The Internet, Intranets, and Extranets

At a Glance

Overview
This chapter provides an overview of the Internet, its capabilities and shortfalls, and how businesses are using it to further their missions. The first section covers the history of the Internet and explains how the Internet works. The chapter then describes the World Wide Web, Web browsers, search engines, and the process of creating a Web page. The technologies and services that have emerged as a result of the Internet are explained, including business uses of the Web; e-mail; instant messaging; push technology; Internet cell phones; handheld computers; career information and job searching tools on the Internet; Telnet; FTP; Web logs; video logs; podcasting; Usenet and newsgroups; chat rooms; Internet phone; videoconferencing services; content streaming; shopping on the Web; Web auctions; music, radio, video, and TV on the Internet; office on the Web; and Internet sites in three-dimensions. The chapter also discusses intranets, extranets, and some of the important issues related to networks.

Principles and Objectives
Principles The Internet is like many other technologies - it provides a wide range of services, some of which are effective and practical for use today, others that are still evolving, and still others that will fade away from lack of use. Learning Objectives • Briefly describe how the Internet works, including alternatives for connecting to it and the role of the Internet service providers.

Originally developed as a documentmanagement system, the World Wide Web is a menu-based system that is easy to use for personal and business applications.

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Because the Internet and the World Wide Web are becoming more universally used and accepted for business use, management, service and speed, privacy, and security issues must continually be addressed and resolved.

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Describe the World Wide Web and the way it works. Explain the use of Web browsers, search engines, and other Web tools. Identify and briefly describe the applications associated with the Internet and the Web. Identify who is using the Web to conduct business, and discuss some of the pros and cons of Web shopping. Outline a process for creating Web content. Describe Java and discuss its potential impact on the software world.

Define the terms intranet and extranet and discuss how organizations are using them. Identify several issues associated with the use of networks.

Why Learn About the Internet?
The Internet has affected all aspects of business and has become an important part of most individuals’ lives. One of the ways in which businesses use the Internet is to sell and advertise their products and services. Individuals looking to advance their careers can use the Internet to investigate career opportunities and salaries. Many people already working use the Internet daily to communicate with coworkers and bosses. People working in every field and at every level use the Internet in their jobs. Purchasing agents use the Internet to save millions of dollars in supplies every year. Travel and eventsmanagement agents use the Internet to find the best deals on travel and accommodations. Automotive engineers use the Internet to work with other engineers around the world developing designs and specifications for new automobiles and trucks. Property managers use the Internet to find the best prices and opportunities for commercial and residential real estate. Whatever career students choose, they will probably use the Internet daily.

Use and Functioning of the Internet
The Internet, the world’s largest computer network, consists of smaller, interconnected networks, all freely exchanging information and sharing resources. Its ancestor is ARPANET, a project started by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) in 1969. It was both an experiment in reliable networking and a means to link DOD and military research contractors, including a large number of universities doing military funded research. Today, several people, universities, and companies are attempting to make the Internet faster and easier to use. One such effort is led by Robert Kahn, who managed the early development of ARPANET. He is president of the nonprofit organization National Research Initiatives. The organization is looking into using “digital objects” that allow programs and data to be used and shared on all types of computer systems. To speed Internet access, a group of corporations and universities, the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development (UCAID), is working on a faster, new Internet. Called Internet2 (I2), Next Generation Internet (NGI), and Abilene, depending on the universities or corporations involved, the new Internet offers the potential of faster Internet speeds, up to 2 Gbits per second or more. How the Internet Works In general, the Internet works by transmitting data from one computer to another using a set of conventions known as the Internet Protocol (IP). Many other protocols are used in connection with IP; the best known is the Transport Control Protocol (TCP), which operates at the transport layer.

Each computer on the Internet has an assigned address called its Uniform Resource Locator, or URL, to identify it to other hosts. The URL gives those who provide information over the Internet a standard way to designate where Internet elements such as servers, documents, newsgroups, etc. can be found. An example of a URL is: http://www.course.com. The “http” part of the URL tells the browser to use the Hypertext Transport Protocol to access the file. “Http” is the default protocol for interacting with the Internet. The “www” part of the address signifies that the address is associated with the World Wide Web service, which is discussed later in the chapter. The “course.com” part of the address is the domain name that identifies the Internet host site. Domain names must adhere to strict rules. They must also be registered. Originally, Herndon, Virginia-based Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) was the sole company in the world with the direct power to register addresses using .com, .net, or .org domain names. But now, that is no longer the case. Other companies, called registrars, can register domain names, and additional companies are seeking accreditation to register domain names from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Many business and personal disputes related to domain-name registrations arise. ICANN has the authority to resolve such disputes. Users can access the Internet in several ways, including the following: LAN server Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) or Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) via dial-up access • Online services such as America Online and Microsoft Network • Other ways, such as using wireless devices and the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
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Internet Service Providers An Internet service provider (ISP) is any company that offers individuals or organizations access to the Internet. To use this type of connection, you must have an account with the service provider and software that allows a direct link via TCP/IP. ISPs provide value-added services such as electronic commerce, networks to connect with business partners, host computers to establish your own Web site, Web transaction processing, network security and administration, and integration services.

The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, in Geneva. This menu-based system, which was originally envisioned as an internal document-management system, now organizes Internet resources throughout the world into a series of hypertext-linked menu pages. Graphics, file transfers, video, and audio can also be integrated to form an audio/visual presentation of information. Much of the data is stored as codes and ASCII characters (HTML), which are downloaded and interpreted by client-side browser software packages such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Although the Web is a collection of independently owned computers, they all work together as one Internet service. A Web portal, such as Yahoo.com,

serves as an entry point to the Internet. Multimedia objects and pages use hyperlinks to seamlessly interconnect. The Web page of a site that often provides an introduction to the rest of the site is called the site’s home page. If a Web site is thought of as a magazine, then the home page can be thought of as the magazine’s cover page. The highlighted type (sometimes underlined) of a Web page is hypertext, which links the on-screen page to other documents, or Web sites. Hypermedia connects the data on pages, allowing users to access topics in whatever order they want. Web plug-ins can help provide additional features to standard Web sites. Macromedia’s Flash and Real Player are examples of Web plug-ins. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard page description language for Web pages and is used to create a unique, hypermedia-based menu on the user’s computer. Web authors work with a set of standards to create their pages so that the type of computer and software being used to access the site will not have an impact on appearance and function. These standards consist of a series of tags that tell the browser software the manner in which enclosed pages, text, or images need to be displayed. Other emerging standards include Extensible Markup Language (XML), Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Dynamic HTML (DHTML), and Wireless Markup Language (WML). New software has also been developed to work with the new Web environment. In addition, a programming language called Java allows small programs called applets to be embedded within HTML documents.

Web Browsers A Web browser creates a unique, hypermedia-based menu on your computer screen that provides a graphical interface to the Web. The menu consists of graphics, titles, and text with hypertext links. Through hypermedia links, you can access Internet resources, including text documents, graphics, sound files, and newsgroup servers. Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Computer’s Safari are some of the most popular Web browsers today. Small programs called applets can be embedded in Web pages to allow Web users to view more complex graphics, audio, and visual material. Web browsers also offer increased functionality through plug-ins. A Web browser plug-in is an external program that is executed by a Web browser when it is needed. Search Engines and Web Research In order to find specific Web sites, Web search tools called search engines have been developed. Most are free and enable users to find desired sites in a variety of ways. Popular search engines include Yahoo!, Google, Ask Jeeves, and AltaVista. Another tool that can be used to search for information on the Internet is a meta-search engine. A meta-search engine submits keywords to several individual search engines and returns the results from all search engines queried. Ixquick, ProFusion, and Dogpile are examples of meta-search engines. Web Programming Languages Java is an object-oriented programming language from Sun Microsystems. It allows small programs, called applets, to be embedded within an HTML document. When the user clicks on the appropriate part of the HTML page to retrieve an applet from a Web server, the applet is downloaded onto the client workstation, where it begins executing. Besides Java, a number of other programming languages and tools are also used to develop Web sites. JavaScript, VBScript, and ActiveX are Internet languages used to develop Web pages and perform important functions, such as accepting user input. Hypertext Preprocessor, or PHP, is an open-source programming language. Code from PHP can be embedded directly into HTML code. Developing Web Content Suggestions for creating a Web page are provided in the text. They are as follows: Your computer must be linked to a Web server, which can deliver Web pages to other browsers. 2. You need a Web browser program to view the HTML pages you create. 3. The actual design can take one of the following approaches: a. Write your copy with a word processor, and then use an HTML converter to convert the page into HTML format complete with tags so the browser knows how it should format the page.
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Use an HTML editor to write text and add HTML tags at the same time. Edit an existing HTML template (with all the tags ready to use) to meet your needs. d. Use an ordinary text editor and type the start and end tags for each item. Open the HTML page with the browser and see the result. You can correct mistakes by correcting the tags. Add links to your home page to allow your readers to click a word and open a related home page. The new page can be either a part of your Web site or a home page on a different Web site. To add pictures, you must first store them as files on your hard drive. You can do this in one of several ways: a. Draw them yourself using a graphics software package. b. Copy pictures from other Web pages (with permission from the artist if the pictures are not in the public domain). c. Buy a disk of clip art. d. Scan photos. e. Use a digital camera. You can add sound by using a microphone connected to your computer to record a sound file; add links to the page so that those who access your Web page can hear the audio. Upload the HTML file to your Web site using e-mail or File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Review the Web page to make sure that all links are correctly established to other Web sites. Advertise your Web page to others and encourage them to stop, take a look, and send feedback by e-mail.
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After you develop Web content, you need to place, or publish, the content on a Web site. After a Web site has been constructed, a content management system (CMS) can keep the Web site running smoothly. Web Services Web services are standards and tools that streamline and simplify communication among Web sites for business and personal purposes. XML is used within a Web page to describe and transfer data between Web service applications. Besides XML, three other components are used in Web service applications: 1. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 2. WSDL (Web Services Description Language) 3. UDDI (Universal Discovery Description and Integration)

Internet and Web Applications
The Internet has enabled a variety of technologies and services to emerge. Some of these are discussed in the following sections. Business Uses of the Web

In 1991, the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) Association was established to allow businesses to connect to the Internet. Since then, firms have been using the Internet for a number of applications. E-Mail, Instant Messaging, and Push Technology E-mail messages need not consist of simple text messages. Sound and images can be embedded in e-mail messages and various types of files can be attached to them. E-mail travels through the systems and networks that make up the Internet. Instant messaging is online, real-time communication between two or more people who are connected to the Internet. Because the typing is displayed in real-time, instant messaging is like talking to someone using the keyboard. Push technology is used to send information automatically over the Internet rather than make users search for it with their browsers. Internet Cell Phones and Handheld Computers Increasingly, cell phones, handheld computers, and other devices are being connected to the Internet. Some cell phones, for example, can be connected to the Internet to allow people to search for information, buy products, and chat with business associates and friends. Using Short Message Service (SMS), people can send brief text messages of up to 160 characters between two or more cell phone users. This service is often called texting. Handheld computers, which play an important role in many businesses, can also be connected to the Internet, using phone lines or wireless connections, such as WiFi. Once connected, these devices have full access to the Internet and all its applications. Career Information and Job Searching The Internet is an excellent source of job-related information. People can use search engines to search for information about specific companies or industries. They can also use directories, such as Yahoo!’s directories, to explore industries and careers. Most medium and large companies have Internet sites that list open positions, salaries, benefits, and people to contact for further information. In addition, several Internet sites specialize in helping you find job information and even apply for jobs online, including www.monster.com, www.hotjobs.com, and www.careerbuilder.com.

Telnet and FTP Telnet is a terminal emulation protocol that enables you to log on to other computers on the Internet to gain access to their publicly available files. Telnet is particularly useful for perusing library holdings and large databases. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a protocol that describes a file transfer process between a host and a remote computer. Using FTP, users can copy files from one computer to another.

Web Log (Blog), Video Log (Vlog), and Podcasting A Web log, also called a blog, is a Web site that people can create and use to write about their observations, experiences, and feelings on a wide range of topics. A blog that contains video content is often called a video log or vlog. A podcast is an audio broadcast, or audio blog, over the Internet. It is like a personal radio station on the Internet, extending blogging by adding audio messages. Usenet and Newsgroups Usenet is an older technology that uses e-mail to provide a centralized news service. It is actually a protocol that describes how groups of messages can be stored on and sent between computers. Newsgroups make up Usenet, a worldwide discussion system classified by subject. A newsgroup is essentially an online discussion group that focuses on a particular topic. Newsgroups are organized into various hierarchies by general topic, and each topic can contain many subtopics. Chat Rooms A chat room is a facility that enables two or more people to engage in interactive “conversations” over the Internet. Multiperson chats are usually organized around specific topics, and participants often adopt nicknames to maintain anonymity. Internet Phone and Videoconferencing Services Internet phone service provides inexpensive communication with others around the world. With some services, you can use the Internet to call someone who is using a standard phone. You can also keep your phone number when you move to another location. Internet videoconferencing, which supports both voice and visual communications, is another important Internet application. Microsoft’s NetMeeting, a utility within Windows, is an inexpensive and easy way for people to meet and communicate on the Web. The Internet can also be used to broadcast group meetings, such as sales seminars, using presentation software, and videoconferencing equipment. These Internet presentations are often called Webcasts or Webinars.

Content Streaming Content streaming is a method for transferring multimedia files, radio broadcasts, and other content over the Internet so that the data stream of voice and pictures plays more or less continuously, without a break, or with very few breaks. It enables users to browse large files in real time. Shopping on the Web You can shop for almost anything over the Internet, including books, clothes, cars, computers, medications, etc. Shopping on the Web can be convenient, easy, and cost effective. Increasingly, people are using bots to help them search for information or shop on the Internet. A bot is a software tool that searches the Web for information, products, or prices. Web Auctions A Web auction is a way to connect buyers and sellers. One of the most popular auction sites is eBay, which often has millions of auctions occurring at the same time. The eBay site is easy to use, and includes thousands of products and services in many categories. Music, Radio, Video, and TV on the Internet Music, radio, and video are hot growth areas on the Internet. Audio and video programs can be played on the Internet, or files can be downloaded for later use. Using music players and music formats such as MP3, you can download music from the Internet and listen to it anywhere using small, portable music players. Radio broadcasts on the Internet are also popular. They offer news, sports, talkback, and various genres of music. Video and TV are increasingly becoming available on the Internet. One way to put TV programming on the Internet is to use the Internet Protocol television (IPTV) protocol. Also, a number of new, innovative devices let you record TV programs and view them at any time and place. Office on the Web An Internet office is a Web site that contains a person’s files, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, an appointment calendar, and more. Having an Internet office with access to office files and information can be critical for people who travel frequently or work at home. Many services and software products also give you remote access to your files and programs on your home or office computer over the Internet, including Avvenu, EasyReach, and BeInSync.

Internet Sites in Three Dimensions Some Web sites offer three-dimensional views of places and products. Examples of such Web sites include a 3-D Internet auto showroom and a 3-D real estate site. Other Internet Services and Applications Other Internet services are constantly emerging. For example, a vast amount of information is available over the Internet from libraries. The Internet can provide critical information during times of disaster or terrorism. The Internet can also be used to translate words, sentences, or complete documents from one language into another. In addition, the Internet facilitates distance learning, which has dramatically increased in the last several years. Many colleges and universities now allow students to take courses without visiting the campus.

Intranets and Extranets
An intranet is an internal corporate network built using Internet and World Wide Web standards and products. Employees of an organization use it to gain access to corporate information. It is also an inexpensive, yet powerful alternative to other forms of internal communications, including conventional computer setups. Examples of intranet uses include networking mobile sales forces, developing online employee handbook applications, and the protection of sensitive internal information. Anything that an organization does not want the general public to see can be placed on an intranet. An extranet extends selected resources of an intranet out to a group of its customers, suppliers, or other business partners. Like an intranet, it is based on Web technologies; however, its security and performance concerns are different. Authentication and privacy are critical in order for information to be protected. Note that secured intranet or extranet applications usually require the use of a virtual private network (VPN).

Net Issues
Issues related to control, access, hardware, and security apply not only to the Internet, but also to all other types of networks. Three major categories of network issues are: • Management Issues Although the Internet is a huge, global network, it is managed at the local level; no centralized governing body controls the Internet. Preventing attacks is always an important management issue. Also, the issue of collecting tax from Internet sales is becoming important. • Service and Speed Issues Another set of issues involves the amount of traffic on the Internet and the bottlenecks it can generate. Web server computers and routers can both become bottlenecks. • Privacy, Fraud, Security, and Unauthorized Internet Sites As Internet use becomes more commonplace, privacy and security issues become more critical. Cryptography techniques and firewalls are needed to combat information

thieves and provide security. The use of digital signatures is one method of ensuring that transactions occur between intended parties. Some companies also face problems with unauthorized and unwanted Internet sites. A competitor or an unhappy employee can create an Internet site with an address similar to the company’s. When someone searches for information about that company, he or she may find an unauthorized site instead. In some cases, the site may appear to be the legitimate, official corporate site, while in others, it is obvious that the site is not sponsored or authorized by the company.

Key Terms
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Applet - a small program embedded in Web pages. ARPANET - a project started by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in 1969 as both an experiment in reliable networking and a means to link DoD and military research contractors, including many universities doing military-funded research. Backbone - one of the Internet’s high-speed, long-distance communications links. Bot - a software tool that searches the Web for information, products, or prices. Chat room - a facility that enables two or more people to engage in interactive “conversations” over the Internet. Content streaming - a method for transferring multimedia files over the Internet so that the data stream of voice and pictures plays more or less continuously without a break, or very few breaks; enables users to browse large files in real time. Extensible Markup Language (XML) - the markup language for Web documents containing structured information, including words, pictures, and other elements. Extranet - a network based on Web technologies that links selected resources of a company’s intranet with its customers, suppliers, or other business partners. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) - a protocol that describes a file transfer process between a host and a remote computer and allows users to copy files from one computer to another. Home page - a cover page for a Web site that has graphics, titles, and text. Hypermedia - tools that connect the data on Web pages, allowing users to access topics in whatever order they want. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) - the standard page description language for Web pages. HTML tags - codes that let the Web browser know how to format text—as a heading, as a list, or as body text—and whether images, sound, and other elements should be inserted. Instant messaging - a method that allows two or more people to communicate online using the Internet. Internet - a collection of interconnected networks, all freely exchanging information. Internet Protocol (IP) - a communication standard that enables traffic to be routed from one network to another as needed. Internet service provider (ISP) - any company that provides people or organizations with access to the Internet. Intranet - an internal corporate network built using Internet and World Wide Web standards and products; used by employees to gain access to corporate information. Java - an object-oriented programming language from Sun Microsystems based on C++ that allows small programs to be embedded within an HTML document. Meta-search engine - a tool that submits keywords to several search engines and returns the results from all search engines queried. Newsgroups - online discussion groups that focus on specific topics.

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Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) - a communications protocol that transmits packets over telephone lines. Push technology - the automatic transmission of information over the Internet rather than making users search for it with their browsers. Search engine - a Web search tool. Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) - a communications protocol that transmits packets over telephone lines. Telnet - a terminal emulation protocol that enables users to log on to other computers on the Internet to gain access to public files. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) - the widely used Transport-layer protocol that most Internet applications use with IP. Tunneling - the process by which VPNs transfer information by encapsulating traffic in IP packets over the Internet. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - an assigned address on the Internet for each computer. Usenet - a system closely allied with the Internet that uses e-mail to provide a centralized news service; a protocol that describes how groups of messages can be stored on and sent between computers. Virtual private network (VPN) - a secure connection between two points on the Internet. Web auction - an Internet site that matches buyers and sellers. Web browser - software that creates a unique, hypermedia-based menu on a computer screen, providing a graphical interface to the Web. Web log (blog) - a Web site that people can create and use to write about their observations, experiences, and feelings on a wide range of topics. Web services - standards and tools that streamline and simplify communication among Web sites for business and personal purposes. World Wide Web (WWW or W3) - a collection of tens of thousands of independently owned computers that work together as one in an Internet service.

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