Site Seeing

by Paul Doherty, Principal; The Greenway Group, Germantown, TN,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 5, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article


Project-specific Web sites (called project extranets) are used to communicate project information in a fast, cost effective and efficient manner. These Web sites act as a project's home page for drawing files, specifications, cut sheets, requests for information and shop drawing logs, among other data. Firms may chose to build their own or try one of the many different commercial extranet services that have sprung up over the past 18 months. A California State University study, summarized here, delineates the services' advantages and disadvantages. At least one large engineering software company may introduce its own project Web site system, threatening the nascent commercial services and causing a merger boom among those services. Along with these market changes, some industry members are beginning to question the very usefulness of extranet systems, leading some providers to offer portal technology—similar to search engines on the World Wide Web—that would supersede extranets by providing even more functions.

Subject Headings: Internet | Construction costs | Sheets | Colleges and universities | Engineering firms | Systems engineering | Computer software | Industries

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