ELECTION OBSERVATION #1: It is interesting that during the crucial election day coverage, the MSNBC site was reduced to a frozen state with broken links. This was not good publicity for MSNBC partner Microsoft and its ASP technology!
ELECTION OBSERVATION #2: Standard Internet technologies could have been used to help the voting process. For example, citizens could have voted via a Web application running on a closed network that could securely have written the results on a CD to be submitted to a central location. In the future, enhanced electronic authentication methods (such as smart card driver's licenses) would allow citizens the added convenience of voting from any connection to the Web. However, currently popular authentication schemes such as VeriSign or credit card numbers may still be too difficult to obtain and too vulnerable to fraud.
WIRING THE OLD ECONOMY TO FIT THE NEW ECONOMY is the next phase for Internet technology. E-Commerce and information sites have been built to accommodate the needs of users for real time interactions on the Web. Typically, Web sites have been implemented independently of the legacy systems that were already running within a corporation. Innovative companies are now connecting the two systems so that all of a company's systems work together as a real time application.
J2EE CONNECTION ARCHITECTURE SPECIFICATION CONNECTS ERP. The "wiring" together of modern Internet architecture with the ERP, mainframe transaction and legacy systems is the next efficiency leap for many corporations. The Java Connection Architecture is an emerging Java standard (see http://java.sun.com) that will help connect application servers and large enterprise systems. This specification will allow enterprise resource planning software vendors such as SAP and Oracle to write a single adaptor, which will connect to any Java 2 Enterprise Edition application server.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CMS) ARE KEY. Both internal and external Web sites are using CMS to help manage the flood of information content and the workflow involved with posting information to a Web site. OMIX is finding that many customers need technical help in integrating CMS systems with E-Commerce and intranet application server systems. Integration allows site content and catalog pages to be updated and linked together by non-technical staff. CMS software can also be used to help manage the huge volume of content that a company generates for internal use.
DO IT YOURSELF SEARCH ENGINE LISTING. Getting your Web site listed on the top search engines may seem to require a bit of black magic. Zack Geiser of Webative suggests the following professional tricks. Make sure your Home Page has many combinations of searchable keywords in your non-displaying meta- tag area. Pay $199 for the Yahoo.com express service and/or $199 for LookSmart.com express (for Microsoft, Excite, AltaVista, Netcenter and more), with no guaranteed placement. DMOZ.com is free, but it may take several months for AltaVista, HotBot, Google, Lycos, and Netcenter to pick up your link.
HOSTED E-COMMERCE CHAT ROOMS are being offered by BulaBay.com. The chat rooms allow a sales person to hold a virtual Tupperware- like party to present products, answer questions and view attendee's orders. These chat rooms can also enhance consumer and business sites by letting a sales person interactively assist customers through the buying process.
WEB CONFERENCING IS BECOMING COMMONPLACE as more companies and seminar attendees realize the convenience and cost savings of attending a conference via a Web browser. To accommodate slow Internet connections, seminars can be held with a simple slide show, using the telephone for voice. Bigger budgets and faster connections allow video conferencing.
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