A CDE Definition
A business application in the computer. It is made up of the database, application programs and manual and machine procedures. It also encompasses the computer systems that do the processing.
Processing the Data
The database stores the subjects of the business (master files) and its activities (transaction files). The application programs provide the data entry, updating, query and report processing.
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.
The daily work is the online, interactive processing of the business transactions and updating of customer, inventory and vendor files (master files).
At the end of the day or other period, programs print reports and update files that were not updated on a daily basis. Periodically, files must be updated for routine maintenance such as adding and deleting employees and making changes to product descriptions. See transaction processing.
Updating the appropriate database records as soon as a transaction (order, payment, etc.) is entered into the computer. It may also imply that confirmations are sent at the same time.
Transaction processing systems are the backbone of an organization because they update constantly. At any given moment, someone may need an inventory balance, an account balance or the total current value of a financial portfolio. Also called "online transaction processing" (OLTP), the OLTP market is a demanding one, often requiring 24x7 operation and the most reliable computers and networks.
A manual example of transaction processing would be that every time you purchased an item, you added the amount paid to a running total. Contrast with "batch processing," which means that you save all receipts in a drawer and add them up at the end of the year for taxes. See two-phase commit, mission critical, industrial strength and fault tolerant.
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