online service


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Related to online service: Online service provider

online service

(1) An organization that provides an information service over the Internet. Examples are search engines, cloud storage services and application service providers.

(2) An organization that provides access to the Internet. See ISP.

(3) An earlier organization that provided proprietary content online. Before the Internet was offered to the general public, online services such as AOL and CompuServe contained a unique mix of databases and resources available via dial-up modems. If e-mail was provided, it could only be sent to members of the same service.

After the Internet became popular, all the proprietary services provided Web access to their content. Proprietary e-mail systems were either switched to Internet mail protocols (SMTP) or their formats were routinely converted back and forth to the Internet format. The following online services predate the Internet explosion of the mid-1990s and are here for historical purposes. See portal.


America Online, Inc. (AOL)
Internet access, variety of databases
www.aol.com


CompuServe Information Service, Inc.
Internet access, variety of databases
www.compuserve.com


DataTimes Corporation
Newspapers, magazines, financial
www.cambiumlearning.com


DIALOG (ProQuest company)
Largest collection of databases
www.dialog.com


Dow Jones Interactive
(now Factiva.com)
Finance, daily news & news searching
www.factiva.com


Genie (now defunct)
Internet access, BBSs, roundtables


LexisNexis
Legal and news information
www.lexisnexis.com


National Library of Medicine
MEDLINE and MEDLARS databases
www.nlm.nih.gov


Prodigy (owned by SBC in 2001
merged into AT&T in 2005)
Internet access, variety of databases
www.prodigy.com


Questel - Orbit
Patent, trademark, scientific, chemical,
business and news information
www.questel.orbit.com


West Publishing/WESTLAW
(Thomson Reuters company)
Legal databases
www.westpub.com
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95 a month plus an hourly fee, making NYO one of the largest African American-owned online services in the country.
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