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1Olsen, K.A.: ¬The Internet, the Web, and eBusiness : formalizing applications for the real world.
Lanham, MD : Scarecrow Press, 2005. 399 S.
Anmerkung: Rez. in: JASIST 57(2006) no.14, S.1979-1980 (J.G. Williams): "The Introduction and Part I of this book presents the world of computing with a historical and philosophical overview of computers, computer applications, networks, the World Wide Web, and eBusiness based on the notion that the real world places constraints on the application of these technologies and without a formalized approach, the benefits of these technologies cannot be realized. The concepts of real world constraints and the need for formalization are used as the cornerstones for a building-block approach for helping the reader understand computing, networking, the World Wide Web, and the applications that use these technologies as well as all the possibilities that these technologies hold for the future. The author's building block approach to understanding computing, networking and application building makes the book useful for science, business, and engineering students taking an introductory computing course and for social science students who want to understand more about the social impact of computers, the Internet, and Web technology. It is useful as well for managers and designers of Web and ebusiness applications, and for the general public who are interested in understanding how these technologies may impact their lives, their jobs, and the social context in which they live and work. The book does assume some experience and terminology in using PCs and the Internet but is not intended for computer science students, although they could benefit from the philosophical basis and the diverse viewpoints presented. The author uses numerous analogies from domains outside the area of computing to illustrate concepts and points of view that make the content understandable as well as interesting to individuals without any in-depth knowledge of computing, networking, software engineering, system design, ebusiness, and Web design. These analogies include interesting real-world events ranging from the beginning of railroads, to Henry Ford's mass produced automobile, to the European Space Agency's loss of the 7 billion dollar Adriane rocket, to travel agency booking, to medical systems, to banking, to expanding democracy. The book gives the pros and cons of the possibilities offered by the Internet and the Web by presenting numerous examples and an analysis of the pros and cons of these technologies for the examples provided. The author shows, in an interesting manner, how the new economy based on the Internet and the Web affects society and business life on a worldwide basis now and how it will affect the future, and how society can take advantage of the opportunities that the Internet and the Web offer. ; The book is organized into six sections or parts with several chapters within each part. Part 1, does a good job of building an understanding some of the historical aspects of computing and why formalization is important for building computer-based applications. A distinction is made between formalized and unformalized data, processes, and procedures, which the author cleverly uses to show how the level of formalization of data, processes, and procedures determines the functionality of computer applications. Part I also discusses the types of data that can be represented in symbolic form, which is crucial to using computer and networking technology in a virtual environment. This part also discusses the technical and cultural constraints upon computing, networking, and web technologies with many interesting examples. The cultural constraints discussed range from copyright to privacy issues. Part 1 is critical to understanding the author's point of view and discussions in other sections of the book. The discussion on machine intelligence and natural language processing is particularly well done. Part 2 discusses the fundamental concepts and standards of the Internet and Web. Part 3 introduces the need for formalization to construct ebusiness applications in the business-to-consumer category (B2C). There are many good and interesting examples of these B2C applications and the associated analyses of them using the concepts introduced in Parts I and 2 of the book. Part 4 examines the formalization of business-to-business (B2B) applications and discusses the standards that are needed to transmit data with a high level of formalization. Part 5 is a rather fascinating discussion of future possibilities and Part 6 presents a concise summary and conclusion. The book covers a wide array of subjects in the computing, networking, and Web areas and although all of them are presented in an interesting style, some subjects may be more relevant and useful to individuals depending on their background or academic discipline. Part 1 is relevant to all potential readers no matter what their background or academic discipline but Part 2 is a little more technical; although most people with an information technology or computer science background will not find much new here with the exception of the chapters on "Dynamic Web Pages" and "Embedded Scripts." Other readers will find this section informative and useful for understanding other parts of the book. Part 3 does not offer individuals with a background in computing, networking, or information science much in addition to what they should already know, but the chapters on "Searching" and "Web Presence" may be useful because they present some interesting notions about using the Web. Part 3 gives an overview of B2C applications and is where the author provides examples of the difference between services that are completely symbolic and services that have both a symbolic portion and a physical portion. Part 4 of the book discusses B2B technology once again with many good examples. The chapter on "XML" in Part 4 is not appropriate for readers without a technical background. Part 5 is a teacher's dream because it offers a number of situations that can be used for classroom discussions or case studies independent of background or academic discipline. ; Each chapter provides suggestions for exercises and discussions, which makes the book useful as a textbook. The suggestions in the exercise and discussion section at the end of each chapter are simply delightful to read and provide a basis for some lively discussion and fun exercises by students. These exercises appear to be well thought out and are intended to highlight the content of the chapter. The notes at the end of chapters provide valuable data that help the reader to understand a topic or a reference to an entity that the reader may not know. Chapter 1 on "formalism," chapter 2 on "symbolic data," chapter 3 on "constraints on technology," and chapter 4 on "cultural constraints" are extremely well presented and every reader needs to read these chapters because they lay the foundation for most of the chapters that follow. The analogies, examples, and points of view presented make for some really interesting reading and lively debate and discussion. These chapters comprise Part 1 of the book and not only provide a foundation for the rest of the book but could be used alone as the basis of a social science course on computing, networking, and the Web. Chapters 5 and 6 on Internet protocols and the development of Web protocols may be more detailed and filled with more acronyms than the average person wants to deal with but content is presented with analogies and examples that make it easier to digest. Chapter 7 will capture most readers attention because it discusses how e-mail works and many of the issues with e-mail, which a majority of people in developed countries have dealt with. Chapter 8 is also one that most people will be interested in reading because it shows how Internet browsers work and the many issues such as security associated with these software entities. Chapter 9 discusses the what, why, and how of the World Wide Web, which is a lead-in to chapter 10 on "Searching the Web" and chapter 11 on "Organizing the Web-Portals," which are two chapters that even technically oriented people should read since it provides information that most people outside of information and library science are not likely to know. ; Chapter 12 on "Web Presence" is a useful discussion of what it means to have a Web site that is indexed by a spider from a major Web search engine. Chapter 13 on "Mobile Computing" is very well done and gives the reader a solid basis of what is involved with mobile computing without overwhelming them with technical details. Chapter 14 discusses the difference between pull technologies and push technologies using the Web that is understandable to almost anyone who has ever used the Web. Chapters 15, 16, and 17 are for the technically stout at heart; they cover "Dynamic Web Pages," " Embedded Scripts," and "Peer-to-Peer Computing." These three chapters will tend to dampen the spirits of anyone who does not come from a technical background. Chapter 18 on "Symbolic Services-Information Providers" and chapter 19 on "OnLine Symbolic Services-Case Studies" are ideal for class discussion and students assignments as is chapter 20, "Online Retail Shopping-Physical Items." Chapter 21 presents a number of case studies on the "Technical Constraints" discussed in chapter 3 and chapter 22 presents case studies on the "Cultural Constraints" discussed in chapter 4. These case studies are not only presented in an interesting manner they focus on situations that most Web users have encountered but never really given much thought to. Chapter 24 "A Better Model?" discusses a combined "formalized/unformalized" model that might make Web applications such as banking and booking travel work better than the current models. This chapter will cause readers to think about the role of formalization and the unformalized processes that are involved in any application. Chapters 24, 25, 26, and 27 which discuss the role of "Data Exchange," "Formalized Data Exchange," "Electronic Data Interchange-EDI," and "XML" in business-to-business applications on the Web may stress the limits of the nontechnically oriented reader even though it is presented in a very understandable manner. Chapters 28, 29, 30, and 31 discuss Web services, the automated value chain, electronic market places, and outsourcing, which are of high interest to business students, businessmen, and designers of Web applications and can be skimmed by others who want to understand ebusiness but are not interested in the details. In Part 5, the chapters 32, 33, and 34 on "Interfacing with the Web of the Future," "A Disruptive Technology," "Virtual Businesses," and "Semantic Web," were, for me, who teaches courses in IT and develops ebusiness applications the most interesting chapters in the book because they provided some useful insights about what is likely to happen in the future. The summary in part 6 of the book is quite well done and I wish I had read it before I started reading the other parts of the book. ; The book is quite large with over 400 pages and covers a myriad of topics, which is probably more than any one course could cover but an instructor could pick and choose those chapters most appropriate to the course content. The book could be used for multiple courses by selecting the relevant topics. I enjoyed the first person, rather down to earth, writing style and the number of examples and analogies that the author presented. I believe most people could relate to the examples and situations presented by the author. As a teacher in Information Technology, the discussion questions at the end of the chapters and the case studies are a valuable resource as are the end of chapter notes. I highly recommend this book for an introductory course that combines computing, networking, the Web, and ebusiness for Business and Social Science students as well as an introductory course for students in Information Science, Library Science, and Computer Science. Likewise, I believe IT managers and Web page designers could benefit from selected chapters in the book."
LCSH: Internet ; World Wide Web ; Electronic Commerce
RSWK: Internet / World Wide Web / Electronic Commerce
BK: 05.38 Neue elektronische Medien
; 85.20 Betriebliche Information und Kommunikation ; 85.40 Marketing
DDC: 004.678 22
LCC: TK5105.875.I57O485 2005