In this section, we shall try to know what Intranets are and how they are beneficial. In simple terms, an Intranet is an internal communication mechanism of an organisation. It uses the Internet technology for the purpose. Generally speaking Intranets utilise two of the key applications of the Internet: the web browsers with their graphical interfaces, and e-mail.
These are being used to support a wide range of information services, Including access to document collections in document management systems and e-mail. The applications to which Intranets can be put depend upon the type of Intranet. There are two categories of Intranets: i) flat-content Intranets, ii) interactive Intranets. In the first category files are simply requested from a storage location or server, received by the desktop computer and viewed through the Web browser. Some applications of such Intranets are:
On the other hand, interactive Intranets provide many opportunities for two way communication within an organisation. However, the configuration of such Intranets is rather complex. For instance, when a user wishes to send, change, respond to or forward any kind of information to another location or person, a specific program is needed to process this information. Such programs need to be held on an internal Web server, which utilises TCP/IP. In case an organisation's network does not run under TCP/IP, then the gateway may be used as an interface between the organisation's network protocol and the TCP/IP protocol. Applications with interactive type of Intranets are: