WebFirstTM


Introduction

RTI's WebFirst allows customers to dynamically access valuable CustomerFirst information over the World Wide Web using industry standard Web browsers. This interface enables your employees and customers to access a knowledgebase of resolutions to common problems, check the status of open incidents, and report new incidents to customer support directly through the World Wide Web. It facilitates communication, expedites reporting, and provides access to information and help during non-business hours without the expense of hiring additional personnel. This is particularly useful for companies with customers in various time zones or working multiple shifts, because the Web is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Appropriate permissions (e.g., User ID and Password) allow authorized customers controlled access to a subset of the information that is available to internal personnel.

Dynamic Access to the Underlying CustomerFirst SQL Database

WebFirst provides dynamic access from the Web Server to information in the CustomerFirst SQL database. This requires a connection between your Web server and the DBMS containing the CustomerFirst database, and eliminates the need to extract data in advance onto your Web Server.

WebFirst uses WebEngine DBtechnology form WebEngine, Inc. to provide an efficient connection between the Web server and the DBMS. WebEngine eliminates overhead because it maintains active connections to the database and shares them among requests on an "as needed" basis. There is no need to obtain a new connection for each user request. The WebEngine "Request Engine" runs on a separate application server on your network. This allows for a clean separation from the Web server via any industry standard firewall technology.

Requests are entered using standard WebFirst HTML forms. You can modify or customize, or create your own forms. When these forms are submitted, the appropriate SQL statements are sent (via WebEngine DB) to the database. The statements are generated using programs invoked via the appropriate API for your Web server: CGI, ISAPI, or NSAPI. The results are formatted as HTML documents which are downloaded directly to the requester's Web browser. Security can be managed by the Web server or by WebFirst.

Interactive access to a customer's problems in the CustomerFirst database is provided via Microsoft's industry standard Open Database Connectivity (ODBC). Security is provided by WebFirst logon procedures and by the use of an Internet firewall.

Functionality

From an initial WebFirst panel, the user can query against the Common Problems Database, display the Recent Incidents for their site, or submit a new incident. WebFirst gives users a convenient, economical means to find answers to questions, report new incidents or check progress on previously reported incidents.



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Copyright © 1996 Repository Technologies, Inc.
Last modified: April 21, 1997

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