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Introduction to Information Systems Analysis Foundations and Building Blocks


Soundstage Entertainment Club a case study which is followed throughout the textbook ... Knowledge improve the Data which is stored or manipulated by the system ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Information Systems Analysis Foundations and Building Blocks

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

  • 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

  • All course materials are on my web
    site http//
  • Be sure to read the General Course Information
    and Document Review Notes (http//
    gbooker/general.htm) and (http//

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
  • (Under References, look for SEI, INCOSE, and

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

Soundstage Entertainment Club
  • is a case study which is followed throughout the
  • 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

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

Information System Applications
  • Information system applications include
  • Transaction processing systems (TPS) to handle
    orders, payments, reservations, or other
  • 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

  • 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!

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

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

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

System Users
  • Often the User (client or customer) is the person
    who controls the detailed requirements for a
  • 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

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)

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

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

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

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

p. 37 (p. 10) 6th and (4th) edition
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

Software Life Cycle
  • The system development life cycle is similar to
    the classic Waterfall software development life
  • 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

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)
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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

  • 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

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

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

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
  • Help define products and processes for data
    input, validation, storage, and reporting
  • Concerned about system interface and ease of use

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
  • Tend to specialize their expertise database,
    software engineering, system integration,
    networking, process improvement, etc.

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

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)

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?)

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

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

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.)

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

Process Building Blocks
  • System Owners are interested in business
  • 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

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
  • These processes are defined in policies,
    processes, and procedures, which are often
    defined by higher levels of management

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

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
  • Prototyping may be used to generate a quick model
    of the desired application

Communications Building Blocks
  • System Owners are concerned about large scale
  • 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?

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
  • User interface should follow common standards for
    look and feel

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)

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

Geography Building Blocks
  • System Owners often think in terms of operating
  • 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?

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
  • Communication requirements may come from
    geographic considerations

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)

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