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L AB 1 I NTRODUCTION TO I NFORMATION S YSTEM C ONCEPTS WHAT IS AN INFORMATION SYSTEM? In working with this lab manual we will learn about information systems, how they work, how they are designed, and tools for constructing and using them. What is an information system? One definition is a system is a collection of hardware , software , data , people and procedures that work together to provide information to a person on an organization. What does that definition tell us? First of all, an information system is a collection of components. That means that the individual components of the system all work together for a common purpose. In the case of an information system, the purpose is to provide information. The organization uses that information to operate the organization, manage the organization, and evaluate opportunities for the organization. Our definition tells us that an information system is composed of hardware, software, data, people and procedures. These components can be better understood with the help of an example. Perhaps you have used a customer-operated checkout station at a store. The hardware often consists of a barcode scanner, a touch-screen monitor, some kind of sound output, a receipt printer, a money-handling device to accept payment and dispense change, and a credit card scanner. The software is what the customer interacts with, telling the customer what buttons to press, when to scan, and how much to pay. The data includes the barcodes that are scanned, the prices that are associated with each barcode, the amount of money paid, etc. The people are the customers that use the system and the employees who serve in support roles. The procedures include built-in rules for figuring sales tax or handling credit card approvals. Procedures also include manual procedures such as having employees manually check credit card signatures. Information systems come in all sizes and all shapes. Later in this chapter we will examine an information system that runs entirely on a single PC in Microsoft Access. Many other information systems run on the Internet using sophisticated web programming, multiple web and database servers, remote communication lines, and higher-end databases, such as Oracle, IBM DB2, or SQL Server. Other information systems run on large mainframe computers with users connecting through terminals. Other information systems run on corporate networks, splitting the processing load between server computers and user PCs. Though these information systems are very different, they all have hardware, software, data, people, and procedures working CNIT 180: Lab1 – Introduction to Information Systems Concepts Page 1
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together. That is why we can learn a lot by looking at a simple information system put together entirely in Microsoft Access.
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course CNIT 180 taught by Professor Victorbarlow during the Spring '12 term at Purdue.

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