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Lecture 4 (February 8, 2003)


Lecture 4 (February 8, 2003) Database management, networks and integration Case Analysis Automobile industry: General Motors Co. database management systems (DBMS ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lecture 4 (February 8, 2003)

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

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.

  • 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.

hierarchical (tree) structure
level 1
level 2
level 3
level 4
example of plex (network) structure
supplier B
supplier A
supplier C
part 4
part 1
part 2
part 3
  • 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
  • Data independent of programs allowing data change
    without impacting program
  • Data integrity can be maintained as they are up
    to date and accurate

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.

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
  • 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.

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.

example to illustrate inflight problem
a transfer transaction
debit account 1
completion of transaction
credit account 2
example to illustrate inflight problem
a transfer transaction
debit account 1
completion of transaction
credit account 2
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
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
  • 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)

  • 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)

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

  • Internet is a worldwide network of computer
  • 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
  • -- WWW world wide web

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
  • 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

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
  • 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

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
  • Large and expensive packages available
    commercially e.g. SAP, Oracle, Peoplesoft, Lawson
  • ERP runs on top of a DBMS, provides
    up-to-the-minute data on the major financial
    issues in a firm

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.

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

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
  • 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
  • Presently, they have over 140,000 employees

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.

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.

OnStar Services
  • air bag deployment notification
  • contacts you to offer assistance if your
    air bags deploy.
  • personal calling
  • voice-activated nationwide wireless calling
  • virtual advisor
  • voice-activated access to web-based
  • emergency servicessystem locates you and give
    contacts for help.
  • personal concierge servicesplan entire trips,
    make reservations, even get tickets to sold-out
  • 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.

more services
  • ride assistif 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
  • all these live personal service are available 24
    hours a day, 7 days a week all at the touch of
    a button.

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

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
  • Restructure and reduce workforce, implement
    common design process, worldwide purchasing, body
    fabrication, body-in-white engineering and die
  • Undertake thorough market research and implement
    brand management

Resources Reading Materials
  • Chapters 5, 6 and 7 of textbooks.
  • www.oracle.com
  • www.eds.com
  • www.gm.com
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