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Automatic data processing (also called automated data processing and ADP) refers to an interacting assembly of procedures, processes, methods, personnel, and equipment to perform automatically a series of data processing operations on data. The data processing operations may result in a change in the content of the data.

ADP is also defined as data processing by means of one or more devices that use common storage for all or part of a computer program, and also for all or part of the data necessary for execution of the program; that execute user-written or user-designated programs; that perform user-designated symbol manipulation, such as arithmetic operations, logic operation, or character-string manipulations; and that can execute programs that modify themselves during their execution.


ADP may be performed by a stand-alone unit or by several connected units.

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