An extranet uses Internet protocols so users can navigate with a browser, but it resides on the company’s private server rather than on a public Internet server. Extranet access from the Internet can be controlled through various architectures that are password or username specific. In other words, areas of the extranet will be available according to password credentials. This limits users to extranet pages relevant to the business they might be conducting, while keeping other areas of the extranet private and secure.

Another resource an extranet can provide is the ability to create secure areas for interaction between an organization and its partners or resellers. Development, dissemination of marketing information and tools, data sharing, research, and sales reports are among the reasons one would use an extranet environment.

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