Many organisations have data available in their internal systems and servers that could be useful to wider audience, clients, suppliers or staff away from the main site. This is particularly relevant to data that changes regularly or is difficult to translate into normal web content. There are several techniques to make data available to an external website and they are largely driven by the immediacy of the data. If vital information is changing rapidly then a live connection is needed. If the data changes from day to day but is not urgent then an overnight copy may be appropriate and if the data is simply complex but largely unchanging then an ad-hoc copy is more appropriate.
In all cases security of the data and the server or system it is coming from is paramount. This is at it's most imperative when the connection is live particularly if the connection is transferring data both ways. An example would be a ticket booking system where online bookings are taking place alongside telephone bookings. The underlying database needs to know every time a ticket is sold so that 'availability' can be kept current for both systems. In this system data transfers are made using only recognised functions and only from recognised servers.
Examples from our client base include:
- Trade association - making its member directory available online using data in the main membership database.
- Freight handler - making documents and transactions held in house available to clients and agents worldwide.
- Training organisation - showing real time availability and taking bookings for their courses from students worldwide.
- Auction house - making its sales catalogue held in an in-house system available online.
- National body - advising farmers about disease probability based on Met Office data and internal grower records.
There are many ways to implement these types of requirement and the best solution will depend entirely on your specific needs. If you would like to discuss your requirements then we are happy to discuss options and opportunities with you.