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Über dieses Buch

The goal of this book is to present a framework within which the myriad of office technologies and office systems design techniques can be better understood. There are a number of office books which deal with the social/organizational aspects of office automation or with office equip­ ment introduction strategies. This book differs from those in that it is written by technical computer people for technical computer people. As such, it assumes a general computer literacy and contains a technical emphasis with a social fiber woven in. Besides the framework, we also present the current state of office primitives, office tools, and office tech­ nology. We cover relevant work on-going by international standards bod­ ies, and we discuss the concepts that are emerging (or which we feel will be emerging) from universities and industrial research laboratories. Office technologies and techniques are classified as personal environment aids versus communal environment aids. We now fully realize how difficult it is to write a coherent book within this fuzzy, interdisciplinary, rapidly changing field. Concepts have been stressed wherever possible; there are some sub-areas where the generaliz­ ing concepts have not yet emerged. We also realize the potential danger of obsolescense. We have tried to combate this somewhat by the presen­ tation of concepts, generic tool design, and emphasizing our framework. This book is not a substitute for reading of the current periodical litera­ ture - that is where the most timely information lies.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Office Prelude

Abstract
This book is a treatise on the technical aspects of office information systems. Before discussing these aspects, we need to provide motivation. Somehow one needs to have some understanding of the typical structures and problems in the modern office, and some feeling for what is really happening in the office today. We devote the greater part of this chapter to the development of this understanding and feeling.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

2. Workstation Technology

Abstract
The workstation is a facility (or station) to aid in getting work done. As such, it may include a desk, chair, paper, pencils, lamp, and coffee cup. To narrow this to our domain of study which is modern office information systems, we concentrate on those components which provide a computing environment for the end user. Components which we consider include processors, memories, input output facilities, and peripherals within distributed and centralized configurations. In section 2.1, we discuss possible configurations, and try to define and categorize workstations and their subsystems. Then we present in section 2.2, a technical introduction to some workstation peripherals which are particularly relevant in an office environment — secondary memory systems, video displays, keyboards, pointing devices, and printers. The use and integration of these level 1 personal (workstation) primitives in office tools and application systems are then discussed in later chapters. Higher level office tools and applications also depend upon communal (networking) primitives which are introduced in chapter 3 of this book.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

3. Communication Technology

Abstract
The office is a communications intensive environment. There are meetings and business trips and telephone calls explicitly for the purpose of communication. Databases are frequently used to store information for others to retrieve, or for yourself at a later time; thus databases are a medium for communication. Even the writing of documents, and the drawing of graphs are for communication. Thus in this chapter, we would like to embark upon an exploration of communications technology as it is relevant to office information systems. After a discussion of some communication and networking basics, we focus on the ISO model of layered communication systems.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

4. Networks

Abstract
In networking, we examine different types of communication configurations. Since office systems should span wide areas while maintaining a high connectivity inside local areas, networks that will support office systems should provide adequate information distribution locally and between remote sites.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

5. Office Systems Tools

Abstract
This chapter presents some of the advanced primitives and tools which are the basis for the implementation of workable office information systems. Workable encompasses such notions as responsiveness, user-friendliness, and extensibility. We will see in following chapters how some of these tools are useful for the construction of higher level office applications.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

6. User Interfaces

Abstract
In previous chapters, we have explored the technology underlying office systems, and some primitives and tools available. On top of these layers, the application design and implementation layer can also usefully be divided into a sub-layer that implements the user interface, and a sub-layer that implements the application functionality. This chapter is concerned with user interface design. User interface design issues are concerned with techniques for easy, effective communication between a person (office system user) and a computer (office system,) which may in turn be the vehicle for convenient communication among individuals (e.g. electronic mail.) The user interface is an extremely important topic within the office information systems area because the majority of users here are nontechnical people who have no training nor desire for training in computer science. This is in contrast to most areas of computer science such as programming languages or data processing where the primary users of the system or the writer of the programs are trained computer people whose primary job function is technical computer work.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

7. Office Documents

Abstract
We consider that many of the application programs and systems used within the office such as project management programs and electronic spreadsheets operate upon documents, so we begin this chapter by defining and discussing the notions of document and document processor. We then investigate the structure of a generic document processing system flexible enough to support a variety of types of information and multimedia presentation. In the latter part of the chapter, we discuss some commercial document systems and standards.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

8. Office Application Systems

Abstract
In this chapter, we discuss generic office applications and a few specific examples of popular office application systems. We expound upon this topic within the general framework of chapter 7. Thus all of the applications discussed can be viewed as document processing systems. This includes discussion of spreadsheets, office database systems, name servers, and electronic mail and conferencing.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

9. Office Postlude

Abstract
In this final chapter, we would like to take the liberty of speculating about the future of office information systems. Each of the technologies discussed in previous chapters is, to some extent, available in the marketplace today, although many are just beginning to get usage in realistic office environments. Chapter 9, on the other hand, discusses some technologies which are being researched in industrial laboratories, in ivory towers, or in the heads of the authors. The future is dependent upon a set of largely unforeseeable factors, many of which are non-technical such as economic pressures, government regulations, taxation policies, corporate strategies, and union strength. Although the far future is difficult to predict, some near term future trends seem clear. In particular, when we reach the stage where we can assume a user friendly workstation on every office worker’s desk, then the next generation of office systems will emerge which incorporate and leverage off of semantic knowledge about the office and knowledge based communal aids. In this chapter we elaborate upon this vision and describe some systems which incorporate parts of the vision.
Clarence A. Ellis, Najah Naffah

Backmatter

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