Home Ch: 3 - Networking and Group Computing Infrastructure for Computing Platforms
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Chapter 3 - Networking and Group Computing

The Infrastructure for Workgroup Computing

There are three major factors fueling the move to workgroup computing; one, the number of computers that have and will be purchased; two, the connectivity; and, three, groupware.

1. Computers. Newspapers report that 7 out of 10 households have computers now.

Text Box:  2. Connectivity. The second major component of groupware applications is the connectivity issue to the workgroup-computing platform. How, when, where, and what software can I use to connect to the workgroup computing platform? Can I use a modem with only my terminal communications program to dial into the computer? Can I use the Internet for my communication backbone? Is it accessible remotely as well as on the Local Area Network (LAN)?

The goal of the connectivity issue is to be universally accessible to your users, regardless of what platform they are using and what communication service. One of the keys to effective workgroup computing is ensuring interconnectivity among the various software packages.

Another important issue is the telecommunication charges. Using a regular telephone line to dial long distance into a computer can become expensive quickly. This is the reason why the Internet connection cannot be underestimated. Generally, for $20.00 a month you can get unlimited hours to access the Internet. This includes any charges for sending and receiving e-mail, file transfer, participation in newsgroups, and surfing the World Wide Web.

3. Groupware. The third and final piece of the group-computing infrastructure is to determine which software to use as you collaborate with your colleagues. One option is to use Internet based groupware such as Extranets and Intranets and by using web viewing software such as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, that are based on “open” standards, you are able to collaborate online.


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