Background of ecommerce.doc

towerdevelopmentData Management

Dec 16, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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1.

Overview


I have been assigned the task to
identifying

various client side technologies and
server side technologies and
undertake
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.

2.

Introduction


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

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 Ecommerce sector.


3.

Technologies


3.1.

Client side technologies


“Client
-
side scripts run within the
user’s

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

Ba
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 normal
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.”

(microsoft.com, 2007)


3.2.

Server side technologies


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

(Wikipedia.org, 2007)




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4.

Brief Description of

Ecommerce


4.1.

History

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 commer
cial use. Since that 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.


(
Ecommerce
-
Land.com
, 200
7
)


4.2.

Current Development of
E
commerce


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

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


4.3.

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
intelligen
t based systems will make browsing easier content will be pushed rather than
pulled. Vendors will benefit in more sales of products that customers will 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.”

(consult
-
accountacy.com, 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 updated and
improved in most areas whether it be software or hardware. The future for
online businesses will si
mply 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 be using computers in regards with online shopping which in
turn means more ecommerce website being
setup
.
S
o unless there is a nuclear
fallout, ecommerce is here to stay.

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5.

Technologies Involved in Ecommerce


5.1.

Introduction


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



UNIX and Linux running Apache web server (60.17%)



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

(
Lowest
-
price
-
hosting.com
, 2007)


According to the Netcraft survey shown above, it is made
rather
clear which
pla
tforms and

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

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

int
o the field of

platforms, web servers,
databases and scripting languages

being used
in
open source
technologies

and
Microsoft
technologies
.


5.2.

Open Source:
Linux running Apache web server


*
LINUX is a UNIX
-
like
based
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,
MySQL, and Perl/PHP/Python) which has achieved popularity among developers, and
which is one of the more co
mmon platforms for website hosting.


(Wikipedia.org, 2007)


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


LAMP refers to a solution

stack of software;
this is often

open
-
source software

and

used to run dynamic Web sites or servers.



L
(inux)

-

platform


Please refer to the above
marked *

description of LINUX.


A
(pache)



web server


“Apache has been the most popular web server packag
e 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. Apache is ideal for companies using web design,
content, and interactivity tools. Apache
supports TomCat
, langu
ages like PHP and Perl,
and other popular products like Adobe® Macromedia® Flash®.



(redhat.com, 2007)


Apache is mostly used for UNIX, Linux and Solaris platforms.


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

of
hits
everyday

without any problems
.

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

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M
(ySQL)

-

database



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


RDBMS's play a central role in many types of eCommerce and eBusiness solutions.
Amazon.com and eBay.com are examples of complex eCommerce solutions that depend
on database applications t
o transact business with their customers and partners.


(
Panorama
-
publishing.com, 2007)


“MySQL is easy to use, yet extremely powerful, secure, and scalable. 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 knowledge

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



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



It's inexpensive: MySQL is distributed un
der the GNU General Public License
(GPL) and available by free download from www.mysql.com.



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



It's scalable: MySQL can handle almost any amount of data, up to as much as
50 million rows or m
ore. 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 r
uns on many operating systems,
including Novell NetWare, Windows Linux, many varieties of UNIX (such as
Sun Solaris, AIX, and DEC UNIX), OS/2, FreeBSD, and others.



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, including Linux, UNIX, and Windows.”

(Panorama
-
publishing.com, 2007)



P
(HP)



scripting
language


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


Examples of PHP
in action
:

http://www.properties
-
in
-
europe.com/

-

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

http://www.houseandtechno.com/

-

An upbeat web site which uses streaming MP3 technology.

htt
p://www.caralarms4you.co.uk/

-

A small family run car security company.

http://www.on
-
line
-
consultants.co.uk/

-

A team of technical authors based in the UK.



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5.3.

Summary


In regards to the
Linux

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

distributions

are often aimed at specialised fields and require a certain level of
knowledge in regards to installing, running a
nd maintaining a
Linux

system.

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, providing both secure (HTTPS) and unsecure

(HTTP)
web connections.


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


http://www.suncoastlug.org/proscons.html

-

Linux Pros and Cons

http://searchenterpriselinux.techtarget.com/expert/KnowledgebaseAnswer/0,289625,sid39_gci1
041455,00.html

-

What are the major pros and cons of Linux versus Win
dows 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 that is “made to measure” (c) apache is ef
ficient
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 section
5.2,

and finally (c) apache is supported 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, show 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, I
IS, 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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5.4.

Microsoft:
Window NT/2000 running Internet 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. Most Web
hosting companies and resellers
offer Windows
-
based hosting in some capacity or
other.”

(studiodog.com, 2007)


Windows NT/2000



platform


Please refer to the above statement.


IIS



web server


“(Internet Information Services) Microsoft's suite of Internet
-
related software included
with

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

(
digitalsignagetoday.com
, 2007)


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

(ebusinessoftware.co.uk, 2007)


Access
/MySQL



database


“Microsoft Access is a relational database management system from Microsoft whi
ch
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
-
compliant data container.


Access is used by sma
ll 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 basic web based applications
hosted on Micro
soft'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.”

(Wikipedia.org, 2007)


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

(orafag.com, 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,
robustn
ess, and ease of use.”

(vitalnet.net, 2007)





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ASP.net
/SQL



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
t
hrough to large, enterprise
-
class web applications.”

(msdn2.microsoft.com, 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 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.”

(Wikipedia.org
, 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.”

(rtlabs.com, 2007)


5.5.

Summary


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 window
s 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 management software, Microsoft access is rela
tively
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 lot

more at a
instance in time.

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6.

Reference
s


Microsoft.com (2007) Developing web applications (accessed 20 Nov. 07)

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/win
dows2000serv/reskit/iisbook/c06_
client
-
side_technologies.mspx?mfr=true


Wikipedia.org (2007) Server
-
side scripting (accessed 20 Nov. 07)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Server
-
side_scripting


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

http://www.ecommerce
-
land.com/history_ecommerce.html


Lowest
-
price
-
hosting.com (2007) Articles of web server platfor
m.shtml(accessed 17 Nov. 07)

http://www.lowest
-
price
-
web
-
hosting.com/articles/web
-
server
-
platform.shtml


Wikipedia.org (2007) Servers and supercomputers (accessed 1
5 Nov. 07)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux


Redhat.com (2007) Red hat enterprise linux as a web server (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http
://www.redhat.com/f/pdf/rhel/infosheet_webserver.pdf


Panorama
-
publishing.com

(2007)
Online Databases
-

What is mySQL?

(accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://www.panorama
-
publishing.c
om/services/dev/databases/mysql1/



Panorama
-
publishing.com

(2007)
Online Databases
-

Benefits of mySQL

(accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://www.panorama
-
publishing.com/services/dev
/databases/mysql2/


Studiodog.com (2007) Glossary
-
W (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://www.studiodog.com/glossary
-
w.html


Msdn2.microsoft.com (2007) ASP.net (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en
-
gb/asp.net/default.aspx


D
igitalsignagetoday.com

(2007)
Definitions of IIS

(accessed 16 Nov. 07)

www.digitalsignagetoday.com/glossary.php


Ebusinessoftware.co.uk (20
07)
Electronic business terms and definitions

(accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://www.ebusinesssoftware.co.uk/index.php?p=74&pp=&i=16&title=read_more


Wikipedia.org (2007)
Microsoft Access (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Access


Wikipedia.org (2007) SQL (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://en.wik
ipedia.org/wiki/SQL


Rtlabs.com (2007) Glossary SQL (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

http://www.rtlabs.com/macsql/manual3/glossary/main.html


Orafag.com (2007) Glossary MySQL (accessed 16 Nov. 0
7)

http://orafaq.com/glossary/faqglosm.htm


Vitanet.net (2007) Support MySQL glossary (accessed 16 Nov. 07)

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http://www.vitalnet.net/h/sup
port_glossary.html


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

http://www.consult
-
accountancy.com/blog/?p=16



http://www.dcs.napier.ac.uk/~mm/wdd_tutorial/ecommerce.htm