Chapter 5 – Network Applications
NETWORK APPLICATIONS – businesses use networks to improve their operations. Networks
support businesses in functions like discovery, communication, collaboration, and web services.
Discovery – user can find all information on the web, however there is no quality control over
information on the internet. The information can be overwhelming and doubles each year and is
difficult to manage. Search engines, directories, and portals are used to make such tasks easier.
• Search engines and Metasearch engines – it is a computer program that searches for
specific information by keywords. It has billions of pages in its indices. Pages are
indexed for faster search results. They are created and updated by webcrawlers;
computer programs that browse the web and create a copy of all visited pages.
Metasearch engines search several search engines at once and integrate the findings.
• Publication of material in foreign languages – websites on the internet may be in
different languages. Automatic translations services can help with the task of translation.
To reach a global market, translation of foreign language is necessary for a website.
Translation services are expensive
• Portals – a portal is a web-based, personalized gateway to information. This is overcome
information overload in organizations and to organize that information. It uses advanced
indexing techniques. Four types of portals are:
o Commercial (public) portals – for broad and diverse audiences and offer real time
information, for e.g. a stock ticker.
o Affinity portals – single point of entry to an entire community of affiliated interests,
such as a political party or a university students’ access.
o Corporate portals – single point of access to critical business information inside
and outside the organization. Also called enterprise portals, information portals,
or enterprise information portals.
o Industry-wide portals – serve entire industry needs. Also has a large database of
industry jobs and information.
Communication – types are email, call centers, chat rooms and voice
• Electronic mail – largest volume application on the internet. 90 percent of companies
conduct business transactions via email.
• Web-based call centers – a personalized customer contact is becoming an important
aspect of web-based customer support. This is done through call centers. They are
sometimes located in foreign countries. • Electronic chat rooms – a virtual meeting place where people can communicate over the
internet. Messages are displayed on screen. Businesses use internet relay chat (IRC)
to interact with customers.
• Voice communications – plain old telephone service (POTS) connects calls through
dedicated circuits. Internet phone called known as voice-over Internet Protocol or
VoIP, calls are treated as data. Skype provides free VOIP services. Vonage provides
VOIP services for a fee where you can receive calls through internet connection with
existing home phone.
• Unified communications – Previously the wired and wireless connections were separate
for companies which was expensive and reduced productivity. Unified communications
integrates all forms of communications.
Collaboration – it refers to efforts by two or more entities; individuals, groups, or organizations.
Workgroup refers to two or more individuals to perform a specific task. Workflow is the
movement of information as it flows through the organizational procedures. Collaborations can
be virtual collaborations. Crowdsourcing is a collaboration method which outsources the task
to an undefined large group of people. In synchronous collaboration team members meet at the
same time. Asynchronous collaboration is when they cannot meet at the same time. These
collaborations are all used for workflow processes. Google docs is another form of collaboration.
Google – Google is developing and deploying applications that span discovery,
communications, and collaboration. The applications have five categories:
• Search applications
• Communicate, show, and share applications
• Mobile applications
• Applications to make your computer work better
• Applications to make your website work better
WEB 2.0 – Web 1.0 was the first generation of internet. Key developments were the creation of
websites and the commercialization of th