This paper endeavours to determine some of the definitive functions and roles of DE, and further, to relate those characteristics to fundamental concerns with the contemporary DE process. The authors discuss current use of web technologies in DE delivery, and relate a case study of web technology use in contemporary business. The authors argue that principles evinced from this example could be embraced to create new methods of DE delivery using contemporary web and Internet technologies. To ensure the successful deployment of web-based technologies in education a strategic, essentially user-centred, focus is necessary.