Thursday, May 28, 2009


Chapter 8 questions

Section 8.1 - Before You Go On…

1.What is a Transactional Processing and the role of TP systems. State the key objective of TP/TPSs.

Transactional processing is capturing and storing in a database any business event that is worthy of doing so. The role of transaction processing systems (TPSs) is to monitor, collect, store and process data generated from all business transactions. Their objective is to avoid problems such as errors, downtimes, inaccuracy and insecurity of data, and to maintain the privacy of data.

Section 8.2 - Before You Go On…

1. What is a functional area information system? List its major characteristics.

A FAIS is to provide information mainly to lower and middle lever managers in the functional areas. It is a system that supports particular functional areas of the business. Traditionally they were built independent of each other and were designed to increase effectiveness and efficiency.

A FAIS comprises of reports:
Routine reports: these are produced at scheduled interviews.
Drill-down reports: are far more specific, and show a greater level of detail
Key-indicator reports: make a summary of the performance of critical activities, such as finances.
Competitive reports: makes comparisons between the performance of different business units or time periods.
Exception reports: include only the information that falls outside certain threshold standards.

2. How does an FAIS support management by exception? How does it support on-demand reports?

Functional area and information systems supports management by exception, by providing reports that meet certain criteria. Reports that might exceed normal or be written as normal can be produced without any intervention.

Management in order to implement management by exception, needs to create performance standards. Then systems need to be set up to monitor performance, compare actual performance to the standards, and identify predefined exceptions.

Out of routine reports such as on demand (Ad hoc) reports include the following:
Drill-down reports: are far more specific, and show a greater level of detail
Key-indicator reports: make a summary of the performance of critical activities, such as finances.
Competitive reports: makes comparisons between the performance of different business units or time periods.

Section 8.3 - Before You Go On…

1. Define ERP and describe its functionalities.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems integrate the planning, management and use of all of an organisation’s resources. ERP systems function in a way to tightly integrate the functional areas of the organisation and to enable information to flow seamlessly across the functional areas.

2. List some drawbacks of ERP software.
ERP can be very complex, expensive and quiet time consuming to implement.

A company may need to change existing business processes to fit the predefined business processes of the software, which can be a daunting task.

A company must purchase an entire software package of ERP even if they require only a few of the modules.

8.5 - Before You Go On…

1. Define a supply chain and supply chain management (SCM).

The supply chain refers to the chain of events that where materials, information, money and services flow from materials from production to retailer to end customers.
Supply chain management is the process of planning, organizing, and optimizing the supply chain’s activities.

2. List the major components of supply chains.

Upstream: where sourcing or procurement from external suppliers occurs.
Internal: where packaging, assembly, or manufacturing takes place.
Downstream: where distribution takes place, frequently by external distributors.

3. What is the bullwhip effect?

Refers to erratic shifts in orders up and down the supply chain. Management uses graphs from previous periods to analyse whether bullwhip effect has occurred.

Section 8.6 - Before You Go On…

1. Define EDI and list its major benefits and limitations

Electronic data interchange (EDI): is a communication standard that enables the electronic transfer of routine documents between business partners.

EDI enables different businesses to use agreed data formats
Minimises data error
Increases productivity by reducing time consumption
Increases customer satisfaction and service is enhanced because it is much faster

It requires massive start up.
Is expensive and takes long periods of ti


Chapter 4 - Databases

1. What are some of the difficulties in managing data? –Firms have massive quantities of data which must be stored for long periods of time.
–In many business’s data is scattered into many different systems. By centralising the data we get better data, and better security.
–In order to make decisions strategically and politically, External data needs to be included, therefore it is important that data gathered must be secure and of high integrity.

2. What are the various sources for data?
Internal data: comes from entities within an organisation, such as corporate databases.
External data: comes from outside an organisation, can be gathered from commercial databases, government reports and corporate Web sites.
Personal data: such employee details, thoughts, opinions and experiences.

3. What is a primary key and a secondary key?
Primary key: an entity in a database that uniquely and accurately identifies a record.
Secondary key: identifies specific records, but is intended to index data rather than specifically identify. Such as product keys.

4. What is an entity and a relationship?
Entity: a person, place, thing or event such as a customer, which information is maintained about.
Relationship: a relationship is the way in which the entities relate to each other.

There are three types of entities: one to one, many to many and one to many.

5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of relational databases?
Provides a lot of flexibility in a variety of queries
Easy to tell which records are joined

If the overall design is too complex than it will have slow search and access times

6. What is knowledge management?
A process that helps organisations combine and manipulate all data sources and bring them to a central screen. This allows for data and knowledge to be organised and selected data on demand. Having such access to data is essential to an organisations success, because knowledge is a form of capital. A common knowledge management system is a portal.

7. What is the difference between tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge?
Tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalize, it uses explicit knowledge to gain insight and expertise. It is basically under surface knowledge. Explicit knowledge is much more objective, detailed and rational. Explicit knowledge refers to the more technical type of knowledge.


Chapter 5 Questions

1. Describe the underlying technologies, applications and types of Web sites that comprise Web 2.0.

Types of technologies and applications:
RSS: Really simple syndication, allows users to receive customized information on demand, without having to surf thousands of Web sites. RSS allows anyone to publish his or her blog, or any other content to anyone who is interested in subscribing.

Podcast and Vodcast: a podcast is a digital audio file of a soundwave that is distributed over the Web using RSS for playback on portable media players or personal computers. A videocast is similar, however it is a digital video file.

Tagging: a tag is a keyword or term that is meaningful to the person using it. It is used to describe a piece of information (e.g, blog, picture, article, video clip).

AJAX: a Web development technique that allows portions of Web pages to reload with fresh data, rather than refreshing the entire Web page.

Wikis: a wiki is a Web site on which anyone can post material for others to access. This material can be edited by anyone with access to the wiki. The most popular is Wikipedia.

Blogs and Blogging: a weblog or blog for short is a personal Web site, open to the public in which the site creator (blogger) can post any material they wish. Bloggers usually post stories, tell news, express their opinions or feelings and at times use it to submit university assessments., just as I am doing now.

Types of Web sites:
Social Networking: Web sites which allow users to upload their content to the Web in the form of text, voice, images, and videos. Other people can then access such content, usually with the posters’ permission. Social Networking Web sites allow people to interact with others from all over the world via the Web. The most popular social networking site is Facebook.

Image compliments of Facebook, accessed at

Aggregators: Web sites that provide collections of content from other parts of the Web. A well known aggregator is Bloglines.

Mashups: this is when a Web site collects content from all over the web in order to “mix and match” the various taken material in order to create a new kind of content. Google Maps is credited for providing the beginning of mashups.

2. Describe the function of Web services.
Web services use different types of protocols and services which determines how data flows and communicates between technologies. Web services enable the use of data flow without human intervention necessary to translate the data.

3. Describe how you see Social Networking being used in Business.
Advertising! Businesses have grasped onto Social Networking sites such as Facebook and used them for advertising. Facebook is used by millions of people each day all over the world, advertising on Facebook is sure to promote any business.

Chapter 6 Questions

Section 6.1 - Before You Go On…

1. Define e-commerce and distinguish it from e-business.
E-commerce refers to the selling, purchasing and exchanging of goods, services and information via the internet. E-business is a broader term referring to the firms carrying out e-commerce and it’s supporting activities such as account clearing. E-business also refers to collaborating between business partners over the internet.

2. Distinguish among B2C, B2B, C2C and B2E electronic commerce.
B2C is business to consumer. This is when the sellers are organizations and the buyers are individual consumers.
B2B: business to business. This occurs when businesses use the internet to buy and sell products off each other.
C2C: Consumer to Consumer. Refers to the online product transactions between consumers, Web sites such as eBay cater for this type of e-commerce..
B2E: Business to Employee. This is when a business uses e-commerce to provide information, services and benefits to its employees.

3. List some benefits and limitations of e-commerce.
– Consumers and businesses regardless of their geographical positioning now have more buying power. They have ability to buy from anywhere in world, and at anytime.
– Being able to choose from various outlets to purchase products, means that the item could be purchased at a much cheaper price.
– Products that are difficult to purchase locally can be bought on the internet.

– Sadly because of the growing number of internet hackers, credit cards can be unsafe to use on internet.
– Insufficient bandwidth of the internet means that some goods are limited from being sold on the internet.
– Goods advertised on the internet cannot be physically inspected unless the purchaser is able to meet with the seller before any transaction is made.

Section 6.2 - Before You Go On…

1. What are spamming, permission marketing and viral marketing?

Spamming marketing: uses indiscriminate and unwanted emails that carry advertisements and promotions, spam emails are annoying and are always wanted to be blocked.

Permission marketing: is when a firm asks for permission to send advertisements and updates of their products, and/or the products of the partners. The permission is usually acquired when the person signs up for an account with the firm. For example creating an email account with MSN.

Viral marketing: refers to the concept of online “word-of-mouth” marketing. The idea is to have people forward electronic advertisements to their friends and peers.

Section 6.4 - Before You Go On…
1. What are micropayments?

Small payments made using an electronic device. Micropayments are usually done by SMS.

2. What is Multichanneling?
Multi channelling refers to when manufacturers use more than one channel to sell their products this is done by the company integrating its online and offline channels.

Section 6.5 - Before You Go On…

1. List some ethical issues in EC.
– Disintermediation: this refers to the removing of traditional intermediaries through the use of e-commerce.
– Privacy: people submit personal information on the internet, such as their home address. The people storing this information have the responsibility to ensure the information is used and stored in an appropriate and safe manner.
– Web tracking – Cookies: many businesses use internet cookies to track and advertise to any potential customers. Just like storing personal information, people that use cookies to track others need to be utterly responsible with the information they gather.

2. List the major legal issues of EC.
– Fraud: the misrepresenting of products and sales deals, in order to gather account details to steal money and/or other information. Fraud on the internet is a crime, however it is growing faster than ever as a result of EC.
– Domain names: competition over domain names has been common, however at times can be legal.
– Cybersquatting: is when a person or business registers or uses a domain name for the purpose of profiting from the goodwill or trademark belonging to someone else.
– Sales tax: buying from overseas avoids paying tax. When products are purchased from inter-state, the issue is which state government should receive the tax generated from the sale.
– Copyright: it is difficult to protect intellectual property in e-commerce. This is because of the large number of people and countries taking part in e-commerce, all with differing copyright laws.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


1. Describe the basic telecommunications system?
A telecommunications system makes use of hardware and software in order to transmit information from one location to another. Such a system can transmit text, data, graphics, voice, documents, or full-motion videos. A telecommunication system can use either analog or digital signals.
Analog signals are continuous waves which transmit information by altering their characteristics.
Digital signals are discrete pulses which makes use of the binary system. This is when bits are used to portray zeros and one, which represents a series of offs and ons. For example a fax machine uses these signals.

2. Compare and contrast the main wired communications channels ? (Ethernet & Fibre Optic)
Ethernet is a computer networking technology used for Local Area Networks. It uses a number of wiring and signaling standards to connect computers. In contrast a Fibre optic cable is made of glass fibres which is surrounded and supported by a cladding. The cable uses light pulses to carry information, which therefore travels at light speed. It has a very high bandwidth. Fibre optics can be used to transmit information from one LAN to another, using a Fibre optic to Ethernet converter, like the one shown below.

3. What are the main business reasons for using networks?
– Networks enable instantaneous communication
– Networks enable the instantaneous transfer of data
o All with little ongoing costs

4. What is the difference between LANs and WANs?

The main difference between the two is the geographical region which they cover. A Local Area Network (LAN) connects two or more devices in a limited geographical region. For example in the same building. Conversely Wide Area Networks (WANs) cover large geographical areas, and usually connect multiple LANs.

5. What is a network protocol?

A network protocol is a system of computing devices, or “nodes” of the network that are connected to the same network access. They share this network to transmit and receive data.

6. Describe TCP/IP protocol
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a procedure which uses file-transfer, and packet switching to send large files on information with the assurance that the data will arrive in uncorrupted form. It is the communications protocol of the Internet, and is the reason why accurate information can be transferred on the Internet.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Chapter 7 Questions

1. Identify common wireless devices and their application to business
· Mobile telephones: phone calls and text messaging can be made on the move, almost anywhere. Also internet and email access is possible with most new mobile phones. Internet and email access is crucial to any business.
· Digital Camera: photos can be taken, edited, sent, uploaded on the internet, deleted and developed using digital cameras. Applies to businesses as photos can be very useful for most.
· Digital music players: can play music and more recently videos. However some such as the Apple Ipod can be used to carry information which is relevant to businesses.
· Digital organizers: have been common for years, however some now have internet and email access, which is very useful to businesses.
· Laptop computers: common for years, however now thanks to the capabilities of Wi-Fi, internet and email access is easy and accessible in many places, making the duties of business personnel easier to carry out.

A diagram of major wireless devices, connecting to a server:

Photo: Compliments of CityWatch, accessed at:

2. Describe the various types and general characteristics of wireless transmission media/technologies - microwave, satellite, infrared and radio waves.
· Microwave transmission systems: uses 226 microwaves for high-volume, long-distance, point-to-point (line-of-sight) communication. This means transmitter and receiver must be in view of each other. Has a high-bandwidth and is inexpensive.
· Satellite transmission: uses communication satellites for broadcast communications. Has a high bandwidth and large cover area, however is very expensive. Line of sight must be unobstructed, signals experience delays and security is an issue, therefore encryption must be used.
· Radio wave frequencies used to send data directly between transmitters and receivers. This type of transmission has a high bandwidth, signals can pass through walls, and is inexpensive and easy to install. However electrical interference is an issue, and the signals must be encrypted to avoid snooping.
· Infrared uses a red light, not commonly visible to human eyes. It has a low-medium bandwidth, and used only for short distances. It must use a direct line of sight.

A diagram portraying a wireless transmission:

Photo: Compliments of SemCo Enterprises, accessed at:

3. What is bluetooth/how is it used?
Chip technology that enables short-range-connection (data and voice) between wireless devices. It is used to create small personal area networks.

4. What are WLAN's, Wi-Fi, WWAN's, 3G?
WLAN: Wireless local area network: a computer network in a limited geographical area that uses wireless transmission for communication.
Wi-Fi: Wireless fidelity: a set of standards for wireless local area networks based on the IEEE 802.11 standard.
WWAN: wide-area wireless networks: connects users to each other and to the internet over geographically dispersed distances.
3G: third generation: uses digital signals and can transmit voice and data up to 384 Kbps when the device is moving at a walking pace, 128 Kbps when moving in a car, and up to 2Mbps when the device is in a fixed location. It supports video, Web browsing and instant messaging.

5. What are the drivers of mobile computing and mobile commerce
Mobile computing was designed for workers who travel outside the boundaries of their organisations or for anyone traveling outside his or her home. As long as there is a need to move, mobile computing and commerce will be driven.

6. Explain the nature of RFID
Radio Frequency Identification technology: a wireless technology that allows manufacturers to attach tags with antennas and computer chips on goods and then track their movement through radio signals.

E.g. an E-tag uses Radio frequency identification technology:

Photo: Compliments of Radioactive Networks, accessed at:


1. Provide an IT example that relates to the ethical issues for the ideas of privacy, accuracy, property, and accessibility.
Privacy: electronic surveillance, the tracking of people’s activities with the aid of computers
Accuracy: identity theft
Property: software piracy
Accessibility: hacking

2. What are the 5 general types of IT threats? Provide an example for each one
Three main:
Human error: poor password selection and use.
Natural disasters: earthquake damaging servers.
Malicious activity: hackers that log into system and destroy data
Another two:
Malicious code: a virus
Management negligence: managers fail to have a data recovery system in place

3. Describe/discuss three types of software attack and a problem that may result from them
A denial of service: the front end of the company’s internet page is flooded with a ‘ping of death’; the site is then held for ransom. The attackers keep flooding the page until some amount of money is paid.
Viruses: a type of malicious code, more recently viruses have been used to steal information, therefore a loss of information is usually the result.
Phishing: using fake sender personal details an attacker disguises themselves as representatives of a service provider and in an email asks for a person’s password and username. If successful the victim faces the problem of a criminal having access to their account.

4. Describe the four major types of security controls in relation to protecting information systems.
Physical controls: prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to a company’s facilities.
Access controls: restrict unauthorised individuals from using information resources.
Communications controls: secure the movement of data across networks.
Application controls: security counter measures that protect specific applications.

5. What is information system auditing?
The examination of information systems, their inputs, outputs and processing. System auditing is going through servers to ensure that who views or accesses the files is actually authorised to do so.

6. What is the difference between authentication and authorization and why are they important to e-Commerce/give an example of their relevance to e-Commerce
Authentication: is the system of knowing who the person is. Knowing a password is an authentication, having a proximity code and biometric scanners such as thumb printers all authenticate usage.
Authorisation: a process that determines which actions, rights, or privileges the person has, based on verified identity.
The difference is that authenticity is determined by the identity of a person, and authorisation relies on the status of the person.
They are both relevant to e-commerce, as they ensure that only the correct people access specific information. If an unauthorized person has access to information they shouldn’t, this can be potentially damaging to a business.


1. What are main differences/distinction between system software and application software?
System software is the operating system such as Windows XP, it controls the computer, and is the link between hardware and software.
Application software is specific to certain functions, such as Microsoft Word.

Photo: compliments of Microsoft, accessed at:

2. What are the two main types of system software?
System Control Programs: part of the operating system which controls the hardware, software, and data resources of a computer system.
System support programs/Utilities software: supports the operations, management, and users of a computer system by providing a variety of support services.

3. What is the difference between proprietary and open source software? What considerations should be made when a business selects either software.
Proprietary software is software bought with a llicense to use it. Such as Microsoft products, these products need a license to use, and/or change software code.
Open source software is when the license is free. Free to use, and free to change software code.
Proprietary costs money and license is needed, however it comes with detailed support, customer care and response. Open source software is not so good when remedying problems. Businesses should consider whether they wish to spend money on software, and whether or not there is someone capable of fixing any possible problems.

4. What are some of the legal issues involved in acquiring and using software in most businesses/organizations?
When using proprietary software, a business or organisation must pay for license to use it, and they cannot distribute it.

5. What is meant by SaaS? Name some examples of this software
SaaS means Software-as-a-Service: a method of delivering software in which a vendor hosts the applications, and customers access them over a network and pay only for using them.

Sales force
Microsoft live
Google docs (however free to use)

Photo: Compliments of Google, accessed at: