Mark Rae Music Ltd
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I can program all sorts of Web applications to meet your business requirements. Of course, if you need a public web site, we'll need to register a domain first and host it with an Internet Service Provider (see Web hosting). I partner with HostingUK and can have a basic site up and running in under an hour if it's a UK-based domain - other domains take a little longer to set up, but usually no more than 24 hours.

Intranet / Internet / Extranet
An intranet is a local version of the Internet, and contains browser-based web sites and web applications which are not available to the general public. The Internet, as everyone knows, is a network of networks which contain (among many other things) web sites and web applications most of which are available to the general public without restriction. An extranet is a cross between an intranet and the Internet, most commonly found in businesses. E.g. a company might have a web site which the general public can visit and use to make on-line purchases - that's the Internet part. But the company also has an internal web site which uses the same data as the public Internet site but which is available only from inside its own network and which its employees use to manage stock, warehousing, accounts etc - that's the intranet part. Together, this makes an extranet.

Graphic design
It's vitally important that your web site (especially if it's going to be on the public Internet) looks as attractive and user-friendly as possible. However, it's also very important to remember what your site is there for... All too often web sites full of really useful information are hampered by unnecessary images and Flash programmes which serve only to show how clever the programmer is, and slow the site down. It's the old equation of form versus content. Google is an excellent example of a site which uses hardly any graphics but is still pleasing on the eye and, as a consequence, very easy to use.

Hardly a week goes by without another news report of a major security breach over the web. Maybe you've been a victim yourself of some on-line scam or other. However, a properly configured web solution can be just as secure as any other so long as it is designed and architectured correctly. I can show you where each of the constituent parts of the solution should reside, how to configure firewalls and DMZs, as well as a whole host of security techniques and methods to make sure that your solution is as watertight as possible.

Database integration
Commercial web sites all need to use a database to store data about customer purchases. Almost always, this is a two-way process - the web application needs to have an up-to-date product list to offer to customers, and customers need to monitor and track the sale process from purchase to delivery. Databases for such web sites need to be very carefully planned and designed in such a way that they can be seen by the web site but not by the general public, even though the web site itself can be seen by the general public.

Web services
Not all applications which reside on the web run in a browser. These days, lots of business applications run over the web in the form of web services. These are accessible from anywhere and provide a convenient way of remote communication. A prime example of a web service is on-line postcode verification. Lots of companies have a need for this, so companies like QAS have provided web services which other companies can integrate into their own solutions, thereby avoiding the need for everyone to own a copy of the massive UK postcode database.

eCommerce is selling things electronically, and is almost always used to mean buying goods and services over the Internet and paying for them with a credit card. Amazon is a great example of an eCommerce web site. Clearly, any web site which requires people to give out their credit card details has to be as secure as possible, and this is done by means of an SSL certificate so that the sensitive data cannot be seen by anyone else. In order to be able accept any payments via credit card (not just over the Internet) you need an account with PayPal. Once you have this in place, I can integrate it seamlessly into your application, providing your customers with email notification of their purchases, and you with details of the sales so that you can dispatch the goods to your clients.

I can show you how your public Internet web site can drive your company's marketing strategy by analysing your web stats and finding who your customers are, which parts of the site they visit and which products they buy most. This information can then be used for marketing campaigns all of which can be carried out on-line by means of promotional offers and targeted emailing.