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By Rosemary Rock-Evans

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Extra info for Analysis Within the Systems Development Life-Cycle. Book 3: Activity Analysis–the Deliverables

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44 would result. This shows entity groups rather than entity types, indicated as much by the presence of the many-to-many relationship types as by the presence of stand-alone entity types or names which appear to indicate groups rather than precise concepts. 45). Several important points emerge from these actions, as follows: • It is legitimate for DFDs to show only flow or to show data stores also because of the stage reached in analysis • A considerable amount of data sharing will occur—this is well represented by the redrawn DFD • To achieve each activity, data from several data stores is used.

Purchasing has itself been decomposed further into the following: • Order preprocessing—handling of requests from the branch office • Ordering—the creation and sending of purchase orders • Recording of vendor details • Order amendment—dealing with changes to the orders once they have been sent (including cancellation). 43 and has been drawn to show the simple 'flow' of data between activities. As no attempt has yet been made to relate it to the entity model, no data stores can be shown. In this figure, the following can be seen: • Purchasing outputs purchase orders which are used by sourcing, shipping and the branch office (different sub-divisions of the same company) • Purchase orders are also sent to the vendor/supplier (which is a sink) • The vendor is also a source of vendor details (which purchasing and sourcing use), delivery details (which sourcing, shipping, invoice handling and progress chasing use) and invoices (which invoice handling and sourcing use) • A supplier reminder may be sent by progress chasing to the vendor • Sourcing supplies only one output—to purchasing—of a recommended supplier • The branch offices send requests for goods or services and receive (from progress chasing) derived information on the status of the order/request details • Invoice handling matches delivery details and invoices and produces approved invoices used by sourcing and the external activity of finance • Recovery produces cost recovery details for finance—derived information about shipping costs and invoice costs which must be charged by finance to the branch offices • Shipping uses air and sea timetables, purchase details and delivery details to arrange, with the shipping agent, the shipment of the goods to site.

Thus, the difference between an activity and an event is one of viewpoint. You may regard 'visitors arrive' as an event, which is responded to with the activity 'make tea'. The visitors, however, would regard their arrival as an activity and 'tea made' as a welcome event. It is the completion of the external activity which is the trigger to activities. In fact, to be precise, the event is the end of the external activity. Both events and activities change the state of our system. For example, when stock rusts this event has changed a property of the entity 'stock' and when the business writes off stock because it has rusted the state of the stock has been changed again, but on this occasion with an activity.

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