Information networks, or computer networks, are at the convergence of two important technologies: computing and telecommunications. This convergence has resulted in local area networks (LANs), metropolitan networks (MANs), wide-area networks (WANs), and the internet. Computer networks were originally research experiments between the computer scientists, telecommunication engineers, and other researchers.
These scientific and engineering experiments, however, have sine become immense social experiments as well. Information networks have brought many useful benefits. At the same time, however, they have given rise to some problems as well.
Information networks such as the world wide web are characterized by the interplay between heterogeneous content and a complex link structure involved. Link structure can be a powerful source of information about the underlying content in the network. We can think of a network as a large circulatory system, through which information continuously flows. This diffusion of information can happen rapidly or slowly: it can be disastrous – in a panic or failure – or beneficial – as in the spread of innovations. So, in the context of the web, we can try to identify high-quality information resources it contains.
The information networks can be examined from many points of view, partly because of the cultural meaning we ascribe to computing and telecommunications and the central role that they play in politics, social interactions, and commerce etc. as international business information is fast becoming a prime commodity, so information based networks are being frequently developed to help small and mediu enterprises communicate about business needs, expand their markets, share their resources, knowledge and experience.
2.1 Workgroup Computing
Workgroup computing is highly important aspect of modern world computing in today’s business, academic, technological and research oriented atmosphere. It is also known as collaborative computing and it enables the individuals and teams of certain projects to use computer networks for the purpose of cooperation, consultation, and information sharing. With the help of groupware, many users or researchers can work on their projects by sharing the same domain of information online. It also permits the individuals to collaborate with their colleagues to work on company information over the network. At the same time, they can also link to other important contacts outside their organization.
The information may reside on heterogeneous type of databases, it may be made available using altogether different operating systems, and it may be using different platforms. But as long as the users are communicating with each other through a common shareware and they belong to same group, they will keep on working without any hassles and problems. In fact, it is the smart service of communication technology that has brought about a revolution in this type of computing. The concept of “global village” has become a reality now and the computer community is “chatting” with each other as if they are sitting face to face.