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Ch. 13 Intro to Data Processing (Programming & Languages)
Terms in this set (58)
A list of instructions for the computer to follow to accomplish the task of processing data into information. The instructions are made up of statements used in a programming language, such as C++, Java, or Visual Basic.
Programming / Software Development
Programming, also known as software development, is a six-step procedure for creating that list of instructions.
The six steps are:
(1) program specification,
(2) program design,
(3) program code (or coding),
(4) program test,
(5) program documentation,
(6) program maintenance.
Programmer / Software Engineer
Programming professional or programmer who analyzes users' needs and creates application software.
Program Specification (1)
The program's objectives, outputs, inputs, and processing requirements are determined.
Specifies five items:
(1) the program's objectives,
(2) the desired output,
(3) the input data required,
(4) the processing requirements,
(5) the documentation.
Also called 'Program Definition' or 'Program Analysis'
Program Design (2)
A solution is created using programming techniques such as top-down program design, pseudocode, flowcharts, and logic structures, object-oriented programming, and CASE tools
Used to identify the program's processing steps, called program modules. The program must pass in sequence from one module to the next until the computer has processed all modules.
An outline of the logic of the program to be written. It is the steps or the summary of the program before you actually write the program for the computer. Consequently, you can see beforehand what the program is to accomplish.
Programming statements or structures called sequence, selection, or loop that control the logical sequence in which computer program instructions are executed.
Logic structure that determines which of two paths will be followed when a program must make a decision.
Also called IF-THEN-ELSE structures. IF something is true, THEN do option one, or ELSE do option two.
The last thing to do before leaving the program design step is to document the logic of the design. This report typically includes pseudocode, flowcharts, and logic structures.
Program Code (3)
The program is written or coded using a programming language.
Actual writing of a computer program, using a programming language.
A collection of symbols, words, and phrases that instruct a computer to perform a specific task.
Extends C to use objects or program modules that can be reused and interchanged between programs.
Primarily used for internet applications; similar to C++; runs with a variety of different operating systems.
Embedded into webpages to provide dynamic and interactive content.
Visual Basic Language
Uses a very graphical interface, making it easy to learn and to rapidly develop Windows and other applications.
Uses graphical user interface and special code for touchscreen interfaces to create 'apps' for mobile and Apple iOS devices
Program Test (4)
The program is tested or debugged by looking for syntax and logic errors.
Programmer's word for testing and then eliminating errors in a program.
Programming errors are of two types:
(1) syntax errors.
(2) logic errors.
A violation of the rules of a language in which the computer program is written.
For example, leaving out a semicolon would stop the entire program from working because it is not the exact form the computer expects for that language.
Error that occurs when a programmer has used an incorrect calculation or left out a programming procedure.
For example, a payroll program that did not compute overtime hours would have a logic error.
Debugging / Testing Process
Several methods have been devised for finding and removing both types of errors (syntax and logic) including:
(1) desk checking / code review
(2) manually testing,
(5) beta testing.
Desk Checking / Code Review
A programmer sitting at a desk checks or 'proofreads' a printout of the program. The programmer goes through the listing line by line carefully looking for syntax errors and logic errors.
Using a calculator and sample data, a programmer follows each program statement and performs every calculation. Looking for programming logic errors, the programmer compares the manually calculated values to those calculated by the programs.
The program is run through a computer, using a translator program. The translator attempts to translate the written program from the programming language (such as C++) into the machine language.
Before the program will run, it must be free of syntax errors. Such errors will be identified by the translating program.
Testing sample data on the computer:
After all syntax errors have been corrected, the program is tested for logic errors. Sample data is used to test the correct execution of each program statement.
Testing by a select group of potential users:
This is sometimes called 'beta testing.' It is usually the final step in testing a program. Potential users try out the program and provide feedback.
Product Documentation (5)
Documentation is an ongoing process throughout the programming process. This phase focuses on formalizing the written description and processes used in the program.
Written descriptions and procedures about a program and how to use it. Written description of the purpose and process of a program. Documentation is written within the program itself and in printed documents.
Programmers will find themselves frustrated without adequate documentation, especially when it comes time to update or modify the program.
Users need to know how to use the software. Some organizations may offer training courses to guide users through the program. However, other organizations may expect users to be able to learn a package just from the written documentation.
Two examples of this sort of documentation are: printed manuals and the help option within most applications.
Documentation must be provided for computer operators. If the program sends them error messages, for instance, they need to know what to do about them.
As time passes, even the creator of the original program may not remember much about it. Other programmers wishing to update and modify it—that is, perform program maintenance—may find themselves frustrated without adequate documentation.
This kind of documentation should include text and program flowcharts, program listings, and sample output. It also might include system flowcharts to show how the particular program relates to other programs within an information system.
Program Maintenance (6)
Final step - Completed programs are periodically reviewed to evaluate their accuracy, efficiency, standardization, and ease of use.
Changes are made to the program's code as needed: Activity of updating software to correct errors, improve usability, standardize, and adjust to organizational changes.
As much as 75 percent of the total lifetime cost for an application program is for maintenance. This activity is so commonplace that a special job title, maintenance programmer, exists.
The purpose of program maintenance is to ensure that current programs are operating error-free, efficiently, and effectively. Activities in this area fall into two categories:(1) operations and (2) changing needs.
Programmer who maintains software by updating programs to protect them from errors, improve usability, standardize, and adjust to organizational changes.
Operations activities concern locating and correcting operational errors, making programs easier to use, and standardizing software using structured programming techniques.
For properly designed programs, these activities should be minimal.
Programming modifications or corrections.
It is common for the software manufacturer to periodically send patches or updates for its software.
Patches in which modifications to the software are typically more extensive and significant.
All organizations change over time, and their programs must change with them. Programs need to be adjusted for a variety of reasons, including new tax laws, new information needs, and new company policies.
Significant revisions may require that the entire programming process begin again with program specification.
Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) Tools
A type of software development tool that helps provide some automation and assistance in program design, coding, and testing. Software package that evaluates hardware and software alternatives according to requirements given by the systems analyst. Also called computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools.
Object-oriented software development
Software development approach that focuses less on the tasks and more on defining the relationships between previously defined procedures or objects.
Object-oriented programming (OOP)
Methodology in which a program is organized into self-contained, reusable modules called objects. Each object contains both the data and processing operations necessary to perform a task.
Generations of Programming Languages
The five generations are:
(1) machine languages,
(2) assembly languages,
(3) procedural languages,
(4) problem-oriented languages,
(5) natural languages.
Generations or levels of programming languages ranging from "low" to "high."
Lower Level Language
Programming language closer to the language the computer itself uses. The computer understands the 0s and 1s that make up bits and bytes.
Higher Level Language
Programming languages that are closer to the language humans use, such as English
Machine Languages (First Generation)
Language in which data is represented in 1s and 0s. Most languages have to be translated into machine language for the computer to process the data. Either a compiler or an interpreter performs this translation.
Machine languages also vary according to make of computer—another characteristic that makes them hard to work with.
Assembly Languages (Second Generation)
A step up from machine language, using names instead of numbers. These languages use abbreviations or mnemonics, such as ADD, that are automatically converted to the appropriate sequence of 1s and 0s.
High Level Procedural Languages (Third Generation)
These more English-like programming languages are called "high-level" languages. However, most people still require some training to use higher-level languages. This is particularly true of procedural languages.
Language that can be run on more than one type of computer.
Procedural Languages / 3GLs
Programming language designed to focus on procedures and how a program will accomplish a specific task. Also known as 3GL or third-generation language.
Procedural Language Translators
Like assembly languages, procedural languages must be translated into machine language so that the computer processes them.
Depending on the language, this translation is performed by either a:
Converts the programmer's procedural language program, called the source code, into a machine language code, called the object code. This object code can then be saved and run later.
Examples of procedural languages using compilers are the standard versions of C++ and Visual Basic.
How it works: When a program is run, the compiler requires two steps. The first step is to convert the entire program's source code to object code. The second step is to run the object code.
The advantage: of a compiler language is that once the object code has been obtained, the program executes faster.
Converts the procedural language one statement at a time into machine code just before it is to be executed. No object code is saved.
An example of a procedural language using an interpreter is the standard version of BASIC.
How it works: The interpreter, in contrast, converts and runs the program one line at a time.
The advantage: of an interpreter language is that programs are easier to develop.
Task-Oriented Languages (Fourth Generation)
Task-oriented language designed to solve a specific problem and requiring little special training on the part of the end user.
Also known as 4GLs or fourth generation languages.
Easy-to-use language and understandable to most users. It is used to search and generate reports from a database. An example is the language used on an airline reservation system.
Application Generator / Program Coder
Provides modules of prewritten code to accomplish various tasks, such as calculation of overtime pay.
Problem & Constraint Languages (Fifth Generation)
Computer language that incorporates the concept of artificial intelligence to allow direct human communication. Also known as 5GLs or fifth generation languages.
Additionally, these languages would enable a computer to learn and to apply new information as people do. Rather than coding by keying in specific commands, we would communicate more directly to a computer using natural languages.
Careers in I.T. - Computer Programmer
Create, test, and troubleshoot programs used by computers. Programmers also may update and repair existing programs.
Most computer programmers are employed by companies that create and sell software, but programmers also may be employed in various other businesses. Many computer programmers work on a project basis as consultants, meaning they are hired by a company only to complete a specific program.
As technology has developed, the need for programmers to work on the most basic computer functions has decreased. However, demand for computer programmers with specializations in advanced programs continues.
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