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Explain the difference between the following: a.High-Level and Low level languages b. Applications and Utilities c.Shareware, Open source software, Freeware

Answer:High- Level and Low level languages

High-level languages:-A programming language that enables a programmer to write programs that are more or less independent of a particular type of computer. Such languages are considered high-level because they are closer to human languages and much away from machine languages. In contrast assembly languages are considered low-level because they are very close to machine languages. The main advantage of high level languages over low-level languages is that they are easier to read, write, and maintain. Programs written in a high-level language can be translated into machine language by a compiler or interpreter. The first high-level programming languages were designed in the 1950s. Now there are dozens of different languages including Ada, Algol, BASIC, COBOL,C,C++,FORTRAN, LISP, Pascal and Prolog. The most basic difference in a low level language is that statements can be directly mapped to processor instructions, while a single statement in a high level language may execute dozens of instructions. Low level is a machine language, binary in form, generally meaning one low level command is equal to one executed instruction. Low Level Languages: Assembler and Advanced Assembler.

Applications and Utilities:Application programs are software that processes data for the user. In the entertainment world it refers to games. In the business world, it refers to data entry, billing, inventory, human resource and manufacturing systems ( CRM and ERP). ). Depending on the activity for which it was designed, an application can manipulate text, numbers, graphics, or a combination of these elements. Some application packages offer considerable computing power by focusing on a single task, such as word processing; others, called integrated software, offer somewhat less power but include several applications. User-written software tailors systems to meet the user's specific needs. User-written software includes spreadsheet templates, word processor macros, scientific simulations, and graphics and animation scripts. Even email filters are a kind of user Page 1 of 4


software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is. The term may also refer to one of the so-called productivity programs such as spreadsheets, word processors and database programs. Examples are Microsoft Office, Utility programs:- Utility programs help manage, maintain and control computer resources. These programs are available to help for day-to-day chores associated with personal computing and to keep the system running at peak performance Examples of utility programs are * * * * Virus scanning software Backup software Scandisk Disk Defragmenter

Virus scanning software:- are utility programs designed to protect computer from computer viruses. Virus scanning software is critical to uses, due to the number of computer viruses. Virus scanning software scans the disk each time when we insert it into a computer. If we receive a warning which shows that there is a virus suspected on the disk it contact the lab assistant and helps to eliminate the virus. Virus scanning software needs to be updated on a regular basis (usually monthly). Updates insure that virus scanning software will protect the computer from most recent viruses. Virus scanning package comes with directions on how to receive updates to the software. Backup software is software that assists in backing up files and even the entire computer hard drive. Scan disk is a utility provided with windows computers. Scan disk scans disks to see if there are any potential problems on the disk, such as bad disk areas. Since disks are magnetic media, all disks, including hard drive can be corrupted. Disk defragmenter software: assists in keep reorganizing disk drives. After files are saved, deleted and resaved again, the disk can become fragmented available space is in small blocks located throughout the disk. Disk defragmenters gather those free spots and put them together to enable us to continue to save data in the most efficient manner.

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Shareware, Open source software, Freeware Shareware : To minimize software costs many users are turning to shareware because it is very
inexpensive or free. The source code of this software cannot be modified. Software which are available freely without its whole features , in order to get the full features the users have to pay. There will be evaluation period for this software usually 30 days. This creates an opportunity to the user to have firsthand information about a software product. This can be used as demo software. This method is used by software companies as an advertisement. Some computer games will be available for free of cost , if the user wish to go the higher level he has to purchase the game or software. If the software is hard to use and doesnt perform all the required functions, the cost of wasted time and lost productivity can be far greater than the cost of purchasing better software. Examples :-Autocad, Some computer games.

Open source software: The software that is freely available to anyone in a form that can be
easily modified. Users can download the source code and build the software themselves or the software developers can make executable versions available along with the source. Open source software development is collaborative process-developers around the world use the internet to keep in close contact via e-mail and to download and submit new software. Major open source software packages are LINUX OS, Free BSD another operating system, Apache, a popular Web server; Send mail, a program that delivers e-mail for most systems on the Internet and Perl, a programming language used to develop Internet application software. Open source software is more reliable and secure than commercial software. By making a programs source code readily available users can fix any problems they discover. With the source code being accessible to thousands of people, the chances of bug being discovered and fixed before it does any damage Disadvantages of Open Source Software Although open source software can be obtained free of charge, there are some hidden costs particularly for user support or solving problems with the software. Licensed software comes with guarantees and support services that open source software will not provide. The major Page 3 of 4


hindrance to accept open source software at the corporate level is the lack of software support. Getting support for traditional software packages is easy by calling the companys toll free support number or by accessing its web site. If problem occurs there for open source software we have to search internet community for help. In internet discussion areas we may get help from someone who helped to make the software. Another approach is to contact one of the many companies to support and service such software-for example Red Hat for Linux, C2Net for Apache and Send mail Inc. for Send mail. These companies offer high quality technical assistance.

Freeware :- Software which can be accessed freely are known as freeware. The developer holds
the ownership and copy right of the freeware program. There will not be a trial period for this software. Software classified as freeware is licensed at no cost and is either fully functional for an unlimited time. The software license may impose additional restrictions on the type of use including personal use, private use, individual use, non-profit use, non-commercial use, academic use, educational use, use in charity or humanitarian organizations, non-military use, use by public authorities or various other combinations of these types of restrictions. Examples of freeware programs are Adobe Reader, Windows Media player, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox etc.

Laudon Kenneth C Laudon J.P Management Information Systems Managing Digital Firm IGNOU BOOK 1 UNIT 3

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Discuss the relationship between data and information, information and knowledge.

Also explain the concepts of cost and value of information by the help of an example. Answer Data is the unprocessed information. In managements perspective only information is needed by the management. Businesses do not run on raw data, they run on data that have been processed to information. For any decision making one has to gather some facts. These basic raw materials in the primary form provides only data, which is, as such, not much of immediate value. Unorganized, scattered data when processed and analyzed acquire the status information. On the basis of this information and further processing one formulates a know-how, which can be applied to solve a problem either at micro or corporate level.

DATA Raw facts

DATA TRANFORMATION People, Procedures, hardware, software, paper etc

INFORMATION Useful and relevant

Information consists of facts and data organized to describe a particular situation or condition. Noises which we hear is the data whereas the meaning of the noises (eg. Running car engine) is information. "Information" is "raw", i.e. un-acted upon by any receiver. The value of any given piece of information resides in the relationship between the user and the information. For example for an umbrella manufacturer the information regarding sales target is coming in the summer it is a waste. The information should be timely and precisely submitted. Combination of content and easier interpretation of it makes the user finds valuable.

Information and Knowledge

For a bank customer having account no. 12344 wants to check how much remain in balance (that is information). The person at the helpdesk is having the knowledge to solve his enquiry. The Page 1 of 5


customer-care executive possesses knowledge on how to operate her workstation, how to talk to customer, how to verify that caller is authorized person, how to interpret customer request, how to interpret account data, and how to explain it to customer. That knowledge may be considered "How-to" knowledge. In addition, the executive possesses (or can obtain from others or from support systems) other kinds of knowledge such as concepts about customers, customer accounts, and brokerage in general. The executive obtains from her system information such as: Account holder's name, needed password, type of account, account restrictions, account balances etc. Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, expert insight and grounded intuition that provides an environment and framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the minds of knowers. In organizations it often becomes embedded not only in documents and repositories but also in organizational routines, processes, practices and norms. We use knowledge to determine what a specific situation means. Knowledge is applied to interpret information about the situation and to decide how to handle it. When new facts realized or acquired it does not become knowledge but it alters the existing knowledge by increasing (or shifting) the individuals knowledge state, thereby opening new possibilities to act. We need information to get knowledge but it is rich and powerful than information.

Cost and Value of the Information

Given the extremes of the risks and benefits of IT investments, it is easy to see how critical it is to tell the difference between the right investment decision and the wrong one. A rational and systematic analysis of the expected costs and benefits is essential. However, even with extreme differences in returns on IT investments, most decision makers find it difficult to determine which investments will be a phenomenal success and which will be a failure. Key costs involved in IT are for software, hardware, consulting, training and personnel. Consulting is the single largest cost area making up more than half of cost spending on the project. The cost of initial software licenses and annual license maintenance fees has also to be considered. Personnel time spent on initial implementation and ongoing support amounted to 10 percent of total expenses. Training and hardware made up the remainder of expenditure on the deployment of Page 2 of 5


information system. So project planning and the development of a clear rod map based on user requirements are key to a smooth deployment of Information Systems.

Cost Benefit Analysis

All the IT project and investments has to done within the limited capital of the organization. Since IT consumes large amount of money careful analysis and forecasting of it is required for the implementation. High risk associated with high cost enables the managers to consider the risk management. Risk management is the process that allows IT managers to balance the operational and economic costs of protective measures and achieve gains in mission capability by protecting the IT systems and data that support their organizations missions. This process is not unique to the IT environment; indeed it pervades decision-making in all areas of our daily lives. Take the case of home security, for example. Many people decide to have home security systems installed and pay a monthly fee to a service provider to have these systems monitored for the better protection of their property. Presumably, the homeowners have weighed the cost of system installation and monitoring against the value of their household goods. Costs have to be compared with the softwares range of features & functionalities. A document management system may not be the cheapest, but it should help to set up a virtual office. Going for loads of features also constitutes a trap, because users never get around to using half of them. Another question is whether there is an overlap between features & needs at all. Many features may not relate to needs sought to be addressed. Company should clearly define its needs, & classify features as needed features & features not needed. Another possible scheme of classifying features could be must have, nice to have, & future requirements.

Accenture multinational company for software development enables the cost reduction by working to run on current operations more efficiently by improving the use of software and hardware assets, thereby divesting non-essential assets and decreasing the average IT unit costs. They embedded structural changes by shifting the focus to an efficient and effective IT operating model. This drives significant improvements in labor costs, extracting savings through better operating models, industrialized processes, transformational technologies, and sourcing strategies Page 3 of 5


Return On Investment (ROI)

This method tries to quantify additional profits that are generated as a percentage of the investment in information system technology. For example a company named NCI Information Systems for the deployment of new software they done this kind of analysis. The returns from the new software included both indirect benefits mainly productivity and direct, harddollar returns, such as increases in working capital. The largest direct return to NCI was in the area of improved working capital: new system applied a 15 percent cost of capital to quantify the savings resulting from faster inflow of annual billings. The other direct benefit quantified was the avoidance of additional personnel because without new information system, NCI would likely have to hire additional employees over the next two or three years to support budgeting and forecasting requirements. The company calculated indirect benefits, including the increased productivity of financial analysts and program managers, using the fully loaded cost of NCI employees. Time savings realized as a result of faster data access and easier reporting and budgeting were multiplied by a productivity correction factor to account for the inefficient transfer of time from time saved to additional time worked.

Data of ROI analysis is shown on the adjacent paper

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The dysfunctional IT systems have interfered with the business operations and cause the loss of customers and revenue. The Denver Airport is a well-known example of this. The airport's baggage handling system was a critical component in the plan. By automating baggage handling, aircraft turnaround time was to be reduced to as little as 30 minutes. Faster turnaround meant more efficient operations and was a cornerstone of the airports competitive advantage.
Despite the good intentions the plan rapidly dissolved as underestimation of the projects complexity resulted in snowballing problems and public humiliation for everyone involved.

Causes:- Denver International Airport (DIA) project failed because those making key decision underestimated the complexity involved. As planned, the system was the most complex baggage system ever attempted. Ten times larger than any other automated system, the increased size resulted in an exponential growth in complexity. At the heart of the complexity lay an issue known as line balancing. To optimize system performance, empty carts had to be distributed around the airport ready to pick up new bags. With more than 100 pickup points (check in rows and arrival gates) each pickup needed to be fed with enough empty carts to meet its needs. The algorithms necessary to anticipate where empty carts should wait for new bags represented a nightmare in the mathematic modeling of queue behaviors. Failure to anticipate the number of carts correctly would result in delays in picking up bags that would undermine the systems performance goals. Failure to recognize the complexity and the risk involved contributed to the project being initiated very late.

1) Cost _Reduction/d/16296607 2) www.inspired2 between Data and information.pdf 3) Understanding-the Difference-Between IM and_ KN.pdf 4) www.knowledge 5)

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Explain the major marketing subsystems and enumerate the advantages of the use of computers in such subsystems.

Marketing is a craft of linking the producers of goods and services with the existing and potential customers. It can be said as an art of selling products to the market. It deals with study of the existing products sale; find out new markets for existing products and introduction of existing products. The marketing people have to deal with changes in the consumer behavior, market place, channels of distribution, the merchandizing, display and almost anything which comes under sales. A good information system can handle all these processes and can be used for the benefit of the organization. The major marketing sub systems are 1) Sales Management 2) Sales Forecasting 3) Advertising and Promotion 4) Marketing Research

1-Sales Management: - Assists managers in identifying products, sales personnel and

customers who are contributing to profits and those who are not. Several reports can be generated to help marketing managers make good sales decisions. The sales-by-product report lists all major products and their sales for a period of time, such as a month. This product shows which products are doing well and which ones need improvement or should be discarded altogether. The sales-by-salesperson report lists total sales for each salesperson for each week or month. This report can also be sub divided by product to show which products are being sold by each sales person. The sales-by-customer report is a useful way to identify high-and low-volume customers. Computers and software can be used for the generation of these kinds of reports


Sales Force Management Systems are information systems used in marketing and management that automate some sales and sales force management functions. They are frequently combined with a

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marketing information system, in which case they are often called customer relationship management systems. Advantages to Sales People Proponents claim that sales force automation systems can improve the productivity of sales personnel. Examples: Rather than write-out sales reports, activity reports, and/or call sheets, sales people can fill-in prepared e-forms. This saves time. Rather than printing out reports and taking them to the sales manager, sales people can use the

company intranet to transmit the information. This saves time. Rather than waiting for paper based product inventory data, sales prospect lists, and sales support information, they will have access to the information when they need it. This could be useful in the field when answering prospects questions and objections. The additional tools could help improve sales staff morale if they reduce the amount of record keeping and/or increase the rate of closing. These sales force systems can be used as an effective and efficient training device. They provide sales staff with product information and sales technique training without them having to waste time at seminars. Better communication and co-operation between sales personnel facilitates successful team selling. This technology increases the sales persons ratio of selling time to non-selling time. Nonselling time includes activities like report writing, travel time, internal meetings, training, and seminars. Advantages to the Sales Manager Sales force automation systems can also affect sales management. Here are some examples: The sales manager, rather than gathering all the call sheets from various sales people and tabulating the results, will have the results automatically presented in easy to understand tables, charts, or graphs. This saves time for the manager. Activity reports, information requests, orders booked, and other sales information will be sent to the sales manager more frequently, allowing him/her to respond more directly with advice, product in-stock verifications, and price discount authorizations. This gives management more hands-on control of the sales process if they wish to use it.

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The sales manager can configure the system so as to automatically analyze the information using sophisticated statistical techniques, and present the results in a user-friendly way. This gives the sales manager information that is more useful in : Providing current and useful sales support materials to sales staff

2-Sales forecasting:-A forecast is a statement and or a quantified assessment of future

conditions about a particular subject (eg. sales revenue) based on one or more explicit assumptions. A forecast should always state assumptions upon which it is based. The management of the company comprehensive may accept, modify or reject the forecast. We can consider the case of Encyclopedia Britannica their failure was the problem to sales forecasting First published 225 years ago in Edinburgh, Scotland, sales of Encyclopedia Britannica peaked in 1990 at $650 million, with profits of $40 million. As CD-ROM technology gained acceptance, however, Britannicas management failed to respond and continued to market through a direct sales force of 2,300 people. Part of the reason Britannica found it hard to change is that a typical sale pays the salesperson a commission of $300. With CD-ROM encyclopedia packages priced from $99 to $395, commissions would have dropped significantly. It also would have required marketing through competing channels of distribution such as retail outlets, direct mail, and telemarketing, a change the powerful direct sales force would have resisted. Sales have declined drastically, the company is in financial trouble, and the sales force is now less than half its former size. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) system can be used as channels for providing forecasting sales. The reports or data from customers and suppliers can be transferred to EDI. Data regarding the previous sales can be obtained from the database records which are stored on computers. Each days report from sales men or distributors can be incorporated by the manager and he can foresee future targets. Computers make easier the document transmittal in a faster way. The whole shopping experience can be simulated online via 3D animation. Each participant sees a typical retail display, with all of the products in a category shown(the new product plus the

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major competitive brands). The respondent is asked to look at the shelf display and indicate how many of each brand she is likely to buy in the next week or next 30 days.

3-Advertising and Promotion:- One of the most important functions of any marketing
effort is promotion. Promotion is concerned with all the means of marketing the sale of product, including advertising and personal selling. Product success is a direct function of the effectiveness of advertising and sales promotion. The size of the promotion budget and the allocation of this budget to various promotional mixes are important factors in deciding which type of campaign will be launched. Television coverage, newspaper ads and coverage, promotional brochures and literature and training programs for sales people are all components of these promotional and advertising mixes. Because of the time and scheduling savings they offer, computer software is widely used to establish the original budget and to monitor expenditures and the overall effectiveness of various promotional campaigns. Promotional effectiveness can be monitored through a specialized functional system focusing exclusively on sales activity. For example, a significant proportion of many marketing managers compensation is determined by the results of their promotional campaigns through specialized sales activity sub systems. Such systems often use data from retail outlet bar-code scanners to compile information on how effective certain promotions were within the promotion period. Without such sales activity, the time delay between whole-sale shipments and retail sales would prevent the promotions effectiveness from being accurately measured.

4-Marketing Research
The systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation facing an organization. Marketing Research is a process of designing, gathering, analyzing & reporting information that is used to solve a specific problem. It provides information for aid in making business related decisions, to Identify opportunities and generate & refine actions. It is important for the managers for many decisions like: Helps reduce risk inherent in decision-making Provides an important link to customers Page 4 of 6


Allows implementation of the business concept Enables managers to identify & understand stakeholders wants & needs and to develop appropriate strategies to meet these needs Sales Force Management Software can be used to provide marketing research data: demographic, psychographic, behavioral, product acceptance, product problems, detecting trends Provide market research data : industry dynamics, new competitors, new products from competitors, new promotional campaigns from competitors, macro-environmental scanning, detecting trends Market research can be done online: - Many companies are using internet for their market research there will some questionnaires which customers have to answer. Nowadays organizations are using social networking sites for their sales promotion and market research.
CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing) is a research tool used in market research. The system allows for interviewers to enter data into the computer via another interface or the default CATI one. CATI usually works on a manual dialing system, and has a scheduler to give the person cases. Essentially a live person will call and manually enter in the result of call (answering machine, busy, etc.). The course of action the firm will take is then based on these status codes. Such as, if the number is disconnected they may query 411 or try back at another time, since it may be a temporary disconnect. If a number is busy, the CATI scheduler may give the number back to another person, in say 15 minutes to try again. The same is then true with a ring, but nobody picks up, answering machine, and so on, and so forth. Just as assumed if the subject finishes an interview they are kicked out of the system for analysis and never called again. Also, most CATI identify subjects with case numbers so analysts arent given personal info. But most of the times the surveys include data like age/race/salary inside the interview. Most people who are nice enough to cough up an interview will answer this type questions since trust is established anyways

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1) Vest pocket guide to Information Technology by Jae K Shim, Joel. G. Siegel 2) Book on Marketing management Virtual University of Pakistan 3) http_media.wiley.com_product data_excerpt_94_04717431_0471743194.pdf 4)

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Describe the significant features of each of Visual Basic, Java, HTML, Excel and COBOL briefly.


Visual Basic
Visual Basic (VB)
is the third-generation event-driven programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft for its COM programming model. Visual Basic is relatively easy to learn and use. Visual Basic was derived from BASIC and enables the rapid application development (RAD)of graphical user interface (GUI) applications, access to databases using Data Access Objects, Remote Data Objects, or ActiveX Data Objects, and creation of ActiveX controls and objects. Scripting languages such as VBA and VBScript are syntactically similar to Visual Basic, but perform differently. A programmer can put together an application using the components provided with Visual Basic itself. Programs written in Visual Basic can also use the Windows API, but doing so requires external function declarations.

Visual Basic was designed to be usable by all programmers, whether novice or expert. Forms are created using drag and drop techniques. A tools palette is used to place controls (e.g., text boxes, buttons, etc.) on the form (window). Controls have attributes and event handlers associated with them. Default values are provided when the control is created, but may be changed by the programmer. Many attribute values can be modified during run time based on user actions or changes in the environment, providing a dynamic application. For example, code can be inserted into the form resize event handler to reposition a control so that it remains centered on the form, expands to fill up the form, etc. By inserting code into the event handler for a key press in a text box, the program can automatically translate the case of the text being entered, or even prevent certain characters from being inserted. A Visual Basic application can consist of one or more windows, or a single window that contains child windows, as provided by the operating system. Dialog boxes with less functionality (e.g., no maximize/minimize control) can be used to provide pop-up capabilities. Controls provide the basic functionality of the application, while programmers can insert additional logic within the appropriate event handlers. For example, a drop-down combination box will automatically display its list and allow the user to select any element. An event handler is called when an item

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is selected, which can then execute additional code created by the programmer to perform some action based on which element was selected. Alternatively, a Visual Basic component can have no user interface, but be available to other programs, providing objects that implement functionality. This allows for server-side processing or add-in models

Java: is an operating system-independent, processor-independent, object-oriented programming language that has become the leading interactive programming environment for the web. If an object moves on the web or takes input from the user, a Java applet is likely behind it. Java was created by James Gosling and the Green Tean at Sun Micro Systems in 1992 as a programming environment to support interactive cable television content delivery. Widespread use of Java did not occur until 1995 when large numbers of people started using world wide web and internet. Nearly all web browsers come with a Java platform built in. More recently, the Java platform has migrated into cellular phones, automobiles, music players, game machines, and finally into set-top cable television systems serving interactive content and pay-per-view services. Java software is designed to run on any computer or computing device, regardless of the specific microprocessor or operating system the device uses. A macintosh PC, an IBM PC running Windows, a Sun server running Unix, and even a smart cellular phone or personal digital assistant can share the same Java application. For each of the computing environments in which Java is used, Sun has created a Java Virtual Machine that interprets Java programming code for that machine. In this manner, the code is written once and can be used on any machine for which there exists a Java Virtual Machine. Java is particularly useful in network environments such as the Internet. Here Java is used to create miniature programs called applets that are designed to reside on centralized network servers. The network delivers to client computers only the applets required for a specific function. With Java applets residing on a network, a user can download only the software functions and data that he or she needs to perform a particular task, such as analyzing the revenue from one sales territory. The user does not need to maintain large software programs or data files on his or her desktop machine.

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Java is a language that can handle text, data, graphics, sound and video all within one program if needed. Java enables PC users to manipulate data on networked systems using web browsers, reducing the need to write specialized software. A web browser is an easy- to-use software tool with a graphical user interface for displaying web pages and for accessing web and other internet resources. Microsofts Internet Explorer, Mozilla and Netscape Navigator are examples. At the enterprise level, Java is being used for more complex e-commerce and ebusiness applications that require communication with an organizations back-end transaction processing systems. The rapid deployment of Java was hindered in the past because of disagreements between Sun micro systems and Microsoft over Java standards. In an effort to promote widespread adoption of the Java technology, Sun had started open licensing program. Beginning in August 1995, Sun entered into license and distribution agreements with major platform manufacturers including Apple, DEC, Fujitsu, Hewlett- Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Netscape, Novell, SCO, Siemens, and Silicon Graphics. HTML HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the set of markup symbols or codes inserted in a file intended for display on a World Wide Web browser page. The markup tells the Web browser how to display a Web page's words and images for the user. Each individual markup code is referred to as an element (but many people also refer to it as a tag). Some elements come in pairs that indicate when some display effect is to begin and when it is to end. HTML is a formal Recommendation by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is generally adhered to by the major browsers, Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator, which also provide some additional non-standard codes. The current version of HTML
is HTML 4.0. However, both Internet Explorer and Netscape implement some features differently and provide non-standard extensions. Web developers using the more advanced features of HTML 4 may have to design pages for both browsers and send out the appropriate version to a user. Significant features in HTML 4 are sometimes described in general as dynamic HTML. What is sometimes referred to as HTML 5 is an extensible form of HTML called Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML)

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Excel is a commercial spreadsheet application written and distributed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993. Excel forms part of Microsoft Office. The current versions are 2010 for Windows and 2011 for Mac. Create a personal or family budget and track income and expenses by month or year. Create a spreadsheet that helps to plan and track savings for retirement, or for child's college education. Excel's built-in mathematical functions to automatically calculate routine or complex equations. Create lists through Excel. Excel's convenient tabular layout makes it easy to format many different types of lists. Create checklists to make traveling and packing easier.

COBOL is a compiler language commonly used to solve data processing in commercial organization. At the design stage of COBOL main consideration was to make a language for business applications. The use of English as much as possible and easiness of language was encouraged. In addition to making the language easy to use, it was believed that the use of English would allow managers to read programs. COBOL was the first language that allowed names to be truly connotative, because it allowed both long names (up to 30 characters) and word connector characters (Hyphens). The word COBOL is an acronym that stands for COmmon Business Oriented Language. As the expanded acronym indicates, COBOL is designed for developing business, typically file-oriented, applications. It is not designed for writing systems programs. We cannot develop an operating system or a compiler using COBOL. Overall, the data division is the strong part of COBOLs design, whereas the procedure division is relatively weak. Every variable is defined in detail in the data division, including the Page 4 of 5


number of decimal digits and the location of the implied decimal point. File records are also described with this level of detail, as are lines to be output to a printer, which makes COBOL ideal for printing accounting reports. Some characteristics that contribute to COBOL's success COBOL is self-documenting One of the design goals for COBOL was to make it possible for non-programmers such as supervisors, managers and users, to read and understand COBOL code. As a result, COBOL contains such English-like structural elements as verbs, clauses, sentences, sections and divisions. As it happens, this design goal was not realized. Managers and users nowadays do not read COBOL programs. Computer programs are just too complex for most laymen to understand them, however familiar the syntactic elements. But the design goal and its effect on COBOL syntax has had one important side-effect. It has made COBOL the most readable, understandable and self-documenting programming language in use today. It has also made it the most verbose.

It is easy for programmers unused to the business programming paradigm, where programming with a view to ease of maintenance is very important, to dismiss the advantage that COBOL's readability imparts. Not only does this readability generally assist the maintenance process but the older a program gets the more valuable this readability becomes.

References 1) Lauden K.C and Lauden J.P Management Information Systems- Managing the Digital Firm 2) 3) 4) Sebesta.R.W. Concepts of Programming Languages

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Q-5)Define decision support system in your own words. Also illustrate the concept using your organizational context.

Decision Support System is an organized collection of people, procedures, software, databases and devices used to help make decisions that solve problems. The focus of a DSS is on decision making effectiveness when faced with unstructured or semi structured business problems. Decision support systems (DSSs) are software products that help users apply analytical and scientific methods to decision making. They work by using models and algorithms from disciplines such as decision analysis, mathematical programming and optimization, stochastic modeling, simulation, and logic modeling. DSS products can execute, interpret, visualize, and interactively analyze these models over multiple scenarios. As with TPS and an MIS a DSS should be designed, developed and used to help an organization achieve its goals and objectives. Decision Support Systems offers the potential to generate higher profits, lower costs, and better products and services. Decision Support Systems have a wide range of application areas including manufacturing, finance, marketing, human resources management and strategic planning.

Characteristics of D.S.S
1. Provide report and presentation flexibility. Managers can get the information they want, presented in a format that suits their needs. Output can be displayed on computer screens or printed, depending on the needs and desire of the problem solvers.

2. Support drill- down analysis: A manager can get more levels of detail when needed
by drilling down through data. For example a manager can get more detailed information for a project- viewing the overall project cost or drilling down and seeing the cost for each phase, activity and task.

3. Goal seeking analysis:- It is the process of determining the problem data required for
a given result. For example, a financial manager considering an investment with a certain monthly net income and the manager might have a goal to earn a return of 9% on the Page 1 of 6


investment. Goal seeking allows the manager to determine what monthly net income is needed to yield a return of 9%.

4. Handle large amounts of data from different sources: For instance, advanced
database management systems and data warehouses have allowed decision makers to search for information with a DSS, even when some data resides in different databases on different computer systems or networks. Using the internet, an oil giant can use a decision support system to save hundreds of millions of dollars annually by considering a large amount of drilling and exploring data from around the globe.

5. Offer both textual and graphical orientation:- Todays DSS can produce text,
tables, line drawings, pie charts, trend lines and more. By using their preferred orientation, managers can use a DSS to get a better understanding of a situation and to convey this understanding to others.

6. Perform complex, sophisticated analysis and comparisons using advanced software packages : Marketing research surveys, for example can be analyzed in a
variety of ways using programs that are part of a DSS. Many of the analytical programs associated with a DSS are actually stand- alone programs and the DSS bring them together.

1. Data Resources:- A DSS database contains data and information taken from the database of the organization. It includes summarized data and information which needed by the manager for specific type of decision. 2 Software resources: DSS software packages are called DSS generators, they contain modules for database. 3 People resources: People resources play a vital role in every business organization without adequate resource of people, it is very difficult task to do in the decision making process. DSS is used by the managers and their staff specialist to explain decision alternatives. 4 Hardware resources: It is typically used to run a large DSS in the mainframe computer. Many users constructed DSS also run on micro computers for managerial use. Page 2 of 6


Module resources: The model base includes library of mathematical models and analytical techniques stored in a variety of program modules and files.

Database management system (DBMS). A DBMS serves as a data bank for the DSS. It stores large quantities of data that are relevant to the class of problems for which the DSS has been designed and provides logical data structures (as opposed to the physical data structures) with which the users interact. Model-base management system (MBMS). The role of MBMS is analogous to that of a DBMS. Its primary function is providing independence between specific models that are used in a DSS from the applications that use them. The purpose of an MBMS is to transform data from the DBMS into information that is useful in decision making. Dialog generation and management system (DGMS). The main product of an interaction with a DSS is insight. As their users are often managers who are not computer-trained, DSSs need to be equipped with intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces.



Figure-1 Architecture of DSS

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Types of DSS 1 Status inquiry Systems :-The number of decisions in the operational management and some at the middle management are such that they are based on one or two aspects of a decision making situation. It does not call for any elaborate computations, analysis, choice, etc. for decision making. If the status is known, the decision is automatic, (ie) the status and solution is a unique relation. 2 3 Accounting Systems: - These systems are not necessarily required for decision making but they are desirable to keep track of the major aspects of the business. Model based systems: - These systems are simulation models or optimization models for decision making. These decisions generally are one time and in frequent and provide general guidelines for operations management. 4 Information analysis systems: - In this system, the data is analyzed and information reports are generated. The decision makers use these reports for assessment of the situation for decision making. 5 Data analysis Systems: - These decision systems are based on comparative analysis and use of a formula. The use of simple data processing tools and business rules are required to develop this system

Reliance Infocomm
Reliance Infocomm was formed in 1999 specifically to serve Indias burgeoning market for telephone services. The company is part of the largest business house in India, the Reliance Group. Reliance Infocomm was launched as a very ambitious project. The project was conceived at the convergence of communication and information technology. It was designed to connect every home and office in India with each other and the world through an overarching terabit optic fiber digital distribution system. It was developed to provide a range of services to every citizen, company and community. It was envisaged to earn for India leadership in the knowledge age. Reliance Infocomm aimed to create new paradigms in enterprise, entrepreneurship and engagement. To achieve all these objectives Reliance Infocomm rolled out a complex architecture of domains, functions, facilities, coverage and services, through the latest Page 4 of 6


technology, aiming to add value through messaging, facilitating business transactions, videoconferencing, music and movie download services. According to a comparison cited by Mukesh Ambani, former Chairman of Reliance Infocomm, the United States currently has only about 100 out of 700 cities with the CDMA2000 1X2 technology that provides the benefit of mobile voice, data and video. Reliance Infocomm laid 60,000 kilometers of optical fiber to support its network backbone and began looking for a decision support system that could serve as the companys business intelligence backbone. To help support its rapid growth in the telecommunications market in India. Reliance Infocomm is relying on the SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (SAP Net weaver BI) component to provide a state-of-the art decision support system and serve the needs of Indias residential and business customers. As a telephone vendor they have to handle huge volume of data. It should be also accessible to various kinds of business people like business analysts, managers and other Reliance Infocomm users. The Reliance Infocomm decision
support system now supports 80 major analytic applications, from voice-product usage and customer acquisition analytics to public-call usage and billing and collections. The system processes an average of 18 million records each day, and supports approximately 800 users with 300 standard report templates. In operation, transaction data comes from more than 15 different sources. The ERP data goes directly into SAP NetWeaver BI. The other data, coming from relational databases and flat files, goes to an Ascential DataStage extract/transform/load (ETL) system, then into a repository database, and then into SAP Netweaver BI.

Today, around 95% of the data loaded into SAP NetWeaver BI daily comes from nonSAP systems. All data, once it arrives in the SAP data warehouse, is treated the same way, independent of where it comes from. From the data warehouse, information then goes out to 25 subject-area data marts, or InfoCubes (multidimensional datasets), and then to the users. Every new phone activation, every customer complaint, every customer bill, every payment, every adjustment, and every transaction with other network suppliers. The current data volume is three terabytes and is growing at a fast pace. The largest InfoCube, for example, already contains more than a billion record rows. But system performance is excellent, even with heavy report traffic 800 users, of which 150 are concurrent.

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Reliance Infocomm system supports a wide variety of executives. Business analysts track the performance of the companys rate plans, network managers track network performance, product managers test new types of value added services, and managers and executives look for pain points among companys various business processes. The users are located geographically, whether they are using local or long distance calls and which vendor networks they are using. Business analysts can find out whether the users are talking more in the evening or in the morning or which days of the week are the busiest. They can go to the web, and they can drill in wherever they want and get immediate, accurate information. Thus we can conclude that by the deployment of decision support system the organization can flourish by tackling the challenges.

References 1) 2) H.K. Bhargava, C.L. Herrick and S. Sridhar, Desirable features for decision analysis software. 3)

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