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Computer System

An introduction

Introduction
A

system can be most simply defined


as a group of interrelated or interacting
elements forming a unified whole.
A system can therefore be said to be a
group of interrelated components
working together toward a common
goal
by
accepting
inputs
and
producing outputs in an organized
transformation process.

computer system is a collection


of three entities namely hardware,
software and liveware that work
together to receive, process, manage
and present information in a
meaningful format.

Computer Hardware
The

Hardware refers to physical


and tangible components that make
up a computer system. They are
classified
into
four
categories
namely input devices, CPU, output
devices and storage devices.

The

Input Devices convert user input


which is human readable form to machine
language that the computer can process.
These can be classified according to the
methods that they use to enter data,
namely:
keying
devices
such
as
keyboards, keypads, touch screens etc;
pointing devices such as mouse, joystick,
light pens etc; scanning devices such as
scanners, barcode reader and other
technologies such as digital cameras,
voice inputs such as the microphones etc

The

Central Processing Unit also known


as processor. Regarded as the brain of the
computer. The CPU consists of three
functional elements namely the Control
Unit, Arithmetic and Logic Unit (ALU), and
Main Memory.
The CU coordinates all processing activities
in the CPU as well as input, storage and
output operations.
The ALU carries out the arithmetic and
logical operations which includes additions,
subtractions, multiplications and divisions.

The

Main memory also referred to as


primary storage or working memory. It
is a memory that is directly accessible
by the processer. It is classified into
Read Only Memory (ROM) and Random
Access Memory (RAM).
The
ROM
stores
programmed
instructions that remains unchanged for
long period of time. Can only be read
from. It cannot be written to. ROM chips
come from the manufacturer with
programs already burned in, or stored.

The

RAM is used for short-term


storage of current data or program
instructions for running applications.
RAM is volatile. Its contents will be
lost when the computers electric
supply is disrupted by a power
outage or when the computer turned
off.
The Output Devices are devices
that a computer uses to give out
information produced after the
processing operations. They can be

Soft

copy devices include monitors,


sound
output
devices,
data
projectors while hard copy include
printers, plotters etc.
The Secondary Storage Devices
provide alternative long-term storage
for programs, data and information
and are not directly accessible by the
CPU.
They
can
be
classified
according to storage technology
whether optical, magnetic or solid
state.

Optical

storage devices include


compact disks, Digital versatile disks,
optical cards, optical tapes etc
Solid state storage media (employs
integrated circuits) include flash
disks, memory sticks, hard disks etc

Considerations in Choosing
Computer Hardware
Understand

technology requirements such as


microprocessor type and speed, compatibility
etc
Determine total cost of ownership: hardware,
software, installation, training, support,
maintenance, infrastructure
Planned capacity & scalability
Identify
trends
such
as
portability,
multimedia capability, wireless connectivity,
available ports and for monitors touch
screens, flat panel displays etc

Computer Software
For

a computer to process data, it is


guided by a set of instructions known as
programs.
Programs is a set of instructions stored in
the computer to solve specific problems
Computer Software refers to a set of
programs that utilizes the hardware and
uses its capabilities to perform various
tasks.
Computer
software is classified into
system software and application software.

System

Software refers to a set of programs


specifically designed for performing tasks
such as controlling the computer hardware
and utilizing the resources to help the
application software solve specific problems.
Examples
include Operating systems,
Utilities and Language translators
Operating systems are programs to control
the hardware and provide user interface. It is
essential for every computer. They help in
memory management, CPU management,
input/output management, file management
and providing user interface

Example of operating systems include


Mac OS, DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux,
Networking Operating System etc
Translators refers to set of programs that
translates high level languages (language of
users) to low level languages ( machine
language or language of bits) and vice versa.
These include interpreters and compilers.
Programming languages: There are many
languages and any can be used to develop
programs. Each language has its capabilities
and limitations. These include COBOL, Basic,
FORTRAN, C, C++, PASCAL, JAVA

Utility Software refers to special


programs that performs commonly used
services that make certain aspects of
computing go on smoothly. They help the
computer perform better . These include
antivirus, back up, disk repair, file
management, security and networking
programs.
Application

software
refers to
programs developed using one of the
languages to perform specific tasks.
They can either be ready made and
customized or tailor made.

Ready made application software are


programs
developed
by
software
companies
for
general
purpose
applications. These programs can be
bought and can be installed in the hard
disk of a computer. Eg Micros Fidelio,
Micros Opera, QuickBooks, Sage etc
Customized or Tailor made application
software are programs developed for
specific user requirement within the
organization.
These
programs
are
developed by programmers as per the
user requirements.

Factors

in selecting an
organizations software;
Cost
Authenticity
Appropriateness and Efficiency
Reliability and security
Compatibility
Support
User friendly
Portability (number of machines to be
installed)

Liveware

this is an informal term


used to refer to human beings
required in the operation of any
computer system. These includes the
end-users and computer specialists
such
as
system
analysts,
programmers etc
End users are people who use a
computer system or the information
it produces. They can be customers,
salespersons
engineers,
clerks,
accountants, or managers. People
who spend most of their time

System specialists are people


who
develop
and
operate
computer systems.
They include systems analysts,
software
developers,
system
operators, and other managerial,
technical, and clerical computer
system personnel.

Types of Computers
Computers

can be classified into

three
1. Classification based on their purpose
includes special-purpose computer and
general-purpose computer.
Special-Purpose

Computer is a
computer designed for a particular
function, executing the same stored
set
of
instructions
whenever
requested. For example
.microwave ovens

General-Purpose

Computers
are
computers that can be used for solving
many different types of problems.
Available in many sizes and a wide range
of capabilities.
Can be classified as follows:(physical size)
Microcomputers
Laptop computers
Desktop computers
Workstations

Minicomputers
Mainframe computers
Supercomputers

Microcomputers:

Sometimes referred to as a personal


computer (PC), is one that can be placed on
a desktop or carried from room to room.
The smallest microcomputers are known as
laptop computers or notebook computers.
Desktop
computers
are
compact
microcomputer systems that fit on a desk
and are designed for use by individuals.
A workstation is the largest type of
microcomputer and is generally used in
scientific and engineering applications.

Minicomputers:

More powerful and more expensive than


microcomputers.
Are smaller and cheaper compared to
mainframes.
Also can be server, which is used for
managing internal company networks or
Web sites. Server computers are
specifically optimized to support a
computer network enabling users to
share files, software, peripheral devices
(such as printers), or other network
resources.

Mainframe

Computers:
Are larger than minicomputers but
smaller than super computer, a
powerhouse with massive memory
and extremely rapid processing
power.
It is used for very large business,
scientific or military application
where a computer must handle
massive amounts of data or many
complicated processes

Supercomputers:

Is
highly
sophisticated
and
powerful computer that is used for
tasks requiring extremely rapid
and complex calculations with
hundreds of thousands of variable
factors.
Used in many areas of scientific
research,
weather
prediction,
aircraft design, nuclear weapon
and so on.

Merits & Demerits of Computer


Systems
Storage:

Large amounts of data can


be held on compact storage devices.
This allows organization's to cut down
on office space and allows for cleaner,
tidier working environment.
Efficiency:
Increased
processing
speeds allow tasks to be completed
more quickly by fewer people.
Computers,
therefore,
allow
the
organization's to respond more quickly
to clients needs.

Quality

of Information: Data held in


digital form can be interrogated quickly and
flexibly, ie, searching for a client in a
particular
location
is
completed
instantaneously. This leads to better quality
information which improves the standard of
decision making by the organization.
Presentation:
Computers
allow
organizations to present information about
itself economically and in a visually
impressive manner. DTP can be used to
produce a newsletter with facts and figures.
Presentation software could be used to
make slide shows for meetings.

New

Services: The processing power of


computers may enable an organization
to provide services that it previously
couldnt, ie, online processing of
transactions when previously the client
would have had to visit the premises.
Automation:
once a program to
perform a particular task is stored in the
computer, the individual instructions in
the program are carried out one after
the other automatically to complete the
task.

Demerits
Capital

investment: Setting up a computerbased system costs money. There is the initial


investment of money on hardware and
software. Periodically, updates will be
necessary and maintenance of the system.
Limitations: Computer based systems are
limited by the capacity of hardware, quality of
software and the speed of communication
links. This requires significant ongoing capital
investment. Failure to keep up with
technological change can lead to restricting
the efficiency of the whole system.

Overdependence:

Organizations
can become to dependent on
computer
based
systems.
Occasionally they will malfunction.
If the break down is critical,
business could be lost. A worst case
scenario is the organization going
bankrupt.
Lack
of
flexibility:
External
changes
can
occur
quickly.
Organizations must be able to
respond quickly. This can be
impeded by systems that take time

Staffing

difficulties: Introducing
new ICT systems often means the
retraining of staff. In some cases,
specialist staff - who may be costly
and in short supply - will need to be
employed. In some instances, jobs
will be lost. This is a cost saving for
the organization but not good news
for the individual who looses the job.

Computer
Networking,
Telecommunications
& E-Commerce
Computer Networking

Computer Networking
A

computer network consists of 2 or


more computers connected together, and
they can communicate and share
resources (e.g. information)
The computers can be geographically
located anywhere. The generic term
node or client refers to any device on a
network while the server is the host.
The network can either be Client/server
or Peer to Peer connections.

Applications

of Computer Networks:
Resource Sharing: Computer networks
can help share hardware (computing
resources, disks, printers) and Software
(application software)
Information Sharing: It helps in easy
accessibility from anywhere files and
databases and search Capability
Communication: this could be through
Emails or Message broadcast
Remote computing: that is logging in in one
computer and working from another in the
network
Distributed processing (GRID Computing)

Distributed processing (GRID


Computing): this includes
Shared files and other resources
among
physically
separated
systems on networks such as NFS,
remote printing, etc.
Integrated computations across
network such as Central Hotels
Reservations, Airline reservations,
ATMs, etc.

Networking

Components: these

include,
Networking Media: this simply as the
means by which signals (data) are
sent from one computer to another
(either by cable or wireless means).
Interconnecting
Devices:
these
include Hubs, Switches, Routers,
Wireless Access Points, Modems etc.
Computers: these includes servers
and client computers.

Networking Software: Systems software


that controls the computer systems and
devices on a network and allows them
to communicate with each other.
Applications: these include

E-mail
Searchable Data (Web Sites)
E-Commerce
News Groups
Internet Telephony (VoIP)
Video Conferencing
Chat Groups
Instant Messengers

Types

of networks:
Local-area network (LAN):
A
network that connects a relatively small
number of machines in a relatively
close geographical area. It is mainly
contained in one office or building.
Various
configurations,
called
topologies,
have
been
used
to
administer LANs;
Ring topology: A configuration that
connects all nodes in a closed loop on
which messages travel in one direction

Star topology : A configuration that


centers around one node to which all
others are connected and through
which all messages are sent
Bus topology: All nodes are connected
to a single communication line that
carries messages in both directions
Metropolitan-area network (MAN):
The communication infrastructures that
have been developed in and around
large cities

Wide-area

network
(WAN):
A
network that connects two or more
local-area networks over a potentially
large
geographic
distance,
using
different topologies such as telephone
lines, fiber optic cabling, satellite
transmissions
and
microwave
transmissions.
Often one particular node on a LAN is
set up to serve as a gateway to handle
all communication going between that
LAN and other networks

Internetworking:

An Internetwork is the connection


of two or more distinct computer
networks or network segments via
a common routing technology.
Communication between networks
is called internetworking.
The
Internet, as we know it today, is
essentially the ultimate wide-area
network, spanning the entire globe.

Intranet:
An intranet is a set of networks, using the
Internet Protocol (IP) and IP-based tools
such as web browsers and file transfer
applications, that is under the control of a
single
administrative
entity.
Most
commonly, an intranet is the internal
network of an organization
Extranet:
An extranet is a network or internetwork
that is limited in scope to a single
organization or entity but which also has
limited connections to the networks of one
or more other usually, but not necessarily,
trusted organizations or entities.

Extranet
allows
select
users
outside organization to use its
intranet
who
may
include
customers, business partners and
vendors.
Internet:
The
Internet
consists
of
a
worldwide
interconnection
of
governmental, academic, public,
and private networks based upon
the networking technologies of the
Internet Protocol Suite.

It is a world-wide network connecting


millions of computer networks for the
purpose of exchanging data and
communications using special rules of
communication.

Major

Internet Service:

E-Mail: Person -to-person messaging; document


sharing
Usernet Newsgroups: Electronic bulletin boards
for discussion groups
Listservs: e-mail list servers for discussion
groups
Chatting: and Instant Messenges: Interactive
conversations
Telnet: Log on one computer, work on another
FTP: Transfer files from computer to computer
Gophers: Use menus to locate text material
World Wide Web: Text, audio, graphics, video
VioP and VPNs

Telecommunications
Telecommunications

is the exchange of
information in any form (voice, data, images,
audio, video) over computer-based networks.
The explosive growth of the Internet and the
World Wide Web has spawned a host of new
telecommunications products, services, and
providers.
Web browser suites, HTML Web page editors,
Internet and intranet servers and network
management
software,
TCP/IP
Internet
network products, and network security fire
walls are just a few examples.

Telecommunications

is
also
being
revolutionized by the rapid change from
analog to digital network technologies.
These provides (1) significantly higher
transmission speeds, (2) the movement
of larger amounts of information, (3)
greater economy, and (4) much lower
error rates than analog systems.
In addition, digital technologies allow
telecommunications networks to carry
multiple types of communications (data,
voice, video) on the same circuits.

Another

major
trend
in
telecommunications technology is a
change from reliance on copper
wire-based media and land-based
microwave relay systems to fiberoptic lines, cellular, communications
satellite,
and
other
wireless
technologies.
These
changes
in
telecommunications industries and
technologies just mentioned are
causing a significant change in the

Thus,

telecommunications networks are now


playing vital and pervasive roles in electronic
commerce, enterprise collaboration, and
other e-business applications that support
the operations, management, and strategic
objectives of both large and small business
enterprises.
An organization's local and global computer
networks can dramatically cut costs, shorten
business lead times and response times,
support electronic commerce, improve the
collaboration of workgroups, develop online
operational processes, share resources, lock
in customers and suppliers, and develop new
products and services.

Telecommunications

Networks:
A communication network is any
arrangement where a sender
transmits a message to a receiver
over a channel consisting of some
type of medium. A simple model of
a
telecommunications
network,
consists of five basic categories of
components;
Terminals,
Telecommunication
Processors,
Telecommunication channels or media,
Computers,
and
Telecommunications
Control Software

Terminals these refers to input/output


devices, including telephones and the
various computer terminals.
Telecommunication Processors these
support data transmission and reception
between terminals and computers. They
are devices, such as modems, hubs,
switches, and routers, performing a
variety of control and support functions in
a telecommunications network.

Telecommunications channels over which


data
are
transmitted
and
received.
Telecommunications
channels
may
use
combinations of media, such as twisted
copper wires, coaxial cables, or fiber-optic
cables, or use wireless systems like
microwave, communications satellite, radio,
and cellular systems to inter-connect the
other components of a telecommunications
network.
Twisted-pair wires these are insulated
pairs of copper wires historically used in
telephone service and to connect computer
devices.

Coaxial cables consists of an inner


conductor wire surrounded by insulation,
called the dielectric. The dielectric is
surrounded by a conductive shield, which
is surrounded by a non-conductive jacket.
Coaxial cable has better data transmission
rate than twisted pair.
Fiber-optic Cable consists of many
extremely thin strands of glass or plastic
bound together in a sheathing which
transmits signals with light beams. Can be
used for voice, data, and video. Very high
capacity, low noise, small size, less
suitable to natural disturbances

Wireless

Technologies:
Broadcast
Radio
distribute
signals
through the air over long distance, uses an
antenna and function even though line of
sight is interrupted.
Cellular Radio it is a form of broadcast
radio used for mobile communication
which uses high frequency radio waves to
transmit voice or data
Microwaves
involves radio waves
providing high speed transmission . Must
be in the light of sight (cant be obstructed)
and used for satellite communication.

Infrared
transmission
involves
sending signals through the air via light
waves, requires line-of-sight and short
distances (a few hundred yards).
Commonly used for remote controls and
often used to connect keyboards, mouse
and printers
Computers

of all sizes and types


are
interconnected
by
telecommunications networks so that
they can carry out their information
processing assignments.

Telecommunications

control
software consists of programs that
control telecommunications activities
and
manage
the
functions
of
telecommunications
networks.
Examples
include
network
management programs of all kinds,
such as telecommunications monitors
for
mainframe
host
computers,
network
operating
systems
for
network servers, and web browsers for
microcomputers.

E-Business & E-commerce


E-business

involves
Digital enablement of transactions
and processes within a firm,
involving
information
systems
under the control of the firm
E-business
does
not
involve
commercial transactions across
organizational boundaries where
value is exchanged

E-commerce

involves
Digitally
enabled
commercial
transactions between organizations
and individuals.
Digitally enabled transactions include
all transactions mediated by digital
technology
Commercial transactions involve the
exchange
of
value
across
organizational or individual boundaries
in return for products or services

E-Commerce

allows businesses to be
more effective and efficient in
responds to customers needs and
wants as well as in conducting
transactions with suppliers and
within the company itself. It has
changed the way that business is
being conducted.
The meaning of E-Commerce is not
one simple definition it can mean
many things to different people.

One

basic definition is a system of


conducting business activities using the
Internet
and
other
information
technologies.
It involves

Buying and selling online or through the net


Customer service using the Internet
Marketing and advertising through the Internet
Putting up a website for product and service
information, together with an email address for
customers to email in orders.
Creating a website that can accept credit card
information to sell online directly to consumers.

Types

of E-Commerce
B2B- between businesses
B2Cbetween
business
and
consumer
C2C- between two or more
individuals
C2Bconsumer
initiated
interactions and transactions.

Online

Presence: for many companies,


the first step in conducting buying and
selling activities and online advertising is
to create a web site. However, beyond
simply creating a web site, marketers
must
design
an
attractive
site.
Considerations should be given to;

The sites layout and design


Contents which include text, pictures, sounds
and videos that the web site contains
Ease of user to user communications
The sites capability to enable commercial
transactions among others

Strategic Uses of
Information Technology
IT & Competitive
Advantage

IT & Competitive Advantage


A

company can survive and succeed in the long


run only if it successfully develops strategies to
confront five competitive forces that shape the
structure of competition in its industry.
In Michael Porter's classic model of competitive
strategy, any business that wants to survive
and succeed must develop and implement
strategies to effectively counter (1) the rivalry
of competitors within its industry, (2) the threat
of new entrants', (3) the threat of substitutes,
(4) the bargaining power of customers and (5)
the bargaining power of suppliers

Many

companies in Hospitality and Tourism


are using I.T as a foundation for developing
a competitive advantages. I.T can be used
to
implement
the
five
competitive
strategies.

Lower Costs: Use IT to substantially reduce the


cost of business processes and costs of
customers or suppliers.
Differentiate: Develop new IT features to
differentiate products and services or greatly
change the customer convenience in using your
existing products and services. Use IT features to
reduce the differentiation advantages of
competitors and use IT features to focus
products and services at selected market niches.

Innovate: Create new products and


services that include IT components.
Develop unique new markets or market
niches with the help of IT and make
radical changes to business processes
with IT that dramatically cut costs,
improve quality, efficiency, or customer
service, or shorten time to market.
Promote Growth: Use IT to manage
regional and global business expansion
and use IT to diversify and integrate
into other products and services.

Develop Alliances: Use IT to


create virtual organizations of
business partners and develop
inter-enterprise
information
systems linked by the Internet and
extranets that support strategic
business
relationships
with
customers,
suppliers,
subcontractors, and others.

In

addition, companies can lock in


customers and suppliers, create
switching costs, raise barriers to
entry, and leverage its investment in
IT resources.
Thus, information technology can
help a business gain a competitive
advantage in its relationships with
customers, suppliers, competitors,
new entrants, and producers of
substitute products.

Making

IT a Viable Strategic Resource:

Managers must identify the business processes


to be improved using I.T and the core
competencies to be enhanced
The management must always identify the right
technology for appropriate level or strategy
Managers have to implement changes in
business processes and technology throughout
the organization
Managers have to look at what other people in
the industry are doing and what technology
they should acquire in order to serve different
purposes.

Risks

Involved in Making IT a
Strategic Resource:

Fears and problems of security since I.T are


vulnerable to intruders e.g. viruses,
theft/hackers
There is cost involved in acquiring and
training employees. However, the company
may not always keep a finger on these
employees because of moving for greener
pastures.
Risk of obsolescence: Risk of technology
becoming outdated with time and the
organization having to spend larger amounts
of cash to update their system

There is risk that management can


fail to identify the appropriate
information systems and this
might entirely mean that the
organization has acquired I.S
which is not suitable to their
needs.
There is a risk of duplication of I.T
by competitors and hence the firm
has
to
look
for
new
I.T
opportunities.

Overview of an
Information System
What is an Information
System?

Information Systems
Information

system (IS): is a set


of interrelated components that
collect, manipulate, and disseminate
data and information and provide
feedback to meet an objective.
Businesses can use information
systems to increase revenues and
reduce costs.

Information

concepts:

Data: refers to raw facts for information


processing. It consists of numbers, letters,
symbols and relates to events and transactions.
It has no meaning to the recipients until it is
processed.
Information: refers to data that has been
processed in such a way that it is meaningful to
the person who receives it. It is one of an
organizations most valuable resources.
Record refers to elated fields of data are
grouped together. An example is the payroll
record for a person, which consists of data
fields describing attributes such as the person's
name, Social Security number, and rate of pay.

File

refers to a group of related


records. Thus, an employee file
would contain the records of the
employees of a firm. Files are
frequently
classified
by
the
application for which they are
primarily used, such as a payroll file
or an inventory file.
Databases refers to consolidated
records previously stored in separate
files into a common pool of data
elements that provides data for

Computer-based

Information

systems:
This refers to technology infrastructure
that includes all hardware, software,
databases, telecommunications, people,
and procedures Configured to collect,
manipulate, store, and process data into
information in an organization.

Business

Value of Information:
Information can be used by managers
to carry out the following activities:
Information for planning:
Information
for
controlling
(concurrent, preliminary, feedback).
Whether processes and outcomes
conform to norm (plans)
Information
for
performance
measurement
(HR,
budgets,
operations)

Information for decision making-varies


with the level at which decisions are
being made i.e. the type of information
required
by
directors,
executive,
managers, and members of self directed
teams relate to the level of management
decision making involved and the
structure of decision situations they face.

Level

of decision-making and
Information needs:
Strategic Information: used by senior
managers to plan and asses the progress
of set objectives. Such information may
include
overall
profitability,
future
marketing
trends/prospects,
capital
investment needs, competitors strategies.
Strategic information is therefore: Derived
from both external and internal sources,
highly summarized and specific, relevant
to the long-term and concerned with the
organization as a whole.

Tactical Information: required by


middle level managers e.g. finance
managers, sales and production
managers etc to decide how to
manipulate
organizational
resources.
Such information may include
productivity
measurements,
budgetary control, profits results
from particular operations etc.

Tactical information is therefore is


relevant in the short-term , concerned
with the activities of departments,
derived mainly from internal sources
and only partly from external sources
and prepared for continuity, routinely
and on regular basis.

Operational information: used by


frontline or low level managers such
as foremen, head clerks, supervisors
etc. to ensure that specific tasks are
carried out properly within a factory or
office.
Operational information is derived
entirely from internal sources and it is
highly detailed being the processing
stage of raw data, it is relevant to the
short term and it is prepared
frequently.

Rationale

of information
management:
Information must be managed just
like
any
other
organization
resource because it may provide
the organization with a strategic
advantage.
The role of information for an
organization in hospitality and
tourism may be classified into
three:
Support business processes

Support

business processes: For


example, most retail stores in this
industry now use computer-based
information systems to help them
record customer purchases, keep
track of inventory, pay employees,
buy new merchandise, and evaluate
sales trends.
Operations would grind to a halt
without the support of such
information systems.

Support

decision making: For


example, decisions on what lines
menu items need to be added or
removed, or on what kind of
investment
they
require,
are
typically made after an analysis
provided
by
computer-based
information systems.
Provide competitive advantage:
strategic information systems can
help provide products and services
that give a business a comparative
advantage over its competitors.

It

should be managed because


It is costly to acquire accurate and
relevant data just as it is costly to acquire
other important organizations assets
Requires processing data which is for
decision making so that it can be made
meaningful and useful.
Information can be sold to generate
revenue
Information is used to manage other
resources
Information is needed for strategic
advantage

Information

management
entails the following tasks
1. Identifying future information needs
2. Identifying information sources
3. Collecting
and
processing
the
information
4. Storing the information for current and
future reference
5. Ensuring
that
information
is
communicated to those who need it
but not to those whose are not
entitled to it

Business Information
Systems
Types and Applications

Types of IS
The

following are the types of


information systems that are found in a
typical organization
Transaction processing systems (TPS)
Management
information
systems
(M.I.S)
Decision support systems (DSS)
Executive information systems (EIS)
Strategic information systems (SIS)
Artificial intelligence and artificial
systems (AI)

Transaction

processing systems

(TPS)
It is a computerized system that
performs and records daily routine
transactions necessary to conduct
business e.g invoicing, employee
record keeping, credit control etc.
It supports activities at the
operational level where jobs are
routine
and
repetitive.
T.P.S
provides information for internal
support.

They are the lowest form of


information systems found in a
typical organization. From the
summary
reports
of
T.P.S,
management is then able to make
decisions.

Management

information systems

(M.I.S)
This is a system that converts data from
external and internal sources into
information and communicating that
information in an appropriate form to
managers at all level and all functions to
enable them make timely and effective
decisions. M.I.S derives majority of its
data from T.P.S
Characteristics of M.I.S
They are generally past and present and
not future oriented

They support structured and semi


structured
decisions
at
the
operational and tactical level of
management but are useful for
planning purposes by senior
management
They have internal rather than
external orientation
They
have
little
analytical
capability

M.I.S

mainly
produces
programmed
reports those produced at predetermined
times such as monthly, weekly or
annually, Exceptional reports which shows
out of the ordinary data e.g. inventory
reports that list only those items with
fewer orders, On demand reports usually
requested by managers when information
is needed that focuses on a particular
problem and event initiated reports
usually dealing with a change in the
condition that requires immediate action
such as out of stock reports.

Decision

support systems (DSS)

DSS support managers in decision


making. They acquire their data from the
organizations data base and using the
various decision making models help a
manager in making decision. DSS is
usually used in planning, modeling,
analysis, and in decision making. The
emphasis of DSS is to support decision
making and not automate decision
making.

DSS

comprises of data which comes


from T.P.S and M.I.S as stored in data
base and decision making models
(analytical tools). They improve the
quality of decision making and
provide more insight into the
problem e.g. linear programming
models, transportation models etc

DSS

are

Used
for
semi-structured/structured
decisions i.e part of their analysis can be
computerized
while
insight
and
judgment of the user is required to
control the process.
It supports decision making and doesnt
give predetermined solutions nor does
replace the manager.
There must be interaction between the
computer and the manager for effective
problem solving.

D.S.S

Differs from M.I.S and


T.P.S. in that
DSS has more analytical power, variety
of model and emphasis is analysis
They provide support for structured
decisions and problems
They use decision models which lack in
M.I.S and T.P.S

Executive

information systems

(E.I.S)
This system gives senior management
easier
access
to
selected
and
summarized articulate information on
areas of organizational activities from
internal and external data bases. They
are
less
analytical
but
deliver
information to the managers on demand
and on a highly interactive basis and
more open ended manner. They draw
summarized information from MIS and
DSS.

Features

of I.E.S

Easy to use. E.I.S are easy to use as


they are used by busy executives
Access to data. They must be rapid
access and exploratory of data both
vertically and horizontally
Data analysis: E.I.S should provide
facilities for analysis such as ration and
trend analysis forecasts
Data presentation: E.I.S should provide
data presentation in different colours,
graphs and diagrams

Strategic

information systems

(SIS)
Is a system that enables companies gather
information about their competitors, the
industry and the economy which can help
them lead and sustain competitive
advantage. Information is needed in the
following areas
Threats of new entrants
Threats of substitute products
Bargaining power of suppliers
Bargaining power of buyers

The

following are characteristics


of SIS
It is boundary free: i.e. there are no
artificial boundaries, the information is
broad and reflects in the whole view of
the organization
They are multi-dimensional: it takes on
all the facets of an organization e.g.
marketing, production, finance, HR, etc.
Is largely informal: are more effective,
adaptive, responsive and sensitive to
environmental disturbances.

Artificial

Intelligence and Expert

systems
Artificial intelligence (A.I) is a branch of
computer science that intends to produce
computer programmes that simulate
human intelligence.
It is an effort to develop a computer base
system (Hardware and software) that
behave like human. A.I will be able to:
Learn natural language
Accomplish co-ordinated tasks
Exhibit logic, reasoning and intuition

Expert

Systems (E.S)
Are intensive intelligence systems
(software) that uses knowledge and
inference procedures to solve
problems difficult enough to require
significant human expertise for
their
solution.
It
uses
facts
(knowledge) and heuristics (rule of
thumb).
E.S
uses
reasoning
processes
similar
to
human
thoughts. E.S embody some of the
experience
and
specialized
knowledge and some experts. They

Characteristics

of E.S
They interact human beings with
users i.e. explains what it knows
and reasons for its answer
Uses knowledge in form of rules,
facts an concepts about what to do
or how to interpret a given set of
circumstances
It is capable of modification and
change as new expert information is
discovered

Common

components of E.S are:


Knowledge based: this contains the facts
and rules encoded as data for the system.
The purpose of the knowledge base is to
provide a source of the knowledge
obtained form a human expert
inference engine. This is the software that
executes the reasoning
User inter-phase: it is a computer program
that provides communication between
inference engine and the expert system
user

Systems Development,
Security & Ethics
Systems Development

Systems Development
Using

the systems approach to develop


information system solutions can be
viewed as a multistep process called
the information systems development
cycle, also known as the systems
development life cycle (SDLC). The
systems development cycle includes
the following steps: (1) investigation,
(2)
analysis,
(3)
design,
(4)
implementation, and (5) maintenance.

Systems

Investigation: At this stage,


you are to:
Determine
the
prevailing
organizational problems and how to
address business opportunities and
priorities.
Conduct
a
feasibility
study
to
determine whether a new or improved
business system is a feasible solution.
Develop a project management plan
and obtain management approval.

Systems

Analysis: At this stage, you are

to:
Analyze the information needs of
employees,
customers,
and
other
business stakeholders. This can be
achieved through interviews, use of
questionnaires,
observations
and
documentation analysis to get a better
understanding
of
organizational
operations.
Develop the functional requirements of a
system that can meet business priorities
and the needs of all stakeholders

Systems

Design:

At this stage, you are

to:
Develop specifications for the hardware,
software, people, network, and data
resources, and the information products
that
will
satisfy
the
functional
requirements of the proposed business
information system.
Systems analysis describes what a system
should do to meet the information needs
of users. It consists of three activities:
user interface, data, and process design.

Systems

Implementation: At this stage,


you are to:
Acquire (or develop) hardware and
software.
Test the system, and train people to
operate and use it and finally convert to
the new business system.
Implementation can be a difficult and
time-consuming process. However, it is
vital in ensuring the success of any newly
developed system, for even a welldesigned system will fail if it is not
properly implemented.

Systems

Maintenance: At this
stage, you are to:
Use a post-implementation review
process to monitor, evaluate, and
modify the business system as
needed.
At this point the end users identify
the weaknesses and areas of
improvement needed to ensure the
system meet the initial objectives
and communicate this to the
system developers for review.

Security & Ethical


Challenges of IT

The

use of information technology in


business presents major security
challenges, poses serious ethical
questions, and affects society in
significant ways.
In this section we will explore the
threats
to
businesses
and
individuals posed by many types of
computer crime and unethical
behavior.

Ethics:

Principles of right and wrong used


by individuals as free moral
agents to guide behavior.
It is the set of beliefs about right
and wrong behavior
Ethical behavior conforms to
generally accepted social norms

Ethics

and information Systems:


The moral dimensions of Information
technology include;
Information rights & obligations
Property rights
Accountability & control
System quality
Quality of life

Information

rights and obligations:


This involves privacy and fair information
practices. Privacy refers to claim of
individuals to be left alone, free from
surveillance or interference from other
individuals, organizations, or the state.
The claim to be able to control
information about yourself. Information
rights refers to set of principles governing
the collection and use of information
based on mutuality of interest between
record holder and the individual. Some of
the internet challenges to privacy include
cookies, spyware and web bugs.

Some

of the ethical information and privacy


concerns facing professional managers in
Hospitality and Tourism may, for example,
include: should they electronically monitor
their employees' work activities and
electronic mail? Should they let employees
use their work computers for private
business or take home copies of software
for their personal use? Should they
electronically access your employees'
personnel records or workstation files?
Should you sell customer information
extracted from transaction processing
systems to other companies?

An

ethical code should cover topics


such as employee e-mail and
Internet
privacy,
workplace
monitoring, treatment of corporate
information,
and
policies
on
customer information.

Intellectual

Property: this refers to


intangible property of any kind created by
individuals or corporations and protected
by law. Three main ways that protect
intellectual property

Trade secret: Intellectual work or product


belonging to business, not in the public
domain
Copyright:
Statutory
grant
protecting
intellectual property from copying by others
for 70 years
Patents: Legal document granting owner
exclusive monopoly on an invention for 20
years

code should cover topics such as


software licenses, ownership of firm
data and facilities, ownership of
software created by employees on
company hardware, and software
copyrights. Specific guidelines for
contractual relationships with third
parties should be covered as well.

Software

and other copyrighted


materials such as as music, videos,
images, articles, book and other
written
works
are
subject
to
computer-based piracy.

Accountability,

Liability

&

Control
IT can challenge our ability to identify
who is responsible for actions involving
systems that injure people.
IT can make it difficult to assign liability
and restore injured persons.
IT raises issues about who should control
information systems that have the
potential for injuring citizens.

The

code should specify a single


individual
responsible
for
all
information systems, and reporting to
this individual should be others who
are responsible for individual rights,
the protection of property rights,
system quality, and quality of life
(e.g., job design, ergonomics, and
employee
satisfaction).
Responsibilities for control of systems,
audits, and management should be
clearly defined.

System

Quality: Data Quality


and System Errors
No software program is perfect, errors
will be made, even if the errors have a
low probability of occurring. Thus a
question should be asked At what point
is a software ready for use?
Three principal sources of poor system
performance are (1) software bugs and
errors, (2) hardware or facility failures
caused by natural or other causes, and
(3) poor input data quality.

The

code should describe the


general levels of data quality and
system error that can be tolerated,
with detailed specifications left to
specific projects. The code should
require that all systems attempt to
estimate data quality and system
error probabilities.

Quality

of life: Equity, access,


and boundaries
Negative social consequences of systems
Balancing power: Although computing
power decentralizing, key decisionmaking remains centralized
Rapidity of change: Businesses may not
have enough time to respond to global
competition
Maintaining
boundaries:
Computing,
Internet
use
lengthens
work-day,
infringes on family, personal time

Dependence and vulnerability: Public and


private
organizations
ever
more
dependent on computer systems
Computer crime: Commission of illegal
acts through use of compute or against a
computer system computer may be
object or instrument of crime
Computer abuse: Unethical acts, not
illegal. Spam leads to high costs for
businesses in dealing with them

Forms

of Computer crime and Abuse


HACKING: Access to proprietary data
JAMMING: Tie up host computer
MALICIOUS
SOFTWARE:
Viruses
disable computer
SNIFFING: Intercept data passing
through system, e.g. credit card data
SPOOFING:
Fraudulent
misrepresentation

Employment:
Reengineering
work
resulting in lost jobs
Equity and access the digital divide
where certain ethnic and income
groups in the United States less likely to
have computers or Internet access
Health risks which results from
Repetitive stress injury (RSI), Largest
source being computer keyboards
Computer vision syndrome (CVS)
Role of radiation, screen emissions,
low-level electromagnetic fields

Hospitality and Tourism


Applications of Management
Information Systems

Property Management and


Interfaces

Introduction
The

PMS, which is described as the


nerve centre of hotel technology,
helps to manage all information and
interactions
between
all
the
different departments through its
four
major
functions
namely
Reservation and Registration,
Housekeeping
and
Rooms
Management, Guest Accounting,
and Night-Auditing.

The

PMS
interfaces
with
other
independent systems such as the Central
Reservation System (CRS), the Point of
Sale (POS) systems, the Telephone Call
Accounting Systems, the Electronic Door
Locking Systems (EDLS), and Catering
Information Systems (CIS), among others,
to form the Integrated Hotel System.
The advantages of this include better
customer
service
and
providing
managers with the necessary information
needed to strategize for efficient, cost
effective hotel operations.

PMS
The

property management system


can be defined as a computerized
system for integrating all elements
of
hospitality
information
and
management.
Interface on the other hand is
defined as software that links a
computer with another device, or
the set of commands, messages,
images, and other features allowing
communication between computer

The

PMS helps to manage all


information
and
interactions
between
all
the
different
departments in the hotel and at the
same time act as an information hub
for the other computer systems. PMS
interfaces are the formats and
language that define data that one
system is capable of delivering to
another.

Common

PMS interfaces include


Central Reservation Systems (CRS),
Internet, Points Of Sale, Electronic
Door Locking System (EDLS) Catering
Information Systems (CIS) and Back
Office Systems (BOS), among others.
Each of these can be used separately
but work more efficiently when linked
together to form an integrated hotel
system.

An

integrated hotel system is a set


of applications that together assist in
managing and controlling all aspects of
hotel operations. Such a system helps
management to better satisfy the needs
of the guests, and should be capable of
handling every transaction, from the
guests initial telephone enquiry to their
final billing.
An integrated hotel system is composed
of the aforementioned PMS interfaces.

PMS

is generally used to describe the set


of application programs that directly
relates to front office and back office
activities.
Sometimes referred to as front-office
systems, (which is described as the
centre of all hotel activities), the PMS
acts as the main contact point between
the hotel and the guest, and also provide
information to and receives information
from practically every other department
in the hotel.

PMS does not actually manage a property


in the commercial real estate sense, yet it
helps to manage virtually every aspect of the
guests visit to the hotel property. The
following describes the primary functions of a
PMS;
The PMS tracks which rooms are currently
occupied or vacant in the hotel,
The PMS allows for the creation of a wide
range of room rates, covering different
rooms, dates and the company or
association discounts.
The PMS tracks availability of all guestrooms
and rates for at least the next 12 months.

The PMS tracks the details of each guests


reservation, whether as an individual or as a
part of a group.
The PMS helps to select an appropriate room
for the guest either on or before arrival.
PMS facilitates the check-in process.
The PMS keeps an up-to-the-minute record
of all guest transactions and maintain the
guests folio by ensuring that expenses are
charged to their rooms during their stay
either directly or through an interface to
such service points as the bar and
restaurant point-of-sale charges.

The PMS accepts full or partial


payment when guests check out.
The PMS follows through on any
resulting accounts receivable if
part of the payment is charged to
an outside account, such as the
guests company.

PMS application consists of four


programs or modules which include;
Reservation and Registration,
Housekeeping
and
Rooms
Management,
Guest accounting, and
Night auditing

Reservation

and Registration:

Most systems allow reservations to be


retrieved using the guests name or
the reservation confirmation number.
Once the reservation is displayed on
the screen, a room can be allocated
from the list of vacant rooms
displayed by the system.
This is then marked as being occupied
to prevent its being allocated again to
another incoming guest.

Similarly,

group registration is greatly


simplified
using
a
computerized
system. Rooms can be pre-allocated on
the basis of a rooming list sent in
advance by the organizers'. Generally,
the reservation module performs the
following functions;
Establishing
and
displaying
the
availability of different room rates for
different
room
types,
including
specific rates negotiated for individual
groups and companies.

Allowing manual setting of length-ofstay restrictions as required during


peak occupancy periods.
Taking bookings for individuals and
groups, preferably checking guest
history records automatically to see
whether they have stayed at the
hotel before.
Blocking specific room numbers for
guests, when appropriate (VIP,
specific request from the guest, etc).

Creating
group
bookings
with
different numbers of different room
types blocked on each night.
Sending confirmation as required,
preferably by fax or email, as well
as printed for regular mails.
Setting up multiple folios for any
guest, with the system posting
charges
automatically
to
the
appropriate folio. This capability is
used to handle cases where a
guests company will reimburse only
room and tax, with all other charges

Creating package plans consisting


of various combinations of room
rates, meal charges, and fees for
other services such as parking, spa,
and so on, bundled into a single
charge, with full flexibility as to
whether the charge is posted to the
guests folio on the first, last, or
each night, and allocating the
revenue appropriately to each
department.

Allowing for service charges and


various state and city taxes to be
applied automatically to appropriate
charges, tracking all guests and
groups that are tax-exempt.
Tracking at least one travel agent for
each reservation, and reporting on
the commission payable after checkout.
Recording the payment of advance
deposits, applying them to the
correct guest records, or tracking
their return or forfeitures in the

Registration

of guests at the hotel


takes place at the reception desk.
Upon arrival, a guest must be
checked in or registered in the hotel.
Where the reservation system and
the PMS are integrated, their
personal details will already have
been transferred to help speed up
registration
and
eliminate
unnecessary rekeying of data.

Also,

if an integrated system is used


by the hotel, the process of room
allocation makes all the auxiliary
systems aware that a new guest has
registered and as a result, each
system will provide its services to
the newly occupied room.

For

example, the telephone system will


allow calls to be made from the rooms
telephone, the energy management
system will blast the room with warm or
cool air to get it to an acceptable
temperature, and the electronic door
locking system will issue a new magnetic
key specifically for a new guest.
A billing folio is also opened automatically
for the guest so that charges in the hotels
bars and restaurant can be posted to the
room number by the Electronic Point of
Sale

Housekeeping

and Rooms Management


Rooms management is tracking which
rooms are occupied, waiting to be cleaned,
waiting to be inspected, or ready to be
passed back to the front desk for allocation
to
incoming
guests.
The
Rooms
Management Module (RMM) is an important
information and communication branch
within the PMS as it maintains current
information on the status of rooms, assist in
the assignment of rooms during registration
and helps coordinate many guest services.

The

housekeeping department of a hotel is


responsible for cleaning and maintaining
both the guest rooms and the public areas
of the hotel. Its work is closely coordinated
with that of the front office. Good
communication
between
the
housekeeping and front office is essential
because the front office needs accurate
up- to- date information on the status of
every room in other to operate effectively
and it is the RMM that strengthens the
communication links between these two
departments.

Once

a room becomes clean and ready


for occupancy, housekeeping staff
changes the rooms status through a
desktop terminal in their work station,
or a guestroom touchtone phone, or a
wireless hand held device. The
updated room status information is
immediately communicated to the front
desk. The PMS on the other hand
assists the accommodation manager by
automatically providing lists of which
guests are departing or staying over.

In

summary, the RMM performs the


following functions;
Identify current room status.
Assist in assigning rooms to guests at
check-in.
Provide in-house guest information.
Organize the housekeeping activities.
Provide auxiliary services.
Generate timely reports for
management.

Guest

accounting:
This involves tracking all guest charges
and payments and producing the final
guest bill. A folio is opened for the guest
at registration to allow charges to be
posted to the guests account. This folio
must always be accurate, up to date and
capable of being produced for the guest
on demand. Charges posted to the guest
account include correct room rates,
taxes, and various hotel services such as
bars, restaurants and leisure facilities.

Sometimes
these
are
posted
manually from a paper docket
system but recently the trend has
been to use an integrated Electronic
Point of Sale (EPOS) System to post
charges directly and instantly onto
the guests account.

Night-audit:

This automatically performs the end-ofday routines such as posting room


charges to each guest folio which if
done manually can take several hours
and can also result in inaccuracies.
Other functions of the night-audit
system include changing the system
date to reflect the following days date
and once everything is balanced all
daily summary totals are reset to zero.
The night-audit system also performs
system backup. If the system failed and
all these data was lost, the hotel would

In the event of a system failure, data


can be restored from the back-up. Such
back-ups are normally carried out
nightly, as part of the night-audit
procedure. The night audit also provide
management with information about
the hotel operations by summarizing
the previous days and period-to-dates
business such as a nationality analysis,
a departmentalization sales analysis
report, or a report summarizing
revenue by source of business.

In addition, the night-audit prints


operational materials for the next
day which include expected arrivals
and departure lists, and other
operational items such as pre
registration cards and confirmation
letters. Folios for guests who are
expected to depart in the morning
may also be printed to help speed
up the check-out process.

Interfaces:

For the PMS to effectively coordinate


all activities and information from
every department of the hotel, all
other systems of the hotel need to
be interfaced with it. Other systems
interfaced with the PMS include the
following;
Central Reservation System (CRS)
Credit Card Processing (CCP)
Revenue Management System
Call Accounting and Telephone System

Energy Management System (EMS)


Electronic Door Locking System (EDLS)
Internet Access
Catering Information System (CIS)
Point of Sale (POS) Systems
Back Office Systems

Central

Reservation System (CRS);


This is sometimes included within the
property-management system but is being
separated
because
of
the
growing
importance of the CRS and other forms of
electronic
distributions,
and
the
development of techniques such as yield
management. A reservation system has two
primary functions which are to display room
availability and to manage bookings; other
functions can include the ability to track
guest deposits and travel agent commission,
and the ability to provide important
management and operational information.

Credit

Card Processing (CCP);


At check-in, this Interface automatically dials
out to verify the validity of the card and
authorize appropriate funds for the guests
stay usually calculated as the total room
charge for the number of days plus the hotel
set-level of incidental expenditure per day.
During the guests stay, if the guests PMS
credit limit is exceeded, the interface
automatically dials out during the end-of-day
procedures to increase the authorized amount.
At check-out, the interface dials out to collect
the funds due and, at end of day, processes
the transaction batch.

Revenue

Management System;
This
interface constantly passes
current levels of reservations booking
activity in the PMS to a separate
revenue management system. This
system then analyses it against preset goals and historical trends, and
suggests changes in the PMS rates
and length of stay restrictions.

Call

Accounting and Telephone System;


These record data on each call made from
direct-dial telephone in the guests room.
This enables a hotel to take control over
local and long distance telephone services
and to apply a mark-up to switchboard
operations. The call accounting system is
connected to the PBX and records the
number dialled from each extension, the
duration of the call, and calculates the
charges for each call and in the case of an
integrated system, is automatically posted
directly into the guests bill.

Energy

Management System (EMS);


This helps to minimize power costs of
the hotel while at the same time not
affecting the level of comfort of guests
or employees. It automatically turns off
heating or air conditioning in rooms or
sections of the hotel which are
unoccupied. The EMS when interfaced
with the PMS links guestroom energy
control with the front office room
management module.

Electronic

key cards can also be


used to activate power and heating
in the guestroom allowing electricity
in the room to work only when there
is a key card in the slot. When the
guests leave the rooms and take
their keys with them, all guest
operated devices are automatically
switched off, thus helping to save
energy.

Electronic

Door Locking System (EDLS);


This helps to increase rooms security by
generating a new and unique electronic key
each time a new guest is registered. The
EDLS interfaces with the PMS and functions
through the terminals at the front desk. The
terminal selects a code that will permit entry
and then produces a card for the guest to
use. Once a code is entered and a card
produced, all previous codes for that lock are
cancelled, and cards issued to previous
guests no longer function. An EDLS uses
small plastic cards instead of metal keys.

Internet

Access;
This can be viewed in two ways. The first
instance is the internet accessibility that is
interfaced with the PMS and allows visitors
to the hotels own website to book
reservation directly in the PMS.
More sophisticated versions allow group
coordinators to access the PMS through the
web site to manage their own bookings,
enter rooming lists, and so on, and allow
individuals to enter a group or corporate
code to book at the negotiated rates.

The

second instance is the hotel


offering High-Speed Internet Access
(HSIA) wired directly into the
guestroom. This is provided at no
charge as an amenity. In other
installations, a charge is made for
each 24 hours of use.
The charged systems also require
detection facilities to identify which
room is using the service and to
post a charge to the guests folio.

Catering

Information System (CIS);


Not all catering operations are part of a
hotel
and
as
with
hotel
oriented
applications, each catering system often
function independently. However, the
systems are much more efficient and
effective if integrated to the PMS through
the Catering Information System (CIS). A
CIS manages and control all aspects of
food and beverage production and sales. It
is composed of several separate systems
linked together to exchange data.

For

example, the Recipe-Costing System


accurately cost food and beverage items
and automatically update costs when
ingredient prices change. Part of this
system is the Stock Control System
which tracks inventory movements, record
deliveries
and
issues,
and
identify
variances between actual and theoretical
stock. The Conference and Banqueting
Systems manage and control the complex
tasks of function reservations, organization
and billing. The Electronic Points of Sale
Systems transfer orders electronically
from the service area to the kitchen.

Point

of Sale (POS) Systems;


This is the core system for the restaurant
and other food and beverage operations,
as the PMS is for lodging operations. A
POS system captures data at the time and
place of sale. These systems use
terminals that are combined with cash
registers, bar code readers, optical
scanners, and magnetic stripe readers for
instantly capturing sales transactions.
When interfaced with the PMS, guests
folios are automatically updated with
guests bills.

Back

Office Systems;
This software is for the normal
business area of the hospitality
industry. The Accounting system
tracks debtors and creditors and
generate
final
accounts
and
management reports periodically.
Payroll Systems automate the
process of calculating wages and
salaries, as well as maintaining
period-to-date balances.

Central Reservation Systems


and Global Distribution System

The Relationship

Introduction