A private TCP/IP internetwork within an organization that uses Internet technologies such as Web servers and Web browsers for sharing information and collaborating. Intranets can be used to publish company policies and newsletters, provide sales and marketing staff with product information, provide technical support and tutorials, and just about anything else you can think of that fits within the standard Web server/Web browser environment.
Intranet Web servers differ from public Web servers in that the public must have the proper permissions and passwords to access the intranet of an organization. Intranets are designed to permit users who have access privileges to the internal LAN of the organization. Within an intranet, Web servers are installed in the network.
Browser technology is used as the common front end to access information on servers such as financial, graphical, or text-based data.
Extranets refer to applications and services that are Intranet based, and use extended, secure access to external users or enterprises.
This access is usually accomplished through passwords, user IDs, and other applicationlevel security.
An extranet is the extension of two or more intranet strategies with a secure interaction between participant enterprises and their respective intranets.
Part of a Company's Intranet that is extended to users outside the company. In its simplest form, a private TCP/IP network that securely shares information using Hypertext Transfer Protocol
(HTTP) and other Internet protocols with business partners such as vendors, suppliers, and wholesale customers.
An extranet is thus a corporate intranet that is exposed over the Internet to certain specific groups that need access to it. Extranets built in this fashion follow the client/server paradigm, with Web servers such as Apache. Extranets are a powerful tool because they let businesses share resources on their own private networks over the Internet with suppliers, vendors, business partners, or customers.
Extranets are typically used for supporting realtime supply chains, for enabling business partners to work together, or to share information such as catalogs with customers. The power of the extranet is that it leverages the existing technology of the Internet to increase the power, flexibility, and competitiveness of businesses utilizing well-known and easily used tools such as Web servers and Web browsers. Extranets also save companies money by allowing them to establish business-tobusiness connectivity over the Internet instead of using expensive, dedicated leased lines. Extranets can also save money by reducing phone and fax costs.