John L. Scott Realtors
John Scott Realtors is a small real-estate firm headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, with a total of 25 offices in Western Washington. The firm purchased a Hewlett-Packard minicomputer in 1989 to keep track of properties and commissions. Over time, the company acquired 250 personal computers. Given the declining prices of personal computers, staff began the process of converting to a client-server local area network, with personal computerbased servers installed in major offices.
With the old system, data was stored in proprietary formats for each application package. As a result, managers and agents could only retrieve information that is printed on the standard reports. Although most of the users had personal computers, they could transfer the data they wanted from the minicomputer to their spreadsheets and other applications. The real estate offices are also connected to several local Multiple Listing Services (MLS) databases.
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Read the caselet carefully and answer the following questions:
1. What are the advantages provided by using a relational DBMS? What are the various steps you would undertake
2. What are the features of a Windows NT Operating System and what are its advantages over Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems?
3. Do you think Scott Realtors could have built an adequate system using off-the-shelf software? What are the costs and benefits of trying this approach?