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Investigate the purpose of Microsoft.NET initiative.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Project JBW8 Microsoft.NET Initiative Investigate the purpose of Microsoft.NET initiative By Paula Nyland BSc (Hons) Modular Degree BIS Pathway December 2002 Summary This project relates to the investigation of a brand new technology from Microsoft - Microsoft.NET. The project was the final module of the authors' BSc (Hons) degree in Business Information Systems at Bolton Institute and was the suggested topic of the sponsor1. The outcome of the project was perhaps not the outcome the sponsor might have wished for as it had been undertaken from a business point of view and not the more technical computing angle he may have hoped for. This was due to the fact that the author was not on the computing pathway for the degree qualification. The outline of the problem was to investigate the purpose of the Microsoft.NET initiative and to bring together the information found from the research undertaken into two end products. Firstly a simple interactive presentation explaining in simple terms what .NET2 is and secondly a PowerPoint presentation to bring together the findings to present a comprehensive information base. At this point it is worth noting that the information about the initiative is that of what Microsoft.NET does for businesses rather than what it does from a technical stand point. At the time of writing a great deal of information had been investigated and an overview of the technology established. An understanding of what the aims of the initiative were had also developed. The simple interactive presentation had been created using Flash3 and the PowerPoint presentation was underway. However, there would still remain much research into the technology, as it was still evolving, almost weekly. The investigations into the benefits to users were incomplete due to the embryonic state of the technology. Case study material had been found and investigated but financial benefits were difficult to assess, as there was nothing to compare them to. ...read more.

Middle

. ." (Appendix 3). "Nasdaq.com is the world's first electronic stock market . . ."(Appendix 4). Its primary source of revenue comes from advertising space which is directly linked to the number of hits the site receives. It is also tied by the demographics of the site's user base. In order to attract the right customers it has employed the .NET Alert service to deliver the appropriate messages to the customer by their preferred method - cell phone, e-mail or messenger and according to their particular preferences. The Microsoft.NET Passport service is also used to provide a common identity to users whereby the method of delivery is determined according to the user's online status. Both of these are delivered over the Internet via the XML web services used by Nasdaq. The benefits this brings to the business can be seen by Nasdaq being able to "rapidly and cost-effectively . . . reaching out to users in a unique, personalised and highly relevant manner." (Appendix 4). This should in turn bring users back to the site to use the information received by the Alerts. This should then increase the revenue from advertising by increasing the value of the brand to investors. MSNBC.com is a general news site on the Internet with over 3 million visitors to it each day. Its main challenge is the distribution of news as it happens. Headlines are placed on other web sites which then link back to the main MSNBC.com site. When new spaces on sites are acquired additional coding has to take place to enable the partnership to exist. This made the cost prohibitive to tap into the huge market available. MSNBC re-worked it business solution to use XML Web services thus reducing the need to re-work its code by a massive 80%. "The ability to easily and cost-effectively accommodate these new partners will lead to increased distribution, which translates into higher site traffic and increased advertising revenues for the company." ...read more.

Conclusion

The culmination of two and half years of work has been this project. It was not until the project was undertaken that the realisation of why the inclusion of some of the earlier modules had been a necessity. For example, "Managing Change" helped immensely with the time management of this project. The module "ICT for Strategic Advantage" gave some background knowledge that could be applied to the business problems addressed by .NET. The choice of this particular project was initially made because there was no end product to develop and so this seemed to be an easier option than some of the other titles available. Initial understanding (rather mis-understanding) of what a project entailed was this; find out about the topic via research, write about the findings and come to an informed conclusion. The fact that this was not how the project developed was quite a surprise. With hindsight the choice of a project without an end product was a very difficult one to complete. Certainly it has seemed more difficult to write this report without being able to talk about a tangible end product, no analysis of existing systems required, no implementation, no testing to report back on, no software development, no user guides to develop and no user acceptance to consider. Last, but definitely not least, is the knowledge that everyone else undertaking this project is experiencing exactly the same problems and feelings as you. It might have been helpful to have more opportunities, as a part-time student, to meet with fellow project students. This would have helped to dissipate the feeling of isolation that developed over the two semesters. And finally, valuable lessons have been learned from both the degree in general and the project in specific that can be taken forward and used in the future: The ability to embark on informed and useful research relating a particular topic, as well as the ability to interpret and translate this research into useful material. In addition to this, activities such as project planning are extremely effective and are certain to be used with success in the future. ...read more.

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