7. Management systems revisited

Lots of good ideas and discussions. Management systems is a big concept. It was great to see that you were able to understand so many different elements that go into these complex systems and how they are developed.

Great questions came up so here are some clarifications…

Management systems – If you work for a big company, your management is using some form of management system or systems. Your employee records, payroll information and pay checks or direct deposit is one that you hope is working correctly. If the company makes products, sells products or sells services, there will be systems to manage these functions too. These systems may be limited to just a single function – payroll, or they may be integrated – one big system that combines all these functions.

Deployment and Acceptance – these are steps in the system development process.

Deployment (launch, roll-out) – Once the system has been built and tested by the developers, it must be set-up for use by the intended users. For complex systems, like a payroll system, this can take months to train people, install hardware, make sure network connections work properly.

Acceptance – Again, depending on the system, and how it is “launched” there is usually some formal process to determine that every part of the system is working properly and the primary users are satisfied.

Acceptance criteria – Pre-defined list. Making a list in advance is important to ensure that all the important features and procedures are complete and work as they should. The list is often made as part of the system planning and design.

Usually “cloud” applications services run on the provider company’s computers. These are just complex web applications. There is nothing to download. That’s part of the service. The software is updated at the provider’s end so they can update it anytime they need to. You still access your information and process your data without interruption.

Salesforce.com – This is a great option for companies who need an information system to run their business but prefer to buy the processing service rather than own computer applications and employ at lot of technical staff.

The Salesforce building and sign can be seen from Highway 101 in San Mateo. Less Software is a small group who work from their homes in Southern California.

Blackboard is a learning and course management system “product” – similar to Catalyst/Moodle. Universities and companies pay a lot of money to the owners to use Blackboard. Moodle is “open source” and is available for anyone to use without charge.

Great Technologies is one of my favorite assignments. These are all examples of Computers, Data Processing, and Applications. There is so much interesting stuff out on the web. While I try to stay current, students always find wonderful sites that I had not previously seen.

Collaboration for the final project – We will be using WikiEducator which is designed for people to work together. The “groups” are 2-3 students so there won’t be big issues with coordination. The “deliverable” is similar to the MidTerm but you are not working alone.

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