I. Basic concepts of ASP mode
The full name of ASP is application service provider, which is literally an application service provider. The full name is actually a computer commercial application software service provider, which was born in the United States, it has also developed rapidly in Japan, Europe and other highly developed countries and regions. The so-called ASP refers to some such companies, they use the Internet or VPN (Virtual Private Network) sell or lease an application system running on your own server to a company that needs to use these application systems for rent. ASP can develop these application systems by yourself, or purchase them directly from isV (independent software developer.
Further explanation of this concept: ASP is a third-party service provider that owns its own host to deploy, manage, and maintain various application systems on its own host, then, the network is used to provide software computing capabilities (services for customers) to remote customers ). The enterprise that uses the application service is no longer responsible for the construction and maintenance of the application system, but only pays the ASP rent to use the information system. The enterprise does not own the application system. He only needs a simple PC, with browser software and few client software, and logs on to a specific application system on a remote centralized server through the Internet or vnp, you can use the application system locally. For ASP, he wants to provide enterprises with hardware and software systems, a secure network infrastructure, and reliable data center facilities for storing key data, he also needs a team of high-quality IT experts to manage and maintain the entire system. ASP operation method 1 is shown.
Figure 1 ASP operations
In ASP mode, the application rather than ownership is emphasized. The customer no longer owns an application and does not need to be responsible for internal and external maintenance of the program. After you sign a contract (usually a long-term contract), you can use a browser to connect to applications on a remote, centralized server, then process the computing results of the Application locally. It can be considered that ASP is a revolutionary breakthrough in the traditional software service model.
Ii. Advantages of ASP over traditional Enterprise Informatization
Traditional Enterprise Informatization Construction adopts internal construction. The typical process is as follows: purchase network equipment and server equipment-→ integrate the basic architecture of the enterprise's internal information system-→ for specific business content, develop or use the isV Client/Server Architecture Application Software by yourself-> implement ERP (Enterprise Resource Plan), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), SCM (supply chain management) and other applications.
Compared with traditional enterprise informatization, ASP mode has the following advantages: it can improve enterprise operation efficiency, reduce enterprise operation costs, and save investment in recruiting IT talents and building IT systems; reduces the training cost of enterprises, solves the problem of subsequent maintenance and upgrade of application systems, and provides a better environment for enterprises. enterprises can enjoy a higher level of services; in addition, the billing method of ASP mode is flexible. For more information about the comparison between the two, see table 1.
Iii. ASP service content
ASP is a complete information system and related services provided to enterprises, not just services provided by traditional ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ICP (Internet content provider. ASP services include:
1. Web hosting and email server hosting;
2. application Software Leasing: includes office software, enterprise personnel, salary management, customer and supplier information management, ERP, MRPII, inventory management, accounting software, e-commerce and other scalable business software;
3. Technical support: provides unified technical support materials, manuals and FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) documents, and supports technical support for application services through telephone, Internet, and other media;
4. Secure Internet access and Network Leasing for application services: including routers, switches, modems, and firewalls;
5. application software customization development: according to the customer's specific needs, ASP can modify the software on the existing template to a certain extent to meet special needs.
Iv. ASP mode Classification
There are many methods to classify ASP. From the market perspective, it can be divided into a horizontal model that provides a full set of software application services for all customers, and a vertical model that provides services for a specific industry. Services can be divided into the all-around mode and the division of labor and collaboration mode. The infrastructure provider (FIP), managed management provider (MHP), and application integration provider (Application Integration provider, AIP) and pure ASP.
1. FIP: provides data center space and network interfaces that can be accessed through the network. Space refers to data centers/facilities, operating environments, power grids and lighting, and network refers to bandwidth access, including content services for distribution, submission, and management, and VPN services. Customers must have their own devices, install or run their own applications. FIP uses its own professional services to help customers with the aforementioned businesses, and charges a certain amount.
2. MHP: Provides software and hardware for customers' computing, storage, and network platforms, including servers, routers, and switches. Unlike FIP, MHP provides a platform that hosts and runs customer applications. MHP builds a customer platform in the data center, allowing customers to access them by leasing. Customers install and remotely run their applications on the MHP platform. MHP also provides network and system management services to ensure continuous operation of the customer's system.
3. aip: the AIP service includes signing contracts with FIP and MHP for facilities, hardware, and operating systems to provide professional integrated application system infrastructure hardware, software, and services. Provides software and hardware platforms and services that include middleware, application tools, application servers, Web servers, and enterprise application integration.
4. Pure ASP: Refers to suppliers that provide customers with a single practical application service online. If possible, they will be based on the leasing model. It only hosts licensed applications purchased from isV, client applications of customers, and infrastructure of hosting. Although there are some "pure" ASP, most of the actual application services ASP are diverse and beyond this limit. Some vendors also host their own systems, or use their own standards to help them with system integration. Other vendors have components in the AIP, especially those management and security components. Some vendors also host their developed applications and may integrate them with isV products.
V. ASP mode features
1. online mode: all services provided by application service providers are completed online through network media.
2. Application-oriented Authorization Service: the Core of ASP service is to provide an application to users and manage the application by signing a business agreement. This is different from business process outsourcing (BPO). BPO is a complete "function block" of a user enterprise, such as human resource management or financial management, the user enterprise does not care about the methods or software used by the BPO enterprise to complete the functions of these functional blocks. ASP and hosting services are also different. Hosting focuses on the management of hardware facilities such as networks and servers, rather than application management.
3. centralized management and resource optimization: application software is placed on the entire application server of the ASP operator. It is a centralized management that shields users from many complex operations, including system installation, debugging, and initialization. To use ASP, you only need to remotely access the application through the network.
4. One-to-multiple standardized services: ASP services are designed as one-to-many services. ASP cooperates with other vendors to provide a package of standardized services (minimum or non-customized services) ordered by multiple companies in a specific contract period ). The traditional method is unable to implement this one-to-multiple interactive service.
5. SLA-based one-stop service: SLA (Service Level Agreement) is an internationally accepted customer/service evaluation standard and a legal document signed by service providers and users, this document promises that users shall be entitled to the corresponding services provided by the service supplier as long as they pay the corresponding service fees to the service supplier. In ASP mode, the application service provider shall provide users with SLA-based full-process application services.
Vi. Typical ASP Operation Mode
1. IDC Internet Data Center (Internet Data centre)
The emergence of IDCs can be traced back to the ISP (Internet Service Provider) that provided Internet access services in 1990s. What is different from the ISP at that time is that the ISP only provides users with communication lines and equipment to access the Internet, IDC not only provides a communication line, but also stores users' "massive" data, which is used and managed online by users.
Specifically, IDC is an infrastructure built to meet the needs of enterprise application outsourcing services, including stable broadband Internet access and secure and reliable data maintenance equipment and data room environments. IDC provides network resources to users by leasing, saving enterprises from difficulties such as system maintenance and upgrade. It can be said that the emergence of IDC is a specific reflection of the market changes in the centralized management of data services.
2. isV independent software supplier (independent software vendors)
Before the emergence of ASP mode, isV produces and sells software products as a software manufacturer. However, because enterprise software and its supporting hardware implementation costs are expensive, and a large number of IT experts are required to maintain and implement the software, many small and medium enterprises are discouraged, it also makes ISVs unable to cope with this broad market. The emergence of the ASP model enables isV to find the key to entering the human market. Through software leasing, isV can develop more small and medium-sized enterprise customers.
It should be pointed out that isV is not ASP at first, and ASP is only a channel for selling products. But now, more and more ISVs have begun to become ASP through ASP services (such as Oracle Business online and yongyou weiku network ).
VII. Architecture of ASP-Mode Information System Software
The ASP service center provides services for enterprises in ASP mode. The Software Architecture (Figure 2) consists of four modules: ASP application software platform, ASP user site, ASP data center, management and technical support.
Different ASP service centers have different software architectures. Figure 2 is just an example. ASP application software platform is an application software provided by the ASP service center for enterprises. Different enterprises have different functional requirements and should have different solutions; ASP user sites are e-commerce systems such as user management and negotiation by ASP service centers, and ASP data centers are the data management and maintenance of ASP service centers; management and technical support are functional modules of the ASP service center.
Figure 2 ASP Service Center Software Architecture
The network topology of ASP mode information system 3 is shown in. It consists of two parts:
The Computer Application of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in China is uneven, which can be divided into single-host, multi-model and lan-type. ASP mode has flexible requirements on Enterprise computer resources. Each enterprise can configure the corresponding system based on the specific situation of the enterprise and find its own solution. The software only requires a web browser. If the hardware has a device that can access the Internet, such as a computer or modem, you can apply for an account to obtain services from the ASP service center.
2. ASP Service Center
The system has high requirements on the ASP service center. The software and hardware required by ASP service centers of different sizes are different, following ISP (Internet Service Provider) and ICP (Internet content provider) the software and hardware configuration is similar to that of the ISP and ICP for specific application services.
Figure 3 technical transformation of enterprise information system network topology
The ASP service center must solve the following key issues:
1. Security. SSL (including digital signatures and public/private keys) can be used for network communication security) strict firewall and security detection technology, certificate system, password system, and permission restrictions to prevent unauthorized users (such as hackers) from entering the system; for data security, you can use redundant disk arrays, optical disk database backup systems, and master-slave database servers for Hot Backup of important application data to ensure the system can be used 24x24 hours a day.
2. Performance. Web servers can dynamically allocate application servers to achieve dynamic balance of system load. Different functions are distributed on different application servers. Good server and network device configurations completely ensure normal response speed when users access the server remotely.
3. scalability. The application modules of the system can be repeated or distributed on different application servers. However, as the business grows, when the system cannot meet new user requirements, the system service can be terminated without terminating the system service, add corresponding application modules to achieve seamless system upgrade.
VIII. Problems and Solutions in ASP mode
The ASP mode is not perfect, but there are also some problems in the development process:
1. Information security issues
Enterprises are increasingly dependent on information, which is stored in the "information bank" of ASP. Different customer information may be stored in the same host. Due to the openness of the Internet, it facilitates information theft. The core business data of an enterprise is not to be seen by people outside the enterprise. Technically, it puts forward high requirements on the permission control of hosts, each visitor's operations on the host must be identified.
2. Lack of Application Software
Application Software is the key and core of ASP. China's software industry has been weak, while there are fewer applications specially developed for Web. Most application software cannot adapt to the Internet environment, it cannot meet the needs of all users, so it is imperative to develop network-based applications.
3. personalized services
ASP mode is a "one-to-many" service relationship. As ASP applications increase, more and more enterprises will put forward their own unique requirements to ASP, how to solve this conflict is a matter that ASP service providers need to consider.
4. Legal protection
ASP, as a new business model, does not yet have recognized industry standards and corresponding legal protection. enterprises can only find it enterprises with high credibility to do ASP, if user data is leaked or damaged, there is no compensation standard or supervision mechanism, which is detrimental to the development of ASP.
IX. Application Prospects of ASP mode
According to statistics, there are currently more than 30 million enterprises in China, while SMEs account for 99% of the total number of enterprises. 60% of domestic industrial output value and 40% of Revenue and Tax come from SMEs. Small and medium-sized enterprises are gradually becoming an indispensable driving force for China's economic development. Therefore, ASP applications targeting the small and medium-sized enterprise market have great potential. Although there are still some issues to be solved in ASP mode, enterprises also have some concerns. However, with the development of information technology and Internet, some problems faced by ASP will be gradually solved. With the development of ASP applications, the benefits ASP can bring to enterprises will gradually become apparent. Therefore, the ASP mode will bring huge changes to the informatization construction of enterprises, especially small and medium enterprises.
As a new enterprise information model, Asp has made great strides abroad, and many ASP service providers are also growing. asp in China has a high development starting point and a leading advantage. The rise of ASP is neither a plug-in nor everywhere. With the improvement of China's network conditions and the further understanding of network services, ASP is a pragmatic network economy model. In the evolution of ASP, enterprises and vendors will benefit from it.
In short, the ASP-based information solution provides an optimal opportunity for enterprises to implement information management and improve their management and operation levels.
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