Basic operations Basic operations include accounting, order entry, purchasing, inventory, human resources, and so on. The majority of the applications in the corporation are built to maintain and promote the basic operations.
Strategic thinking Strategic thinking centers on long-term profit, growth forecasts, marketing strategies, analysis of sales, business direction, vision and scope of projects that will create the DNS, and so on.
Customer interaction Customer interaction involves anything that has to do with how the corporation interfaces with the customer, including customer feedback, analysis of customer satisfaction, and so on.
Business reflexes Business reflexes determine how quickly a corporation can respond to bad news and correct the situation. Production or inventory shortfalls or overruns, downturn in a market, failure to reach projected goals, and so on must all reach the appropriate knowledge worker quickly.
The DNS is at the center of the corporate functions; all information can flow through the DNS. The most difficult part of creating this system is providing a means to pass messages through the DNS.
The DNS vision is that digital storage, retrieval, and delivery of information will radically improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and responsiveness of corporations that use it correctly. The role of the DNS in linking these corporate functions is illustrated in Figure 1-1.
Figure 1-1. Microsoft products that support the four corporate functions and the DNS.
As the figure illustrates, each of the corporate functions and the DNS are supported by Microsoft products. The heart of the DNS is Microsoft's server products: Microsoft BackOffice, SQL Server 7, Internet Information Services, Site Server, Microsoft Windows NT, and so on. All of the functions of the enterprise will be able to connect to these server products through the DNS.
Site Server will eventually be replaced by Business Server. You could also include Microsoft SNA Server as part of the DNS if you need to connect to mainframe systems. The upgrades of SNA Server, which will be released soon, and Business Server will both be XML based. The new versions of IIS and SQL Server 7.5 will also have added XML functionality. Thus, XML will become a critical element in every part of the DNS.