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Lesson 2 An introduction to basic e-Commerce concepts
ObjectiveAn overview of e-Commerce "tools"

Define types of tools used in e-Commerce Architectures and Solutions.

E-Commerce architects have a rather extensive set of tools at their disposal. This course explains the tools from which e-Commerce architectures can be built.

Elements of an e-Commerce solution

All of the elements of an e-Commerce solution are all equally important. In other words, web page authoring tools, browsers, server hardware, networks, web-based services, and databases are critical to the success of an e-Commerce architecture. All these elements have their place in an overall solution.
Each of these elements is best at providing a certain function for a given solution. For instance, the web page authoring tool allows the designer to create the Web site, the server hardware enables the created site to be broadcast over the Internet, and the database allows each transaction to be recorded.
Each of these elements needs to:
  1. Work reliably
  2. Scale appropriately
  3. Be easy to use, manage, and modify
  4. Work well with the other elements
Since all of these elements are part of the e-Commerce universal solution set, in a sense these elements are all tools for the e-Commerce architect.
The following table provides an overview for each of the e-Commerce categories we will be discussing in this course.

Category Definition Example
Networking The technologies that enable physically separate computing devices to share information Router
Middleware Allows developers to tie together disparate solutions and architectures Message Broker
Baseline technologies for e-Commerce The foundation technologies that allow a business to compete in the e-Commerce arena Operating system
Enabling technologies for e-Commerce Allow e-Businesses to increase the functionality of their site Application server
Business components services Web-based information services used by e-Commerce applications Workflow services
Business suites for e-Commerce Offer specific functionality for e-Commerce solutions Content management
Customer relationship management E-Commerce applications that automate workflow Sales automation