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Lecture 4 (February 8, 2003) Database management, networks and integration Case Analysis Automobile industry: General Motors Co

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  • Lecture 4 (February 8, 2003) Database management, networks and integration Case Analysis Automobile industry: General Motors Co.
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  • database management systems (DBMS) database in loose terms, is just a collection of interrelated data stored structurally to serve multiple applications, or a central data file, or CIF (central or customer information file) DBMS are integrated set of programs used to define, update, maintain and control databases very often, we also use just database to mean DBMS, which is inaccurate data can be accessed sequentially, randomly and concurrently by many users. Simultaneous reads and writes are possible. But redundancies, integrity and security post problems. DBMS is all about dealing with these.
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  • DBMS A software that manages and provides control over the central data to provide services and to ensure its accuracy and integrity Hierarchical and plex or network type database Early forms of DBMS are hierarchical or plex type. They limit the way in which data could be stored. One need to know exactly how the data will be used before one started collecting them. Database designers had to know exactly what questions people might ask regarding the data.
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  • 1 hierarchical (tree) structure level 1 level 2 level 3 level 4 1 2 34 96758 1011121314
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  • example of plex (network) structure supplier part supplier Bsupplier Asupplier C part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4
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  • DBMS Relational database Data are stored in tables, consist of columns with rows Spreadsheets also store data in rows and columns, but this tool is not intended for handling large amount of data Each table has a name and represents objects or relationships to the data Includes useful tools that eliminate programming, for example, input screens, query and report writers Data independent of programs allowing data change without impacting program Data integrity can be maintained as they are up to date and accurate
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  • Managing DBMS Data might be collected from thousands of sources and stored in hundreds of locations in an organization. Keeping databases up-to-date and accurate does not happen by chance. DBMSs help managers manage the data. But DBMSs needed to be managed themselves. Besides maintaining, monitoring the performance and solving day-to-day problems, there are still a lot more work to be done. Privacy rules are often governed by regulatory requirements in addition to those of the organizations. In regions where many small countries with different laws are involved, cross country data transfer could become complicated, although technically it is quite straight forward.
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  • Database Administrator Database administrator (DBA) is a person who knows, manages and makes decisions regarding an organizations databases. The administrator is responsible for all operations involving the database. Standards, documentation, testing, backup and recovery techniques and procedures are important to facilitate what a database administrator uses. In a large organization, data definitions and data standards are the job of a data administrator (DA) rather than the database administrators themselves.
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  • data security and integrity Databases have very strong controls over data security and integrity. Access to database are defined and controlled by the DBA or DA through the DBMS. Access to which specific part of the data and whether changes are allowed or not are defined clearly. In-flight problems are taken care of with either forward or backward recovery facilities. As the presence of duplicate data in multiple data files are eliminated, integrity can be more easily achieved.
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  • example to illustrate inflight problem a transfer transaction debit account 1 credit account 2 completion of transaction
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  • example to illustrate inflight problem a transfer transaction debit account 1 credit account 2 completion of transaction
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  • DBMS vs Spreadsheets DBMS spreadsheets Store different tables containing large amount of data; there are tools to combine data from these tables Relatively more difficult to combine information that is stored in different spreadsheets Most calculations apply to sets of data instead of just one item Primary designed to perform complex calculations Stronger control for data security and integrity, including data protection, backup, recovery and other regular and ad-hoc maintenance Relatively less control Accidental and purposefully data/row/column deletion possible
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  • Networks, H/W & S/W sharing Computer networks are developed and implemented to ease communication between users Planning, designing and maintaining a network is a complex process Software and hardware must be shared and access monitored Compatibility between many different types of workstations and programs must be maintained LAN (local area network) consists of Computers Transmission media (e.g. different types of cables, rays or waves) Connection devices (e.g. LAN cards) Software (e.g. network operating systems controlling access and flow of data)
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  • LAN and WAN The earlier computer networks were fairly simple because each consists of only one computer with several dumb terminals and possibly some non- intelligent printers attached to it as well. When more computers are connected to each other, the situation become more complex. For a start, each computer needs to know the existence of others in order to communicate Enterprise network a network that connects various LAN across an organization WANs (wide area networks) are enterprise networks that spread across large geographical distances and involves links that are controlled by public carriers (e.g. telecommunications companies)
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  • Client and Server Computers attached together in a network perform one of two functions: servers or clients Servers are computers that store data to be used by other computers in the network Clients are computers used by individual users and they access the servers whenever require A computer also can perform both as a client and as a server. Networks where computers perform both functions are called peer-to-peer networks
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  • internet Internet is a worldwide network of computer networks No single group is in charge of the internet Anyone with a computer connected to the internet with the required protocol has the ability to give other users access to the data stored on that computer Three ways to grant access: telnet: allow users of other computers to log on just like any other account holder FTP: file transfer protocol, no account required files can be transferred in either directions as long as the owner of each computer gives permission (public files) -- WWW: world wide web
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  • Business Integration Sharing data effectively is crucial for success in todays competitive environment Many ways to integrate different types of data: Software such as DBMS, ERP (enterprise resource planning) Networks GDSSs (group decision support systems) Importance of synergy rather than working and battling independently. Set aside the duplication of data/information and inconsistencies created
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  • Legacy systems & data warehousing Older systems were build according to requirements and using technology available then Legacy systems are mainly transaction-processing systems and they store data in their own files Timeliness and integrity is always a big problem but few companies have the opportunity or are willing to invest to completely re-design or change their systems Valuable information and processes are embedded in these systems, we cannot just throw away them. On the other hand, it is so difficult to integrate them Data warehouse is a single consolidation point for enterprise data from diverse production systems Data is typically stored in one large file server or a central computer. It is then available for management queries and analysis As source data available are scattered and static, it is very difficult to ensure integrity
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  • Enterprise Resource Planning ERP is the current state-of-the-art in integrated information in business systems ERP incorporate data from purchasing, financial accounting, logistics, human resource management and investment management It can be tailored for specific business areas such as manufacturing, research & development and retails Large and expensive packages available commercially e.g. SAP, Oracle, Peoplesoft, Lawson etc ERP runs on top of a DBMS, provides up-to-the-minute data on the major financial issues in a firm
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  • Case study: General Motors The largest producer of automobiles in the world History dates back to 1897 Operating in over 70 countries with a presence in more than 200 countries, more than 260 major subsidiaries, and a total of 395,000 employees worldwide (649,000 in 1966) More than just build cars and trucks. GM is involved in Telecommunications, Aerospace, Defence, Financial and Insurance Services, Locomotives, Automotive Systems and Heavy Duty Automatic Transmissions.
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  • General Motors & Information Technology GM did not have strong IS capabilities. Traditionally, GM handled many tasks manually. Different divisions and even sections within divisions were using different computers and software. This resulted in many duplication and redundancy. One quick solution is to acquire a computer services company to do the job. Electronic Data Systems Corpn (EDS), a data processing and telecommunications company, was acquired in 1984. The purpose was to introduce information systems that would speed all operations and eliminate unnecessary labour. Another acquisition, Hughes Aircraft, was made to provide the best technology in microelectronics and system engineering
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  • Acquires Electronic Data Systems Corpn EDS, founded in 1962 as a data processing and telecomunications company, is now a leading global information technology (IT) services company. Today, EDS is serving more than 35,000 business and government clients in 60 countries. EDS has been named the world's top application management service provider in a report released last year by International Data Corp (IDC). Under the digital economy, EDS provides almost every kind of service. Their products are also versatile. Presently, they have over 140,000 employees worldwide.
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  • The integrations Pushing toward a consistent information system infrastructure has been a great challenge for GM since then The integration of EDS into GM turned out to be a very painful and long-term process. Aside from the clash of cultures and resentment of EDSs intrusion, there were professional complaints. EDS lacked experience with management control systems, robotics, computer- aided design and manufacturing. GM people complained that EDS mishandled parts supplying, often buying far too many or too few, resulting either in overstock or factory delays. After 12 years, EDS officially split-off from GM in 1996 A Chief Information Officer (CIO) was hired to build an internal information strategy and management capability However, EDS remains as the main outsourcer of GM. The CIO still relied on EDS for much of his IS needs.
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  • Leveraging on IS In recent years, GMs research has been focused on bringing new information technologies to enhance safety and differentiate its products from competition OnStar, an interactive mobile information and communication system, is an example of how GM is incorporating IT into its products to gain competitive advantage in the luxury car market. Driving directions, emergency assistance, up-to- the-minute stock quotes, e-mail and more, all in the vehicle.
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  • OnStar Services air bag deployment notification: contacts you to offer assistance if your air bags deploy. personal calling: voice-activated nationwide wireless calling service. virtual advisor: voice-activated access to web-based information. emergency services: system locates you and give contacts for help. personal concierge services: plan entire trips, make reservations, even get tickets to sold-out events. route support: guide to any destination. stolen vehicle tracking: systems locate a stolen vehicle by satellite and contact the police. roadside assistance: got a flat tyre, out of petrol, the system will locate your vehicle and send for help.
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  • more services ride assist: if unable to drive, the system will contact a taxi or family member. remote door unlock: the system can send a signal to your car's computer to unlock your doors. accident assist: after an accident, the system will guide you through all the steps that follow. remote diagnostics: run diagnostic test of the engine while driving. all these live personal service are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all at the touch of a button.
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  • Biggest challenges In developing and implementing information technology strategy to achieve four goals: Getting common Running lean Competing on a global basis Growing the business
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  • The future GMs cash flow is strong, financial resources to pursue IT investment is not a problem but its performance as compare to its competitors has not been encouraging GM still does not have a common global system to run its business processes, R & D, manufacturing, sales and marketing activities worldwide Need to focus on core businesses and discontinue others Restructure and reduce workforce, implement common design process, worldwide purchasing, body fabrication, body-in-white engineering and die engineering Undertake thorough market research and implement brand management
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  • Resources & Reading Materials Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of textbooks. www.oracle.com www.eds.com www.gm.com