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The Use of Technology in Providing Proactive Customer Support. By Eashwar Iyer IOUG-A Live! 2000, 11th May 2000, 11.15am Paper# 464. Goals & Objectives. Basics of setting up a Wide Area Network (WAN) Using the Internet as an alternative

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The Use of Technology in Providing Proactive Customer Support

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The use of technology in providing proactive customer support l.jpg

The Use of Technology in Providing Proactive Customer Support

By Eashwar Iyer

IOUG-A Live! 2000, 11th May 2000, 11.15am

Paper# 464


Goals objectives l.jpg

Goals & Objectives

  • Basics of setting up a Wide Area Network (WAN)

  • Using the Internet as an alternative

  • Look at a Case Study to see how a WAN, Oracle Application Server, Oracle Database Server and PL/SQL could be used effectively to provide Proactive Support to Customers with the help of a sample application at the end

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


The driving factors l.jpg

The Driving Factors

  • For a small Software Development House (SDH), wouldn’t it be highly desirable if a low cost, high speed WAN could be set up to:

    • Access the clients’ LAN

    • Access the clients’ Database

    • Without compromising the security of the network and database

  • If this is possible, it could be used to:

    • Distribute the developed application

    • Troubleshoot the implemented application and

    • Monitor the environment for possible bugs

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Wide area networks l.jpg

Wide Area Networks

  • Components of a WAN

    • LANs

    • Dedicated connections

    • Dial-up connections

    • Routers

  • Pros and Cons of setting up a private WAN

    • Highly Secure

    • High Maintenance

    • High Speed WANs are Costly

    • Dial-up WANs are Very Slow and Costly

  • Using Internet Technology as an alternative

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Using the internet to set up a wan pros and cons l.jpg

Using the Internet to Set Up a WAN: Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    • Very Cost Effective

    • High Speed Connections

    • High Availability

    • Secure

  • Cons

    • Security issues have to be worked out

    • High dependence on the Internet Service Provider (ISP)

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Using the internet to set up a wan three examples l.jpg

Using the Internet to Set Up a WAN - Three Examples

  • Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    • Firewall

    • Encryption

    • Authentication

  • Using a Firewall or a Router

    • IP address filtering

    • IP Masquerading

  • Using a Linux box as the Internet Host

    • IP Masquerading

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


An example of a vpn setup l.jpg

An example of a VPN setup

  • Connects LANs of a Head Office, Branch Office, External Organization, Mobile users etc.

  • Uses VPN hardware and software for encryption and authentication

  • Following slide shows the Network Diagram

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


An example of firewall and linux setup l.jpg

An example of Firewall and Linux setup

  • Connects LANs of a Head Office, Branch Office and External Organization with Filtering Firewalls and Linux respectively

  • Firewalls filter the incoming IP addresses allowing only valid ones

  • Following slide shows the Network Diagram

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


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Putting the Technology to Use

How setting up a low-cost WAN helps

Software Development Houses (SDH)?

  • Some of the typical activities of a SDH include-

    • Develop Applications

    • Deploy Applications

    • User Acceptance Test

    • Bug Fixes etc.

    • Maintain the Applications

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Case study l.jpg

Case Study

Proactive Error Handling


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User Acceptance Test: One of the Crucial Phases

Error Handling in Applications - some important

elements to store:

  • Application name

  • Application version

  • Program name

  • Program module

  • Error id

  • Error number

  • Error description

  • Date/Time

  • User-id

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Explore user id naming standards l.jpg

Explore User-Id Naming Standards

  • Oracle User-Ids

  • Network/Domain User-Ids

  • E-Mail Ids?

  • Use E-Mail Aliases effectively

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Network setup for the case study l.jpg

Network Setup for the Case Study

  • Connects LANs of the Customer and the Software House with Filtering Firewalls and Linux as the Internet Host respectively

  • Customer’s LAN has a Firewall that filters the incoming IP addresses allowing only valid ones

  • SDH’s LAN has a Linux Internet Host with IP Masquerading that allows any of its workstations to access the customer’s LAN

  • Following slide shows the Network Diagram

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Slide17 l.jpg

Error Monitoring

  • Monitor the stored data or “Error Logs”

  • Don’t wait for users to log the error or complain of problems being faced in the Application!

  • Take action

  • Contact users before and/or after taking action

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Error handling system ehs a simple web application l.jpg

Error Handling System (EHS) - A Simple Web Application

  • EHS is

    • A PL/SQL Web application

    • Generated using Oracle Designer

  • EHS uses

    • A PL/SQL cartridge defined on the Oracle Application Server

    • A database link to the customer’s database defined on the SDH’s Database Server

  • EHS runs on

    • Any client machinewith a Browser in the SDH’s LAN

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Main menu of the ehs l.jpg

Main Menu of the EHS

The menu has hyperlinks to all modules


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Query Screen for Viewing Errorlog

Error Log can be queried from this screen


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Screen for Displaying Error Log Records

The query results are displayed on this screen.

The user-id has a hyperlink through which the user can be reached via e-mail


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Recording Actions

  • Actions taken after viewing the Errors can be recorded in the EHS

  • The recorded Actions can be viewed by the Project/Maintenance Manager

  • …All these being completely transparent to the users

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Conclusion l.jpg

Conclusion

  • Low cost WANs can be setup using the Internet Technology.

  • WANs are important for SDHs enabling them to deploy and support their products.

  • Proactive Support could be provided to customers.

  • These were demonstrated by the EHS, a simple application, fully generated from Oracle Designer with minimal efforts.

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


What next l.jpg

What Next?

  • The EHS can be extended to cover other requirements to provide proactive support to customers.

  • I would love to hear from you if you use this concept and/or add more functionality to this.

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Uestions l.jpg

uestions?

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


Slide26 l.jpg

Please spare a few minutes to fill the paper evaluation sheet.

The Use of Technology in Providing Proactive Customer Support

By Eashwar Iyer

IOUG-A Live! 2000, 11th May 2000, 11.15am

Paper# 464

by Eashwar Iyer ([email protected])


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