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Format: MS WORD  |  Chapter: 1-5  |  Pages: 73  |  1652 Users found this project useful  |  Price NGN3,000




1.1 Background of the Study

In the early days of computerization, it was normal to maintain specific files for individual applications. Data were processes centrally in batches and there was little or no online interrogation of data. This approach is wholly inefficient for most of today’s data processing systems. Supporting this, Vossen (1991) enumerated the problems that result from organizing data using the file system:

1) There exists a high redundancy between files, which result from the fact that the information is replicated in different places, and that these replications are not controlled by a central monitor.

2) Inconsistencies might result from the possibilities that a program makes changes on the files it uses without these changes being made (at the same time) by all other programs that uses the file. 3) There exists inflexibility against changes in the application: if new actions or events arise in the course of time, these can be realized at a substantial expense of time.

4) The work of many programmers involved is characterized by low productivity, since program maintenance is expensive: if the structure of an existing file has to be modified during its lifetime, then all application programs has to be modified correspondingly. To overcome these problems, databases were developed. It is now common for large organisations to organise their operational data using the database technology. The subject of database is adequately covered in many works on database technology.

Clifton (1983) briefly defines database as a collection of data supporting the operation of an organization. Quoting CIMA, Lucey (1991) provides a more detailed definition: A database is a file of data structured in such a way that it may serve a number of applications without its structure being dictated by any one of those applications, the concepts being that programs are written round the database rather than files being structured to meet the needs of particular programs. A database is an organized collection of data. The data is typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality (for example, the availability of rooms in hotels), in a way that supports processes requiring this information (for example, finding a hotel with vacancies).

A general-purpose database management system (DBMS) is a software system designed to allow the definition, creation, querying, update, and Administration of database: Wellknown DBMSs include MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Access, Oracle, Sybase, DBASE, FoxPro, and IBM DB2. A database is not generally portable across different DBMS, but different DBMSs can inter-operate by using standards such as SQL and ODBC or JDBC to allow a single application to work with more than one database. Russell, M. (1987) dealt extensively on the need for the use of computers on such database system like computerized clearance system. In the words of Dim Orji (2003).

Advances in technology are rapidly changing today’s modern business around the globe and have seriously affected every aspect of the office. The effects are generally felt in science, commerce, industry, education, politics, and particularly in the business world. These new technologies have facilitated new business procedures from the traditional office of yester years to the electronic office. Nwogwugwu (2002) asserted that the introduction of sophisticated telecommunication equipment, computer and word processors, information technology machines coupled with the new management techniques have changed old work habits, thereby resulting in complete job re-designation and acquisition of new skills. Osuala (1998) observed that the most common office equipment before the office revolution were typewriters, telephones and filing cabinets. All these provide the means by which the three main information activities are carried out – namely document production, communication and filing. During that time office work was dull, slow and labour intensive. According to Osuala, these three traditional technologies are still very much part of office life, but the electronic office has introduced a number of innovations which complemented or replaced them. Etonyeaku (2009) noted that secretaries in the organizations of yester years were dealing with papers worked with manual machines, relied on postal services for external communications and kept office records in the cabinets. These technological innovations demand new skills, attitudes and the development of new professional and intellectual concepts among secretaries.

The emphasis in the new Office Technology and Management curriculum, according to Esene (2011) is to radically shift from where the profession has been in order to join the rest of the developed countries. Some discoveries in the Office Technology and Management profession have shown that gone are the days when secretaries were traditionally regarded as office assistants to their bosses who sit behind the typewriters. The story is changing very fast as today’s secretaries trained with modern office automation, materials and equipment are expected to cope with all the changes occasioned by ICT driven arrangements. The modern offices of today, lay due emphasis on paperless office as a way of facilitating the process of correspondence handling and operation. For instance, Ekula (2008) stated that in offices, computer, database management and other accessories are increasingly being used to organize and control records. Secretaries are now being required to be able to operate computers using Dbase, Excel, Corel Draw and Word Processing packages such as Word perfect, Ms Word, Ms Power point, Adobe Page maker and in particular the dexterity to use most of the application packages contained in Windows 2000 to 2007 respectively.


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