It's All About Transactions



- Everything we do in systems and software involves the processing of transactions.

It's All About TransactionsEvery now and then when I write about the systems field I'm sure a lot of my general readers yawn. My thinking is, if I can educate the general public, they will be less likely to be duped by the programmers running corporate America today. As such, it is important for me to illustrate most of what goes on in the systems and software world is really not as complicated as people make it.

To illustrate, most of what we do in business is process transactions, representing some sort of action or event, such as a purchase, a return, a back-order, a debit or a credit. On the highways, counting the number of automobiles on the highway, tracking traffic signals, recording moving violations, or paying a toll. Transactions are used to record new employees or members of a nonprofit, or make changes to their profiles. Requests to produce reports or obtain files also represent transactions. Commands such as "New," "Add," "Delete," "Print," "Download," "Open," "Save," "Search," are common transactions familiar to anyone who has used a computer. The point is, everything is based on some form of transaction.

My programmer friends who write computer games believe this is nonsense. Oh really? How do you keep score in the game; by tracking every right and wrong decision the player makes during the time allotted? Hmm, sounds like transactions are being recorded to me. Even Facebook and the other social networking programs keep track of the number of postings you make, not to mention the cookies placed on your computer to track your activities. A program without any form of transaction serves no useful business purpose.

Transactions can be processed either one at a time (as in "interactive") or in groups ("batch"). The challenge becomes processing the volume of transactions within an acceptable amount of time. This determines the physical constraints of the equipment to be used. "Batch" processing has the advantage of processing high volumes of transactions within a relatively short period of time per transaction. "Interactive" processing has the advantage of processing individual transactions quickly.

Just remember, all processing involves some form of transaction. There, that wasn't too complicated was it?

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in: Technical Topics
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zarfman posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013 8:12 PM

I suggest you take a look at complex adaptive systems. To this field is very complex.

Jay Sorenson
Tim Bryce posted on Friday, November 15, 2013 3:47 AM
Jay -

Over the years, I have seen systems of all sizes and shapes. Massive to mini in just about every field of endeavor. My argument holds true.

All the Best,
Tim Bryce
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