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What's an extranet? and other key terms

by Richard R. Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation
(revised 5/13/97)

Internet: The Internet is the public, global network of networks which is based on the Internet Protocol (IP) and related standards. This technology was designed to provide a standard means of interconnecting networks so that any system could communicate with any other system. It operates as a confederated network of networks (an "internet"), and offers universal accessibility. The term often includes the World Wide Web, a powerful, standard facility for network-based publishing, as well as electronic mail, and the growing suite of other network applications that are based on Internet communications. Standardization and wide acceptance of the Internet has stimulated many billions of dollars of broadly applicable software and network development.

Intranet*: An intranet is a private application of the same internetworking technology, software, and applications within a private network, for use within an enterprise. It may be entirely disconnected from the public Internet, but is usually linked to it and protected from unauthorized access by security firewall systems. More loosely, the term may include extranets, as well.

Extranet*: An extranet is a use of Internet/intranet technology to serve an extended enterprise, including defined sets of customers or suppliers or other partners. It is typically behind a firewall, just as an intranet usually is, and closed to the public (a "closed user group"), but is open to the selected partners, unlike a pure intranet. More loosely, the term may apply to mixtures of open and closed networks.

Groupware: Groupware is a class of software that provides functions to aid workgroups. These include "the three C's" of communications, collaboration, and coordination. Emphasis is on computer-based augmentation of human communications and information sharing, and support of generic workgroup tasks like scheduling and routing of message-based workflow tasks.

Intergroupware: Intergroupware is just groupware applied with the flexibility to support multiple interacting groups, which may be open or closed, and which may share communications selectively, as appropriate (as in an extranet).

*Transcending the categories: Intranets and extranets are generally not very meaningful as categories of networks, as explained in Extranets -- When you think outside the box, the box goes away. What is more useful (but not yet common) is to think of them as classes of applications: intranet, extranet, and public Internet applications will all run on the same network infrastructure, but their content (program and data) resources will be administered for different levels of accessibility and security.


Back to Extranets and Intergroupware

Richard R. Reisman is president and founder of Teleshuttle Corporation (New York), a provider of new media solutions and consulting, and has been involved in information technology and a believer in hypermedia since the late 1960's. He can be reached at info@teleshuttle.com (Web site: www.teleshuttle.com).


Contact Information

Richard R. Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation
799 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
(212)-673-0225 fax: (212)-673-0226
e-mail: info@teleshuttle.com


1996, Teleshuttle Corp. All rights reserved


Teleshuttle home    FairPay    FairPayZone Blog    UserCenteredMedia Blog   CoTV    Reisman Patents    Reisman Bio    About Teleshuttle

Past Resources    Past Writings     Teleshuttle Past

The ghost of Teleshuttle past:  Pages retained for historical interest -- Not current, may have broken links


Copyright 2003 (or prior), Teleshuttle Corp. All rights reserved.