information systems are systems which use
    computer, database and/or data processing
    technology to store and analyze data
  • A systems analyst supports development and
    maintenance of some system
  • Development consists of several types of
    activities, including analysis and design of the
    system

8
Information System Applications
  • Information system applications include
  • Transaction processing systems (TPS) to handle
    orders, payments, reservations, or other
    transactions
  • Management and executive information systems (MIS
    EIS) produce reports to help run the business
  • Decision support systems (DSS) help make
    decisions or refine business rules

9
Stakeholders
  • Stakeholders are the people who affect the
    development and creation of your system
  • Note that a given person could fulfill many
    stakeholder roles, or they may be so far
    separated that they never meet!

10
Types of Stakeholders
  • General types of stakeholders include
  • System Owners
  • System Users
  • System Designers
  • System Builders
  • System Analysts
  • Each of these may include many more specific roles

11
System Owners
  • The System Owner (a.k.a. sponsor) provides the
    money for a system to be developed
  • They generally make the final decisions about the
    scope and future of the system
  • Often technically ill informed

12
System Users
  • The System User (a.k.a. end user) is the person
    who actually uses the product or system on a
    day-to-day basis to do their job
  • Users may be internal (within your organization)
    or external (outside)
  • Include support professional staff, managers,
    customers, suppliers, and remote users

13
System Users
  • Often the User (client or customer) is the person
    who controls the detailed requirements for a
    system
  • Warning The text often assumes the System User
    knows a lot about the detailed data requirements
    - may or may not be true
  • If not, the System Designer must fill in

14
System Designers
  • System designers are the people who design the
    system (duh!)
  • Often includes many technical specialties, such
    as database administrators, network designers,
    web architects, graphic artists, security
    experts, and experts in your business environment
    (a.k.a. Subject Matter Experts)

15
System Builders
  • System Builders are the people who create the
    system designed by the Designers
  • Includes the most technically specific experts,
    such as application, systems, and database
    programmers, network and security
    administrators, and system integrators

16
System Analysts
  • Main role is problem solving to fix an existing
    system or create a new one
  • Uses the system development life cycle to manage
    and control the solution of problems
  • Helps bridge the gaps among the other
    stakeholders who affect creation of a system

17
System Development Life Cycle
  • The System Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a
    structured series of activities used to produce a
    system which is ready for operational or
    production use
  • Development is followed by the support or
    maintenance phase, which is hopefully the longest
    phase of the systems life

18
System Development Life Cycle
  • Any development life cycle generally includes
    five major activities
  • Initiation - to establish the scope of the
    problem, and develop the strategy and goals for
    solving the problem
  • Analysis - to determine the problems causes and
    effects, and determine what requirements are
    needed

p. 37 (p. 10) 6th and (4th) edition
19
System Development Life Cycle
  • Design - the architecture and structure which the
    solution should have to solve the problem the
    best way
  • Implementation - create the solution, using
    software tools, source code, hardware, etc.
  • Support and Improvement - find and fix existing
    problems in the operational system, and add new
    features

20
Software Life Cycle
  • The system development life cycle is similar to
    the classic Waterfall software development life
    cycle
  • Life cycle phases are concept development,
    requirements analysis, high and low level design,
    coding, testing, and implementation
  • This course mostly covers requirements analysis,
    high- and low-level design

21
Sequential versus Iterative
  • System development can be done in one pass
    through the life cycle (like the waterfall), or
    an iterative approach can be used
  • An iterative life cycle defines requirements and
    high level design, then does design and implement
    many times, adding more and more to the system
    each time

p. 41 (n/a)
22
Information Systems Architecture
  • Contains three goal-oriented perspectives
  • Knowledge improve the Data which is stored or
    manipulated by the system
  • Processes improve how people use the system
  • Communications, which improve the Interfaces with
    people or other systems, and the effects of
    Geography on data distribution

23
Information Systems Architecture
  • These three goals are met by the Builders of the
    system with three technologies
  • Database technologies to manage the data
  • Software technologies to implement the processes
  • Interface technologies to support communications

24
Information Services
  • Information services may be located in a
    centralized organization used throughout a
    company, or it may be decentralized to support
    unique needs of each group within an organization
  • Services may be outsourced - obtained from a
    third party, or obtained from consultants for
    each project which needs them

25
Information Services
  • In extreme cases, a software solution provider
    may be used to support a massive software
    implementation (e.g. Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft,
    etc.)
  • Online services may provide business-to-business
    (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) sales, or may
    provide product marketing (advertising)

26
Business Process Redesign
  • Business Process Redesign (BPR) is the deliberate
    examination of business activities (processes) to
    reduce costs and make sure every step adds value
    to the product, whenever possible
  • Tends to produce radical changes in an
    organization

27
Continuous Process Improvement
  • Focuses on making lots of small or incremental
    changes to business processes in order to keep
    improving quality, productivity, etc.
  • Goal is to keep improving process maturity and
    product quality forever

28
Process Maturity Models
  • Quality standards and goals are often embodied in
    process maturity standards, to guide
    organizations process improvement efforts
  • The primary software standard is the Software
    Engineering Institutes (SEIs) Capability
    Maturity Model Integration (CMMI)

29
ISO 9000
  • The ISO 9000 standards define a quality system
    which affects most aspects of a business
  • Focused on manufacturing environment, but also
    applies to software development
  • Need ISO 9000 certification for doing business
    with the European Union

30
Globalization
  • The Internet has brought global markets even
    closer together
  • This affects system requirements such as
  • Language translation
  • Character sets to express those languages
  • Currency exchange (got Euro?)
  • Environmental aspects such as time zones
  • Available labor markets

31
Technology Influences
  • Other technology trends have influenced
    information systems recently
  • Placement of seemingly everything on a web page
    (and the expectation that information system
    interfaces will be web-based)
  • Emergence of e-commerce and e-business
  • Security and privacy concerns
  • Freedom through wireless networking

32
Refine Stakeholder Perspectives
  • System Owners determine the scope of the system
    including its purpose, vision, goals, objectives,
    costs, and benefits
  • May be technologically illiterate
  • Generally think in terms of development time and
    money (both development and maintenance costs),
    and how they are offset by the benefits of the
    system

33
Refine Stakeholder Perspectives
  • System Users help determine its requirements
    they only care what it does, not how it can do so
    (as a system user, do you care how a light switch
    works?)
  • Help define products and processes for data
    input, validation, storage, and reporting
  • Concerned about system interface and ease of use

34
Refine Stakeholder Perspectives
  • System Designers determine how the system will
    meet the requirements, including the types of
    technology to be used, and its high and low level
    structure
  • Tend to specialize their expertise database,
    software engineering, system integration,
    networking, process improvement, etc.

35
Refine Stakeholder Perspectives
  • System Builders create the system by writing
    code, testing it, and delivering the finished
    product
  • This type of activity is not covered by this
    course, and includes network design, programming,
    etc.
  • Changes most quickly with technology

36
Building Blocks
p. 64 (49)
  • Now that the stakeholders have been defined, we
    look at their relationships to the building
    blocks of the system
  • Knowledge (Data)
  • Process
  • Communications (Interface and Geography)

37
Building Blocks
  • The Geography aspect is downplayed in version 6
    of the text
  • Think of the Geography aspect as the effect of
    the physical scale of the system (e.g. time
    zones, internationalization) and networking among
    parts of a distributed system (how much data do I
    need to send from site A to site B every day?)

38
Knowledge Building Blocks
  • The System Owners only care about data in the
    broadest form of information
  • Owners want to know the state of business
    resources, such as money, inventory, sales,
    facilities, etc.
  • Owners express their concerns in simple
    statements about their business model, such as
    CUSTOMERS are in SALES REGIONS

39
Knowledge Building Blocks
  • System Users want to know how to use the system
    to perform routine functions, such as placing an
    order or generating an inventory report
  • They may know a lot about the data requirements
    in terms of relationships, including how a legacy
    system was used and could be improved upon

40
Knowledge Building Blocks
  • System Designers translate requirements into the
    files and tables which will be used to capture
    and manipulate them
  • This is expressed as a database schema, which may
    be limited by the type of database tool used
    (Access, Oracle, DB2, etc.)

41
Knowledge Building Blocks
  • System Builders write the gory details which make
    it all happen in some sort of language (SQL,
    COBOL, Ada, C-, Visual Basic, etc.)
  • Primitive systems had to use flat file
    technology, such as ISAM or FileMaker Pro,
    similar to using a spreadsheet

42
Process Building Blocks
  • System Owners are interested in business
    functions
  • Most information systems are function-based, such
    as finance, personnel, sales, etc.
  • Recent trends are to blend these systems into one
    really big system, like ERP (Enterprise Resource
    Planning)

43
Process Building Blocks
  • System Users care about their business processes
    from the most practical perspective when I get
    an order over the phone, I click on the Enter
    Invoice button and fill in the customer
    information
  • These processes are defined in policies,
    processes, and procedures, which are often
    defined by higher levels of management

44
Process Building Blocks
  • System Designers take the business processes, and
    show how they will be implemented and automated
  • This results in application schema, which shows
    how the entire system will work via flowcharts,
    state diagrams, and/or structure charts

45
Process Building Blocks
  • System Builders write applications which
    implement the processes
  • Applications result from writing source code,
    compiling it to produce object files, and
    linking the object files to produce an executable
    application
  • Prototyping may be used to generate a quick model
    of the desired application

46
Communications Building Blocks
  • System Owners are concerned about large scale
    interfaces
  • How does this system relate to other systems in
    this organization?
  • How does the customer relate to this system?
  • How does it relate to external systems?
  • What are the systems inputs and outputs?
  • Are there any legal or regulatory concerns?

47
Communications Building Blocks
  • System Users are very concerned about the
    interface to themselves! (A.k.a. the
    human-computer interface or HCI)
  • Use of a graphical user interface (GUI) is
    expected
  • User interface should follow common standards for
    look and feel

48
Communications Building Blocks
  • System Designers must bridge the gap between the
    user interfaces and the system-level interfaces
  • They plan how the user will be able to navigate
    in the application
  • And keep track of whats currently possible
    through state transition diagrams (e.g. typing
    f versus Altf)

49
Communications Building Blocks
  • System Builders create the user interfaces,
    possibly using a graphical development tool like
    Visual Basic or PowerBuilder
  • Middleware, such as ODBC (Open Database
    Connectivity), is often used for system-level
    interfaces, such as communicating between
    database programs

50
Geography Building Blocks
  • System Owners often think in terms of operating
    locations
  • Where is it most effective to operate this
    system? Labor rates, tax laws, and customs may
    affect the answer.
  • How distributed will this system be?
  • How will sites be affected by this system?

51
Geography Building Blocks
  • System Users tend to know a lot about the system
    requirements for their location or organization
  • Be sure to get input from all kinds of System
    Users!
  • Communication requirements may come from
    geographic considerations

52
Geography Building Blocks
  • System Designers need to define the network
    configuration (topology) which will best serve
    this system
  • Also need to consider how the processing work is
    divided geographically, and how the inputs and
    outputs will get to those locations (kind of like
    traffic flow)

53
Geography Building Blocks
  • System Builders implement the means for
    communication across the network
  • May use various protocols to express information
    from each network (TCP/IP, IPX, etc.)
  • May need to consider how the system responds when
    part of it is not available
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