PENN PRINTOUT
The University of Pennsylvania's Online Computing Magazine

PENN PRINTOUT April 1997 - Volume 13:8

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Forecasting the future: Gartner intraWeb

By Noam H. Arzt and Peggy Yetter

Researching information technology issues can be an expensive and time consuming process. But by using a new database available on the Penn Web, you can quickly do all of the of the following and much more.

  • look for information about how the "Year 2000 Problem" impacts software and hardware
  • identify the latest document management strategies
  • find out how the move to collaborative computing is reshaping organizations and influencing technology development
  • research recent trends in multimedia products
  • search for everything in the database containing the word Netscape
The Gartner intraWeb currently provides almost 6,700 documents in 30 service categories written by well over 200 respected research analysts. And each month the database is updated with the latest batch of Gartner Group's research and technology advisories. Since Gartner Group is the leading advisor on information technology industries, Penn's subscription to the Gartner intraWeb provides a valuable addition to the research tools available to Penn faculty, staff, and students


Access and browsing

The Gartner intraWeb is available from the computing services page on the Penn Web, or directly via www.upenn.edu/computing/gartner/.

Please note that the material in the database is provided for use by Penn faculty, students, and staff, and that the entire contents have a Gartner Group copyright. Gartner provides the capability to browse the database by any of the following methods:

  • Date. Locates all researh notes published during a specific month; the current range of months include April 1997 through July 1995.

  • Service. Locates all research notes from one of the thirty categories that Penn subscribes to. See the sidebar at the end of this article for a complete list of the categories.

  • Date & Service Locates all research notes sorted within all of the service categories that were published in a specific month.

  • Analyst. Locates all research notes published by an individual research analyst, ordered by date (the most recent is listed first).

  • Document Type. Locates additional documents by one of five document types:

    • Inside Gartner Group (a weekly newsletter highlighting weekly Gartner Group research analyst meetings)
    • Monthly Research Review (monthly summary of research notes in all service categories; ideal for IT executives)
    • Point-To-Point (monthly newsletter devoted to summaries of telecommunications services)
    • Strategic Analysis Report (in-depth studies of key strategic topics)
    • Top View (big-picture, high-level, strategic analysis)

      Note: Research notes, the core of the Gartner IntraWeb are available from all the other browsing methods. However, many research notes are summarized in the first three document type categories listed above.

  • New Research Locates the most recent research, however, since Penn downloads the information monthly, browsing by the most recent date is equivalent to browsing by new research.


Search capability

To facilitate searching for material across all thirty service areas, Information Systems and Computing (ISC), created a search utility for the Gartner intraWeb. The search facility uses the same set of tools currently used on the Penn Web (i.e., the Harvest Gatherer and WAIS). The search interface is shown below.

Picture of Gartner Search Screen

The default search will find, at most, 25 instances of any words that you type in the search entry field. This is equivalent to a Boolean AND. You may change the default to perform the equivalent of a Boolean OR by changing the pull-down "all" tab so that it displays "Find pages with any of those words." You can also change the default number of "hits" to return up to 10, 50, or 100 documents.

There are several additional points to keep in mind. First, do not use quotation marks around your search words or you will get no hits at all. People who are familiar with commercial search tools often expect to be able to search for a literal phrase, such as "year 2000 problem" and have exact instances of the phrase returned. Such quoted literals will not work, nor is there any "near" or "adjacent" search function. The best you can do is to type in the phrase without the quotes using the Boolean AND (any) function -- your list of hits will then include any document with the words "year" AND "2000" AND "problem."

Secondly, there are a number of words that have been defined as "stopwords," i.e., words that occur so many times, in so many different documents, that they have been eliminated from search results. Thus, no results will be returned for any of the following words:

1996 indices service
applications information size
business internet software
data key support
date management systems
doctype market technology
enterprise network users
group new time
gartner note vendors
htm server

Third, all searches are case insensitive, e.g., a search on "Netscape" is the same as a search on "netscape" or "NETSCAPE."


Sidebar: Browsing by service category

Penn subscribes to research and analysis on trends and developments in the following service categories:
  • Advanced Technologies & Applications
  • Applications Development & Management Strategies
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Client/Server
  • Computer Integrated Manufacturing
  • Data Center Strategies
  • Distributed Computing Platforms
  • Electronic Commerce Strategies
  • Enterprise Network Strategies
  • High Performance Computing
  • Information Security Strategies
  • Information Technology Management - Academic
  • Integrated Document & Output Management
  • Interactive Media
  • Internet Strategies
  • Local Area Networking
  • Management Strategies & Directions
  • Managing Distributed Computing
  • Mobile Business Strategies
  • Multimedia
  • Network Computing Infrastructures
  • Networked Systems Management
  • Office Information Systems
  • Open Systems
  • Personal Computing
  • Software Asset Management
  • Strategic Data Management
  • Systems Software Architectures
  • Transition Strategies



NOAM H. ARZT is Executive Director, Administration and Information Technology Architecture, ISC; PEGGY YETTER is a Systems Programmer, ISC Networking.