ERCIM News No.25 - April 1996 - CLRC

Insitutions lending Money for House Purchase starting to use the Web

by Keith Jeffery
On 28 February '96 RAL was invited as one of six speakers to address representatives from UK financial institutions who lend money to house-buyers. There is increasing interest in WWW technology for businesses in UK and this seminar was typical of several others.

The main message from all speakers was: The talk concentrated particularly on obtaining information and discussed the full range of possibilities for assisting the end-user in accessing information. It covered the use of client bookmarks / hotlist entries, the use of pages of tail anchors as a personal or corporate catalogue or index, the use of indexing services such as Lycos or Yahoo and demonstrated their general ineffectiveness in obtaining relevant information compared with an information retrieval system or a database system. It then went on to discuss interfacing existing or new information retrieval or database systems to WWW including using WWW as a liberator of legacy systems and providing a cross-platform GUI to information sources. The use of forms and CGI (Common Gateway Interface) programs was discussed and generated a lot of interest.

The session also covered the more advanced techniques of query refinement using a knowledge-based system and the assembly of a consolidated hyperlinked multimedia answer from heterogeneous information sources as demonstrated in the ESPRIT project 6542 MIPS.

WWW on the internet was disccused (external, public) and the intranet (internal, corporate, private) and techniques for firewalling between the two domains. It is predicted that the WWW browser interface will evolve, with the use of Java-enabled browsers, as an intelligent client for controlling information access and update.

Please contact:
Keith Jeffery - CLRC
Tel: +44 12 35 446103

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