The study of the use of computers has changed significantly over the last twenty five years while I have been working in this field. At first this field of study was mainly devoted to the use of computers to solve business problems. Most of the books and research papers published in the early years were written to serve that use of computers. However during the last ten years, there has been an increased use of computers to solve non business problems. For example a larger and larger amount of time is being devoted to the study of the Internet not only for business but for non business purposes as well. There is becoming an increased use of cell phones and devices like PDAs and electronic devices embedded in machinery like cars which require programming as well. There has been an increased use of computers in the area of graphics, gaming, music, video and for other personal entertainment devices. The field of computer science at some colleges and universities has therefore split into several different approaches to the study of computers specifically: business and non business.
The study of the business use of computers can now frequently be found in the School or College of Business. This area of computer science is sometimes called Management Information Systems (MIS) or Computer Information Systems (CIS). Other names are sometimes used to describe this field of study.
The study of the non business use of computers can now frequently be found in a separate Department of Computer Science. This CS department is sometimes in the College of Engineering or is sometimes included in the Mathematics Department. The topics studied under this arrangement might include: communications, multimedia, data bases, computer security, software quality assurance, programming languages, operating systems, computer networking and many other topics.
The languages used for these courses have varied from machine language to COBOL, Fortran, Pascal, C, C++, Java and now C#. The language C supports structured programming. C++ extended C and the concepts of structured programming to include object oriented programming (OOP). C# extends beyond these styles by adding component oriented and event driven programming using a graphic user interface (GUI). In addition C# adds the ability to easily access database data and to create Internet programs. This course will begin with an introduction to the structured programming and the component oriented side of C#. Next the OOP side will be introduced. This will be followed with the event driven program and then database access. These lectures will not consider C# programming for the Internet.
This course is not meant to be an extensive study of program design and development. This course is only an introduction to the subject. If you continue your formal study of business programming, you should take additional courses on this subject. What should be done after taking this class is to take a courses in SRS (Software Requirements Specification), OOA (Object Oriented Analysis), OOD (Object Oriented Design), OOP (Object Oriented Programming), Software Testing, SQA (Software Quality Assurance), Software Security, programming for a network environment and to study Java and C# more in depth.
These online course notes are meant to complement any other required texts and to hopefully add materials that will be helpful to the MIS major. The design discussed in the online notes will include more of a discussion of UML (Unified Modeling Language) than you will find in some texts.
Since the field of MIS changes so rapidly, you will need throughout your career to continue your education in the field yearly in order to keep up and in order to keep your job. For example, the previous edition of this text dealt with C# 2003. These lectures deal with C# 2005. It is expected that Microsoft will introduce another version shortly: C# 2007.