(a) Quality assurance and testing are important in developing and delivering information systems.
Briefly describe four characteristics of quality assurance you would expect to find in a software product.
(b) It is always recommended that any new system should have a graphical user interface (GUI) to make it easier to use than current character-based systems.
Briefly describe what is meant a graphical user interface (GUI). Discuss two limitations associated with the implementation and use of GUI.
(c) Identify four major factors that influence the structure of an information system.
(i) strategies – are plans made to improve the position of a situation. The strategies to be adapted are:-
dedication of servers – servers in the organization should perform specific functions to reduce overload on the server leading to slowness and thus decrease the costs that arise when the network is down.
Working offline – the organization should do most of the work offline and only go online when sending or in need of information online.
Use updated software – make use of modern software which do the work faster and better. This could be done either updating the software or just getting new software.
Common reasons for losing data
(i) Ignorance – a software user may delete data files maintained a software because he/she does not know how to operate the software of is unaware of the consequences of deletion.
(ii) Accidents – a user may accidentally delete data files maintained software due to mistaken identity of files.
(iii) Fraud – employer may access and delete security log files to cover any illegal activities taking place.
(iv) Malice – hackers may delete organizational data in order to bring down the operations of an organization.
(v) Poor management of data stores – could result in the theft of companies‘ diskettes containing sensitive data.
3 (a) Quality assurance – involves the entire software development process. It is the monitoring and improving the process making sure that any agreed procedures are followed and problems are found and dealt with. The characteristics are:-
(i) Reliability – the software should fit the users requirement and perform the functions they are designed for.
(ii) Documentation – the software should be accompanied a manual which is easy to understand. This helps in use and maintenance of the software.
(iii) User friendliness – the software should be easy to use with clear on screen prospects, menu driven and extensive screen help facilities.
(iv) Controls – it should have in-built controls which may include passwords, options, validation checks.
(v) Up-to-date- the software should be up-to-date..
(vi) Modification- the software should be modifiable to fit the requirement of users.
(vii) Compatibility of software- it should integrate easily with other software in use in the system.
Graphical User Interface (GUI) – refers to the interaction between end users and the computer based upon a graphical display. These are tools which are designed to enhance personal computing work. They are mostly fitted on work stations or personal computers with graphical adaptors able to support high resolution graphics.
Limitations of Graphical User Interfaces:
i) System slow down – when you open so many windows which have the GUI facility, the system will slow down.
ii) Too much information – the user cannot focus on all the information presented to him on the GUI
iii) Inflexible icons – the icons take you to specific location and if you want to change your cursor you have to go back to the first window which is cumbersome in a way.
(c) Information System – refers to a collection of components which collect, process, store analyse and disseminate information for specific purposes. The factors influencing its structures are:-
(i) Cost – a complex information system is expensive so a firm will design a system they can afford to run.
(ii) Requirement – the information requirement will determine the structure or the information system of an organization.
(iii) Level of training – the knowledge of users will also determine the structure of an information system. A complex system structure will require more training thus a company may decide to have a less complex one to limit training costs.
(iv) Existing software – the availability of software that can support a system will have an impact on the structure of the system.
(v) Availability of staff – the number of staff with knowledge to run a system will have an impact on the structure of the system.
(vi) Availability of hardware to support the system. If such hardware is unavailable then the company will search far an alternative structure.