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What is transaction processing?

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Table of contents Introduction 2 Transaction Processing 2 What is transaction processing? 2 Advantages 2 Disadvantages 3 Analysis of Applications 4 Spreadsheets 4 Database 5 Word Processing 7 Email 8 Conclusion 10 The Paperless society is 'here and now' or is it? 11 Introduction 11 Paperless Society 11 Conclusion 14 Appendices 15 Bibliography 16 References.............................................................................................17 Computer Solutions Introduction The following report will look at three main areas, the first area will demonstrate understanding regarding the advantages and disadvantages of Transaction Processing. The second section will look at the advantages and disadvantages of the business context discussing where applications such as Spreadsheets, Database, Word processing and E-mail would be best used and expand on the strengths and weaknesses of these areas. The finally part (three) will research and provide evidence regarding if the society we live in today has achieved a 'Paperless Society'. It will discuss and look toward providing evidence to backup or discredit this hypothesis through methods of using different forms of research. Transaction Processing What is transaction processing? "Transaction processing involves the round trip transfer of financial transaction data (for example, consumer credit card information), from a merchant's web site to a processing network (such as VeriSign), and thereafter completes the transfer of funds to the merchant." (www.soltrus.com/english/solutions/payflow_transaction_faq.html#faq1) From the above quotation it can be established that 'Transaction processing' is an electronic form of processing data. This can be in the format of financial transactions to the simply processing orders via an electronic format such as purchases via the Web. Advantages The advantages of this system are the ease and quickness it can be used. For example the automated transaction process of the ATM machines (whole in the wall, banking). Through this service a customer is able to withdraw or deposit money, check account details, order stationary (such as cheque books and statements) etc. This is all available at a time that is convenient to the customer as it should be accessible 24 hours a day meaning that customers can conduct

Middle

Other facilities are also available within the package such as mail merge. This again is a benefit to a company as data can be merged from other programs in order to produce things such as mailing labels, envelopes, standard form letters etc. The advantage of this is that again time is saved by not having to do repetitive jobs over again and it is quick easy and relatively error free. Large volumes of letters etc can be produced in a very short time. Through the inclusion of a spelling and grammar check facility documents can be checked for errors quickly make work that is dispatched by the company become more professional. The find and replace function is able to locate a specified would within a document and replace is with another that is required. This again saves time in having to go through a multi paged document reading word for word in order to find the errors and change them. The program will automatically do this and change the word is seconds or will check with the user that the word it has located does in fact want changing. There are many other features within the program which make it more viable for a business than the older form of typing, such as the ability to change font style and size, address appearance and in the new versions of Microsoft Word can be used as an effective desk top publishing package. The main disadvantage is that if a computer shuts down or a program performs an illegal operation and the work has not been saved then the document could be lost. Another disadvantage is that not all word processing programs are compatible which would mean that any work produced on specific software would have to be edited in one that was the same or a compatible version. Training cost could also become expensive in order that staff is able to operate the specific processing package and the retraining as new versions of the word

Conclusion

Paper consumption is on the increase around the world, especially in developing Asian countries. World consumption in 2000 was 323 957 675 metric tons according to FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations). The second annual National Filing Survey found that 75 per cent of respondents believe that the paperless office is unachievable and even those working towards it do not believe it either. Conclusion Although some facts lead us to believe that we are reaching the goals of a 'paperless society' there is no documented evidence that this is the case, been found. On research that has been carried out it seams to disprove the hypothesis 'The Paperless society is 'here and now'. From the findings it can be seen that evidence shows that more paper is being used today than previously, but possible in different formats. E-mailing has reduced the preparation time and cost of sending out correspondence, but evidence shows that the recipient still prints out a lot of the information. This could be down to not fully trusting technology yet or even finding it easier to read in hard copy format, no one fully knows this for sure but research has concluded it is done through the studies Richard Harper and Abigail Sellen. Therefore from the research it has been concluded that we are still a long way from a 'paperless society' and possible there will never be one. "When I hear the term "paperless office" I have to control my laughter. Why? Because there is no such thing as a paperless office. And, unfortunately, it's not likely to become a reality anytime soon." (Scott Nesbitt, 1997) "...why, when we have all the latest technology to allow us to work in the digital world, do we depend on paper so heavily? Indeed, why are most workplaces so dependent on paper? It seems that the promised "paperless office" is as much a mythical ideal today as it was thirty years ago.

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