Importance of the World Wide Web




The World Wide Web contributes greatly to the creation of an ever-increasing global information database. Thus its importance can not be over-emphasized.

Its importance includes:

the ability to easily deliver information in any format, to/from a wide range of computing platforms.

On the Web information can be accessed from many diverse sources - competitors, customers, technology providers, international universities, financial institutions, and many other places. This information is on many different computing platforms. The mechanisms of the Web insulate us from needing to know or deal with this - it takes care of getting, moving and presenting the information we need.

In addition to information from external sources, it could also be used as a mechanism to share information within an enterprise. Several large companies have hundreds of internal servers, and the number is growing rapidly. More about this is at Intranet Resource Centre.

Its' provides a client-server environment.

Web browsers provide a tested client upon which more organizations are building (or converting) client-server applications. Testing time is greatly reduced, and the application will be available on many platforms with no extra effort.

See this paper ("Building HTML Application Systems: Converting Existing MS-Windows Applications to HTML" by CDC's Robert Thralls) for an example - they claim to have cut development and testing time to 10% of what it used to be!.)

It has Simplified access to the Internet.

The Internet provides access to mail, interactive conferences, network news, and is rich with information resources....but the Internet can be difficult to use and understand. The World Wide Web makes it easier to use the Internet:

It provides a graphical interface (on many platforms)

It supports multimedia (sound, video, as well as graphics)

It uses the same tools as the Internet, but hides the ugly details

It is based on standards/conventions, so sharing is much easier than before

All this makes it easier to access information

And makes it easier to provide information, also

It provides access to the wide and rapidly growing amount of information available.

The volume of information available is huge and growing rapidly. Many of the world's major companies, universities and research organizations are on the Web today, with many others joining daily. The Internet is growing at a phenomenal rate (no one knows exactly how big it is, but as of May 25, 1996 Internet Solutions estimated there were 59,628,024 people on the Internet, and an estimated 304,177 World Wide Web sites on the Internet.