TO DEPLOY A SCALABLE DATABASE-

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Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

A SYSTEM FOR TEACHING

MIS AND MBA STUDENTS

TO DEPLOY A SCALABLE DATABASE
-
DRIVEN WEB ARCHITECTURE FOR
B2C E
-
COMMERCE

Alexander Y. Yap, Ph.D.

Elon University, North Carolina


Claudia Loebbecke, Ph.D.

University of Cologne, Germany

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Background


IS Environment: Five Years Teaching in two Business School
Environments (MIS & MBA students)



A variety of B2C E
-
commerce systems solutions are available for
different business needs …



But deciding on a particular systems solution can be a
challenging process



Putting things in perspective for students



Choosing the appropriate IS strategy for Business Objectives


Looking at Business Processes behind E
-
commerce systems


Assessing how different solutions and systems address short
term vs. long term strategies

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Objective


Show students different solution paths


We came up with four generic solutions models


Show different architecture scalability


Demonstrate the role of database in e
-
commerce


Show how a web application server (middleware) shuttles
data between the database and browser


Discuss the importance of web interface and its usability
(front
-
end design)


Develop and Deploy an E
-
commerce application (one
project for each student)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Business Process Optimization,
Outsourcing, & Content Development

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Stand Alone Model

(Two
-
tier Architecture)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

E
-
Commerce

Integrated with E
-
Business Systems

(Model 4


Three
-
tier & Multi
-
tier Architecture)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Web Architectures

Client

Computer

(Web Browser)

Web Server

+

Stand Alone

Database

(Access)

Client

Computer

(Web Browser)

Web Server

Database

Server

(Oracle,

SQL Server)

Client

Computer

(Web Browser)

Web Server

Database Server

Email Server

File Server

Video Server

Two
-
tier Architecture

Three
-
tier Architecture

Multi
-
tier Architecture

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

E
-
Commerce: A Two Component
Course (Teaching the Business &
Technology Components)


Students taking MIS (Graduate Level)


needed 2 semesters to cover
the business component (1) and the technology component (1)


Three
-
tier architecture


Oracle and SQL programming


Customize the Application with a lot of hand coding



Setting up the Application Server & Web/HTTP Server




MBA students learning E
-
commerce were limited to a one semester.
Business component (half a semester) and technology component
(half a semester)


Two
-
tier architecture


MS Access


Use Rapid Application Development Methods for Coding
(Wizards, Drag and Drop coding, reuse of existing
components


shopping cart)


No Server set up required


Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Student Feedback


MBA students with no database background were more
suited to learning Model 3 (just to see how technology
manages the electronic process)


MIS students preferred Model 4, because they know that
high
-
end relational database management systems (like
Oracle) work with other enterprise applications


MBA students were able to see how different systems
could be integrated with e
-
commerce systems, enabling
them to make technology acquisition decisions (Model 4)


MIS students were able to set
-
up customized e
-
commerce applications with their own coding logic, their
choice of database, and operating system (Linux)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Application

Development Environment

FLASH

Animation

(Nested in html codes)

HOMESITE

Generates Cold Fusion
Enabled

Web pages (*.cfm)





COLD FUSION

APPLICATION

SERVER

Processes Web pages
with

CF tags


Web

Page


HTML

Tags


+


Cold

Fusion

Tags


WEB/HTTP SERVER

(Microsoft IIS)


Process HTML tags


Cold Fusion Tags with
SQL scripts are
passed on to
database





DATABASE



ORACLE or


MS ACCESS

(interprets SQL scripts)


Client Software

(Home Installed)

Middleware

(University E
-
commerce Server)

Database

(University Server)

Parsing Codes

Embedded in Tags

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

TECHNOLOGIES USED


SOFTWARE TOOLS


Macromedia Homesite+ & Dreamweaver (editors
for coding)


Cold Fusion Server (Application Server
-

middleware)


MS Access Database or Oracle (relational
database; back
-
end)


Macromedia Flash MX (animation)


Others (Fireworks, Photoshop, Graphic editors)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Application Features

When we decided to use CF

(2000
-
2001)

Features

Cold Fusion (CF)

Active

Server

Pages

(ASP)

Multi
-
Platform

(Interoperability)

Windows,

HP

Unix,

Solaris,

Linux

Windows

only

Native

RDBMS

Drivers

(i
.
e
.

Oracle

drivers)

Yes

No

Simplified

One

Tag

XML

Parser


Yes

No

Clustering

and

Software

Load

Balancing

Yes

No

Security

Sandboxes

Yes

No

CORBA

/

COM

/

JAVA

Support

Native

support

for

all

three



Only

COM

is

native

to

ASP

Rapid

Deployment

(Rapid

Application

Development)

Drag

and

Drop

coding,

custom

tags,

automated

scripting

with

SQL

Builder,

Template

Wizards

No

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

RDBMS/Database Connectivity

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Cold Fusion Studio

(now Macromedia
Homesite +)


RAD
Features


You can link the tables:
‘click and drag’ the
primary key to the foreign
key


Then, double click on the
fields and they will
appear automatically


SQL Script appears
automatically


You can sort the order


by a chosen field (e.g.
date)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

RAD Tools:

Drag and Drop Query Codes

(Cold Fusion Studio
-
> Homesite Plus)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

RAP
-

Using Wizards to create

Form and Action Templates

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Select Table and Fields

that you want to include in form

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Form & Action Template Created

(product_entryform.cfm, product_entryaction.cfm)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Form Template

Design & Code

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Action Template

(CFINSERT)

Validation/Confirmation that data has been inputted into the database

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

First Step: Create Database

Data

to be Provided

Data

Content

Data

to be Collected

Data Content
(Samples)

Product Categories
(Catalog)

Product Categories (i.e.
cars, computers)

Client Information

(upon ordering)

Name, Address, E
-
Mail,
Phone

Products

(Catalog)

Product Name, Product
Description (short &
long), Price, Images
(small & large)

Payment Information

(upon ordering)

Credit Card Number,
Billing Address

Product Inventory
(Catalog)

Stock Available (quantity),
Back Orders, Date of
Delivery

Order Information

(upon ordering)

Products Ordered,
Quantity, Order
Date

Order Invoice

(after Ordering)

Order No., Item No., Items
Ordered, Total

Customer Services

(after ordering)

Complaints and
Comments, Item
and Order Tracking

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Second Step:

Show students how their data is

connected to the Server

“Creating the
‘data source’
using student’s name”

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Data source


MSAccess


set
up the path of
the database file
in the server


Oracle


create
a schema name
for each student
(using Oracle’s
userid and
password)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina


Third Step:

Creating the E
-
commerce Application:

Separating Content and Web Design

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

The

Shopping Cart

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Handling Session Variables

(Passing Data from Catalog to
Shopping Cart to Database)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Passing Data Variables

(Using different web templates)

Online

Product

Catalog

Shopping

Cart

Capture

Order Info

In Database

Product

Table

Info

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Form Variables

Inserted into the Customer Table

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina


Fourth Step:

Flash Animation


SPLASH PAGE



Create layers



Separate animated
objects for each layer



Different animation
effects



Timeline of the
animated objects



NAVIGATION BUTTONS


(optional)

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Embedding Sound



Drag the sound clip to the object



If you successfully dragged the sound, it will


appear on the frame


Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Conclusion


Students taking MIS at the Graduate level, with background in
SQL and Oracle, handled the three
-
tier architecture system very
well.


They all wanted to learn full scalability of the architecture (Model
4).


MIS students mostly combined hand
-
coding and RAD functions


MBA students learning E
-
commerce for the first time could handle
the two
-
tier architecture without a problem.


But they need to use RAD methods with minimal coding (drag &
drop, wizards, application server handled by someone else)


MBA students felt they could make technology
-
related decisions
better knowing the capabilities of web technologies to improve
business process.


Multi
-
tier architecture was only feasible if taught across several
courses (logistics limitations; cannot be compressed into 1 or 2
semesters)




Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

CFGraph


Create query


You can use
SUM to add


Use an alias


e.g “as totalsum”
for the sum of a
variable



Define the graph
as shown


Sum (Quantity x
Price)

Pie Chart

Of

Quantity Sold

Horizontal bar

Chart of

Sales Amount

Yap, Elon University, N. Carolina

Dynamic Charts based on the
Database (Sales Table)