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Lesson 1

What is an e-business architecture?

If you are in business, your company strategy, solutions and process are impacted by e-business and Internet technology.
In business-to-business (B2B) transactions in particular, the greatest impact of online commerce is not its size, but that technology changes the rules of the game.
Having said this, it has also been noted that although e-business architecture has been built on technology, it is not strictly about technology. In the same way, e-business architecture is not strictly about architecture, it is about what it takes to develop an e-business solution.
Think of e-business architecture as the ordering of your business design. Your role as the architect is to structure and shape the relationships between business components, so that the business process and therefore the customer's experience is as smooth and efficient as possible.
In this module, you will learn about the role of architecture and the architect in e-business.
Client/server computing involves the coordination of assorted computing/networking devices and the coordination of various software processes. The client/server system architecture describes the physical configuration of the computing and networking devices and the client/server software architecture describes the partitioning of an application into software processes. The system architecture focuses on the physical architecture of the system. In this context, clients and servers are seen as computers rather than software processes. Simple client/server system architectures include a client (i.e., a personal computer) that links to a server (i.e., a mid-range computer) using a network (e.g., a local area network). Each computer provides processing and memory resources to the client/server application. The system architectural perspective views a client/server application as a network of computers sharing resources to solve a problem.



The client/server software architecture describes the partitioning of an application into software processes. In this context, clients and servers are seen as software processes rather than computers. These processes may reside on the same computer or they may be distributed across a network of computers. The software architectural perspective views a client/server application as a set of programming modules sharing resources to solve a problem. This chapter focuses on the client/server software architectural perspective; consequently, a client shall refer to a software process that requests services from other software processes and a server shall refer to a software process that provides services to other software processes.

By the end of the module, you should be able to perform the following tasks:
  1. Define architecture and its role in e-business
  2. Identify the scope of the architect's role and responsibilities
  3. Define the differences between the roles of the architect and the developer
  4. Identify the viewpoint and perspectives of e-business stakeholders
  5. Describe the primary business models available for e-business
  6. Explain why service quality is part of an architect's responsibility
  7. Apply quality metrics to a an e-business environment
  8. Outline the key issues and concerns that an architect must address
The next lesson defines architecture and its role in e-business.