Background of ecommerce1.doc

flameluxuriantData Management

Dec 16, 2012 (5 years and 7 months ago)


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I have been assigned the task


various client side technologies and server side
technologies and
further research into those fields

and show how they relate to ecommerce.

In the ‘research’ sections I shall provide my re
search evidence and I shall then in my summaries,
discuss each aspect. My final thoughts and decisions shall be contained in the conclusion section of
this document which is located at the end of this report.



I have been asked to compile a b
rief, non technical report into the field of
commerce. This report
shall briefly discuss the history of
commerce and the various aspects involved in the development of

including client side technologies and server side technologies
. This repo
rt shall also
contain brief explanations and discussions regarding various client and server side technologies and
how they relate to the
commerce sector.




Client side technologies

side scripts run within the

browser, using t
he processing power of the users (client) computer. They
can be written in any language supported by the browser; the most common is JavaScript, which is supported by
most browsers. Some browsers, such as Internet

Explorer, also support Microsoft Visual

sic Scripting Edition
(VBScript). Client
side scripting enhances Web pages with a variety of custom capabilities. For example, you can
use scripts to perform field edits and calculations, manipulate the client window, or validate form input. Scripts
ly appear directly on the page they affect, but they can be used to manipulate the content of pages in another
frame or browser window as well.”

(, 2007)


Client side scripts run within the user’s browser meaning the user does not
have to wait for a response to
his/her request. One of the percs when using such a technique is the web server will not get bombarded with
thousands of simple requests because it is all happing within the user’s computer, which means the web
server can ru
n at a decent level constantly.

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Server side technologies

side scripting is a web server technology in which a user's request is fulfilled by running a script directly
on the web server to generate dynamic HTML pages. It is usually used to provi
de interactive web sites that interface
to databases or other data stores.”

(, 2007)

The benefits of using a server
side configuration

The main advantage is that it reduces the download size for end users by optimising what they actually d

the stylesheet and script are processed on the server, and only include the code for the features you're actually

so you get smaller and faster
loading menus.

The output code looks to the browser like regular CSS and javascript, and is c
ached just the same as it otherwise
would be. Depending on the options you use, the total filesize can be as low as 20K! For more details about this
particular aspect, please see Reducing th
e filesize by removing features found at

A server
side configuration also has the tremendous advantage that the styling can be generated as pure CSS, so
the ma
nual process of generating a noscript stylesheet is no longer required.

(, 2007)


side technologies run directly from the web server, thus hiding the various scripts from the users.
Server side scripts are use to interact with
databases, and with the above mentioned point about hiding
scripts from users, the scripts that govern the interaction between the web site and the database are hidden
from the user to.

Because server
side technologies run the web sites from the web serve
r, when a user
requests a web site it loads quicker because only the requested information is sent to the users browser.

Additional information

One point that is critical to mention for this report is the antivirus strategy for client
side and server

Please refer to appendix 1

antivirus strategies.

In today’s market,
viruses are

. According to the BBC

), there are 53,000 computer viruses in existence,
with a new virus being detected every 18 seconds.

The “ILOVEYOU” virus infected up to 45 million computers, causing £7 billion worth of damage world

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Brief Description of Ecommerce



of Ecommerce

“History of ecommerce dates back to the invention of the very old notion of “sell and buy”, electricity, cables,
computers, modems, and the Internet. Ecommerce became possible in 1991 when the Internet was opened to
commercial use. Since tha
t date thousands of businesses have taken up residence at web sites.

History of ecommerce is a history of a new, virtual world which is evolving according to the customer advantage. It
is a world which we are all building together brick by brick, laying a

secure foundation for the future generations.

, 200


Current Development of

Statistics show that the growth in internet sales is relentless & that there is a marked difference between those
businesses using ecommerce as a

tool & those that don’t.

Marks & Spencers recovery is in part due to its ecommerce activity . Tesco’s continuing growth is the same story.

Whereas companies that haven’t, such as Next HMV & MVC, suffered & complained about the impact of online
sales on
their businesses.

"There can no longer be any doubt that the internet is a major part of the

retail landscape,

and that it will dominate the retail agenda for the next

several years" BBC News quote.

(, 2007)

Ecommerce has come
on in l
eaps and bounds since the early 1990’s.

There have been major
improvements in the areas security, standards, functionality and accessibility.

There is no doubt that
to survive in today’s ‘virtual’ commerce world market, companies have to have their produ
cts or
services advertised online, as stated above in the statement with the examples of companies
with ecommerce and companies without.


Future Development of Ecommerce

“In the coming year, five years, and ten years the only thing that we can
be sure of in relation to ecommerce is that
nothing will stay the same. The development of more intelligent based systems will make browsing easier content
will be pushed rather than pulled. Vendors will benefit in more sales of products that customers wil
l not otherwise
thought of buying. The technology will be less important than the strategy the only limit will be the bravery of the
management teams involved, technically anything is possible. The internet and EC will become part of the way we
live our
everyday lives a measure of its success will be by how much we realise it.”

-, 2007)

The only area I think is important to mention from the above statement is the fact that the internet and
ecommerce will constantly be getting update
d and improved in most areas whether it be software or
hardware. The future for online businesses will simply improve because more products shall be on
offer and made more available to the public. As the generations grow up, more and more people will
using computers in regards with online shopping which in turn means more ecommerce website
So unless there is a nuclear fallout, ecommerce is here to stay.

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Technologies Involved in Ecommerce



“According to Netcraft, a company
that keeps statistics on the leading web servers and the platforms on the
Internet, the most popular platforms and web servers are:

UNIX and Linux running Apache web server (60.17%)

Window NT/2000 running Internet Information Server (IIS) (30.78%)”

, 2007)

According to the Netcraft survey shown above, it is made
clear which platforms and

servers are being most commonly used in today’s ecommerce market. There are of course various
other platforms and web servers availabl

use, but for the sake of this ‘brief’ report, I shall be
focusing on
identifying and research

into the field of

platforms, web servers, databases and
scripting languages

being used
open source

and Microsoft


Open Sou
Linux running Apache web server

operating system and is one of the most prominent examples of free
software and open source development.

LINUX is the cornerstone of the LAMP server
software combination (Linux, Apache, M
ySQL, and
Perl/PHP/Python) which has achieved popularity among developers, and which is one of the more common
platforms for website hosting.

(, 2007)

In accordance with the above statement from Wikipedia, I shall endeavour to research and e
xplain the
main areas involved in the open source website hosting technologies.

LAMP refers to a solution stack of software;
this is often

source software


used to run
dynamic Web sites or servers.




Please refer to the above
marked *

description of LINUX.


web server

“Apache has been the most popular web server package on the Internet for over a decade. Netcraft’s November
2005 Web Server Survey shows more than 70% of all websites on the Internet use Apache. Apach
e is ideal for
companies using web design, content, and interactivity tools. Apache
supports TomCat
, languages like PHP and
Perl, and other popular products like Adobe® Macromedia® Flash®.

(, 2007)

Apache is mostly used for UNIX, Linux and Sol
aris platforms.

Apache can handle great server loads and run on sites that get million


without any

Apache is
stable, it's highly configurable and it’s free.

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MySQL is a relational database management s
ystem (RDBMS). A relational database stores data in separate
tables rather than putting all the data into one large repository. Doing so adds tremendous speed and flexibility.

RDBMS's play a central role in many types of eCommerce and eBusiness solutions. and are
examples of complex eCommerce solutions that depend on database applications to transact business with their
customers and partners.

-, 2007)

“MySQL is easy to use, yet extremely powerful, secure, and s
calable. And because of its small size and speed, it is
the ideal database solution for Web sites.

Some of its advantages include the following:

It's easy to use: While a basic knowledge of SQL is required

and most relational databases require the
same kn

MySQL is very easy to use. With only a few simple SQL statements, you can build and
interact with MySQL.

It's secure: MySQL includes solid data security layers that protect sensitive data from intruders. Rights can
be set to allow some or all priv
ileges to either individuals or groups. Passwords are encrypted.

It's inexpensive: MySQL is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and available by free
download from

It's fast: In the interest of speed, MySQL designers mad
e the decision to offer fewer features than other
major database competitors, such as Sybase and Oracle. However, despite having fewer features than the
other commercial database products, MySQL still offers all of the features required by most database

It's scalable: MySQL can handle almost any amount of data, up to as much as 50 million rows or more.
The default file size limit is about 4 GB. However, you can increase this number to a theoretical limit of 8
TB of data.

It manages memory very

well: MySQL has been thoroughly tested to prevent memory leaks.

It runs on many operating systems: MySQL runs on many operating systems, including Novell NetWare,
Windows Linux, many varieties of UNIX (such as Sun Solaris, AIX, and DEC UNIX), OS/2, FreeBS
D, and

It supports several development interfaces: Development interfaces include JDBC, ODBC, and scripting
(PHP and Perl), letting you create database solutions that run not only in your NetWare 6.5 environment,
but across all major platforms, in
cluding Linux, UNIX, and Windows.”

-, 2007)



PHP is a reflective programming language designed for producing dynamic web pages. PHP is mainly
used in server
side application software.

Examples of PHP


A European property portal, which has a searchable database of properties.


An upbeat web site which uses streaming MP3 technology.


A small family run car security company.



A team of technical authors based in the UK.

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Microsoft uses the Internet Information Server (IIS) for Web hosting and implements its standard Internet
Server Application Programming Information (ISAPI). Figure 1 shows a

comparison between how the ASP
updates its dynamic information from the database as compared to the CGI approach.

Fig. 1 CGI and ASP access to Databases

Figure 2 shows how the interaction between the Web server and the database takes place on a Window
s NT

Fig. 2 ASP script with ACCESS Database on IIS

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The Unix based system uses Apache for an HTTP Server and implements, amongst other languages, PHP
for scripting purposes. Figure 3 shows how PHP updates its dynamic information from the dat
abase on a
Linux platform.

Fig. 3 Linux implementation of PHP access to Databases

Figure 4 shows how the interaction between the Web server and the database takes place on a UNIX / Linux

Fig. 4 PHP script with SQL Database on Apache

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In regards to the

platform, it is open source, so it is free.
The only negative aspect which I think
is important to mention is the fact that


are often aimed at specialised fields and
require a certain level of knowl
edge in regards to installing, running and maintaining a


Linux contains all the software components needed to function as a web server. This includes the
Apache Server (httpd) software: the world’s most commonly
used web server platform, pr
oviding both
secure (HTTPS) and unsecure (HTTP) web connections.

For further ready into the pros and cons regarding the Linux platform, please visit


x Pros and Cons,289625,sid39_gci1041455,00.html


What are

major pros and cons of Linux versus Windows for the corporate desktop?

The reason I picked apache web server is because it (a) comes as part of the bundled software
collection in Linux systems, (b) apache is customizable meaning you can build a server th
at is “made
to measure” (c) apache is efficient in regards to a lot of effort has been put into optimizing the apache
C code for performance, (d) apache runs on a wide variety of operating systems as mentioned in

and finally (c) apache is supp
orted by the Apache Group which consists of a large number
of dedicated users

which means quick support response

The reason why I picked PHP and MySQL for this report is mainly because they complement each
other. PHP collects data, and MySQL can in turn

store the information. PHP can create dynamic
calculations, and MySQL can provide it with the variables it uses.
PHP can create a shopping cart for
your web store, but MySQL can then keep the data in a format PHP can use to create receipts on
demand, sh
ow current order status, or even suggest other related products.

There are of course other variant to the LAMP system setup, for example:

WAMP = for Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP

FWIP = for Firebird, Windows, IIS, and PHP

WIMP = for Windows, IIS, MySQL
, and PHP

WIMSA or WISA = for Windows, IIS, Microsoft SQL Server, and ASP

WISC = for Windows, IIS, SQL Server, and C#

WISP = for Windows, IIS, SQL Server, and PHP

WIPP = for Windows, IIS, PostgreSQL, and PHP

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Window NT/2000 running Interne
t Information Server (IIS)

“Windows NT/2000 is graphic
based, multitasking Operating Systems developed over the past few years by
Microsoft. Both can act as standalone OS for personal computers/workstations, or can serve as an OS for a Web
site/network. M
ost Web hosting companies and resellers offer Windows
based hosting in some capacity or other.”

(, 2007)

Windows NT/2000


Please refer to the above statement.


web server

“(Internet Information Services) Microsoft's suite of

related software included with the Windows 2000 and
above operating system software. IIS provides both FTP server and web server capability.”

, 2007)

“Short for Internet Information Server, Microsoft's Web server that runs on Windows NT/2000 platforms. With IIS,
oft includes a set of programs for building and administering Web sites, a search engine, and support for
writing Web
based applications that access database.”

(, 2007)



“Microsoft Access is a relational datab
ase management system from Microsoft which combines the relational
Microsoft Jet Database Engine with a graphical user interface and software development tools.

Access can use data stored in Access/Jet, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, or any ODBC
t data container.

Access is used by small businesses, within departments of large corporations, and hobby programmers to create ad
hoc customized desktop systems for handling the creation and manipulation of data. Access can be used as a
database for basi
c web based applications hosted on Microsoft's Internet Information Services and utilizing
Microsoft Active Server Pages ASP. Most typical web applications should use tools like ASP/Microsoft SQL Server
or the LAMP stack.”

(, 2007)

“MySQL is
a simple, yet powerful Open Source Software relational database management system that uses SQL.”

(, 2007)

“MySQL is a true multi
user, multithreaded SQL database server. MySQL is fast and flexible enough to allow you
to store logs and pictures
in it. Its main goals are speed, robustness, and ease of use.”

(, 2007)

scripting language

“Microsoft ASP.NET is a free technology that allows programmers to create dynamic web applications. ASP.NET
can be used to create
anything from small, personal websites through to large, enterprise
class web applications.”

(, 2007)

“SQL is a standard interactive and programming language for getting information from and updating a database.
Although SQL is both an
ANSI and an ISO standard, many database products support SQL with proprietary
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extensions to the standard language. Queries take the form of a command language that lets you select, insert,
update, find out the location of data, and so forth. There is also
a programming interface.”

(, 2007)

“Structured Query Langauge. SQL is a special
purpose, nonprocedural language that supports the definition,
manipulation, and control of data in relational database management systems.”

(, 2007)



To be honest, I don’t think there is much to say in this summary. Microsoft systems and their setups
are easy to learn, easy to use and comes with very good support help. The negative side about
Microsoft is the setup cost.

Obviously the windows
server has been upgraded from the windows nt/2000 system I discussed in
section 5.4
. The current windows server is windows 2007 but at the moment a beta version of
windows server 2008 is available to download and install.

In regards to the database manag
ement software, Microsoft access is relatively easy to use, but is in
my opinion only suitable to small to medium size businesses. For bigger operations something like
mySQL or even oracle systems would be better to use purely because they can handle
a lo

more at a
instance in time.

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Appendix 1

antivirus strategies

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References (2007) Developing web applications (accessed 20 Nov. 07)
side_technologies.mspx?mfr=true (2007) Server
side scripting (accessed 20 Nov. 07)
side_scripting (2007) Benefits of using a server
side configuration (accessed 27 Nov. 2007)
al/depth/conf/ (2007) Ecommerce (accessed 27 Nov. 07)

- (
2007) History of ecommerce (accessed 15 Nov. 07)


- (2007) Articles of web server platform.shtml(accessed 17 Nov. 07)

platform.shtml (2007) Servers and supercomputers (accessed 15 Nov. 07) (2007) Red hat en
terprise linux as a web server (accessed 16 Nov. 07)


Online Databases

What is mySQL?

ed 16 Nov. 07)



Online Databases

Benefits of mySQL

(accessed 16 Nov. 07)

- (2007) Glossary
W (accessed 16 Nov. 07)
w.html (2007) (accessed 16 Nov. 07)


Definitions of IIS

(accessed 16 Nov. 07) (2007)
Electronic business terms and definitions

(accessed 16 Nov. 07) (2007) Microsoft Access (accessed 16 Nov. 07)
i/Microsoft_Access (2007) SQL (accessed 16 Nov. 07) (2007) Glossary SQL (accessed 16 Nov. 07) (2007) Glossary MySQL (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

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13 (2007) Support
MySQL glossary (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

- (2007) Future of ecommerce / Author: David Watson (accessed 20 Nov. 07)

- (2007) Appendix 1 (access 27 Nov. 07)