Information systems have become the backbone of most organizations. Banks could not process payments, governments could not collect taxes, hospitals could not treat patients, and supermarkets could not stock their shelves without the support of information systems. In almost every sector—education, finance, government, health care, manufacturing, and businesses large and small—information systems play a prominent role. Every day work, communication, information gathering, and decision making all rely on information technology (IT). When we visit a travel agency to book a trip, a collection of interconnected information systems is used for checking the availability of flights and hotels and for booking them. When we make an electronic payment, we interact with the bank’s information system rather than with personnel of the bank.
Modern supermarkets use IT to track the stock based on incoming shipments and the sales that are recorded at cash registers. Most companies and institutions rely heavily on their information systems. Organizations such as banks, online travel agencies, tax authorities, and electronic bookshops can be seen as IT companies given the central role of their information systems.
Information Management System (IMS) is a general term for software designed to facilitate the storage, organization and retrieval of information.
IMS is also the name of IBM’s mammoth software program developed in the 1960s to support NASA’s Apollo space program. This IMS version was the precursor to IBM’s premier hierarchical database management system (DBMS).
Electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) is a type of content management system and refers to the combined technologies of document management and records management systems as an integrated system.
Unlike DB2 (IBM’s relational database software), an IMS database uses segments, or data blocks, as building blocks of the hierarchical model. Within each segment are multiple data pieces, which are known as fields. At the top of the hierarchy, the segment is known as the root segment. Segments of a specific segment are known as child segments. The child segment order represents the order in which each entry is entered in a database.
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