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Characteristics of a TPS

"A transaction is an event that generates or modifies data that is eventually stored in an information system. Transaction processing systems meet record keeping and event tracking needs..."

Reference: Board of studies NSW, Stage 6 Information Processes and Technology, Preliminary and HSC Courses (2007, p.44)

Students need to have a clear understanding of both batch processing and real time processing systems and the role and general understanding of data validation. The topics examined are:

Outcomes

This material addresses aspects of the following syllabus outcomes:

A student:

H1.1 applies and explains an understanding of the nature and function of information technologies to a specific practical situation
H1.2 explains and justifies the way in which information systems relate to information processes in a specific context
H2.1 analyses and describes a system in terms of the information processes involved
H2.2 develops and explains solutions for an identified need which address all of the information processes
H3.2 demonstrates and explains ethical practice in the use of information systems, technologies and processes
H4.1 proposes and justifies ways in which information systems will meet emerging needs
H5.2 assesses the ethical implications of selecting and using specific resources and tools, recommends and justifies the choices
H7.1 implements and explains effective management techniques
H7.2 uses methods to thoroughly document the development of individual and/or group projects.

Source: Board of studies NSW, Stage 6 Information Processes and Technology, Preliminary and HSC Courses (2007)

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General characteristics for any TPS

The HSC focuses on storing and retrieving but the the other information processes are also important especially those of collecting and analysing. There are four characteristics that all transaction processing systems should have:

Activity 1

  1. Why does the HSC consider storing and retrieving to be the main processes of a TPS?
  2. In what ways are the processes of collecting and analysing linked to storing and retrieving?
  3. Identify the four main processes (Storing, Retrieving, Collecting Analysing) that any TPS will have and briefly explain why they are important.
  4. Examine individually what would happen if any of these processes were removed.
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Elements of batch transaction processing

There are a few simple things to understand with batch transaction processing. Firstly with batch transaction processing all of the transactions are collected to be processed at a later time such as cheques, invoices and bills such as telephone and electricity. There are cost and time saving advantages to batch processing including:

Advantages

Unfortunately there are several disadvantages as well including:

Disadvantages

Activity 2

  1. Briefly describe what a transaction processing system is and give 2 examples?
  2. Explain why a batch transaction system saves time.
  3. In what ways can a batch system sometimes become expensive when problems occur in processing.
  4. Analyse and explain the statement, "The data in a batch TPS will never be completely current."
  5. Do you think the advantages of a batch system outweighs the disadvantages and justify you answer.
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Elements of real time transaction processing

Real time transaction processing involves a transaction that is completed immediately. This may involve a payment over the counter or EFTPOS but whatever is used to complete the transaction it is immediately finalised and does not leave processing for a later time. Two examples of real time processing are airline reservations and banking transaction systems.

There are two immediate concerns for a successful real time transaction. They are:

As real time transactions occur while the customer is present it is much easier to check the correctness of the data being entered which is called validation and to double check the accuracy of data already stored which is called verification.

Activity 3

  1. How often would the master file be required for a real time transaction processing system compared to a batch system?
  2. Draw up a table in which you compare the advantages and disadvantages of batch processing compared with real time processing
  3. Why does real time processing have less errors than batch processing?
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