Applications & Uses of Networks

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Applications & Uses of Networks

In the short time they have been around, data communication networks have become an indispensable part of business, industry, and entertainment. Some of the network applications in different fields are the following:

Marketing and sales

Computer networks are used extensively in both marketing and sales organizations. Marketing professionals use them to collect, exchange, and analyze data relating to customer needs and product development cycles. Sales applications include teleshopping, which uses order entry computers or telephones connected to an order-processing network, and on-line reservation services for hotels, airlines, and so on.

Financial services

Today's financial services are totally dependent on computer networks. Applications include credit history searches, foreign exchange and investment services, and electronic funds transfer (EFT), which allows a user, to transfer money without going into a bank (an automated teller machine is a kind of electronic funds transfer; automatic paycheck deposit is another).


Computer networks are used today in, many aspects of manufacturing, including the manufacturing process itself. Two applications that use networks to provide essential services are computer-assisted design (CAD) and computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM), both of which allow multiple users to work on a project simultaneously.

Electronic messaging

Probably the most widely used network application is electronic mail (e-mail).

Directory services

Directory services allow lists of files to be stored in a central location to speed worldwide search operations.

Information services

Network information services include bulletin boards and data banks. A World Wide Web site offering the technical specifications for a new product is an information service.

Electronic data interchange (EDI)

EDI allows business information (including documents such as purchase orders and invoices) to be transferred without using paper.


Teleconferencing allows conferences to occur without the participants being in the same place. Applications include simple text conferencing (where participants communicate through their keyboards and computer monitors). voice conferencing (where participants at a number of locations communicate simultaneously over the phone) and video conferencing (where participants can see as well as talk to one another).

Cellular telephone

In the past two parties wishing to use the services of the telephone company had to be linked by a fixed physical connection. Today's cellular networks make it possible to maintain wireless phone connections even while traveling over large distances.

Cable television

Future services provided by cable television networks may include video on request, as well as the same information, financial, and communications services currently provided by the telephone companies and computer networks.

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