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The information system is an integral part of any organization. It refers to the interconnection of all systems, devices, processes, and people. There are three basic categories of information systems: infrastructure-based information systems, information system resources, and software information systems. Infrastructure-based information systems include computer systems and peripherals; software information systems include computer programs, databases, operating systems, and embedded systems; and information system resources include communication equipment, telecommunications equipment, application software, hardware, documentation, and personnel.

The main use of information system resources is for administration and support. Information resources control access to data, help administrators administer users, control network usage, provide information about user settings, perform maintenance functions, retain and redistribute records, provide information about users, manage work procedures, and implement policies. The following sections describe the various information system resources that an organization uses. Information system resources also allow end users to access information system applications and services.

The computer systems that many organizations use control access to information systems. They include desktop systems and laptops. Desktop systems control the programs installed on the desktop. Laptops allow desktop computer users to access data from other computers connected through network cables or wireless networks. Network administrators can allow end users to access network information systems using either a desktop computer or a laptop. Most information systems include an Intranet and extranet in addition to local area networks.

Database management systems monitor the distribution of data and determine which information needs to be stored and which should be discarded. They can be relational or object-oriented. Typically, large companies have their own on-site database management systems. Smaller organizations use off-site relational and object-oriented databases, sometimes combining them with on-site or remote database management systems.

Application systems are software applications that integrate with information systems to enable users to do work. Examples of such software include word processing applications and spreadsheets. Enterprise system resources run on mainframes or mainframe computers that connect to database management systems. They include such components as enterprise resource planning applications and supply chain management applications.

Transaction processing resources perform actions like transferring information. They may be human or machine-readable. Software transaction processors run on mainframes. They include components like transaction management systems and decision support. Information systems include application servers that process requests for information contained in an intranet or an extranet, including content access and distribution.

Information products are information systems that deliver information in the form of reports, instructions, data, graphics, images, presentations, etc. Examples of information products are content access and distribution systems that help users manage content from a web site or other content repository. Enterprise system information products include those that run on mainframes and include components like discovery management systems and content access and distribution systems. Network information products are networks that interconnect different machines, including PCs, laptops, consumer units and digital appliance units.

An application software system is a collection of related software applications. Applications make it possible to run tasks more efficiently by reducing overhead and simplifying processes. Examples of application software include applications used in desktop publishing, product catalogs, point of sale analysis and manufacturing control systems. Database application software processes information from documents and other forms of data to provide accurate, consistent and efficient customer service. Financial application software helps managers analyze financial information for strategic planning and resource allocation. Internet application software helps end users access information on the internet.

The information processing instructions of an application software system include programming instructions, configuration commands, database requirements and other resource commands. Resource commands are subroutines that perform tasks needed to load, run and communicate information among application software, components and operating systems. The information processing instructions of an application software system provide information needed by application software to perform its tasks. Examples of resource commands include registry, programming, device driver, scheduling and others. End-users can use these resource commands to load programs, retrieve and install information or execute other procedures. A system’s information processing instructions provide procedures for task execution.

National health information system resources include personal healthcare information system resources such as physician information, patient appointment schedules and treatment details. Health information systems also include electronic medical records (EMR) and national health information system resources. EMRs are designed to consolidate patient information and streamline systems to improve management processes. National health information systems also include laboratory information such as drug information and results. These systems collect and transmit data on a clinical case-by-case basis.

Operating system resources include software and hardware resources needed to operate an operating system such as the Microsoft Windows TM. Software resources include applications and computer software such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Hardware resources include computer hardware such as motherboards and processors. Operating system resources include memory, hard drives and processors. Computer network resources include Internet access and network ports. Computer software includes computer programs such as email, Word and Excel.

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