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Definition: information system

A business application in the computer. An information system comprises the database, application programs and manual and machine procedures. It also encompasses the computer systems that do the processing. See Information Systems.

Database Processing
The database stores the subjects of the business (employees, customers, vendors, products) and the transactions (orders, purchases, employee and product updates). The application programs provide the data entry, updating, query and report processing.

The Procedures
The manual procedures document how data are obtained for input and how the system's output is distributed. Machine procedures instruct the computer how to perform scheduled activities, in which the output of one program is automatically fed into another.

Transaction Processing
The daily work is the online, interactive processing of the business transactions and periodic updating of employee, customer, inventory and vendor files (master files). See transaction processing.

Batch Processing
At the end of the day or other period, it may be necessary to run programs that update files that were not updated on a daily basis. In years past, batch processing was routinely used to print the endless reports every organization required. See batch processing.