Management information systems revision question and answer

CPA-Quantitative-Analysis-Section-4 BLOCK RELEASE

The electronic business (e-business) field is growing and changing rapidly resulting in the need to address certain infrastructural issues to support it.
Suggest the possible contribution of the following systems in e-business applications:
(i) Smart Cards.
(ii) Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems
(iii) World Wide Web (WWW).
(iv) Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs).

(b) Suggest possible uses for an expert system within the Customer Database Department.
(c) Object Oriented Programming (OOP) concept is becoming the most common terminology in programming environment.

Discuss the advantages for a company moving towards an object oriented programming approach
Electronic business
This refers to the process of buying and services electronically involving transactions using the Internet, networks and other digital technologies. Electronic business also encompasses activities supporting those market transactions such as advertising, marketing, customer support, delivery and payment.

(i) Smart cards
These are credit-card-sized cards that store digital information that can be used for electronic payments in place of cash. Contact smart cards need a special card reading device to facilitate a transaction. Internet users must attach a smart card reader to use the card. To pay for a web purchase, the user swipes the card through the card reader.

Smart cards facilitate the quick and convenient transfer of funds to online and offline merchants.

(ii) Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems
Electronic data interchange is the direct computer-to-computer exchange between two organizations of standard business transaction documents.
Electronic data interchange facilitates the quick exchange of business documents such as purchase orders, payments, shipping notices, price updates and invoices.
(iii) World Wide Web (WWW)
It‘s a system with universally accepted standards for storing, retrieving, formatting, and displaying information in a networked environment.

The web facilitates multimedia (text, graphics and sound) hence it‘s an effective advertising resource.

The web also bridges the gap between sellers and buyers since it makes it easy to link resources that are half-a-world apart. The linking is through hyperlinks that enable web pages stored on the same or different machines to be linked. On-line customers thus access an e-commerce website that is hosted on a distant server at the click of a button.

The World Wide Web also facilitates secure transactions through various web protocols aimed at guaranteeing security of information being transmitted over the Internet.

(iv) Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)

An ATM is a specialized data input device that is used for transaction processing mainly in the banking industry.

ATMs in addition to facilitating ordinary business transactions (e.g. withdrawing money, requesting for statements, getting mini-statements, getting account balances, etc) also enable customers of a bank to pay their utilities e.g. electricity bills, phone bills, water bills, etc

b) Possible uses of an expert system within a customer database department:

1. Producing a list of customers who are eligible/ can be granted credit transactions. This is after evaluation of past credit history and the financial capability of each customer.
2. Deciding whether a debt can be considered as a bad debt. The expert system could assess the duration, the amount and the credit/ payment history of a customer to determine whether a debt should be classified as a bad debt. This information is useful for accountants as they draw up the relevant accounts.
3. Marking customers as deceased after a reasonable period of time e.g. A customer who registered with an organization while 35 years old could be considered deceased after 80 years. This enables a realistic count of the organization‘s current customers.
c) Object-oriented programming:
An approach to software development that combines data and procedures into a single object. The object combines data and program code. Instead of passing data to procedures, programs send a message for an object to perform a procedure that is already embedded in it. The same message may be sent to different objects, but each will implement that message differently.

Advantages for a company moving towards an object oriented programming approach:

1. Reduced time in developing software. OOP enables program code to be reused in related applications thus eliminating the need to code.
2. Reduced software development costs due to reduction in development time.
3. Improved programmer productivity. The reusability feature of OOP enables programmers to borrow code from reusable software libraries thus saving them time that would have been spent coding. The programmers could thus be freed to more complex problem solving tasks that require creativity.
4. Compatibility. Most organizational software today is being developed using the object- oriented approach. By migrating to this approach, an organization ensures compatibility of developed systems with currently existing ones.

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