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Lesson 6 Standards
Objective Describe the problem of standardizing eBusiness practices.

Standardizing ebusiness Practices

Standards are definitions or formats that have been either approved by a recognized organization or are accepted as de facto by the industry. There are several standard-setting organizations that specialize in different areas of computer technology. Those organizations are described in this table.

Organization Acronym Specific function
American National Standards Institute ANSI ANSI is primarily concerned with software. It has defined standards for a number of programming languages, including C, COBOL, and FORTRAN.
International Telecommunication Union ITU ITU defines international standards, particularly communications protocols. It has defined a number of standards, including V.22, V.32, V.34, and V.42, that specify protocols for transmitting data over telephone lines.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers IEEE While ANSI sets standards for software, IEEE sets standards for hardware. In particular, it deals with most types of electrical interfaces. Its most famous standard is probably RS232C, which defines an interface for serial communication. This is the interface used by most modems, and a number of other devices, including display screens and mice. IEEE is also responsible for designing floating pointc and date formats.
International Standards Organization ISO ISO is aA worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 100 countries, one from each country. Among the standards it fosters is Open Systems Interconnection, a universal reference model for communication protocols.
Video Electronics Standards Association VESA VESA is a worldwide forum for setting industry-wide interface standards for PC, workstation, and computing environments.
In addition to those standards that are approved by organizations, there are also de facto standards. These are formats that have become standard simply because a large number of companies have agreed to use them. They have not been formally approved as standards, but they are standards nonetheless.

Why are standards important?

Standards exist for programming languages, operating systems, data formats, communications protocols, and electrical interfaces. For the user, standards are important because they allow the combination of products from different manufacturers to create a customized system. Without standards, only hardware and software from the same company could be used together.

Standards and eBusiness technologies

In order to choose your solutions technologies wisely, it's important to know that eBusiness technologies fall into two "standards camps." These camps are:
  1. Proprietary technologies
  2. Standards-based technologies
There are distinct risks to using proprietary technologies and benefits to using standards-based technologies.

If you use proprietary technologies, you face the following risks:
  1. You risk being locked into a design that is quickly outdated
  2. Not being able to find resources who can customize your solution

If you use standards-based technologies you benefit from
  1. A longer shelf life
  2. A wide variety of consulting and training resources
  3. A rich set of third-party, supply-side products

You risk being locked into a design that is quickly outdated Not being able to find resources who can customize your solution
Standards Risks
On the Resources page, you will find a comprehensive list of standards that you are likely to encounter in developing an eBusiness solution. You may even wish to print them out. The next lesson describes the tools necessary for developing an eBusiness solution.

Standards - Exercise

Click the Exercise link below to assess what standards your e-solutions technology should adhere to.
Standards ebusiness - Exercise