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Lesson 10

Technological Building Blocks (Conclusion)

One of the central points in this module is how eBusiness uses technology as an enabler. We also discussed the devices and software the client may use, and some of the technical and non-technical considerations that an eBusiness architect needs to be addressed:
Having completed this module, you should now be able to:
  1. Identify the required network and security technologies required for eBusiness
  2. Describe the use of a database in an eBusiness context
  3. Identify the considerations for selecting or building a server
  4. List the considerations for the client-end of eBusiness
  5. Explain the use of search agents in eBusiness applications
  6. Define the differences between push and pull technologies
  7. Describe the characteristics of Intranets, Extranets, and VPNs
  8. Outline important Web site design considerations

New terms

The following terms may be new to you:
Network Operating Systems: An Operating System that includes components for networking built into it. Examples include Novell Netware, Windows NT etc.
  1. Network Management Systems: Software and sometimes hardware which will monitor and control networks. Some Network Operating Systems have their own built-in Network Management Systems.
  2. Open Database Connectivity: ODBC or Open Database Connectivity is a standard database access method developed by Microsoft to make it possible for any ODBC compliant application to access any data stored in an ODBC compliant database. ODBC achieves this by inserting a layer called a database driver between the application and the database to interpret any requests from the application into commands that are understood by the DBMS.
  3. Database Management Systems: DBMS or Database Management Systems are a collection of programs that enable the storing, modification and extraction of data to and from a database.
  4. Operating System: An Operating System is a program that runs between the applications software and the hardware on a computer. The Operating System is responsible for controlling and coordinating access to the hardware devices from the applications and manages security, scheduling and data storage operations for the applications. Examples include UNIX and Windows.
  5. Client: An application that runs on a computer that connects to a server. The client relies on the server to perform certain operations. The term Client can also encompass the hardware on which the client software runs. A Web browser such as Netscape Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer is a client that relies on a Web server to provide content.
  6. Client configuration: The hardware and software configuration of a client including user defined settings, available hardware and software setup.
  7. CORBA: (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) Enables pieces of programs, called objects, to communicate with one another regardless of what operating system they are running on or what programming language they were written in. Developed by OMG (Open Management Group).
  8. Fiber optic: A technology used for transmitting data by light. A fiber optic cable consists of thin strands of glass or plastic along which the light can travel.
  9. Server cluster: Connecting two or more computers together in such a way that they behave like a single computer. Clustering is used for parallel processing, for load balancing, and for fault tolerance.
  10. SMP(Symmetric Multiprocessing): A computer architecture that provides fast performance by making multiple CPUs available to complete individual processes simultaneously (multiprocessing). Unlike asymmetrical processing, any idle processor can be assigned any task, and additional CPUs can be added to improve performance and handle increased loads.
  11. Protocol: The language of a network. A set format for data to be passed between to devices or objects. The protocol defines how the data is structured and the error checking and transmission control information that is communicated between the objects or devices. TCP/IP is an example of a suite of protocols that enable devices and objects to communicate.
  12. NIC: NIC or Network Interface Card is a board or card that can be plugged into a computer that has the necessary connectivity electronics and plugs to enable the computer to be connected on a network.
  13. ICE: (Internet Content Exchange Protocol) This defines the method and format for content exchange and provides support for management and control of syndication relationships. ICE is an application of XML.
  14. XML: (eXtensible Markup Language) An open standard for describing data from the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). It is used for defining data elements on a Web page and business-to-business documents. It uses a similar tag structure as HTML; however, whereas HTML defines how elements are displayed, XML defines what those elements contain. HTML uses predefined tags, but XML allows tags to be defined. Thus, virtually any data items, such as product, sales rep and amount due, can be identified, allowing Web pages to function like database records. By providing a common method for identifying data, XML supports B2B transactions and is expected to become the dominant format for electronic data interchange.
  15. VPN: A software-defined network offering the appearance, functionality, and usefulness of a dedicated private network; a VPN uses a public network to connect nodes.
  16. Local Area Networks: LAN or Local Area Network is a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings.
  17. Wide Area Networks: A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs).
  18. Intranet: A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. An in-house Web site that serves the employees of the enterprise. Although intranet pages may link to the Internet, an intranet is not a site accessed by the general public. Using programming languages such as Java, client/server applications can be built on intranets. Since Web browsers that support Java run under Windows, Mac and UNIX, such programs also provide cross-platform capability. Intranets use the same communications protocols and hypertext links as the Web and thus provide a standard way of disseminating information internally and extending the application worldwide at the same time. An intranet looks and behaves like any other Web site, but is protected from unauthorized access by a firewall.
  19. Extranet: Refers to an intranet that is partially accessible to authorized outsiders. Whereas an intranet resides behind a firewall and is accessible only to people who are members of the same company or organization, an extranet provides various levels of accessibility to outsiders. An extranet may provide access to paid research, current inventories and internal databases, virtually any information that is private and not publically available. You can access an extranet only if you have a valid username and password, and your identity determines which parts of the extranet you can view.
  20. Netiquette: The etiquette guidelines for the design and use of the Internet.
  21. RAM: Random access memory, a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers.
  22. Chat room: A virtual room where a chat session takes place. Technically, a chat room is really a channel, but the term room is used to promote the chat metaphor.
  23. Symmetric Multi-Processing: A computer architecture that provides fast performance by making multiple CPUs available to complete individual processes simultaneously (multiprocessing). Unlike asymmetrical processing, any idle processor can be assigned any task, and additional CPUs can be added to improve performance and handle increased loads.
  24. Load balancing: Distributing processing and communications activity evenly across a computer network so that no single device is overwhelmed. Load balancing is especially important for networks where it is difficult to predict the number of requests that will be issued to a server. Busy Web sites typically employ two or more Web servers in a load balancing scheme. If one server starts to get swamped, requests are forwarded to another server with more capacity. Load balancing can also refer to the communications channels themselves.
  25. Cookie: A cookie is a message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
  26. Web browser: Application used to view Web pages.
  27. Web server: A server that services requests for Web pages.
Web Security In the next module, we will discuss planning and design.

ebusiness Building Blocks - Quiz

Click the Quiz link below to complete a quiz on the material covered in this module.
ebusiness Building Blocks - Quiz