Data sharing

In the World of Computers an important subject is the collaboration required in storing and subsequent sharing of information. The technical barriers to this are enormous in the general situadon when the users are on different types of computer platforms on different networks, using applicadons that produce proprietary data types, and so on. The challenge is to make data-sharing possible even when there is heterogeneity of one kind or another among those who need to share data.

There is a consensus that such heterogeneity is the rule, rather than the excepdon, even within one company or one department and today's collaboration worldwide and cross the boundaries of companies and networks. A variety of techniques and software to share information are now available. They include:

1. Acrobat: Software to render the output of any software package into a neutral form, devised by the Adobe Corp., so that it can be viewed without the software that created the output.

2. Notes-. Forms-based e-mail and database software useful to create shared databases over a wide area network and create workflow applications.

3. EDI: Electronic data interchange, a host of formats standardized by various interest groups under ANSI to exchange commercial information of different types among companies who wish to do business with each other electronically.

4. Web: The Internet de facto standard, consisting of a transport protocol called HM, a document format description standard called HTML, and a variety of graphic and video standards, so that users can access linked multimedia documents placed on Web servers from anywhere in the world. Currently, there are many application packages, such as databases and spreadsheets that are readily accessible using the Web interface, without extra work.

5. PDM: Product Data Management Systems that store information about products, their décomposition structure, and revision history, in order to support a company's manufacturing, inventory control, maintenance, and other technical activities.

6. DMS: Document-management systems that perform much die same as PDMS for the more general class of documents occurring in a company. Also enables fast retrieval by indexes, keywords, document types, and even text search."

7. ISS: An information-sharing system that constructs a model of the information lying in different databases, builds gateways to each of them, and provides a single system image to external users who wish to access data from any of the constituent databases.

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