Firms, or more generally, organizations, develop and become larger along time, using more and more computers to work. For the owners of software intellectual property rights, this process leads to a greater supervision of users to regulate lawful access to software. The situation occurs when all of the software used by an organization is proprietary. We will show that this choice leads to a reduction in transaction costs in terms of computation costs and in terms of the number of managed contracts, which can be numerically reduced by half. Introduction From information systems to information infrastructures Modes of interaction in computer network architectures Transaction costs Network examples Conclusion.
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Firms, or more generally, organizations, develop and become larger along time, using more and more computers to work. For the owners of software intellectual property rights, this process leads to a greater supervision of users to regulate lawful access to software. The situation occurs when all of the software used by an organization is proprietary.
We will show that this choice leads to a reduction in transaction costs in terms of computation costs and in terms of the number of managed contracts, which can be numerically reduced by half. Introduction From information systems to information infrastructures Modes of interaction in computer network architectures Transaction costs Network examples Conclusion. Hanseth describes information infrastructures as a result of a process of management in time.
This paper will apply these ideas to the use of FLOSS networks, which helps to "set free" the cultivation of the information infrastructure of a firm by reducing its transaction costs. These costs are reduced because of the absence of access control mechanisms that are embedded in proprietary software. There was no or very little communication between computers within an organization.
All work was truly local, based on local needs and standards. As organizations grew, personnel and computers multiplied. All these methodologies and many others have been used for at least twenty years, to model work and data to a certain size, time, and place.
In the words of Hanseth :. The solutions are: 1 to improve the installed base by adding new funcionalities; or, 2 to extend the installed base by adding new elements to it Hanseth, Information systems evolve into information infrastructures. Information infrastructures are defined as "a shared, evolving, open, standardized, and heterogeneous installed base" Hanseth, Its extention or improvement depends strongly on the existing information infrastructure, that is, the installed base.
Hence, we can see that our working definitions of "information infrastructure" and "installed base" depend on each other. Hanseth does not ignore information systems; they are treated in another way: as local phenomena. Hanseth splits information infrastructures into two levels: application infrastructures and support infrastructures, wih the first at the top of the second.
The support infrastruture is split into two categories: transport and service infrastructures. These levels are depicted in Figure 1. The infrastructures that are linked this way are called neighbouring infrastructures" Hanseth, This situation is depicted below.
This will be discussed later in this paper. In this paper we are interested in information infrastructures with up to users and where an installed base depends strongly on proprietary software, contracts and licensing agreements, and associated costs.
Servers handle requests for computational processing, acting as a locus for specific programs, data, and acting as a gateway to other networked resources. Clients send requests to the server for specific tasks; servers treat these requests in a centralized manner. See figure below:. In the case of this architecture, the cost of adding one more component to the infrastructure involves not only the additional cost of hardware, but also the cost of software, plus another server access license, as well as support to make everything work.
With this architecture, all components work together cooperatively, so that there is no single centralized processing unit. All elements of this architecture work together without hierarchy, as shown below:. In the case of this architecture, the cost of adding one more component to the infrastructure involves the cost of hardware, plus the cost of software, plus the cost of the support.
The information infrastructure of an imaginary organization called ACME will serve as the installed base. ACME has a single server, 27 clients, offering file sharing, shared access to printers, and access to the Internet.
A transaction occurs "when a good or service is transferred across a technologically separable interface. One stage of processing or assembly activity terminates and another begins" Williamson, We rarely observe the boundaries of a transaction. We think of a transaction as an isolated operation and we do not think about the details that make a transaction possible and sustainable. We may view most transactions as involving tangible goods. However, computationally, we can also look at transaction costs for information goods Shapiro and Varian, For example, Demil and Lecocq note that "dowloading Linux constitutes a transaction" [ 2 ].
Hence any communication mediated by an information infrastructure constitutes a transaction. For the purposes of this paper, only the connection transaction will be studied. When a user enters his username and password, his Windows 98 interface is already modified by Netware Starlin, , as shown below.
Notice that the system that receives the request is Windows 98, not Novell Netware. The Windows interface sends the request to the Netware client, which in turn sends a request to the Netware server. A positive response from the server means essentially that the user has access to a given information infrastructure. The Netware server works with one or more Netware clients and runs on a dedicated computer. A Netware client operates on each computer running Windows Netware literally only "talks" to Netware; it is a network operating system [ 4 ].
So, how do we know how many Netware clients can be attached to a server at a given time? The answer is in the license agreement, which states that:.
For authentication to be approved, a connection to the server will happen only if the number of active connections to it is lower than the "the number of user licenses that You have lawfully purchased or acquired" Novell, b. The network management software monitors the number of active connections. The license agreement of Netware describes this management software as "Computer programs provided as part of the Software that monitor the number of connections permitted under this License and that are designed to prevent more connections than the number of licensed connections specified by the User Count" [ 6 ].
If there is any attempt at a connection over the "User Count," the server rejects it. For example, the 28th request for a network connection at ACME, a firm with 27 computers running Windows 98 and Netware clients based on acquisition of 27 user licenses, will be rejected. Netware clients can be installed without limitation, but the number of connections to the server is limited. This limit is fixed by software that provides information on the number of licenses Starlin, Each time comunication between a client and the server takes place, the server management software will be activated to monitor the connection.
The CPU of the server is used not to benefit the user, but to monitor the connection. Attempting to reduce these costs by deactivating the management software in any way is expressly forbidden by the license:. Novell, or the licensor through which Novell obtained the rights to distribute the Software, owns and retains all title and ownership of intellectual property rights in the Software; including any adaptations or copies of the Softwares.
Only the License is purchased to You. Without limiting generality of the foregoing, You may not modify the Connection Management Software to increase the number of connections supported by the Software; use any device, process or computer program in conjunction of the Host Software that increases, either directly or indirectly, the number of connections of the Host Software; reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Software, except and only to the extent it is expressly permitted by applicable law; or rent, timeshare or lease the Software unless expressly authorized by Novell in writing.
Novell provides licenses in multiples of five in this case [ 7 ]. Even though the number of licenses is greater than the number of possible active connections, the server will monitor all connections. The user provides his username, password and domain in a Windows 98 client dialog box, similar to the one below.
A Windows 98 client sends a request to a Windows server, because in this case it is a remote call. If the response is positive, the user is granted access to the information infrastructure. It is clear that the Windows 98 client and the Server work on different computers and that there is a single Server working with multiple clients. How do we know how many Windows clients can be attached to a server at a given time?
To answer that question, we need to look at the architecture of the Microsoft Network. The Network requires three kinds of licenses: a license for the server, a license for the client and a license for the client to access the server, known as Client Access Licenses CAL Microsoft, a.
There are two means of purchasing licenses to a server: per seat or per server. In our ACME example, the firm has only one server and 27 clients. In this case, Microsoft would recommend the use of Per Server licensing. For example, if you use a Windows NT Server mainly for file and print sharing and on multiple servers, you may be better off with the Per Seat option.
However, if you use it as a dedicated Remote Access Server computer, you can select the Per Server concurrent connections option. Use the following guidelines for selecting a licensing mode:". A Client Access License must be assigned to each computer which is running a client and connecting with the server. But what happens if a 28th computer attempts a connection? A mechanism monitoring the number of concurrent connections comes into action and locks out connections to the server, obliging the administrator to interfere and select which connections will be aborted to maintain the integrity of the information infrastructure.
The License Manager is the mechanism that monitors and manages connections to the server Jennings, It is clear that each time communication between a client and the server takes place, the License Manager is activated to monitor the connection. Again, transactions costs are being absorbed by the user in a variety of ways, with time and effort spent on network monitoring functions. As might be expected, deactivating the License Manager in any way is expressly forbidden by the license:.
Hence the server will monitor operations at all times, with incurred transactions costs for all parties involved. In the two proprietary software cases related above, one notes that law, economics, and technology interfere Law, with each other in such a way that contractual obligations do not allow technological modifications allowing the potential reduction of transaction costs for a given customer; see figure below:. Some of the advantages of GLW are:.
Samba is licensed under the General Public License. Hence, GPL eliminates the problems we noted with proprietary software over modifications. There are no limitations on the number of connections with Samba, merely an issue of network computing capacity; see figure below:.
Hence training costs are minimal. The costs of adding to the installed base are limited to costs of hardware needed, not additional licenses. With Netware, it would be necessary to license 27 copies of Windows 98 software, plus one copy of the Netware server software, along with 30 licenses for Netware client software. Additionally, there should be a Netware professional to manage it all, which introduces another contract for support. With Windows, there are 27 copies of Windows 98 software, plus a copy of the Windows server software, plus 27 Client Access Licenses.
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Chris Gane Et All. Applied Software Measurement, Assuring. Anallise Consenting patients meeting DSM-IV lifetime criteria for a bipolar disorder and clinically appropriate for maintenance treatment were enrolled in a week open prospective study. The references fhris literature found were cross-referenced. Clinical trials registration number clinicaltrials.
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