2 Web 2. 0 Technology

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Vol. 11 No. 5 2006 1398 1402

Art icle ID: 1007 1202( 2006) 05 1398 05

En t e rp r is e In f o r m a t io n S y s t e m

Ar c h it e c t ur e Ba s e d o n We b 2. 0

YI Xiushuang

1

, WANG Yu

1

,

LIU Jinghong

2

, WEN Zhankao

1

1. Netwo rk Center, Northeastern U niversity, Shenyang 110004, L iaoning, China;

2. Software College, Northeastern U niversity, Shenyang 110004, L iaoning, China

Abst rac t : Enterprise information systems with a g reat use

of Web 2. 0 technologies will be more open, free, and more efficient. With the contr ast between classic Web technolog ies and Web 2. 0 technologies, we represent a sample of enter prise information system based on Web 2. 0, and show how the use of Web 2. 0 techno logies chang es the system data ex change model o f the enterpr ise information systems and how it improves the efficiency and effectiveness of information sys tems.

Ke y w o rds: Web 2. 0; information sy stem; architecture

CLC number: T P 311

Received dat e: 2006 02 10

Foundat i on i t em: Support ed by t he China New G ernat ion Int ernet Program of China ( CNG I 04 6 2T )

Bi ography: YI Xiushuang ( 1969 ) , Ph. D. candidat e, Lect urer, re search direction: netw ork and inf ormat ion securit y and next generation int ernet . E mail: xsyi@ mail. neu. edu. cn

To w hom correspondence should be addressed. E mail: wzk @ mail. neu. edu. cn

0 Introduction

T

he rapid growt h of t he Int ernet has g reatly changed our

way of sharing information, speeded up the pace of in f ormat ion ex change, and most of informat ion systems have

been built by Web technologies with dat a sharing and exchan ging via t he Internet. Classic Web applicat ion models are es sentially based on positive information producers and passive

users, and have basically a non center and one w ay transmis sion of informat ion. Since early 2005, a new generat ion of

Web t echnologies called Web 2. 0 represented by Blog( Web Log) , RSS ( Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndica

t ion)[ 1], WIKI, AJA X( Asynchronous JavaScript and XML ) ,

Bit Torrent , SNS ( Social N et work Soft ware) et c, has been changing the classic model of Web applications, it s most im port ant f eat ure is user centred and it emphasizes being open

and sharing[ 2]. Inevit ably, Web 2. 0 technologies will affect

the development of enterprise information system architec

t ure[ 3]. In t his paper, w it h a detailed presentation of Web 2. 0

technologies, we represent a sample st ructure of ent erprise in

f ormat ion systems[ 4] based on Web 2. 0.

1 Classic Web Based Information System

Architecture

Classic Web t echnologies have ex perienced a long devel opment process, from original stat ic HT ML ( Hypert ext

Markup Language)[ 5] which provides basic Web experiences,

to CGI[ 6] which can deal with users requests, t o client side

Java Applet[ 7] t echnology w hich provides dynamic eff ects, t o

JavaScript[ 8] and DOM ( Document Object Model)[ 9] used t o

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make dynamic client side ef fects, to server side script

technologies such as Java Servlet[ 10], A SP, PH P, t o

Flash and XML ( Ext ensible M arkup Language)[ 11].

T he classic Web application model w orks like t his ( see Fig. 1) : Most user actions in the client int erface trigger a HT T P request back to a Web server. T he serv er does some processing, retrieving data, crunching num bers, t alking t o various legacy systems, and t hen returns a H T ML page t o the client . T hough we have some rich client technologies such as Flash t o bring Web users good experiences, it s still hard for most Web users w it h lim ited bandwidth to gain great user experiences f or once an int erface is loaded the user int eract ion should come to a halt every t ime w hen t he application needs somet hing from the server[ 12].

Fig. 1 Classic and AJAX Web application model Most inf ormation systems built by classic Web t ech nologies have one centered Portal w hich provides all kinds of links and informat ion for all t ypes of users. Inf orma t ion is produced by ISP ( Inf ormation Service Providers) . Normal users just f ind and get w hat they want. T he transmission of inf ormation is mostly one way and normal users have no right t o change or affect the production of inf ormation on Web.

Typically an enterprise information system includes three main parts ( see Fig. 2) :

Enterprise Intranet. In it there are most of enter prise applicat ions related with eCommerce such as CRM

( Cust omer Relat ionship Management)[ 13], ERP ( Enter

prise Resource P lanning)[ 14], MIS ( Management Infor

mat ion System ) . It provides a plat form for information exchange within the enterprise.

B2C ( Business t o Consumer)[ 15]. A B2C eCom

merce is a model whose transactions are betw een a com pany and his consumers. B2C applies to any company or

organization selling products or services t o his consumers over the Internet.

B2B ( Business to Business)[ 16]. B2B is a model

whose transact ions are between one company and another company. B2B can be defined as exchang ing of st ructured messages with other business part ners over privat e net w orks or Internet t o creat e and transform business rela t ionships.

It s very expensive and complicated t o create an in

t egrat ed enterprise informat ion syst em[ 17], especially for

small and medium enterprises to meet t he growt h of t heir business demand. A nd classic Web based applications model has a one way link betw een users and enterprises, and it s hard to access users real t ime dynamic response and information ex change.

Fig. 2 Classic enterprise information architecture model

2 Web 2. 0 Technology

T he conception of Web 2. 0 generat es w it h some new Web applications such as: Google Search, personal ized Web content search; Blog, netw ork log, for individ uals or groups t o ow n t heir records on Web; RSS, data exchange st andards based on XML f or sharing inf orma t ion with other Web applications; Google Adsense, per sonalized net work advertising service; SN S, Social N et w ork Softw are, building a plat form for Web users t o make acquaint ance and ex change information w it h others;

Bit Torrent , providing a P2P ( Peer to Peer )[ 18] method

for sharing dat a w hich makes that more users download ing, more higher the ef ficiency of dat a t ransmission; WI K I, supporting community orient ed collaboration of w rit ing hypertext systems; A JA X ( Asynchronous JavaScript and XML ) , several t echnologies jointly providing rich

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user client experiences.

We can visualize Web 2. 0 as a set of principles and practices, as follow ing[ 19]:

Services, not packaged softw are, with cost effec t ive scalability.

Control over unique, hard t o recreate data sources that get richer as more people use them.

Trust ing users as co developers. Harnessing collect ive int elligence.

Leveraging the long tail t hrough cust omer self service.

Softw are above the level of a single device. Lightw eight user interfaces, development models and business models.

In Web 2. 0 technologies, follow ing t opics relative t o inf ormation syst em archit ecture:

Blog and RSS. A Blog is a Web page that serves as a publicly accessible personal journal for an individual, typically updat ed daily. It creat es a so called Personal Media w orld which great ly enriches inf ormation sources on the Internet and accelerates the pace of information production in our world. RSS is a set of standards based on XML relat ed with Web based news and information exchange accompanied by Blog. U sers can updat e recent inf ormation from some RSS informat ion sources by RSS aggregation sof tware such as Bloglines without brow sing these Websit es.

Internet Advert ising such as Google A dsense. About Goog le Adsense, advert isers submit applications to Google and pay the cost. Advert isements publishers ( persons or groups w hich are able to publish Web pages on t he Int ernet) submit publishing applications t o Google and aft er getting t he approval from Google add advert is ing codes int o ow n Web pages. Every time these Web pa ges are browsed, Google will send appropriat e advertise ments based on t he contex t, the frequency show n, click rate dynamics and so on. T his advert ising model can easi ly get advertisements released into every corner of the In t ernet , improve the actual ef ficiency of advert ising and is very beneficial for bot h advertisers and publishers.

SNS. N amely SN S, social netw ork soft ware is based on Six Degrees of Separation to build a platform for users to get to know new f riends from the circles of t heir friends. Everyone in this platform gains all kinds of friends and has more help from t hem during t heir own business.

Bit Torrent . A bout BitTorrent , every BitTorrent

client, as w ell as a server for other client s, chops files in t o many segments w hich can be provided by BitTorrent clients from dif ferent areas of the netw ork, provides bandw idth and dow nload data transparently. BitTorrent present s a key principle of Web 2. 0: t he more users, bet ter the service.

A JAX. A s mentioned above, it s dif ficult for classic Web technologies t o bring good user experiences. AJA X is able to bring Web users good experiences, and

to build rich int erfaces similar to desktop applicat ions[ 20].

T he dif ference betw een classic Web applicat ion model and

AJA X Web applicat ion model show s in Fig. 1[ 12].

An AJA X application eliminat es the start stop na t ure of interact ion by introducing an intermediary, an AJA X engine, between clients and servers. Every user s act ion which normally would generate an H T T P request to t he server, t akes a JavaScript call to t he AJA X engine instead. A ny response t o a user act ion doesn t require a trip back to t he server, such as simple dat a validation, editing dat a in memory, and even some navigation. T here re some examples using A JAX, such as Google Maps and GMail.

Web 2. 0 technologies are gradually changing the model of dat a sharing and exchange on the Int ernet . Web users have become information producers instead of pas sive informat ion accepters t hrough Web 2. 0 information platf orm and P2P soft ware. A t the same t ime, Web us ers search for information they need f rom search engines instead of traditional port als.

3 Enterprise Information System

Architecture Based on Web 2. 0

As a new generation of Web t echnologies, Web 2. 0 technologies are changing t he w ay of information t rans mission and sharing on the Int ernet, and social relat ion ships on t he Internet.

T he main purpose of building an Int ernet based en t erprise inf ormat ion syst em is t o build a platform for broadcast ing informat ion of business and market ing, ef fectively communicat ing w it h pot ent ial users and current users, completing the whole enterprise business including int er enterprise procurement, supply chain management , customer relationship management and enterprise infor mat ion management .

In classic Web based enterprise information frame w orks, informat ion production is most ly complet ed by

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ent erprises themselves, net work advert ising is published on a number of f ixed sites, communicat ion with client s and other companies is only t hrough their own inf orma t ion dissemination. A ltoget her all these actions are a sin gle one way sending and receiving process and lack of flexibility. T his seriously limits the flex ibilit y and adapt ability of an enterprise s act ivit ies on t he Internet , espe cially for small and medium companies t o establish com plete ent erprise informat ion syst ems t o support t heir In t ernet marketing ( see F ig. 3) .

Fig. 3 Enterprise information architecture model based on Web 2. 0

Web 2. 0 technologies fill many gaps of classic Web technologies when building enterprise inf ormation sys t ems. Web 2. 0 technologies g ive users richer experience, more abundant information, f ast er ex change rate, and more autonomous business manag ement.

Enterprise portals based on Web 2. 0 technologies such as Blog, WIKI and SNS, build a platform for infor mat ion sharing and provide two way informat ion sharing for the internal and the ex ternal. By Blog and RSS, all employee and clients including potential client s, as w ell as enterprises t hemselves, have ow n information dissemi nation channels, and others can easily get the latest infor mat ion. Blog and RSS great ly enrich the amount of infor mat ion and provide highly efficient communicat ion chan nels with client s w hich help companies improve inf orma t ion services to t heir clients. By WIKI the ent erprise staf f can work toget her to maintain a Web based set of infor mat ion including their technical information, management inf ormation, operat ion informat ion and inf ormat ion relat ed to normal work of the ent erprise. T he cost of enter prise business for being short of informat ion exchange will decrease and enterprise s efficiency w ill improve. SN S gives ent erprises a way to get to know potential us ers, as an ext ension of a traditional CRM system, which

can expand and improve the ent erprise s ability facing new environment.

By use of advance advertising services such as Google A dsense, a company can handle his ow n market ing on the Internet. As more Int ernet users use search engines to acquire information rather t han through t radi t ional portal Websit es, using contextual advert ising serv ices a company can be easier to face his potential users and increase t he efficiency of advert ising placement . Es pecially in conjunction with Web search engines, enter prises can be more accurat e and more efficient t o get ad vert isements issued to potential user groups and produce a higher pot ent ial business value.

An enterprise can use documents sharing tools such as BitTorrent to serve his users and use them as a new advert ising channel for ent erprise marketing.

By A JA X, an enterprise can improve user ex peri ences of his Website, build Web applications similar t o deskt op applicat ions, provide a vivid show of his product s

and services to improve users sat isfaction and increase

business potential earnings.

T he use of Web 2. 0 produces the beneficial effect of improving t he speed of informat ion update, strengt he ning t he collaborat ion of the ent erprise team, facilitating int ernal knowledge management, and building a relatively closed, safe working system and a platf orm for inf orma t ion exchange.

Ent erprise information system archit ecture based on Web 2. 0 makes the ent erprise port al based on Web 2. 0 the cent er of business and management, and act ivities en t it ies inside and outside the ent erprise ( company work ers, potential users, users, related enterprises, etc. ) are the center of t his archit ecture f or all of them are real in format ion producers, but also informat ion consumers. In this non cent er archit ecture, an enterprise as a business ent it y can obtain maximum informat ion superiority and enhance his core competitiveness.

4 Conclusion

T he development of Web 2. 0 is changing the non cent er state of t he Internet with classic Web technolo gies. A ll users can serve as an informat ion provider par t icipat ed in the product ion process of information. Web 2. 0 technologies are also changing classic enterprise inf ormation syst em architecture that regardless of the company s size, he can make very good use of the Inter

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net f or business activities, maximize the use of users ( including potential users) feedback to improve, upgrade his quality of service and efficiency, and increase his com petitiveness of business. Web 2. 0 technologies are st ill in the evolving process and cont inue to promote the Int ernet towards a more accessible, more open, more efficient di rect ion and influence t he development of ent erprise infor mat ion architect ure. Enterprises w ill reap g reater benefit s from Web 2. 0.

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