IT2700 Systems Analysis and Design

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IT2700 Systems Analysis and Design

    IT2700 Systems Analysis and Design

    Course Documents

    Chapter Summary

    Chapters 1 - 10

Chapter 1: Introduction to Systems Analysis and Design

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Discuss the impact of information technology on business ; Define an information system and describe its components

    ; Use profiles and models to understand business functions and operations

    ; Understand the impact of the Internet on business

    ; Identify various types of information systems and explain who uses them

    ; Explain systems development tools, including modeling, prototyping, and CASE


    ; Distinguish between structured analysis and object-oriented methodology

    ; Describe the systems development life cycle

    ; Discuss the role of the information technology department and the systems

    analysts who work there

    Chapter 2: Analyzing the Business Case

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Explain the concept of a business case and how a business case affects an IT project

    ; Describe the strategic planning process and why it is important to the IT team

    ; Explain the purpose of a mission statement

    ; Describe the SDLC, and explain how it serves as a framework for systems

    development and business modeling

    ; List the reasons for information systems projects and the factors that affect such


    ; Explain the initial review of systems requests and the role of the systems review


    ; Define operational feasibility, technical feasibility, economic feasibility, and

    schedule feasibility

    ; Describe the steps in a preliminary investigation and the end product of an


    Chapter 3: Requirements Modeling

    The following objectives will be covered:

     ; Explain systems analysis phase activities and the end product of the systems


    ; Describe the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and explain use case diagrams

    and sequence

    ; List and describe system requirements, including outputs, inputs, processes,


    ; Describe how to conduct a successful interview

    ; Explain when and how to use fact-finding techniques, including interviews,


    Chapter 4: Enterprise Modeling

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Describe enterprise modeling concepts and tools, including entity-relationship diagrams, data flow diagrams, a data dictionary, and process descriptions

    ; Explain how entity-relationship diagrams provide an overview of system


    ; Describe the symbols used in data flow diagrams and explain the rules for their


    ; Draw data flow diagrams in a sequence, from general to specific

    ; Explain how to level and balance a set of data flow diagrams

; Describe how a data dictionary is used and what it contains

    ; Use process description tools, including structured English, decision tables, and

    decision trees

    ; Describe the relationship between logical and physical models

    Chapter 5: Development Strategies

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Describe software trends, including the concept of software as service ; Explain software acquisition alternatives, including traditional versus Web-based

    software development strategies

    ; Describe software outsourcing options, including the role of service providers ; Explain advantages and disadvantages of developing software in-house versus

    other alternatives

    ; Explain cost-benefit analysis and financial analysis tools

    ; Explain the differences between a request for proposal (RFP) and a request for

    quotation (RFQ)

    ; Describe the contents of the system requirements document

    ; Explain the transition from systems analysis to systems design, and the difference

    between logical and physical design

    ; Explain the transition to systems design and the importance of prototyping ; Discuss guidelines for system design, and explain the importance of codes

    Chapter 6: Data Design

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Explain data design concepts and data structures ; Describe file processing systems and various types of files

    ; Understand database systems and define the components of a database

    management system (DBMS)

    ; Describe Web-based data design and characteristics

    ; Explain data design terminology, including entities, fields, common fields, records,

    files, tables, and key fields

    ; Describe data relationships, draw an entity-relationship diagram, define cardinality

    and use cardinality notation

    ; Explain the concept of normalization

    ; Understand the steps in database design

    ; Describe hierarchical, network, relational, and object-oriented database models ; Explain data warehousing and data mining

    ; Differentiate between logical and physical storage and records

    ; Explain data control measures

    Chapter 7: User Interface, Input, and Output Design

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Explain the concept of user interface design and human-computer interaction, including the basic principles of user-centered design

    ; List specific guidelines for user interface design

    ; Describe user interface techniques, including screen elements and controls ; Explain input design concepts, techniques, and methods

    ; Describe guidelines for data entry screen design

    ; Use validation checks for reducing input errors

    ; Design effective source documents and input controls

    ; Discuss output design issues and various types of output

    ; Design various types of printed reports and suggest output controls and security

    Chapter 8: System Architecture

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Provide a checklist of items to consider when selecting a system architecture ; Describe servers, server-based processing, clients, and client-based processing

    ; Explain client/server architecture, including tiers, cost-benefit issues, and

    performance considerations

    ; Describe the impact of the Internet on system architecture

    ; Explain the difference between online and batch processing

    ; Define network topology, and provide examples of hierarchical, star, bus, and ring

    network models

    ; Explain network protocols and licensing issues

    ; Explain system management tools and techniques, including performance

    management, system security, fault management, backup, and disaster recovery

    ; Describe the systems design specification and explain the contents of each section

    Chapter 9: Systems Implementation

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Explain the importance of software quality assurance and software engineering ; Describe the application development process

    ; Draw a structure chart showing top-down design, modular design, cohesion, and


    ; Explain the coding process and how code is generated

    ; Explain unit testing, integration testing, and system testing

    ; Differentiate between program, system, operations, and user documentation

    ; List the main steps in system installation and evaluation

    ; Develop an overall training plan with specific objectives for each group of

    participants, compare in-house and outside training providers, and describe

    effective training techniques

    ; Describe the data conversion process

    ; Identify and describe changeover methods

    ; Explain post-implementation evaluation

    ; Describe the final report to management

    Chapter 10: Systems Operation and Support

    The following objectives will be covered:

    ; Explain how the systems operation and support phase relates to the rest of the system development process

    ; Describe user support activities, including user training and help desks

    ; Discuss the four main types of system maintenance: corrective, adaptive,

    perfective, and preventive

    ; Explain techniques for managing systems operation and support, including

    maintenance teams, maintenance request procedures, configuration management,

    maintenance releases, version control, and baselines

    ; Describe techniques for managing system performance, including performance

    and workload measurement, and capacity planning

    ; List factors indicating that a system has reached the end of its useful life

    ; Assess future challenges and opportunities that IT professionals will face as

    technology continues to reshape the workplace

    Chapter 1

    Discuss the impact of information technology on business

    Information technology, or IT, is a term that refers to the combination of hardware and software products and services that companies use to manage, access, communicate, and share information. Most businesses give information technology a high priority, and for good reason. A report generated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Digital Economy

    2002, stated that IT has created a new economy and provides unprecedented benefits to businesses and individuals around the world. This growth is primarily driven by the explosion in Internet use, which is predicted to increase by 60 percent between 2001 and 2004. During periods of economic growth, companies work to stay ahead of the IT curve with the most advanced hardware, software, and connectivity options. When the economy is weak, many companies depend on IT to reduce operating costs and improve business efficiency.

    Define an information system and describe its components

    An information system combines information technology, people, and data to support business requirements. An information system has five key components. The first is hardware, which consists of everything in the physical layer of the information system, such as servers, workstations, scanners, handheld computers, and telecommunications equipment. The second component is software, which refers to the programs that control

    the hardware and produce the desired information or results. Data, the third component,

    refers to the raw material that is transformed into useful information. The fourth component, processes, describe the tasks and functions that users, managers, and IT staff members perform to achieve specific business results. Processes represent actual day-to-day

    business operations, and thus are referred to as the building blocks of an information system. The final component of an information system consists of the people who use the information system, who are called users, or end users.

    Use profiles and models to understand business functions and operations

    A process called business process modeling is used by systems analysts to represent a company's operations and information needs. In business processing modeling, the analyst's first step is to create an overview that describes a company's overall functions, which is called a business profile. The business profile often includes descriptions of the

    company's processes, organization, products, services, customers, suppliers, competitors, constraints, and future goals. After creating a business profile, the analyst then creates a series of models that document various business procedures. A business model is a

    graphical representation of one or more business processes that a company performs. This business process describes a specific set of transactions, events, tasks, and results carried out by the firm. For example, an analyst might create a business model that

    represents how the company handles a sales order. This model might include the event of receiving the sales order, followed by processes for checking customer status, verifying customer credit, and entering customer order data. The final step in this model would be the desired result: the completed sales order.

    Understand the impact of the Internet on business

    Consumers can use the Internet to go online and purchase an enormous variety of products and services. Internet-based commerce is called e-commerce (electronic

    commerce) or I-commerce (Internet commerce). Within the e-commerce shopping

    environment, consumers can use the Internet to conduct research, compare prices and

    features, check availability, arrange delivery, and choose payment methods, all in one convenient session. These types of activities refer to the sector of e-commerce called B2C,

    or business-to-consumer. B2C activity is expected to grow dramatically in the coming

    years, which has created strong competition among the Web designers who create the

sites that generate online sales. The other main e-commerce sector is B2B, or business-

    to-business. B2B allows companies to access the global marketplace, allowing greater

    access to information and opportunities for cost control. Most B2B transactions rely on individual data-sharing arrangements called electronic data interchange (EDI), by which company computers transfer data between companies over private telecommunications

    networks. In the future, a substantial amount of EDI traffic will take place on the Internet, making such arrangements accessible to more businesses. It is predicted that B2B sales will increase to over $7 trillion by 2004.

    Identify various types of information systems and explain who uses them

    At one point, it was general practice for IT managers to divide systems into categories based on the user group the system served. Today, these traditional labels no longer apply, as information use has changed in most companies. Thus, it makes more sense to identify systems by their functions and features, rather than by who uses the system. Enterprise

    computing refers to information systems that support company-wide operations and data

    management requirements. Examples of such company-wide operations include

    production, sales, services, inventory control, and accounting. Enterprise computing

    integrates IT into a company's primary functions to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and help managers make key decisions. Transaction processing (TP) systems process data

    generated by day-to-day operations of a business, such as accounts receivable, warranty

    claim processing, and customer order processing. Business support systems offer job-

    related information support to users at all levels of a company. For example, some companies use scanners to collect sales data that can update a company-wide database

    immediately. Knowledge management systems, also called expert systems, simulate human reasoning in order to provide information. Knowledge management systems

    combine a knowledge base and inference rules that determine how the knowledge is applied. A knowledge base is a large database into which users enter keywords or

    questions in order to find information, and inference rules are logical rules that identify

    data patterns and relationships. User productivity systems include e-mail, voice mail, fax,

    video conferencing, word processing, automated calendars, database management, spreadsheets, and much more. In short, user productivity systems are systems that are used by employees at all levels to improve productivity.

    Explain systems development tools, including modeling, prototyping, and CASE tools

     Modeling is a systems development tool that involves creating a graphical representation of a process or concept that then can be analyzed, tested, and modified. An information

    system can be described using a set of business, data, object, network, and process models. A business model, or requirements model, describes the information a system

    must provide. A data model describes the structure and design of data in the system. An

    object model describes objects that combine data and processes, and a network model

    describes the design of telecommunications links. Finally, a process model describes the

    logic that programmers use to write programming code. Another systems development tool

    is prototyping, which uses an early working version of an information system, called a prototype, to test and examine input, output, and user interfaces before final decisions are made. Sometimes, a prototype can develop into the final version of the system; other times, a prototype serves as an initial model that is used as a benchmark in creating the finished system. Computer-aided systems engineering, or CASE, is a technique that uses

    powerful software to assist systems analysts in developing and maintaining information systems. This software is called CASE tools, and makes it easier to build an information

    system by providing an overall framework for systems development and supporting a wide variety of design methodologies used by analysts.

    Distinguish between structured analysis and object-oriented methodology

    Structured analysis is the most popular method for developing computer-based

information systems. It uses a series of phases, called the systems development life

    cycle (SDLC), to plan, analyze, design, implement, and support an information system. Structured analysis is called a process-centered technique because it uses a set of process

    models to describe a system graphically. Structured analysis treats processes and data as separate components; the process accepts input data and transforms it into output data. Object-oriented analysis (O-O), on the other hand, combines data and the processes that

    act on the data into one entity, which is called an object. O-O models real-world business

    processes and operations, with objects representing actual people, things, transactions, and events. All objects are members of a class, which is a collection of similar objects. An

    object inherits properties from its class, or can possess properties on its own. Built-in

    processes called methods can change an object's properties. One object can send

    information to another object by using a message, which requests specific behavior or

    information from another object. O-O takes advantage of object models to represent data

    and behavior, and to show how objects can affect other objects.

    Describe the systems development life cycle

    The SDLC is a model that describes activities and functions that all systems developers perform, regardless of which approach they use. These steps include systems planning, systems analysis, systems design, systems implementation, and systems operation and support. The systems planning phase typically beings with a formal request to the IT

    department that describes problems or desired changes in an information system or a business process. The IT department then performs a preliminary investigation to identify

    the scope of the request, which often includes a feasibility study that reviews anticipated

    costs and benefits of proposed changes. The next step in the SDLC is the systems

    analysis phase, in which analysts build a logical model of the proposed new system. The purpose of the next phase, called the systems design phase, is to generate a blueprint

    that will satisfy all documented requirements for the system. This phase involves the design of the user interface and internal and external controls that ensure the system will be reliable, accurate, maintainable, and secure. The result of this phase is a document called the systems design specification that is presented to managements and users for review.

    The next phase is called the systems implementation phase, in which the new system is

    constructed. The procedure for constructing a new system is the same whether structured analysis or O-O methodology is used; programs are written, tested, and documented, and

    the system is installed. Final preparations including converting data to the new system's files, training users, and undergoing the transition to the new system. A formal assessment, called a systems evaluations, is performed to determine whether the system acts as

    expected. The final stage of the SDLC is the systems operation and support phase, in

    which the IT staff maintains and enhances the system as necessary.

    Discuss the role of the information technology department and the systems analysts who work there

     The function of a company's information technology (IT) department is to develop and maintain the company's information systems. In large companies, the IT department may

    be comprised of many people with specialized skills; in a small firm, a single person might handle all computer support activities and services. However structured, the IT department provides technical support, which includes six functions. The first is application

    development, which refers to system design, development and implementation. While the traditional application development group within an IT department was comprised of systems analysts and programmers, today, many companies use teams consisting of

    users, managers, and IT staff members to perform application development tasks. The second function of technical support is systems support, which provides hardware and

    software support for information systems, which includes installation and assistance. If a

    company does not have a separate application development group, the systems support group coordinates the development of new systems. The user support function, which

    often is called a help desk or information center (IC), provides users with necessary

    technical information, training, and productivity support. In some cases, the user support

    team also installs and configures software applications that are used within the organization. Database administration, imperative for companies with mission-critical

    database applications, refers to database design, management, security, backup and user access. Network administration includes the hardware and software maintenance,

    support, and security that are associated with telecommunication networks. Web support

    specialists, often called webmasters, support a firm's Internet and intranet operations by designing and constructing Web pages, monitoring traffic, managing hardware and software, and linking Web-based applications to other company information systems.

    Chapter 2

    Explain the concept of a business case and how a business case affects an IT


     A business case consists of the reasons, or justification, of a proposal that is reviewed by a systems analyst. An effective business case makes a suggestion for an IT project and demonstrates that the company should pursue that suggestion, above other options,

    because it would be in the firm's best interest to do so. For each proposal, the systems analyst must consider the company's overall mission, objectives, and IT needs. Evaluating the business case occurs during a process referred to as systems development. Systems

    development generally beings with a systems request, followed by a preliminary investigation. The strength of the business case determines if a project will move forward in the review process

    Describe the strategic planning process and why it is important to the IT team

    Strategic planning is the process of identifying the long term goals, strategies, and resources of a business. By understanding the strategic planning process, the IT team is

    able to focus on the larger, strategic role of IT as they work on evaluating and implementing a new system. The IT team should not only be concerned with the immediate details of an IT project, but also have a strong grasp of the long-term implications of the project and how

    it helps the company achieve its objects three, five, or even 10 years into the future. Top managers use a method called SWOT analysis to assist in the strategic planning process

    and identify technical, human, and financial resources. SWOT analysis examines a

    company's strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T). Each item in SWOT analysis is formed into a question, i.e., "What are our major strengths, and how can we maximize them in the future?" The answers to the questions lead to an IT-related issue,

    which then results in further analysis and planning.

    Explain the purpose of a mission statement

    A mission statement is a description of the company that includes the company's overall purpose, products, services, and values. The mission statement is useful because it briefly describes the company's purpose and activities to its stakeholders. Stakeholders include

    all those affected by the work of the company, such as employees, customers, stockholders, suppliers, and community members. A mission statement provides the foundation for a company's day-to-day operations, short-term objectives, and long-term


    List the reasons for information systems projects and the factors that affect such projects

     There are five main reasons that motivate proposals for information systems projects. The

    first is improved service. An information systems project often aims to improve service to customers or employees. The second reason is to improve performance. The current system may not meet performance requirements and therefore needs to be reconfigured in

    order to support the company's current needs and future growth. The third reason is to provide more information to the company. This is especially true in the area of marketing, as companies grow and need to make major decisions based on the best possible

    information they can obtain from their IT systems. The fourth reason is to provide stronger controls, which ensure that data is secure and accurate. The fifth reason is to reduce costs so that the IT systems used by a company are the most cost-effective solutions. Factors

    that affect IT systems projects can be categorized as internal and external factors. Internal factors include the company's strategic plan, top managers, user requirements, IT department, and the company's existing systems. External factors include technology,

    suppliers, customers, competitors, the economy, and the government. Each of these factors can influence whether or not a systems request, which is a formal request for IT support,

is considered for further review.

    Explain the initial review of systems requests and the role of the systems review committee

     A systems review committee, also called a computer resources committee, is made up

    of key managers and users within a company. A typical committee consists of the IT director and several managers from other departments. The systems review committee evaluates systems projects based on the combined judgment and experience of the committee members. Many firms streamline the systems request process by providing a special form to be used to initiate a systems request. When a systems request form is received, an IT manager or systems analyst examines it to determine the time and staffing that are required for a preliminary investigation of the request. The committee then decides whether to proceed with the investigation. To make such a decision, the committee must prioritize among all systems requests that they receive. They must determine which project(s) should be pursued further, and what criteria will be used to make further decisions. While most large companies use a systems review committee to evaluate systems requests, some smaller companies rely on one person to evaluate systems requests. In this case, the individual must consult closely with others in the company to make sure that the needs of managers and users are considered carefully.

    Define operational feasibility, technical feasibility, economic feasibility, and schedule feasibility

     In order to determine whether a systems request is worthwhile to proceed further, it must pass several tests, called a feasibility study, which evaluate operational feasibility,

    technical feasibility, economic feasibility, and schedule feasibility. Operational feasibility

    refers to whether a system will be used effectively after it has been developed. Operational feasibility is based on issues such as manager support, required training, workforce

    reduction, and adverse effects to users and customers. Technical feasibility involves the

    technical resources that are needed to develop, purchase, install, or operate the system. Technical feasibility considerations include evaluation of hardware, software, and network

    resources, company expertise, and capacity for future transaction volume and company growth. Economic feasibility evaluates whether or not the projected benefits of the

    proposed system outweigh the estimated costs of the system (often referred to as the total

    cost of ownership, or TCO). Acquisition costs, maintenance costs, and ongoing support costs must be evaluated against the tangible and intangible benefits of the proposed system. Lastly, schedule feasibility refers to whether a project can be implemented in an

    acceptable time frame.

    Describe the steps in a preliminary investigation and the end product of an investigation

     A preliminary investigation studies a systems request and recommends a specific action. The first step in a preliminary investigation is to understand the problem or opportunity at hand. A systems analyst determines which departments, users, and business processes are involved in a systems request, and then evaluate the causes and effects related to the proposed system. The second step is to define the project scope and constraints. The project scope refers to the boundaries, or extent, of the project, being as specific as possible. The constraints are the requirements or conditions that the system must satisfy or an outcome that the system must achieve. The third step is to perform fact-finding in

    accordance with various techniques. Fact-finding techniques include analyzing organization

    charts, conducting interviews with users and managers, reviewing documentation, observing operations, and conducting a user survey. The fourth step is to evaluate feasibility, including operational, technical, economic, and schedule feasibility. The fifth step

    is to estimate the time and cost of project development. The sixth and final step is to present the results and recommendations to management. A preliminary investigation report is the end product of an investigation and includes an evaluation of a systems

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