ITEC 630 Final Exam

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University of Maryland University College

ITEC 630

Final Exam

Problem I – (50 points)

 

Part A: Your systems analysis team is close to completing a system for Meecham Feeds. Roger is quite confident that the programs that he has written for Meecham’s inventory system will perform as necessary, because they are similar to programs he has done before. Your team has been very busy and would ideally like to begin full systems testing as soon as possible.

Two of your junior team members have proposed the following:

Skip desk checking of the programs (because similar programs were checked in other installations; Roger has agreed). (6 points)

In order to ensure a program works as intended, skipping the desk checking portion of the process is likely a recipe for disaster no matter how many times the installation of similar programs has been done because the key word here is “similar” meaning, they are alike but not identical. With that being said, each new program presents a possibility of potential problems that may arise which is why each program needs to be thoroughly checked during the install phase to ensure everything works accordingly. Just because the programs are similar doesn’t mean they were written in the exact same coding to perform the exact same tasks. These issues need to be identified & ironed out ahead of time before just rolling the program out for general use.

Do link testing with large amounts of data to prove that the system will work. (6 points)

The purpose of link testing is to verify whether or not independent programs can actually communicate & function with one another as intended by the designers. The best way to perform a link test is test small amounts of data to see if various processing features are performed correctly. If those processes perform as intended, then you can be assured that system is working correctly which would allow for you to begin to send corrupted data on purpose to analyze exactly what type of potential errors that may be produced between the systems. Once that errors are identified & corrected to adhere to standards, then you can fully bring the system online.

Do full systems testing with large amounts of live data to show that the system is working. (14 points)

Full systems testing with large amounts of live data is to demonstrate that the entire system is fully functioning & operating as intended. All minor errors have been identified & corrected, now this is the portion where major errors are to be identified, examined, & corrected before completely bringing the system online. Full systems testing also allows for end users of the product to begin to gain familiarity with the system as the incorporate it into their workflow thereby providing feedback to the designers on things that may need to be corrected, adjusted, or eliminated. During this phase of the process is when standard operating procedures (SOPs) & other various tech manuals will be developed in order for end users to be able to learn how to fully operate the system & troubleshoot the system to various degrees of expertise.

Respond to each of the three steps in their proposed test schedule. Use a paragraph to explain your response.

 

Part B: Mr. Bruce Schnieder, the owner of A&A Office Supplies Company, had contacted you for your advices on a new information system installed recently at his company to help improving his company inventory tasks. He told you that the team that came to install the system does not have any evaluation mechanism and he also mentioned to you that some of his employees had complained about the new system’s inputs and outputs. Since he wants to obtain the inventory result of this quarter, he would like to delay or skip the new system evaluation and use the new system for inventory right away. Given the above conditions, he would like to have your advices on his decision and on the evaluation of his new system.

In a paragraph, explain to Mr. Schnieder about problems that can occur when a system is not evaluated systematically? (6 points)

The problem with delaying or skipping the new system evaluation is that basically you will not be able to correct any of the issues that the system may have. Mr. Schnieder already has a few employees complaining about the inputs & outputs of the system now. A system evaluation is designed to identify those problems & correct them. By delaying or skipping this step, Mr. Schnieder will run into the issue of either obtaining the wrong information he needs in order to develop his quarterly report or he will not get any information at all. As a business owner looking to make a profit, it is probably not the best idea to skip or delay on a system evaluation especially if this particular system is the is of extreme importance to the life of the business.

Devise a checklist or form that helps Mr. Schnieder’s employees evaluate the utilities of the new information system. Suggest a second way to evaluate the information system, if any. Please be specific and explain your answers. (18 points)

Second suggestion for evaluating the information system would be the Information System Utility Approach. The information system utility approach is a comprehensive technique for measuring the success of a developed system. This approach deals with evaluating the possession (who), form (what), place (where), time (when), actualization (how), & goal (why). By utilizing this approach, if a user goes through all 6 utilities successfully, then the system will be deemed fully functional. If the system receives a rating of “poor” in just one utility, then the system will be deemed a “fail”. If the system receives a rating of “fair”, then the system will be deemed a partial success that needs to be improved upon.

Checklist below.

Problem II – (50 points)

Cherry Jones owns a homeopathic medicine company called Faithhealers. She sells vitamins and other relatively nonperishable products for those who want choices regarding alternative medicine. Cherry is developing a new system that would require her staff to be retrained.

Given the information in Figure 3.EX3 (Kendall & Kendall, page 102), make a PERT diagram for her and identify the critical path. (24 points)

DescriptionTaskMust FollowTime

Interview Executives A None 6

Interview staff in orders fulfillment B None 3

Design input prototype C B 2

Design output prototype D A,C 3

Write use cases E A,C 4

Record staff reactions to prototypes F D 2

Develop system G E,F 5

Write up training manual H B,G 3

Train staff working in order fulfillment I H 2

Critical Path: A — D — F — G — H — I

If Cherry could find away to save time on the “write use cases” phase, would it help? Why or why not (26 points)

E is dependent upon the completion of A which will take 6 weeks. E’s time for completion is 4 weeks before G can begin. G is dependent upon the compleion of F. F is dependent up D as D is dependent upon A. Shortening task E to expedite the process to task G will not save any time because task G still has an 11 weeks worth of work coming from A to D to F to G before the process can move forward. You can shorten the time lime from task A to E to G (total of 10 weeks) but you will still have to wait the other side (A-D-F-G) before the process can continue any further all the way to I. As the project stands now, task E will be completed 1 week before task G begins on the A-D-F-G side of the process. In order to save time on the overall project, one of the critical the tasks on the critical path will have to be pushed through faster.

Problem III- (50 points)

The problem (refer to Consulting Opportunity 3.1) is that the orders are not easily placed to the European plant, which is compounded whenever demand for the products increases dramatically. The company is looking for a systems solution that will address the problem and the solution should stress collaboration, flexibility, adaptability, and access.

One of your systems analyst team members proposed the following simple network solution that is to create an intranet that links the U.S. distributors with the European headquarters.

As a systems analyst, respond to this proposal by answering the following question:

“Does this proposed network solve the problem mentioned in Consulting Opportunity 3.1?”

If the answer is “Yes”, please explain the reasons why you support this proposal. Otherwise, explain the reasons why you disagree with the proposal and in case you are not completely agree with the solution, please offer some modifications to improve it.

This proposed network solves the problem mentioned in Consulting Opportunity 3.1.

The problems that pertain to this case are as such:

Current system is not processing orders for products in demand.

Orders & shipments are roughly 9 to 15 weeks behind

Current means of communication between the US & European market are ineffective.

Ordering process is slow.

A new intranet system needs to be developed that would allow for the US & European distributors to communicate effectively & quickly in order to place, receive orders & process orders. Once the orders are processed the system needs to be able to process & ship the orders relatively quickly, somewhere on the order of about 2 days total.

Problem IV – (50 points)

 

The Prescriptions R-X chain of pharmacies has offered to give you a free lifetime supply of medicine if you design its database. Given the rising cost of health care, you agree. Here is the information that you gatherer:

Patients are identified by an SSN, and their names, addresses, and ages must be recorded

Doctors are identified by an SSN. For each doctor, the name. specialty, and years of experience must be recorded.

Each pharmaceutical company is identified by name and has a phone number

For each drug, the trade name and formula must be recorded. Each drug is sold by a given pharmaceutical company, and the trade name identifies a drug uniquely from among the products of that company. If a pharmaceutical company is deled, you need not keep track of its products any longer.

Each pharmacy has a name, address, and phone number

Every patient has a primary physician. Every doctor has at least one patient

Each pharmacy sells several drugs and has a price for each. A drug could be sold at several pharmacies, and the price could vary from one pharmacy to another.

Doctors prescribe drugs for patients, and a patient could obtain prescriptions from several doctors. Each prescription has a date and a quantity associated with it. You can assume that, if a doctor prescribes the same drug for the same patient more than once, only the last such prescription needs to be stored.

Pharmaceutical companies have long-term contracts with pharmacies. A pharmaceutical company can contract with several pharmacies, and a pharmacy can contract with several pharmaceutical companies. For each contract, you have to store a start date, an end date, and the text of the contract.

Pharmacies appoint a supervisor for each contract. There must always be a supervisor for each contract, but the contract supervisor can change over the lifetime of the contract.

Draw an ER diagram that captures the preceding information. Identify any constraints not captured by the ER diagram

How would your design change if each drug must be sold at a fixed price by all pharmacies? (Requirement: Provide a narrative (words) explanation)

The price attribute can be added to the drug entity set & delete the price from the sell relationship set in order for the drug to be sold at a fixed price in all pharmacies.

How would your design change if the design requirements change as follows: If a doctor prescribes the same drug for the same patient more than once, several such prescriptions may have to be stored? (Requirement: Provide a narrative (words) explanation)

The date information attribute of the prescription needs to be deleted and a prescription date entity needs to be created along with creating making the prescription entity have a 4-way relationship (prescription date, drug, patient, doctor).

Problem V – (50 points)

Consider a school advising system in which a faculty advisor can advise many students, each of whom can register for one or many courses. The following is an example of an un-normalized STUDENT table for three students.

STUDENT

Student Number Student Name Total Credits GPA Advisor Number Advisor Name Course Number Course Description Course Credits Grade
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith CSC101 Computer Science I 4 B
            MKT211 Marketing Management 3 A
            ENG101 English Composition 3 B
            CHM111 General Chemistry I 4 A
            BUS101 Introduction to Business 2 A
3397 Sam 29 3.00 59 Smith ENG101 English Composition 3 A
            MKT211 Marketing Management 3 B
            CSC101 Computer Science I 4 B
4070 Kelly 14 3.20 23 Jones CSC101 Computer Science I 4 B
            CHM111 General Chemistry I 4 A
            ENG101 English Composition 3 B
            BUS101 Introduction to Business 2 B

Perform the normalization process to convert the above un-normalized table to:

1. First normal form (1NF).

Student record in 1NF form, the primary keys are: student number, course number.

Student Number Student Name Total Credits GPA Advisor # Advisor Name Course # Course Descrp Course Cred Grade
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith CSC101 Computer Science I 4 B
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith MKT211 Marketing Management 3 A
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith ENG101 English Composition 3 B
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith CHM111 General Chemistry I 4 A
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith BUS101 Introduction to Business 2 A
397 Sam 29 3.00 59 Smith ENG101 English Composition 3 A
397 Sam 29 3.00 59 Smith MKT211 Marketing Management 3 B
397 Sam 29 3.00 59 Smith CSC101 Computer Science I 4 B
4070 Kelly 14 3.20 23 Jones CSC101 Computer Science I 4 B
4070 Kelly 14 3.20 23 Jones CHM111 General Chemistry I 4 A
4070 Kelly 14 3.20 23 Jones ENG101 English Composition 3 B
4070 Kelly 14 3.20 23 Jones BUS101 Introduction to Business 2 B

2. Second normal form (2NF).

Student Name, Total Credits, GPA, Advisor Number, & Advisor Name are directly related to the Student Number (one of the primary keys to which they depend upon). Course number (other primary key) have the Course Description & Credit Hours partially dependent upon it. Grade Field is dependent upon the Student Number & Course Number in 1NF.

Student

Student Number Student Name Total Credits GPA Advisor Number Advisor Name
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59 Smith
3397 Sam 29 3.00 59 Smith
4-70 Kelly 14 3.20 23 Jones

Course

Course Number Course Description Course Credits
CSC101 Computer Science I 4
MKT211 Marketing Management 3
ENG101 English Composition 3
CHM11 General Chemistry I 4
BUS101 Introduction to Business 2

Student Grade

Student Number Course Number Grade
1034 CSC101 B
1034 MKT211 A
1034 ENG101 B
1034 CHM111 A
1034 BUS101 A
3397 ENG101 A
3397 MKT211 B
3397 CSC101 B
4070 CSC101 B
4070 CHM111 A
4070 ENG101 B
4070 ENG101 B

3. Third normal form (3NF).

2NF shows the information for Course & Student Grade. The student table is 2NF and not in 3NF because Advisor Name depends upon Advisor Number which is not a function of the primary key. 3NF shows how the student table would be constructed once divided up.

Student

Student Number Student Name Total Credits GPA Advisor Number
1034 Linda 47 3.60 59
3397 Sam 29 3.00 59
4070 Kelly 14 3.20 23

Advisor

Advisor Number Advisor Name
59 Smith
59 Smith
23 Jones

Please show all your work. Please show each step along the way and identify primary keys, if any, in each table in each step.




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