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Information systems analysis

 Define the problem


• terms of reference
• goals and boundaries
• understand user requirements
 System analysis: detailed appraisal of the existing system
• how to describe a complex system
• iterative refinement
• data flow diagrams
 System design: produce a design for the new system
• which parts to automate, which remain manual?
• off-the-shelf software components?
• design databases and program modules
 System construction
• development
Expect trouble: computer
• implementation systems are the most
• testing complex artifacts ever
built!
 Maintenance
• post-implementation review
• bug fixing
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• new/altered requirements

Objectives
Different design cycles
Dataflow diagrams
Structure charts System analysis and design

Perform a case study …  Identify agents and their operations


• types of people
• types of operations

 Identify agent/operation relationships


• who does what with whom/what?

 Identify data requirements


• what information is involved?
• what fields does the database require?
• what types are the fields?
• what formats should be used?
• general formats of database files 103-5

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Top-down vs. evolutionary design

Top-down design e.g. accounts system


 systems with well-defined objectives
 well-understood implementation techniques
 limited human-computer interaction

Evolutionary design e.g. research


 experimental systems
 new techniques need to be developed
 involve significant human-computer interaction

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Linear system design cycle


project user
definition requirements
terms of reference:
 project goal
feasibility  project bounds verify
study  resource limits
conceptual solution
expected costs and validation
benefits Validation: Checking that
system verify
analysis a product satisfies
user requirements
system model
validation
detailed system objectives Verification: Checking
that an input has
broad verify
validation been converted
design system design correctly to an output

verify
detailed validation
design user procedures
proposed equipment configuration
program and database specifications

verify
post-
construction installation
system implementation
review

installation maintenance
working system
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validation

2
Linear
Prototyping
systemdesign
designcycle
cycle
project user
definition requirements

feasibility
study

system
Build a
prototype
analysis The prototype clarifies
Test prototype on users  system objectives
Gather feedback for  critical problems
broad detailed design  logical solutions
design

detailed
design

post-
construction installation
review

installation maintenance

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Simplified design cycle

The seven steps to heaven


user
 Definition requirements
 Specification:
feasibility? analysis? prototyping?
 Design
 Construction
 Testing
 Installation
 Maintenance

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Systems analysis case study:
Lemonade stand
A young girl decides to run an “old-fashioned lemonade” stand on the
footpath outside her suburban home. Using the savings from her
piggy-bank, she goes to the grocery store and buys some lemons and
sugar to make her first batch. She starts selling her old-fashioned
lemonade at 20 cents per glass to passers-by. By the end of the day
she has run out of lemons and sugar, and has secured a small profit.
That night, she tells a friend about her success in the business world,
and her friend wants to get in on the action. The next day, the young
girl takes her earnings from the previous day, goes to the grocery
store and buys twice as much sugar and lemons as before. She sets
up two stands on different streets, getting her friend to manage one
of them for her. At the end of the day she collects the earnings her
friend made, letting her friend keep part of the profits as salary.
Before long, news of the business has spread, and the young girl now
has six friends running stands for her. She is starting to have trouble
keeping track of supplies, earnings, costs and wages. She decides to
computerize her business and calls on her parent (YOU!) for help. 103-10

sugar

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4
sugar

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Lemonade stand: Agent/Operations

girl  buy supplies (add to inventory)


 remove supplies from inventory
 make lemonade
 distribute lemonade
 collect income

grocery  sell supplies

employees  sell lemonade


 pass along income

passers-by  buy lemonade

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Lemonade stand: Agent/Operations

Agent Action Object


girl buy supplies grocery
girl add supplies inventory
girl remove supplies inventory
girl make lemonade lemonade
girl distribute lemonade employee
girl collect income employee
employee sell lemonade passers-by

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Dataflow diagrams

process

data store

source
sink

data flow
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Dataflow diagram rule 1

source sink

source move sink


data

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Dataflow diagram rule 2

database 1 database 2

move
data

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Dataflow diagram rule 3
A

B
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Top-level dataflow diagram


 Overview of entire system
 One process only

grocery friend
store employee

supplies money

money 0 lemonade
make
and sell
lemonade

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Second-level dataflow diagram
grocery inventory
store 3.0
supplies supplies
receipt add
lemons
payment and
sugar
1.0 4.0

purchase remove
supplies
purchase
record lemons
and
sugar 5.0
accounts
make
income lemonade
record 2.0

receive friend
income revenue employee
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Database design

1.0

purchase
supplies  Identify what information is to be
purchase
record stored/retrieved
accounts
 Define “fields” in each record
 Determine “types” and “formats”
income for each field
record 2.0

receive
income

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Records, fields, formats
1.0 Purchase date: string (or …)
item: string
purchase
supplies
quantity: integer
purchase cost: float
record
Income date: string (or …)
accounts
from: string
amount: float
income
record 2.0 date: 3 March 2001
receive 03/03/01
income 2001-03-03
20010303

date description amount


2001-04-17 purchase lemons (quantity 2) – 0.70
2001-04-18 income (from Joe) + 8.20
2001-04-21 purchase sugar (quantity 1) – 1.65
2001-04-22 income (from Kate) + 6.90 103-23

Database operations
1.0
1. Operations specified in dataflow diagram
purchase
supplies
 add purchase record
purchase  add income record
record
these involve appending data to the end
accounts of a transaction file

income
record
2. Operations required by users
2.0
 calculate account balance
receive
income
 summarize purchases
 summarize income
reports generated by processing
transaction file in one of three ways,
based on user’s request

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10
Ada Lovelace “Mother of all programmers”
Born: 10 December, 1815, London (Lord Byron’s daughter)
Died: 27 November, 1853

1828 Designed a flying machine


1833 Met Charles Babbage
Heard of his ideas for a new
calculating machine
then … got married and had 3
kids
1843 Translated an article about
the analytic engine from
French to English
Added her own notes, which
tripled its length

 Wrote the first computer


program (maybe)

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Questions
1. The word “system” in the phrases “system analysis” and “system
design” actually refers to two different systems. What are they?
2. What are the three basic steps in system analysis?
3. Under what circumstances should you use top-down design, and
under what circumstances should you use evolutionary design?
4. What are the seven steps (the “seven steps to heaven”) in the
simplified system design cycle?
5. What are the four basic elements in a dataflow diagram?
6. In a typical accounts system (such as the “lemonade stand”), there
are two types of database operations: ones specified in the
dataflow diagram and ones required by users of the system. Give
two examples of the first kind and three of the second kind.
7. What is a “structure chart”?

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Questions (cont)
8. An established wholesale paper warehouse wants to computerize its sales, inventory and customer
billing systems. The warehouse buys its stock directly from the manufacturer in packages of very
large sheets of paper. It cuts and sells packages of smaller paper sizes to various printers and
stationers.

The wholesaler’s sales people bring purchase orders from the customers to the warehouse and
give them to the stock clerk. The clerk checks first to see if the order can be satisfied with offcuts
(paper ends left over from previous orders after cutting). If no suitable offcuts are available, the
clerk sends a stock handler to retrieve new stock from the warehouse shelves. Once the
appropriate stock has been collected together, the stock clerk sends it to the paper cutter who
trims it to the desired dimensions. Any useable offcuts are returned to the stock clerk in case they
can be used for subsequent purchase orders. The cutter sends the trimmed stock to the shipping
clerk who checks to see if the order has been satisfied correctly. If there are any problems, the
shipping clerk sends the trimmed stock back to the stock clerk who corrects the order and sends it
back by way of the cutter. Once the shipping clerk has a correctly filled order, it is given to the
truck driver for delivery, and the purchase order is sent to accounting for appropriate billing.

1. Identify the scope of the system using a context diagram.


2. Draw a physical dataflow diagram to represent the activity in the system. The diagram
should show top-level activity only.
3. Give a process description for one process from your top-level dataflow diagram.
4. Identify which data stores might be computerized. Describe the data and provide a few
examples of representative data.

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