REVIEW QUESTION CHAPTER 7
1. Describe the trend that views software as a service rather than a product. What effect has this trend had on software acquisition options?
Web-Based software trends have rocketed Application Service Providers (ASP), and firms offering Internet Business Services (IBS) to a prominence in the software industry that believes in software as a service instead of a product. With the popularity and advantages of the Internet, companies are viewing this trend as an option to standard software development and acquisition.
Instead of buying a software application from a software company, producing it in-house, or hiring a consultant or outside resource to produce a software package these web-based firms have provided a new alternative based on three separate models. These models are a fixed fee model, subscription model or usage model. Fixed fee does exactly that, provides a fixed fee or cost based on a service level required by the user. The subscription model varies cost based on number of users and workstations accessing the application. The usage model charges fees based on the transaction volume or number of operations performed by the applications.
2. Explain the difference between horizontal application software and vertical application software.
Horizontal applications differ from vertical applications in that they provide a solution for many companies based on a common need. Applications such as accounting, payroll, inventory, and office integration packages are horizontal applications.
Vertical applications are those written for a specific industry or market. Examples such as a healthcare system for a hospital, claim processing for an insurance company are vertical applications.
3. What is the most common reason for a company to choose to develop its own information system?
The most common reason for a company to develop its own information system is that it needs to satisfy unique business requirements, meaning there is no commercially available software to meet their needs.
4. What is an RFP, and how does it differ from an RFQ?
An RFP is a Request For Proposal. An RFP differs from an RFQ (Request For Quote) in that it assumes that a design is not concrete or the specifics of the product or service you need is not known. Specifically an RFP describes your company, lists the services or products that are required, and specifies the features you require along with what level of service and support is required. An RFQ on the other hand is more specific than an RFP in that you know what you want and need and just need a price quotation or bid from the software provider.
5. What is the purpose of a benchmark test?
Benchmark tests are used to put a software package through its transactional paces to show how a system will work under stress or load. Typically, benchmarks provide a TPS or transactions per second rating. These charts or graphs also display number of users and number of transactions.
6. Explain software licenses and maintenance agreements.
Software licenses enable a user to use the software by giving them permission or rights and states limitations on that permission such as the number of computers it can be used on concurrently, weather or not the application can be altered by the user for any reason, and weather it can be copied or archived.
Software maintenance agreements provides the means for software vendor to be paid for support of a software package, and protection for the user in that if there are upgrades or updates or bugs in the software, they will be fixed at no cost or at the determined agreed upon fees. It also provides for assistance to the user when there are questions or problems.
7. What decisions might management reach at the end of the system analysis phase, and what would be the next step in each case?
There are generally five alternatives for management to choose from along with the...
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