System | System | Databases

Definition of System

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An organized, purposeful structure regarded as a whole and consisting of interrelated and interdependent elements (components, entities, factors, members, parts etc.). These elements continually influence one another (directly or indirectly) to maintain their activity and the existence of the system, in order to achieve the goal of the system. All systems have (a) inputs, outputs, and feedback mechanisms, (b) maintain an internal steady-state (called homeostasis) despite a changing external environment, (c) display properties that are peculiar to the whole (called emergent properties) but are not possessed by any of the individual elements, and (d) Have boundaries that are usually defined by the system observer. Systems underlie every phenomenon, and are everywhere one looks for them. They are limited only by the observer’s capacity to comprehend the complexity of the observed entity, item or phenomenon. Every system is a part of a larger system, is composed of subsystems, and shares common properties with other systems that help in transferring understanding and solutions from one system to another. Systems obey rules that cannot be understood by breaking them into parts, and stop functioning (or malfunction) when an element is removed or altered significantly. Together, they provide a coherent and unified way of viewing and interpreting the universe as a meta-system of interlinked wholes, and of organizing our thoughts about the world.

Example: Public Information System
A public information system is an information system, such as an ATM or airline reservation system, that is available for public use. Levent Orman of Cornell University distinguishes these systems from systems designed for and used by specialists. The "public" in this case is heterogeneous and consists of private people and households, businesses and other organizations, and government agencies. Each member of the public may use the system in a different role, depending on the member's needs at the time of use.

difficult. and time-consuming to design Substantial hardware and software start-up costs Damage to database affects virtually all applications programs Extensive conversion costs in moving form a file-based system to a database system Initial training required for all programmers and users . and retrieval costs Facilitated development of new applications program Disadvantages • • • • • Information systems are complex.Advantages • • • • • • • Reduced data redundancy Reduced updating errors and increased consistency Greater data integrity and independence from applications programs Improved data access to users through use of host and query languages Improved data security Reduced data entry. storage.

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