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Decision support system

Information technology fundamental
Computers are an essential part of modern information systems, and it is virtually impossible to study information system today without knowing some thing about them and how they operate. In fact, without computers, it is unlikely that information system would even be considered a serious field of study. Following are the some basic components of computer based information system (Mahar, 2003).

Components of computer based information systems
A computer based information system is an information system in which a computer plays an important role. Such a system consists of the following elements (Mahar, 2002):

The term hardware refers to machinery, this category includes computers itself, which is often refer to as the central processing unit (CPU), and all of its support equipments. Among these supporting equipments are input and output devices, storage device, and communication devices.

The term software refers to computer programs and the manuals (if any) that supports them. computer programs are machine readable instructions that direct the circuitry within the hardware parts of the computer based information system to function in way that produce useful information from data. Programs are generally stored on some input output medium often a disk or tape for use by the computer.

Data are facts that used by programs to produce useful information. Like programs, data are generally stored in machine readable form on disk or tape until the computer needs them.

Procedures are the policies that govern the operation of a computer system “procedures are to people what software is to hardware” is a common analogy that is used to illustrate the role of procedures in a computer based information system.