Information Architecture

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  • 1. Information Architecture
  • 2. WHY??? I THOUGHT THIS WAS A COURSE IN OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
    • Information architecture underlies the entire enterprise computing platform and determines its characteristics
    • This is design at the highest level and a bad design here can cost a firm billions, making it totally ineffective
  • 3. Components of any Software Application Presentation Management Business Logic Data Management Database
  • 4. Components in brief PM BL DM
  • 5. Mainframe Architecture (circa 1993) PM BL DM PM BL DM PM BL DM
  • 6. Problems with Mainframe Architecture
    • Absence of data integration, resulting in little enterprise visibility
    • The applications are maintainable only by the centralized MIS shop, which is overloaded, resulting in 36 month lead times to get revisions effected
    • Every application had to be built from scratch, line-by-line, resulting in large cost and long lead times to create new applications
  • 7. More problems with Mainframe Architecture
    • No reuse was possible
    • These mainframe apps were accessed on networked PC’s via IBM 3278 terminal emulation software that was completely incompatible with the windows GUI applications—meaning no cut and paste
    • Mainframes were computational bottlenecks
    • Desktop PCs sat idle 99% of the time
  • 8. First solution: Client/server architecture Server (DM) Clients (PM, BL) Database
  • 9. These were known as thick clients
    • Because they contained both the presentation management (PM) and the business logic (BL) components of the application
    • Notice how the application is distributed across the network, residing in two computing boxes—the client or desktop and the server
  • 10. Advantages of Client/server architecture
    • Data are all accessible behind the Server which runs the data management portion of the application—usually an Oracle Database engine
    • Now the marketing guy can see where his customer’s job is, and whether the customer is current with his payments, among other ‘things’
  • 11. Advantages of client/sever architecture
    • The IT professional could sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the end-user and develop applications as well as make changes to existing software rapidly, without a 36 month backlog
    • There are huge reuse opportunities—in particular, the IT professional does not have to create a DM component—the Oracle engine can be reused
      • Reuse enables some code to not have to be created from scratch, resulting in huge savings of money and time.
  • 12. Problems with Client/server
    • It wasn’t Internet compatible
    • It required an IT professional to install software on the end-user’s personal computer (the client)
    • It required an IT professional to work closely with the non-IT professional
      • This meant sitting in the adjacent carrel in the marketing department or finance department, etc.
  • 13. Modern solution of today: N-TIER DISTRIBUTED
    • This is a distributed architecture like client/server, but now the application is distributed across three or more computing boxes on the network
  • 14. N-Tier distributed Architecture Data Server (DM) Thin Clients (1/2PM) Database Application Server 1 Application Server 2
  • 15. Comments on N-Tier Distributed Architecture
    • Clients are called ‘thin’ because the only thing running on them is the Internet Browser (MS Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator)
    • The IT professional doesn’t have to install anything on the client
    • More re-use is possible—specifically that browser
  • 16. Advantages of N-Tier Distributed Architecture
    • Like Client/server, it accommodates enterprise visibility because the data are integrated
    • Applications can be built rapidly because there are abundant reuse opportunities
      • The DM module is reused
      • Half of the PM component is reused
      • There are reuse opportunities within the rest of the PM component and the BL component as well
  • 17. More advantages of N-Tier Distributed Architecture
    • IT Professional no longer has to be decentralized and a part of some non-IT group that doesn’t have a career path for him
    • Now, IT can be centralized where there is a career path for the IT professional and where (s)he can effect changes to software from a centralized location.
      • {Today, its possible for that IT professional to install things on your remote desktop computer, even to see what you are doing on your desktop, etc., from a remote location.}
  • 18. Application Servers do Two things
    • They serve out web pages upon request
    • They do all of the business logic processing.