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E-Business Characteristics

Briefly describe the following:
1. Difference between Internet, Intranet and Extranet.
2. E-sourcing and E-procurement
3. How might managers use SWOT analysis to identify new applications for electronic commerce in their strategic business units?
4. The similarities and differences between XML and HTML.
5. Define "direct materials" and "indirect materials." List the reasons that a large company would have two separate departments to manage the purchasing of each.

Solution Preview

1. Difference between Internet, Intranet and Extranet.

Internet:
This is the world-wide network of computers accessible to anyone who knows their Internet Protocol (IP) address - the IP address is a unique set of numbers (such as 209.33.27.100) that defines the computer's location. Before a computer can be accessed, the name needs to be resolved (translated) into an IP address. To do this your browser (for example Netscape or Internet Explorer) will access a Domain Name Server (DNS) computer to lookup the name and return an IP address - or issue an error message to indicate that the name was not found. Once your browser has the IP address it can access the remote computer. The actual server (the computer that serves up the web pages) does not reside behind a firewall - if it did, it would be an Extranet. It may implement security at a directory level so that access is via a username and password, but otherwise all the information is accessible.

Intranet:
This is a network that is not available to the world outside of the Intranet. If the Intranet network is connected to the Internet, the Intranet will reside behind a firewall and, if it allows access from the Internet, will be an Extranet. The firewall helps to control access between the Intranet and Internet to permit access to the Intranet only to people who are members of the same company or organization.

In its simplest form, an Intranet can be set up on a networked PC without any PC on the network having access via the Intranet network to the Internet.

For example, consider an office with a few PCs and a few printers all networked together. The network would not be connected to the outside world. On one of the drives of one of the PCs there would be a directory of web pages that comprise the Intranet. Other PCs on the network could access this Intranet by pointing their browser (Netscape or Internet Explorer) to this directory - for example U:inetindex.htm. From then onwards they would navigate around the Intranet in the same way as they would get around the Internet.

Extranet:
An Extranet is actually ...

Solution Summary

This posting answers 5 e-business questions.

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