Alexis's Ark

Business Computing - I, Volume 1 & 2 (C-DAC Tata McGraw-Hill Series)

By Alexis Leon & Mathews Leon, Tata McGraw-Hill, 1999.
"The workers and professionals of the world will soon be divided into two distinct groups: those who will control computers and those who will be controlled by computers. It would be best for you to be in the former group." - Lewis D. Eigen

This is the information age. He who has the information runs the show. Everywhere you go, every direction you turn, every book you read, every magazine that you look into, every newspaper that you read, every movie or television show that you watch, every people that you talk to, the most common thing that you hear about is computers, information explosion, information super highway, cyberspace, information technology, multimedia, virtual reality, client-server architecture, on-line transaction processing, and so on. Most people find it difficult to keep pace with the speed at which the information technology is growing. Technology is growing at such a speed that the products and systems become obsolete very fast. The proverb 'Old is Gold' is not true for the IT industry.

When Charles Babbage invented the 'Analytical engine' in 1822, nobody knew the impact that it was going to create, the way it was going to change our way of living and the rate at which it was going to grow. The rate at which the computer or IT industry has grown is astonishing. The growth rate is exponential if not vertical. In the early days since it's inception, the use of computers was limited to the scientists and science and research labs. In those days computers were big, cumbersome, expensive and not at all user-friendly. A great deal of knowledge was required to operate them. It was beyond the reach of the common man. But with the introduction of commercial computers, or the production of computers on a commercial basis, things began to change slowly. Big companies began to use it, airlines and railways began to use it, but still they were expensive and difficult to operate. But then lightning struck, the personal computer was introduced. Even though the initial personal computers were no where near their present counterparts, they took the industry by storm. Finally the computers were accessible to the common man. From then, computers have become more powerful, more user-friendly, smaller, cheaper and the trend still continues.

Thus, from a very modest and slow beginning the computer and IT industry has grown in leaps and bounds and is still growing at an astonishing pace. If the automobile industry had grown like computer industry, the cost of a Mercedes Benz today would be around Rs. 40 and it would run a million miles on a liter of petrol. People all over the world are struggling to keep up with this breathtaking pace. The industry has become more and more competitive and now only the toughest and fittest will be able to survive. The competition is fierce and companies are doing all in their power to stay in business. But all these competition has made the life easy and comfortable and has helped in increasing the standard of living.

Since the growth rate in the software or IT field has been very high, it has created a vacuum. By vacuum, we mean lack of qualified people. Today the number of qualified IT professionals needed and available is not the same. The demand is very high and supply is low and the gap between the demand and supply is widening day-by-day. This is evident from the 'Wanted software/IT professionals' advertisements in the newspapers, magazines, television, etc. The scenario is clear. Companies are becoming more and more aggressive and bringing out more and more products. More and more multinational companies are already making their entry into the IT field. Newer companies are jumping into the fray. These changes have benefited IT professionals. Job prospects are going up and up. There are more companies to choose from. The companies are offering fantastic pay packets and working environments. It is estimated that in India alone there will be a requirement of more than 100,000 software professionals per year. These professionals are required by the software houses for software export projects or government R&D ventures and the EDP departments of large corporate houses. But there are smaller software companies and medium and small business houses that also need the services of software professionals. Thus, the future of software professionals is very, very bright.

Now, let us take a look into the process how the demand is met at present, or in other words from where these professionals are recruited. The requirement is mainly met by students from formal institutes like IITs and other Engineering colleges. But the IITs and Engineering colleges cannot alone meet the requirements. The IT industry needs more people. They need people with backgrounds as diverse as management, mechanical engineering, mathematics, etc. Organizations like C-DAC play a vital role in training professional required for the IT industry. They play a very important role in fulfilling the dreams of thousands of students, who do not otherwise have a chance to enter the software profession. As the C-DAC brochure says, the DAC course is designed and developed to help you in achieving your dream of a career in the field of Information Technology. This course is designed to make you a full-fledged and well equipped IT professional.

This book is for Business Computing - I, which covers Database concepts, Oracle 8, Developer/2000 and PowerBuilder. The book is divided into two volumes for easy handling:

  1. Volume 1 - Database concepts, SQL, Oracle 8, SQL*Plus, PL/SQL, Developer/2000, etc.
  2. Volume 2 - PowerBuilder 6 

The books assume nothing. All the topics are explained from the basics to the most advanced level. There are a lot of examples and screenshots to improve the understanding.