Bibliography: p. 100-104.
Office automation systems have become an essential tool for the operation of the modern office. With the emphasis of a modern office being placed on efficiency and ease of communication, office automation systems have become the backbone of successful businesses. COSNET is a prototype office automation system designed and implemented at the Department of the University of Cape Town and runs on Personal Computers that are linked to a NCR UNIX TOWER, which acts as the host. This dissertation investigates the different facilities supported by some of the office automation systems compared in this thesis, and describes the COSNET features. This prototype office automation system supports many of the facilities that are supported by large office automation systems. COSNET allows the user to define any MS-DOS based editor or word processor, and uses a simple editor for the creation of mail. The electronic filing facility allows documents to be created, filed, retrieved and deleted, and thus provides the users with the necessary features for document exchange. A user may set access permissions to each of his documents and may grant other users either read or write access to a specific document. The mail facility lets the user read, file, forward, delete and print a message, and supports classification of mail. A calendar facility is used as an electronic diary and stores all the user's schedules. These schedules may be viewed in either daily, weekly and monthly display modes. Read and write access to the calendar can be set by the user, in order to allow other users to manipulate his schedules. Any MS-DOS based application software can be added to COSNET. This facility allows the COSNET user to configure the office automation system to simulate the office environment. COSNET thus supports most of the necessary features required by an office automation system.