The Great Plains Free-Net (GPFN), a community-owned and operated Internet Service Provider in Regina, Saskatchewan, was embarking on a comprehensive modernization strategy. As part of this strategy, GPFN wanted to offer a number of new services and adopting a more member-centric philosophy. One problem with the previous User Management system was that very few volunteers understood or could manage it. It relied on an inter-related set of some 300 shell scripts and flat file tables from which to manage its database. The new design utilized a relational database engine for the back-end and a secure, web-enabled interface from which members, users, guests and volunteers could apply for accounts, upgrade accounts and approve, reject or revoke applications and accounts.
The system was designed to use a volunteer pool of developers to develop and implement the new system using a combination of MySQL, PERL, HTML and CSS as these were the skills the organization had in house.
A New E-Commerce Protocol (NECP): Proposing a New Model for Facilitating Business to Consumer E-Commerce Transactions (2002)
Merchants are sensitive to costs. An effective e-commerce model will provide a lower cost to merchants. These costs include the development costs and licensing and setup fees to payment enable their site as well as the ongoing costs of maintaining their site and any per-month or per-transaction fees. For these reasons, off-the-shelf e-commerce software, which often involves large initial software costs and ongoing licensing fees, are difficult to justify.
A Community's Response to Free-Nets: Implications for the Community-Based Telecomputing Movement in Regina (1995)
A survey iwas conducted to assist Great Plains Free-Net in better understanding the needs of the community as well as helping Great Plains Free-Net understand how to better communicate its concept to the community as a whole and helping recruit prospective information providers and determine interests among the community. These surveys found a strong interest in Great Plains Free-Net as an information and connection service. Given the demonstrated community support for the Free-Net, Great Plains Free-Net should have no difficulty justifying its existence to users, information providers and funding agencies.