E-commerce is an example of a complex application that involves more than just a front end and a back end.
Following is an example of the steps a user may go through, with the components that might be involved in each step.
- On a home computer, a consumer browses an e-commerce site that specializes in custom surfboards: the PC hardware stores the browser software.
- The consumer's actions are transmitted to and from an ISP, such as Earthlink or AOL, transmitted via modem and phone lines.
- The ISP network hardware receives and routes the customer's traffic: hardware (routers, servers), software (password authentication, traffic balancing), and high-bandwidth lines (Internet backbone).
- The e-commerce surf shop site's server receives the request for data; software provides specific Web page documents and launches
additional applications (keyword search engine database, product database, and personalization).
- The e-commerce site displays supplemental content fed from a third party content provider: