Application and Technology Architectures
Read the information about Reliable Pharmaceutical Service (RPS) at the end of Chapter 1, “The World of the Information Systems Analyst.”
Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:
Create an application architecture plan for RPS to follow for the next five (5) years.
Create a technology architecture plan and graphic rendering using Visio or its open source alternative software for RPS to follow for the next five (5) years. Note: The graphically depicted solution is not included in the required page length.
Write a two to three (2-3) page narrative with graphic depictions describing the plan and including:
An overview of the application architecture.
An overview of the technology architecture.
Ideas for how the architectures will evolve over the next five (5) years.
Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
Include charts or diagrams created in Visio or Dia. The completed diagrams / charts must be imported into the Word document before the paper is submitted.
The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Describe systems development methodologies including life cycle and iterative design models.
Analyze and present methods to initiate, specify, and prioritize information systems projects and determine various aspects of feasibility of these projects.
Develop a solution to proposed business problem using structured systems analysis and design methods.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in advanced systems analysis and design.
Write clearly and concisely about advanced systems analysis and design using proper writing mechanics and technical style conventions.
The World of the Information Systems Analyst
Approaches to System Development
The Analyst as a Project Manager
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THE WORLD OF THE
INFORMATION SYSTEMS ANALYST
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
Explain the key role of a systems analyst in business
Describe the various types of systems and technology an analyst might use
Explain the importance of technical skills, people skills, and business skills for
Explain why ethical behavior is crucial for a systems analyst’s career
Describe various job titles in the field and places of employment where analy-
sis and design work is done
Discuss the analyst’s role in strategic planning for an organization
Describe the analyst’s role in a system development project
The Analyst as a Business Problem Solver
Systems That Solve Business Problems
Required Skills of the Systems Analyst
The Analyst’s Role in Strategic Planning
Rocky Mountain Outfitters and Its Strategic Information Systems Plan
The Analyst as a System Developer (the Heart of the Course)
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CHAPTER 1 The World of the Information Systems Analyst
Mary Wright thought back about her two-year career as a programmer analyst. She had been
asked to talk to visiting computer information system (CIS) students about life on the job. “It
seems like yesterday that I finally graduated from college and loaded up a U-Haul to start my
new job at Consolidated,” she began.
Consolidated Refineries is an independent petroleum refining company in west Texas.
Consolidated buys crude oil from freelance petroleum producers and refines it into gasoline
and other petroleum products for sale to independent distributors. Demand for refined petro-
leum products had been increasing rapidly, and Consolidated was producing at maximum
capacity. Capacity planning systems and refining operations systems were particularly impor-
tant computer information systems for Consolidated, because careful planning and process
monitoring resulted in increased production at reduced costs. This increasing demand, and
other competitive changes in the energy industry, made information systems particularly
important to Consolidated.
Mary continued her informal talk to visiting students. “At first I did programming, mainly
fixing things that end users wanted done. I completed some training on Java and object-ori-
ented analysis to round out my experience. The job was pretty much what I had expected at
first until everything went crazy over the IPCS project.”
The Integrated Process Control System (IPCS) project was part of the company’s informa-
tion systems plan drawn up the year before. Edward King, the CEO of Consolidated
Refineries, had pushed for more strategic planning at the company from the beginning,
including drawing up a five-year strategic plan for information systems. The IPCS develop-
ment project was scheduled to begin in the third or fourth year of the plan, but suddenly pri-
orities changed. Demand for petroleum products had never been higher, and supplies of
crude oil were becoming scarce. At the same time, political pressure was making price
increases an unpopular option.
Something had to be done to increase production and reduce costs. It would be years
before an additional refinery could be built, and additional crude oil supplies from new oil
fields were years away. The only option for Consolidated’s growth and increased profits was
to do a better job with the plants and supplies it had. So, top executives decided to make a
major commitment to implementing the IPCS project, with the goal of radically improving
capacity planning and process monitoring. Everyone at Consolidated also wanted access to
this information anywhere and anytime.
“It seemed like the IPCS project was the only thing the company cared about,” continued
Mary. “I was assigned to the project as the junior analyst assisting the project manager, so I
got in on everything. Suddenly I was in meeting after meeting, and I had to digest all kinds of
information about refining and distribution, as if I were a petroleum engineer. I met with pro-
duction supervisors, suppliers, and marketing managers to learn about the oil business, just
as if I were taking business school courses. I traveled all over to visit oil fields and pipelines—
including a four-day trip to Alaska on about two days’ notice! I interviewed technology ven-
dors’ representatives and consultants who specialized in capacity planning and process
control systems. I’ve been spending a lot of time at my computer, too, writing reports, letters,
and memos—not programming!
“We’ve been working on the project for seven months now, and every time I turn around,
Mr. King, our CEO, is saying something about how important the IPCS project is to the future
of the company. He repeats the story to employees and to the stockholders. Mr. King attends
many of our status meetings, and he even sat next to me the day I presented a list of key
requirements for the system to the top management team.
“This is not at all the way I thought it would be.”
A SYSTEMS ANALYST AT CONSOLIDATED REFINERIES
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