Chapter 1


Chapter 1 The Database Environment
Answers to Review Questions 1. Define each of the following key terms: a. Data. Stored representations of objects and events that have meaning and importance in the user’s environment. b. Information. Data that have been processed in such a way that they can increase the knowledge of the person who uses it. c. Metadata. Data that describes the properties or characteristics of end-user data and the context of that data. d. Database application. An application program (or set of related programs) that is used to perform a series of database activities (create, read, update, and delete) on behalf of database users. e. Data warehouse. An integrated decision support database whose content is derived from the various operational databases. f. Constraint. A rule that cannot be violated by database users. g. Database. An organized collection of logically related data. h. Entity A person, place, object, event, or concept in the user environment about which the organization wishes to maintain data. i. Database management system. A software system that is used to create, maintain, and provide controlled access to user databases. Match the following terms and definitions: c data b database application l constraint g repository f metadata m data warehouse a information j user view k database management system h data independence e database i enterprise resource systems planning (ERP) d enterprise data model Contrast the following terms: a. Data dependence; data independence. With data dependence, data descriptions are included with the application programs that use the data, while with data independence the data descriptions are separated from the application programs. b. Data warehouse; data mining. A data warehouse is an integrated decision support database, while data mining (described in the chapter introduction) is the process of extracting useful information from databases. c. Data; information. Data consist of facts, text, and other multimedia objects,



Five categories of databases are: a. Put data in context by providing structure. database. and other system components. 6. and are used for data analysis purposes.2 Modern Database Management. images. e. 8. The definition of data has been expanded in today’s environment because databases (and Web servers) are commonly used to store more complex data such as documents. production. Data warehouse. . A repository is a centralized storehouse for all data definitions. recorded by a home health-care professional. Limited data sharing d. CASE tools: automated tools used to design databases and database applications. An entity is an object or concept that is important to the business. products. Department database – a database used by the human resources department of a large hospital. ERP system. including marketing. c. extranet databases – the database supporting applications that access a database through a Web browser. enterprise data model. Internet. sales. b. Enterprise database – the database supporting the SAP enterprise information system. while a database is an organized collection of logically related data. and so forth. Eight Edition d. to discover relationships and correlations about customers. while information is data that have been processed in such a way that it can increase the knowledge of the person who uses it. and so forth that may be used in strategic decision making. ERP systems integrate operational data at the enterprise level. Lengthy development times e. Entity. Workgroup database – a database that supports the work of several scientists performing research on a new drug. 4. Data warehouses store historical data at a chosen level of granularity or detail. e. data relationships. while an enterprise data model is a graphical model that shows the high-level entities for the organization and the relationship among those entities. Following are nine major components in a typical database system environment: a. 5. Personal computer databases – a set of data describing patient visits. 7. Repository: centralized storehouse of data definitions. Five disadvantages of file processing systems: a. Program-data dependence b. Both use enterprise level data. Repository. Excessive program maintenance Two ways to convert data to information: a. Duplication of data c. b. integrating all facets of the business. intranet. d. b. f. Summarize or process and present data for human interpretation. and video clips.

End users: persons who add. Data administrators: persons who are responsible for the overall information resources of an organization. create. and provide controlled access to the database and the repository. should it be developed by an end user or by an IS professional? 3. Which data processing operations should be performed at a client workstation and which on the server? c. How should data in the PC database be synchronized with data in other databases? 6. menus. How can the organization develop and maintain acceptable data standards? 3. 10. Database: organized collection of logically related data. How can the group members use the database concurrently without compromising database integrity? 3. g. including legacy data from earlier systems that are desired for analysis? . Personal computer: 1. If developed internally. How can the design of the database be optimized for the various group members? 2. What database and application development tools should be used? d. 9. f. i. Workgroup database: 1. How can the database and its environment be designed for adequate performance? 2. User interface: languages. Relationships between tables are expressed by identical data values stored in the associated columns of related tables in a relational database. Enterprise databases: 1. delete. Department databases: 1. How should the database be distributed among the various locations? 2. h. How can adequate security be provided to protect against unauthorized disclosure or distribution of sensitive data? 3. What commercial DBMS product should be used for the application? 5. maintain. System developers: persons such as systems analysts and programmers who design new application programs. What actions must be taken in order to successfully integrate numerous systems. Who is responsible for the accuracy of the data? b. What data are required by the user and how should the database be designed? 4. e. and other facilities by which users interact with the various system components. d. Some key questions for each type of database are the following: a. Application programs: computer programs that are used to create and maintain the database. Should the application be purchased or developed internally? 2.Chapter 1 3 c. Database management system (DBMS): commercial software used to define. and modify data in the database and who request information from it.

Program-data independence b. 15. Improved data consistency d. 1970s – first generation. b. Improved data sharing e. How will the database deal with different types of client browsers and hardware platforms? 11. object-oriented and object-relational databases. 1990s – third generation. Conversion costs d. Internet databases: 1. specialized personnel b. Improved decision support Five additional costs or risks of the database approach are: a. Pine Valley could also consider utilizing the Internet to exchange information with suppliers. and complexity c. hierarchical and network databases. d. an order for materials could be prepared and electronically submitted to suppliers. Reduced program maintenance j. when supply levels reach a certain threshold. Data independence refers to the separation of data descriptions from the application programs that use the data. 13. Inventory and supplier orders In addition to the order entry application. Minimal data redundancy c. New. Eight Edition e. Need for explicit backup and recovery e. b. Internet technologies would benefit Pine Valley Furniture in several ways. streamline the order process. Potential benefits of the database approach are: a. relational databases. Organizational conflict Evolution of database technology: a. c. 1980s – second generation. Improved data accessibility and responsiveness i. For example. Some possible problems which might arise: 12. a. 14. What type of security is required for external access to a business database? 2. It is an important goal because it allows an organization’s data to change and evolve without changing the application programs that use the data. Improved data quality h. and improve on employee efficiency. management cost. Enforcement standards g. 1690s – traditional files. Customer order entry The implementation of an order entry application utilizing the Internet would greatly improve Pine Valley’s customer base. Increased development productivity f. . Installation.4 Modern Database Management.

User expectations Since the Internet is available 24 hours a day. 17. While the Internet is available to anyone. e. however. Examples of relationships: . Several trends will continue during the next decade: a. you have no way of guaranteeing a persistent connection with an Internet user. it also allows limited access from the outside into the company’s data. an intranet is available only to employees of a company. Thus. Content-addressable data. Database access for untrained users will become much easier. Online shopping sites are able to carry a large virtual inventory stored in a database for the customer to peruse. Very large databases are being used to improve customer relationship management (CRM) by creating CRM systems that react to individual customer’s purchase behavior. Pine Valley Furniture soon realized that its database management system did not provide an adequate means to utilize data for decision making. An intranet does utilize the same protocols as the Internet and can be accessed via a browser. 18. c. Most often. They are also being used to improve employee relationship management by tracking employee skills and sending notice when an internal job opportunity that needs a particular skill that the employee possesses is announced. applications would need to be written in such a way to account for this. most often only from PCs that are located on-site. Additional complexity of systems In comparison to an in-house system. f. Trend toward centralization of databases will continue. 16. This could present difficulties if the system is not always available. Improved synchronization of small databases. companies will use this to allow vendors and customers limited access to data. seven days a week. b. b. Capability to manage increasingly complex data types.Chapter 1 5 a. Continued development of universal servers. d. c. 19. Security There could also be the added risk of data security being compromised via the Internet. For example by suggesting other items that a customer may want to purchase based on that customer’s previous purchases. Solutions to Problems and Exercises 1. An extranet also uses Internet protocols. customers would expect that they could place orders anytime.

multimedia objects may require maintaining multiple versions of the data. sound. and video clips) require substantial storage capacity. Advanced data types have several special requirements: a. Eight Edition 2. This process requires specialized software not generally available in a relational DBMS or extra effort to create a means to rapidly access multimedia objects (such as keyword indexes). In this database. the relationship between CUSTOMER and CONTACT HISTORY is one-to-many: 3. Storage requirements – multimedia objects (such as images. c.6 Modern Database Management. Content management – this is the problem of storing. b. Usually the whole object needs to be restored because it is treated as a whole rather than a set of . locating. and retrieving the multimedia objects. Maintenance – while conventional relational data are easily updated. which needs to be justified.

Also the pressures associated with rapid business change result in organizations taking a short-term. organizations fund development of their information systems one application at a time. Workgroup database: Which data processing operations should be performed at a workstation and which should occur on the server? Answer: data input and (when possible) data validation should be performed on the workstation. because of resource limitations. fraternity.2003 8/07/2003 Updated 6/1/2004 Responsible Party Registrar Registrar Registrar Student IS Student IS Student IS Department Chair 11/15/2003 5/10/2004 5. These procedures will include password protection and authorization rules that restrict user access and actions they may take. What organizational and personal factors lead an organization to have multiple. This is a good in-class interactive exercise. Some limitations of databases: a. which positively identify potential users. First. Name Course Section Semester Name ID Major GPA Type Alphanumeric Integer Alphanumeric Alphanumeric Integer Alphanumeric Decimal Description Course ID and name Section number Semester and year Student name Student ID (SSN) Student major Student grade point average Source Academic Unit Registrar Registrar Student IS Student IS Student IS Academic Unit Created 5/10/2004 5/10/2004 5/10/2004 8/07/2003 8/07/2003 8/07/. rather than wait for the central IS organization to develop a centralized database. mergers and acquisitions generally result in multiple databases. 4. b. Departmental/divisional database: How can adequate security be provided to protect the data? Answer: a layer of security procedures must be designed by database administration and implemented in the department database system.Chapter 1 7 parts. or other organization to illustrate a “top-down” approach to develop an enterprise data model. and encryption 6. Metadata for Class Roster: Please note that some columns have been omitted in order to save space. organizations may acquire some of their information systems from outside vendors. Other procedures may include authentication schemes. long-term strategy. 7. Database queries and updates should be performed on the server. independently managed databases? Perhaps the most common reason is that end-user groups develop their own database applications. Choose a student club. . This also results in a proliferation of databases. b. Personal computer databases: Who is responsible for the accuracy of the data? Answer: the end user who uses this database is responsible. Second. c. Third. Typical decisions regarding databases: a. Why do organizations create multiple databases? There are several reasons. suboptimal approach rather than a careful.

e. fact describing context metadata. structured data metadata. The eCommerce application that accepts the order records each order along with customer and shipping information into a database that can be accessed for inventory and production control planning. one-to-many b. 8. c. Use of ERP systems running on database platforms allow companies to significantly decrease the time it takes to ship an order. fact describing property unstructured data unstructured data structured data metadata. many-to-many . f. proactive data administration group (see Chapter 12). how can all components have a shared understanding of the meaning of data? Answer: all database connectivity is done through a common interface. a. typically ODBC or JDBC. and packing slips produced automatically. 9. Information from manufacturing and inventory can be integrated with orders placed through the Web. which enables an application to access data on any type of server without having to know the implementation details of the platform. e.8 Modern Database Management. g. d. b. (or encoding) schemes. Eight Edition d. Enterprise database: How can the organization develop and maintain adequate data standards? Answer: this is a difficult goal whose achievement requires top management commitment and the establishment of a strong. Web-enabled database: With applets and code modules on different servers and browsers. fact describing context 10. a.

staff (physicians. 14. The personal database would then be synchronized periodically with the enterprise database through the use of an extranet. For inside agents.0 10000. Some common data elements are: patients. access to the database would be through an intranet. . nurses aides. Suggested metadata for the customer entity: Name Type Length Min Max CustomerID Alphanumeric 10 Name Alphanumeric 30 Street Alphanumeric 25 City Alphanumeric 20 State Alphanumeric 2 ZipCode Alphanumeric 5 Telephone Alphanumeric 14 StartDate Date 8 CreditLine 13. etc. supplies. patient-history. utilizing a browser-based application as the frontend.0 0 Description Customer ID Customer Name Customer Street Customer City Customer State Customer Zip Customer Phone Date customer started doing business with company Customer’s Credit Line Source OE System Customer Customer Customer Customer Customer Customer OE System OE System One suggested approach would be to create an enterprise database to contain all information about customers. facilities_schedule. staff_schedule. etc. Decimal 5 0. The need for an enterprise database is clear.Chapter 1 9 11.). treatment. 12. policies. equipment_schedule. Each outside agent would have a personal database on his or her notebook computer with only information for his or her territory. since policy information would need to be accessed not just by the sales team but also by the actuarial department and the claims department. nurses.

Eight Edition 15. one-to-many b. It would be useful if the customer had never purchased a pet. Some suggestions to assist students would be to research business journals as well as perform searches on the Internet using search engines such as google. . a.10 Modern Database Management. There could be a relationship between customer and store. one-to-many c. 16. so for example the store could send mailings to prospective customers.

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