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CSC331 Midterm Exam Answers

Print Name: _Dr. Lee__ Due: 6 pm, July 3, 2006


Note: 1. This is a take-home exam. 2. Print and sign your name. 3. E-MAIL your answers and submit a HARDCOPY to me by due day. Part I: True/False (remove the incorrect answer, 50%, 0.5% for each question) 1-20 : Chapter 1, 21-40: Chapter 2, 41-60: Chapter 3, 61-80: Chapter 4, 81-100: Chapter 5. T 1. Traditionally, a company either developed its own information systems, called inhouse applications, or purchased systems called software packages from outside vendors. F F F F F F 2. A mission-critical system is one that is unimportant to a companys operations. 3. In an information system, data is information that has been transformed into output that is valuable to users. 4. In an information system, information consists of basic facts that are the systems raw material. 5. System software consists of programs that support day-to-day business functions and provide users with the information they require. 6. Application software manages hardware components, which can include a single workstation or a global network with many thousands of clients. 7. A horizontal system is designed to meet the unique requirements of a specific business or industry, such as a Web-based retailer, a medical practice, or a video chain. 8. A vertical system is a system, such as an inventory or payroll application, that can be adapted for use in many different companies. 9. The success or failure of an information system usually is unrelated to whether users are satisfied with the systems output and operations. 10. A business process describes a specific set of transactions, events, tasks, and results.

Signature: _______________ Score: _____

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11. Product-oriented companies primarily offer information or services or sell goods produced by others. 12. Service-oriented companies manufacture and sell products such as computers, routers, or microchips. 13. Although the business-to-business (B2B) sector is more familiar to retail customers, the volume of business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions is many times greater. 14. IBM claims that its WebSphere strategy is best for Web-based application development, while Microsoft counters with a broad vision called .NET that redefines that companys approach to Web-based application development. 15. In many large companies, applications called enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems provide cost-effective support for users and managers throughout the company.

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16. TP systems are inefficient because they process a set of transaction related commands individually rather than as a group. 17. New business support systems that produced valuable information, in addition to performing manual tasks, were called management information systems (MIS) because managers were the primary users. 18. The decision support capability of a business support system can help users make decisions; for example, a truck fleet dispatcher can run a series of what-if scenarios to determine the impact of increased shipments or bad weather.

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19. In a knowledge management system, a knowledge base consists of logical rules that identify data patterns and relationships. 20. A knowledge management system uses inference rules, which consist of a large database that allows users to find information by entering keywords or questions in normal English phrases. 21. A strong business case suggests that a company should pursue other options, above the alternative, because it would be in the firms best interest to do so. 22. Strategic planning looks beyond day-to-day activities and focuses on a horizon that is 3, 5, or even 10 years in the future.

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23. A companys mission statement is unrelated to its major goals, shorter-term objectives, and day-to-day business operations.

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24. Management leadership and information technology are unconnected, and no significant changes have occurred in either area. 25. Today, systems development is much more team-oriented than in the past. 26. A systems request might propose enhancements for an existing system, the correction of problems, or the development of an entirely new information system. 27. Systems requests seldom are aimed at improving service to customers or users within a company. 28. Performance limitations result when a system that was designed for a specific hardware configuration becomes obsolete when new hardware is introduced. 29. A system must have effective controls to ensure that data is secure and accurate. 30. Hardware-based security controls include passwords, various levels of user access, and coding data. 31. Data entry controls should be excessive without being effective. 32. Internal and external factors affect every business decision that a company makes, and IT systems are no exception. 33. A strategic plan that stresses technology tends to create an unfavorable climate for IT projects that extends throughout an organization. 34. As users rely more heavily on information systems to perform their jobs, they are likely to request even more IT services and support. 35. Errors or problems in existing systems can trigger requests for systems projects. 36. The purpose of a JIT (just-in-time) system is to provide the right product in the right place at the right time. 37. Information systems that interact with customers usually receive low priority. 38. Competition drives many information systems decisions. 39. Economic activity has little influence on corporate information management. 40. With Microsoft Project, a project manager can use a map to define project tasks, list activities and participants, plan the sequence of work, estimate project milestone dates, and track all costs. 41. Each activity within the systems analysis phase has an end product and one or more milestones.

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42. Greater user involvement in the system development process usually results in poorer communication, slower development times, and less satisfied users. 43. Because it is linked to a specific development methodology, systems developers use JAD whenever group input and interaction is not desired. 44. While RAD typically focuses only on fact-finding and requirements determination, JAD provides a fast-track approach to a full spectrum of system development tasks, including planning, design, construction, and implementation. 45. IT professionals recognize that successful systems must be user-oriented, and users need to be involved, formally or informally, at every stage of systems development.

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46. Because of the limited range of input and interaction among participants, few companies believe that a JAD group produces the best definition of a new system. 47. RAD relies heavily on prototyping and user involvement. 48. Compared with traditional methods, the entire RAD process is expanded and, as a result, the new system is built, delivered, and placed in operation much later. 49. The main objective of all RAD approaches is to extend development time and expense by excluding users from every phase of systems development. 50. A risk of RAD is that a system might work well in the short term, but the corporate and long-term objectives for the system might not be met. 51. System analysts use modeling and fact-finding interactively first they build factfinding results into models, then they study the models to determine whether additional fact-finding is needed.

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52. Creating an FDD is different from drawing an organization chart systems analysts start at the bottom and work their way up. 53. UML provides various graphical tools and techniques, such as case diagrams and sequence diagrams. 54. Because use cases depict a system through the eyes of a user, common business language can be used to describe the transactions. 55. In a sequence diagram, the interaction proceeds from left to right along horizontal arrows, while a vertical timeline represents messages from one object to another. 56. System requirements serve as benchmarks to measure the overall acceptability of a finished system.

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57. System requirements fall into five general categories: outputs, inputs, processes, performance, and controls. 58. Because it will have a shorter useful life, a scalable system offers a poorer return on the initial investment. 59. In determining total cost of ownership (TCO), one problem is that cost estimates tend to understate costs such as user support and downtime productivity losses. 60. Although software cannot help to gather and analyze facts, many programs actually perform fact-finding for a systems analyst. 61. The deliverable, or end product, of data and process modeling is a physical model of the current system. 62. A logical model describes how a system will be constructed. 63. A physical model shows what the system must do, regardless of how it will be implemented. 64. A data flow diagram (DFD) shows how the system transforms input data into useful information. 65. A set of DFDs provides a logical model that shows how the system works, not what the system does. 66. In a DFD, processes contain the business logic, also called business rules, that transform the data and produce the required results. 67. Using Gane and Sarson symbols, a DFD represents processes as circles. 68. A data flow in a DFD represents one or more data items. 69. A DFD shows the structure and detailed contents of a data flow. 70. In a DFD, a process symbol can have only one outgoing data flow. 71. In a DFD, a data flow must have a process symbol on at least one end. 72. Spontaneous generation, black holes, and gray holes are logically impossible in a DFD because a process must act on input, shown by an incoming data flow, and produce output, represented by an outgoing data flow. 73. A DFD does not show the detailed contents of a data store the specific structure and data elements are defined in the data dictionary. F 74. Two data stores can be connected by a data flow without an intervening process.

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75. A DFD does not show the external entities that provide data to the system or receive output from the system. 76. Systems analysts call an entity that supplies data to the system a sink, and an entity that receives data from the system a source. 77. Data flows are shown in a context diagram because data stores are external to the system. 78. What makes one system more complex than another is the number of components, the number of levels, and the degree of interaction among its processes, entities, data stores, and data flows. 79. The process name in a context diagram should be the name of the information system.

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80. A context diagram provides the most detailed view of an information system and contains multiple process symbols. 81. The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) believes that the acquisition of software as a service rather than a product will have a major impact on the software industry. 82. Typically, customers purchase licenses that give them the right to use the software under the terms of the license agreement. 83. Building an application in a Web-based environment might involve different risks and benefits, compared to a traditional environment. 84. Two Web-based development environments are IBMs WebSphere and Microsofts .NET. 85. In a traditional systems development environment, security issues usually are less complex than with Web-based systems, because the system operates on a private telecommunications network, rather than the Internet.

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86. Internet-based development treats the Web as just a communications channel, rather than as a platform. 87. An IBS (Internet business service) solution is attractive to customers because it offers online data center support, mainframe computing power for mission-critical functions, and universal access via the Internet.

88. An ASP provides a license to use the software, and nothing more.

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89. Another term for IBS is managed hosting, because the operation is managed by the outside firm, or host. 90. Mission-critical IT systems should be outsourced only if the result is a costattractive, reliable, business solution that fits the companys long-term business strategy. F 91. A major advantage of outsourcing is that it eliminates employee concerns about job security. 92. A company considering outsourcing must realize that the solution can be only as good as the outsourcing firm that provides the service. F F 93. Mergers and acquisitions typically have no impact on clients and customers of large, financially healthy firms. 94. According to Gartner, a leading IT research and consulting firm, by 2005, three in 10 IT jobs at U.S. IT companies and four in 20 at non-IT companies will move offshore. 95. The main reason for offshore outsourcing is the same as domestic outsourcing: lower bottom-line costs. F F 96. A software package that can be used by many different types of organizations is called a vertical application. 97. A software package developed to handle information requirements for a specific type of business is called a horizontal application. 98. By designing a system in-house, companies can develop and train an IT staff that understands the organizations business functions and information support needs. F 99. Compared to software developed in-house, a software package almost always is more expensive, particularly in terms of initial investment. 100. Many firms feel that in-house IT resources and capabilities provide a competitive advantage because an in-house team can respond quickly when business problems or opportunities arise.

Part II: Short Answer (answer each question completely, 50%, 1% for each question) 1-10 : Chapter 1, 11-20: Chapter 2, 21-30: Chapter 3, 31-40: Chapter 4, 41-50: Chapter 5. 1. _Information technology_ refers to the combination of hardware and software products and services that companies use to manage, access, communicate, and share information. 2. _Systems analysis and design_ is a step-by-step process for developing highquality information systems. 3. A(n) _information system_ combines information technology, people, and data to support business requirements. 4. An IT department team includes _system analysts_ who plan, develop, and maintain information systems. 5. A(n) _system_ is a set of related components that produces specific results, such as routing Internet traffic, manufacturing microchips, and controlling complex events like a NASA launch. 6. Traditional companies sometimes are called _brick-and-mortar_ companies because they conduct business from physical locations. (Chapter 1, #16) 7. Internet-based commerce is called _e-commerce_ and includes two main sectors: B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business). 8. Most B2B transactions rely on _electronic data interchange_, which refers to computer-to-computer transfer of data between companies, usually over private telecommunications networks. 9. _Enterprise computing_ refers to information systems that support company-wide operations and data management requirements. 10. _Groupware_ programs run on a company intranet and enable users to share data, collaborate on projects, and work in teams. 11. The term _business case_ refers to the reasons, or justification, for a systems development proposal. 12. _Strategic planning_ is the process of identifying long-term organizational goals, strategies, and resources.

13. During strategic planning, top managers ask a series of questions that is called a(n) _SWOT analysis_ because it examines a companys strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 14. A(n) _mission statement_ describes a company for its stakeholders and briefly states the companys overall purpose, products, services, and values. 15. _Stakeholders_ include anyone affected by a companys operations, such as customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders, and members of the community. 16. After composing a mission statement, a company identifies a set of _goals_ that will accomplish the mission. 17. To achieve its goals, a company develops a list of shorter-term _objectives_, which translate into day-to-day business operations. 18. _Critical success factors_ are vital objectives that must be achieved for an enterprise to fulfill its mission. 19. _Critical business issues_ are the key problems, opportunities, and constraints that affect and shape a firms decisions. 20. At some point in the systems development process, a(n) _case for action_ is presented, which is a summary of the project request and a specific recommendation. 21. One of the main activities in the systems analysis phase is _requirements modeling_, which involves fact-finding to describe the current system and identify requirements for the new system. 22. The deliverable, or end product of the systems analysis phase is a(n) _systems requirements document_, which is an overall design for the new system. 23. _Analytical skills_ enable a systems analyst to identify a problem, evaluate the key elements, and develop a useful solution. 24. A common technique that allows users to participate in various development tasks is called _joint application development_, which is a team-oriented technique for fact-finding and requirements modeling.

25. In addition to joint applications development, another popular user-oriented method is _rapid application development_, which resembles a condensed version of the entire SDLC with users involved every step of the way. 26. The _unified modeling language_ is a widely used method of visualizing and documenting software systems design. (Chapter 3, #11) 27. A(n) _use case diagram_ is a UML technique that visually represents the interaction between users and an information system. 28. In a use case diagram, the user becomes a(n) _actor_, with a specific role that describes how he or she interacts with a system. 29. A(n) _sequence diagram_ is a UML technique that shows the timing of transactions between objects as they occur. 30. A(n) _system requirement_ is a characteristic or feature that must be included in an information system to satisfy business requirements and be acceptable to users. 31. Analysts use _ data and process _ modeling techniques to show how a system transforms data into useful information. 32. A(n) _data flow diagram_ uses various symbols to show how the system transforms input data into useful information. 33. In addition to the Gane and Sarson symbol set, another popular symbol set is the _Yourdon_ symbol set. 34. In a typical company, _processes_ might include calculating sales trends, filing online insurance claims, ordering inventory from a suppliers system, or verifying e-mail addresses for Web customers. 35. Another term for business logic is business _rules_. 36. To show the detail inside a black box, create DFD _diagram 0_, which zooms in on the context diagram and shows major processes, data flows, and data stores. (Chapter 4, #16) 37. A(n) _diverging data flow_ is a data flow in which the same data travels to two or more different locations. 38. When a set of DFDs is created for a system, a(n) _functional primitive_ is a process that consists of a single function that is not exploded further.

39. _Leveling_ is the process of drawing a series of increasingly detailed diagrams, until all functional primitives are identified. 40. _Balancing_ maintains consistency among DFDs by ensuring that input and output data flows align properly. 41. The _Software and Information Industry Association_ is an industry group that focuses on the digital economy. 42. As Internet-based systems become more popular, developers will focus on _webbased application development_, where the Web becomes an integral part of the application, rather than just a communication channel. 43. Web-based software usually requires additional layers, called _middleware_, to communicate with existing software and legacy systems. 44. _Outsourcing_ is the transfer of information systems development, operation, or maintenance to an outside firm that provides these services, for a fee, on a temporary or long-term basis. 45. A firm that offers outsourcing solutions is called a(n) _service provider_. 46. A(n) _application service provider_ is a firm that delivers a software application, or access to an application, by charging a usage or subscription fee. 47. Some firms offer _Internet business services__, which provide powerful Webbased support for transactions such as order processing, billing, and customer relationship management. 48. A(n) _usage model or transaction model_ is an outsourcing fee model that charges a variable fee based on the volume of transactions or operations performed by the application. 49. The choice between developing versus purchasing software often is called a(n) _make-or-buy or build-or-buy_ decision. 50. The software that a companys IT department makes, builds, and develops is called _in-house software_.