EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION
Informnet was designed as an information exchange system that would unite many organizations offering various goods and services. The idea was to create a consolidated database (central database) that would store data collected by means of information exchange with local databases of participating organizations (clients), so that every client always has updated information on all commercial offers from other clients. At the same time, information stored in the central database is made available on a website so that any potential consumer could find a supplier among organizations that have their offers posted through the Informnet system.
Data from local databases is communicated via SMTP mail protocol. All incoming and outgoing messages are compressed and encrypted, which eliminates the risk of unauthorized access to transmitted information. Data communication process is optimized with respect to time, which is very important given a dial-up channel and poor connection. Also, the system is adapted for mobile users accessing Internet via GPRS, Wi-Fi and other wireless network standarts.
Alternatively, Informnet can be used locally as an independent and complete system to keep track of activity in a single organization with or without exchanging information with the central database. The functionality implemented in the Informnet system allows it to maintain continuous and synchronized record-keeping in a geographically distributed organization so that any changes in any of its affiliates become immediately available in the main office. Among many examples of enterprises that can benefit from running Informnet are chains of stores, real estates, travel agencies or hotels..
One of the unique properties of the system is that after users post new data or make changes to an existing record the system automatically updates the central database during the next synchronization session. A user can make changes several times a day and the most resent updates will always be available to all users.
The Infromnet System provides functions of data fetching and advanced database search where the number of search parameters and conditions are set by user. This feature makes it more efficient to work with huge amounts of data compared to systems with limited number of search parameters (only a product name, for example).
This example shows 3 companies. Companies 1 and 2 each have one client machine connected to Informnet. Company 3 has a local network and a dedicated server to work with Informnet. Connection between the Informnet database and the clients is carried out by means of electronic mail via a mail server.
This example shows a geographically distributed company. It has its own Informnet database that manages connection between all branches of the company. Client 1 and 2 exchange data with the company’s database via Internet. Client 3 and 4 are connected via a local network. The company sends some part of its database into the global Informnet system.
Clients can use Internet, direct modem connection, or any information-carrying medium as the communication channel in the Informnet system. The system does not require an expensive dedicated line. Data communication cost is minimal.
The basis of Informnet is formed by the system of data exchange between the central server and clients by means of electronic mail. All messages are formed with the aid of a replication agent and without any participation from users. All messages are compressed, encrypted, and divided into small packets, which, combined with the high level of the system immunity, ensures efficiency given a poor channel connection quality. It is essential that only user made changes and not all data are sent over to the central database. This makes the data transmission process fast and convenient.
An instance of the Informnet system incorporates 100 companies that sell cosmetics. One of the companies produces a new product in the line of cosmetics. After the description of the new product is entered into the client application the system launches replication process. Mail is sent within 1 minute.
- The Informnet database server processes incoming mail and sends out updates to the clients once every hour.
- Clients process incoming mail 2 times a day. All clients will receive information about the new product during the next mail processing session.
- Clients look through the received offers, form orders as needed, and launch the replication.
- The Informnet server processes incoming mail and sends data to the clients.
- The company that posted the new offer receives orders for that product from clients connected to the Informnet network
Thus, for example, if Informnet users perform replication twice a day, say at 9:00 am and 6:00 pm, then products entered into a client database at around noon will show up in other client databases in the evening. The time of processing and sending data by the Informnet server is assumed to be less than 2 hours.