During this step, the analyst examines the proposed system in greater detail. Each major application is broken into smaller functional units. The data required by each function is also identified. Tools such as dataflow diagrams, data models and data dictionaries are often used to document this information.

In the first half of the general design step, the analyst looks at the tasks to be performed as generic user functions. He is not concerned whether a particular function will be implemented as a batch program or as an on-line transaction or performed manually.

When all functions and data have been identified, the analyst concentrates his attention on the actual development of the system. In the second half of the general design, the analyst or system designer determines manual procedures and the functions to be implemented using on-line and batch programs. He also identifies the data fjles to be created their organization and their contents. The analyst documents the guidelines to the project as whole (Systems Analysis Document). When the general design is complete, the users should understand how the new system would affect their day-to-day procedures.

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