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The Difference Between Traditional File Systems Information Technology Essay

4982 words (20 pages) Essay in Information Technology

5/12/16 Information Technology Reference this

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Wikipedia The traditional filing system is a method of storing and arranging computer files and the information in the file. Basically it organizes these files into a database for the storage, organization, manipulation, and retrieval by the computer’s operating system.

For this method, a file name is assigned to a file in order to secure storage location in the computer memory or data storage devices such as hard disks or CD-ROMs are used to maintain the physical location of the files. By this file name a file can be further accessed. Whether the file system has an underlying storage device or not, file systems typically have directories which associate file names with files, usually by connecting the file name to an index in a file allocation table.

A new concept for file management is the concept of a database-based file system.

Files are identified by their characteristics, like type of file, topic, author, etc

(DBMS) consists of software that operates databases, providing storage, access, security, backup and other facilities. This system can be categorized according to the database model and the type of computer that they support such as a server cluster or a mobile phone, the query language(s) that access the database, such as SQL or XQuery, performance trade-offs, such as maximum scale or maximum speed or others. Some DBMS cover more than one entry in these categories, e.g., supporting multiple query languages.

Meanwhile database management systems are usually accessed in a client-server manner, where the database client and the server are located on different machines (in a local area network).

Both systems deal with information management.

File-based System

File-based systems were an early attempt to computerize the manual filing system. File-based system is a collection of application programs that perform services for the end-users, such as updating, insertion, deletion adding new files to database etc. Each program defines and manages its data.

When a computer user wants to store data electronically they must do so by placing data in files. Files are stored in specific locations on the hard disk (directories). The user can create new files to place data in, delete a file that contains data, rename the file, etc which is known as file management; a function provided by the Operating System (OS).

Advantages of traditional file based system

Disadvantages of traditional file based system

No need of external storage

Provides less security.

No need of a highly technical person to handle the database.

Redundancy is more.

Processing speed is high as compared to DBMS

Less integrity.

High complexity in updating of database.

Table 1.1.1

Database Management System

The improvement of the File-Based System (FBS) was the Database Management System (DBMS) which came up in the 60’s.

The Database Management System removed the trouble of manually locating data, and having to go through it. The user could create a suitable structure for the data beforehand, to place the information in the database that the DBMS is managing. Hence, the physical organizing of files is done away with and provides the user with a logical view of the data input.

A database is a collection of interrelated information stored in a database server; these data will be stored in the form of tables. The primary aim of database is to provide a way to store and retrieve database information fast and in an efficient manner.

Advantages

Control of data redundancy

Although the database approach does not remove redundancy completely, it controls the amount of redundancy in the database.

Data consistency

By removing or controlling redundancy, the database approach reduces the risk of inconsistencies occurring. It ensures all copies of the idea are kept consistent.

More information from the same amount of data

With the amalgamation of the operated data, it is possible to derive additional information for the same data.

Sharing of data

Database belongs to the entire organization and can be shared by all authorized users.

Improved data integrity

Database integrity provides the validity and consistency of stored data. Integrity is usually expressed in terms of constraints, which are consistency rules that the database is not permitted to violate.

Improved security

Provides protection of data from unauthorized users. It will require user names and passwords to identify user type and their access right in the operation including retrieval, insertion, updating and deletion.

Enforcement of standards

The integration of the database enforces the necessary standards including data formats, naming conventions, documentation standards, update procedures and access rules.

Economy of scale

Cost savings can be obtained by combining all organization’s operational data into one database with applications to work on one source of data.

Balance of conflicting requirements

By having a structural design in the database, the conflicts between users or departments can be resolved. Decisions will be based on the base use of resources for the organization as a whole rather than for an individual person.

Improved data accessibility and responsiveness

By having integration in the database approach, data accessing can cross departmental boundaries. This feature provides more functionality and better services to the users.

Increased productivity

The database approach provides all the low-level file-handling routines. The provision of these functions allow the programmer to concentrate more on the specific functionality required by the users. The fourth-generation environment provided by the database can simplify the database application development.

Improved maintenance

Provides data independence. As a change of data structure in the database will affect the application program, it simplifies database application maintenance.

Increased concurrency

Database can manage concurrent data access effectively. It ensures no interference between users that would not result any loss of information or loss of integrity.

Improved backing and recovery services

Modern database management system provides facilities to minimize the amount of processing that can be lost following a failure by using the transaction approach.

Disadvantages

Complexity

A difficult software. All users must be familiar with its functionality and take full advantage of it. Therefore, training for the administrators, designers and users is required.

Size

Uses a substantial amount of main memory as well as large amount of disk space in order to make it run efficiently.

Cost of DBMS

A multi-user database management system may be very expensive. Even after the installation, there is a high regular annual maintenance cost on the software.

Cost of conversion

When moving from a file-base system to a database system, the company is required to have additional expenses on hardware acquisition and training cost.

Performance

As the database approach is to cater for many applications rather than exclusively for a particular one, some applications may not run as fast as before.

Higher impact of a failure

Increases the vulnerability of the system due to the centralization. As all users and applications reply on the database availability, the failure of any component can bring operations to a halt and affect the services to the customer seriously.

The difference between TFS and DBMS

Balajee B. (2005), There are number of characteristics that differ from traditional file management system to database management system. In file system approach, each user implements the required files for a specific application to run. (Example: in a sales department of an enterprise, one user will be maintaining the details of the number of sales personnel in that department and their grades. These details will be stored and maintained in a separate file. Another user will maintain the salary details of these sales personnel and the detailed salary report will be stored and maintained in a separate file. Although both of the users need the data of the salespersons, they will be having their details in separate files and they need different programs to operate their files.) When such data is isolated in separate files, it is difficult to access data that should be available for both users. This will lead to wastage of space and redundancy or replication of data, which may lead to confusion, as sharing of data among various users is not possible and data inconsistency may occur. These files will not be having any inter-relationship among the data stored in these files. Therefore in traditional file processing every user will be defining their own constraints and implement the files according to their needs.

In database approach, a single store of data is maintained that is defined once and then accessed by many users, as database belongs to the entire organization and can be shared by all authorized users. The essential characteristic of database approach is that the database system not only contains data but it contains complete definition or description of the database structure and control. These definitions are stored in a system catalog, which contains the information about the structure and definitions of the database. The information stored in the catalog is called the metadata, it describes the primary database. Hence this approach will work on any type of database for example, insurance database, Airlines, banking database, Finance details, and Enterprise information database. But in traditional file processing system the application is developed for a specific purpose and they will access specific database only. But the processing speed in TFS is high compared to DBMS.

The other main characteristic of the database is that it will allow multiple users to access the database at the same time and sharing of data is possible. The database must include concurrency control software to ensure that several users trying to update the same data at the same time, it should maintain in a controlled manner. In file system approach many programmers will be creating files over a long period and various files have different format, in various application languages, where duplication of data can occur.

This redundancy in storing same data multiple times leads to higher costs and wastage of space. This may result in data inconsistency in the application; this is because update is done to some of the files only and not all of the files. Moreover in database approach multiple views can be created;

External view – User/Application view,

Conceptual view – Logical view,

Internal view – Details about the structure of data and physical storage of information.

View is a tailored representation of information contained in one or more tables. View is also called as “Virtual table” because view does not contain physically stored records and will not occupy any space.

A multi-user database whose users have variety of applications must provide facilities for defining multiple views. In traditional file system, if any changes are made to the structure of the files it will affect all the programs. Therefore, changes to the structure of a file will require to change all programs that access the file and whereby data dependence will be lost. But in the case of database approach the structure of the database is stored separately in the system catalog from the access of the application programs. This property is known as program-data independence.

Database can also be used for continuous storage for program objects and data structures that resulted in object oriented database approach. Traditional systems suffered from impedance mismatch problem and difficulty in accessing the data, which is avoided in object oriented database system. Database can be used to represent complex relationships among data as well as to retrieve and update related data easily and efficiently. Hence DBMS does not automatically remove redundancies, but help to control redundancy.

It is possible to define and enforce integrity constraints for the data stored in the database. The database also provides facilities for recovering hardware and software failures, as it has automatic and intelligent backup and recovery procedures. It reduces the application development time considerably when compared to the file system approach and availability of up-to-date information of all the users. It also provides security to the data stored in the database system and maintains integrity.

A highly technical person will be required to handle the database, while for TFS, it is not so.

File-based systems are very dependent upon the application programmer. Any required queries or reports have to be written by the application programmer. Normally, a fixed format query or report can only be entertained and no facility for ad-hoc queries if offered. DBMS has data independence. The way information is stored and the way information issued is independent of each other.

File-based systems also give tremendous pressure on data processing staff, with users’ complaints on programs that are inadequate or inefficient in meeting their demands. Documentation may be limited and maintenance of the system is difficult. Provision for security, integrity and recovery capability is very limited. Whereas, DBMS has control over security as it provides tools such as use of User Code, Password / Privileges and Roles to ensure security of data.

Data, Field, Record, and File are the main components of Database environment. Briefly explain those.

Data

Webopedia (Anon., n.d.), Distinct pieces of information usually formatted in a special way. All software is divided into two general categories: data and programs. Programs are collections of instructions for manipulating data. Data can exist in a variety of forms — as numbers or text on pieces of paper, as bits and bytes stored in electronic memory, or as facts stored in a person’s mind. Strictly speaking, data is the plural of datum, a single piece of information. In practice, however, people use data as both the singular and plural form of the word. The term data is often used to distinguish binary machine-readable information from textual human-readable information. For example, some applications make a distinction between data files (files that contain binary data) and text files (files that contain ASCII data). In database management systems, data files are the files that store the database information, whereas other files, such as index files and data dictionaries, store administrative information, known as metadata.

Field

Webopedia (Anon., n.d.), A space allocated for a particular item of information. A tax form, for example, contains a number of fields: one for your name, one for your Social Security number, one for your income, and so on. In database systems, fields are the smallest units of information you can access. In spreadsheets, fields are called cells.

Most fields have certain attributes associated with them. For example, some fields are numeric whereas others are textual; some are long, while others are short. In addition, every field has a name, called the field name.

In database management systems, a field can be required, optional, or calculated. A required field is one in which you must enter data, while an optional field is one you may leave blank. A calculated field is one whose value is derived from some formula involving other fields. You do not enter data into a calculated field; the system automatically determines the correct value.

A collection of fields is called a record.

Record

Webopedia (Anon., n.d.), In database management systems, a complete set of information. Records are composed of fields, each of which contains one item of information. A set of records constitutes a file. For example, a personnel file might contain records that have three fields: a name field, an address field, and a phone number field. In relational database management systems, records are called tuples. Some programming languages allow you to define a special data structure called a record. Generally, a record is a combination of other data objects. For example, a record might contain three integers, a floating-point number, and a character string. In database management systems, a complete set of information. Records are composed of fields, each of which contains one item of information. A set of records constitutes a file. For example, a personnel file might contain records that have three fields: a name field, an address field, and a phone number field.

Figure 1.2.1

Source Author Anon.,

File

Webopedia (Anon., n.d.), A collection of data or information that has a name, called the filename. Almost all information stored in a computer must be in a file. There are many different types of files: data files, text files, program files, directory files, and so on. Different types of files store different types of information. For example, program files store programs, whereas text files store text.

What is the Importance of DBMS in a Defense Organization and in an Education Department?

Defence Organization

Benjamin (n.d.), A Database Management System (DBMS) is a set of computer programs that controls the creation, maintenance, and the use of the database with computers of an organization and its end users. It allows organizations to place control of organization-wide database development in the hands of database administrators (DBAs) and other specialists.

As organizations develop with time, their adoption to the latest technologies in the computer field becomes a necessity. A Defence organization is no different. In these turbulent times, when national security is more important, providing all Defence personnel with access to the latest technology and education opportunities not only directly contributes to Defence capability but also improve the defence personnels’ career development.

Hence the importance of a DBMS in such an organization like Defence is vital. Because Database administrators could use this system to configure and operate databases as the software provides high level, privileged database access. But the management should restrict use of this software to authorized personnel. One function of the database administrator is to create particular views of information stored in the database that are unique for each type of user. For example, one officer will have a different view of information in the database than another, say Senior officer. The different user groups will also have different abilities to add, modify, or delete information. The database administrator is responsible for providing users with access to the appropriate level of information. The primary risk associated with database administration is that an administrator can alter sensitive data without those modifications being detected.

A secondary risk is that an administrator can change access rights to information stored within the database as well as their own access rights.

Database security is the last line of defence. So it deserves greater focus on the protection of private data from both internal and external.

The sensitivity and classification of the information stored in the database form the basis for establishing controls. A database that stores confidential information may require a more significant control environment than a database that stores non-sensitive information. Management should consider the security and performance implications of the security options available with modern database management systems.

Database security professionals and information security and risk management professionals could adopt a security strategy in DBMS to:

1) Align database security policies with information security policies;

2) Ensure well-defined and formalized database security procedures;

3) Enforce role separation; and

4) Apply advanced security measures such as database auditing, monitoring, database encryption, data masking, and vulnerability assessment to all critical databases that store private data.

The DBMS can provide long-term benefits for the Defence organization reducing duplication of data and making it easier for HR to update personnel records. If not for DBMS, each time there was a personnel change, trainers would have to go through their entire content to make the necessary changes. Now, replacing Brigadier X’s picture in the content library with Commodore Y’s picture can be automatically replicated through all relevant programs. Thereby reduce its expenditure on storage. But, initial training will be required for all programmers and users. Even though database systems are complex, difficult, and time-consuming to design, there is greater data integrity and independence from applications programs and

Education Department

Sue Bushell (2004), To improve teaching and learning with the help of modern information and communication technology eLearning is beneficial to education, corporations and to all types of learners. It is affordable, saves time, and produces measurable results.

E-learning comprises all forms of electronically supported learning and teaching. The Information and communication systems, whether networked or not, serve as specific media to implement the learning process.

E-learning services have evolved since computers were first used in education. There is a trend to move towards blended learning services, where computer-based activities are integrated with practical or classroom-based situations.

E-learning is essentially the computer and network-enabled transfer of skills and knowledge. E-learning applications and processes include Web-based learning, computer-based learning, virtual classroom opportunities and digital collaboration. Content is delivered via the Internet, intranet/extranet, audio or video tape, satellite TV, and CD-ROM. It can be self-paced or instructor-led and includes media in the form of text, image, animation, streaming video and audio

The definition of e-learning varies depending on the organization and how it is used but basically it involves electronic means of communication, education, and training.

Regardless of the definition you chose to use, designers, developers, and implementers make or break the instructional courses and tools. E-learning is simply a medium for delivering learning and like any other medium, it has its advantages and disadvantages. E-learning covers a wide array of activities from supported learning, to blended or hybrid learning (the combination of traditional and e-learning practices), to learning that occurs 100% online.

As per wikipedia.org, the worldwide e-learning industry is estimated to be worth over $48 billion US according to conservative estimates. Developments in internet and multimedia technologies are the basic enabler of e-learning, with consulting, content, technologies, services and support being identified as the five key sectors of the e-learning industry.

E-learning is naturally suited to distance learning and flexible learning, but can also be used in conjunction with face-to-face teaching, in which case the term Blended learning is commonly used. E-Learning pioneer Bernard Luskin argues that the “E” must be understood to have broad meaning if e-learning is to be effective. Luskin says that the “e” should be interpreted to mean exciting, energetic, enthusiastic, emotional, extended, excellent, and educational in addition to “electronic” that is a traditional national interpretation. This broader interpretation allows for 21st century applications and brings learning and media psychology into the equation.

E-Learning can also refer to educational web sites such as those offering learning scenarios, worksheets and interactive exercises for children. The term is also used extensively in the business sector where it generally refers to cost-effective online training

There are many advantages to online and computer-based learning when compared to traditional face-to-face courses and lectures. There are a few disadvantages as well.

Advantages of eLearning

(Anon., n.d) E-learning is beneficial to education, corporations and to all types of learners. It is affordable, saves time, and produces measurable results.

Cost effective

E-learning is more cost effective than traditional learning because less time and money is spent traveling. Since e-learning can be done in any geographic location and there are no travel expenses, this type of learning is much less costly than doing learning at a traditional institute. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is a major benefit of e-learning. E-learning has the advantage of taking class anytime anywhere. Education is available when and where it is needed. E-learning can be done at the office, at home, on the road, 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. 

 

Learners like e-learning because it accommodates different types of learning styles. They have the advantage of learning at their own pace. Students can also learn through a variety of activities that apply to many different learning styles. Learners can fit e-learning into their busy schedule. If they hold a job, they can participate in eLearning right at their desk. If the learner needs to do the learning at night, then this option is available while in their pajamas and do the learning if they desire. 

Personalized learning

E-learning encourages students to peruse through information by using hyperlinks and sites on the worldwide Web. Learners are able to find information relevant to their personal situations and interest. E-learning allows selection of learning materials that meet their level of knowledge, interest and what they need to know to perform more effectively in an activity. 

 

E-learning is more focused on the learner and it is more interesting for the learner because it is information that they want to learn. E-learning is flexible and can be customized to meet the individual needs of the learners.

Develops knowledge

E-learning helps develop knowledge of the Internet. This knowledge will help learners throughout their careers. E-learning encourages students to take personal responsibility for their own learning. When learners succeed, it builds self-knowledge and self-confidence

Disadvantages of eLearning

Access

One disadvantage of eLearning is that learners need to have access to a computer as well as the Internet. They also need to have computer skills with programs such as word processing, Internet browsers, and e-mail. Without these skills and software it is not possible for the learner to succeed in eLearning. 

 

E-learners need to be very comfortable using a computer. Slow Internet connections or older computers may make accessing course materials difficult. This may cause the learners to get frustrated and give up. 

Software and files

Another disadvantage of e-learning is managing computer files, software comfortability and learning new software, including e-learning. For learners with beginner-level computer skills it can sometimes seem complex to keep their computer files organized. The lesson points you to download a file which the learner does and later cannot find the file. The file is downloaded to the folder the computer automatically opens to rather than a folder chosen by the learner. This file may be lost or misplaced to the learner without good computer organizational skills.

High motivation

E-learning also requires time to complete especially those with assignments and interactive collaborations. This means that students have to be highly motivated and responsible because all the work they do is on their own. Learners with low motivation or bad study habits may not complete modules and may fall behind

Isolation

Another disadvantage of e-learning is that students may feel isolated and unsupported while learning. Instructions are not always available to help the learner so learners need to have discipline to work independently without assistance. E-learners may also become bored with no interaction with instructors or classmates. 

Without the routine structures of a traditional class, students may get lost or confused about course activities and deadlines. Instructor may not always be available when students are studying or need help

Conclusion

Today many technologies can be, and are, used in e-learning, from blogs to collaborative software, E-Portfolios, and virtual classrooms. Most e-learning situations use combinations of these techniques.

Even though the hardware and software start-up are costly, the advantages are; reduced data redundancy, reducing updating errors and increased consistency, greater data integrity and independence from applications programs, improved data access to users through use of host and query languages, improved data security and availability of facilitated development of new application programs and ability for intensive research are the benefits of DBMS.

Task 2

Draw an Entity Relationship Data Model which describes the content and structure of the data held by the Medi Check Hospital.

Produce the resulting tables of above Medi Check Hospital and clearly indicating the primary and foreign keys.

Data Tables

Doctor

DoctorID (primary)

Lname

Fname

Address

Phone

Pager

Specialty

Location

Availability

Patient

PatientNo (primary)

PatientFirstName

PatientLastName

PatientAddress

PatientTelNo

PatientDob

PatientMaritalStatus

PatientDateRegistered

Appointment

AppointmentNo (primary)

PatientName

Date/Time

PatientTelNo

Symptom

SymptomCode (primary),

SymptomName

Description

Treatment

TreatmentTitle (primary)

TreatmentType

Duration

Status

TreatmentCost

Medication

MedicationNo (primary)

MedicationType

SideEffect

Dosage

Frequency

Severity

MedicationBrandName

MedicationManufactureName

MedicationManufactureAddress

MedicationManufactureTel

Normalize these tables to ensure that are all in BCNF. Show the steps you have taken in normalizing the tables.

UNF

Medication (DoctorID, Lname, Fname, Address, Phone, Pager, Specialty, Location,

Availability, PatientNo, PatientFirstName, PatientLastName,

PatientAddress, PatientTelNo, PatientDob, PatientMaritalStatus,

PatientDateRegistered, AppoinmentNo, PatientName, Date/Time,

PatientTelNo, SymptomCode, SymptomName, Description,

TreatmentTitle, TreatmentTy

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