(a) Transaction processing systems capture and process data resulting from the occurrence of business transactions, to update organizational databases in order to produce a variety of information products.
Explain the five stages of a transaction processing cycle. (10 marks)
(b) A data dictionary is a repository of information about data.
Explain the characteristics of a data dictionary. (4 marks)
(c) The concept of an intelligent workstation is a combination of a personal computer and access to a local or wide area network. The hardware, software and communication are integrated into one facility.
Define and differentiate functional integration and physical integration in a workstation environment.
a) Stages of a transaction processing cycle.
(i) Processing of inquiries – the system processes the inquiries made using the database.
(ii) Processing the transaction – depending on the outcome of the inquiries, the system processes the activity such as buying or selling
(iii) Making decisions – the system uses application to support systems for planning, analysis and decision making. Decisions are made on the transaction e.g. at what price to sell.
(iv) Update master file – the system then stores the information relating to the transaction.
(v) Produce reports – the system winds up producing a report on the transaction.
Inquiries Processing Decision Storage Report
Data dictionary is an automated manual tool for storing and organizing information about the data maintained in a database. A data dictionary is a file which defines the basic organization of a database. It contains a list of all files in the database, the number of records in each file and the name and types of each field. All data elements contained in data dictionary are accompanied with a short description on what they are.
Its characteristics are:
(i) A query facility:- this is both for administrators and casual users. It helps users to perform searches on items like business definitions, user descriptions or even synonyms.
(ii) Automated input facilities:- this are to enable loading of records
(iii) Security features:- to help in protecting the information contained in the data dictionary
(iv) Comprehensive data reporting language for user designed reports.
(v) Language interphase, to allow, for example standard record layouts to be automatically incorporated into programs during the compile process.
(vi) Help facility – this helps to instruct users on how to use the data dictionary.
(c) (i) Functional integration – this is the dividing of the functions among individuals in a work station. Once an individual is only allowed to perform particular duties and not others. It differs from physical intergration in that one machine can be used different persons. In functional integration, only that the individuals will be involved in different duties.
(ii) Physical integration – this is the allocation of work machines to individuals to use in the firm. A particular person is assigned a machine to work on and no sharing of machines takes place. However people can perform the same functions. Under this form