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Lesson 1

Baseline technologies for e-Commerce

List e-Commerce baseline technology categories. What are e-Commerce baseline technologies? The incredible demand for e-Commerce solutions has spawned hundreds of new products that specifically provide functions for e-Commerce solutions. Nevertheless, none of these products come close to addressing all of the requirements of an e-Commerce solution. In fact, many of the technical elements found in e-Commerce solutions predate the explosion of the Web in the late 1990s. Thus, e-Commerce-specific products are built on top of or in concert with these older building-block technologies in a complete e-Commerce solution. We refer to these older building blocks as baseline e-Commerce technologies.

Baseline ecommerce Technology Categories

Baseline e-Commerce technologies consist of various hardware, network, and software elements. These elements form the primary architectural infrastructure and provide customization and management tools for e-Commerce solutions. We will be covering five categories of baseline e-Commerce enabling technologies in this module.
Baseline Hardware Technologies
Baseline Hardware Technologies

Hardware includes the physical computing resources that provide the execution engine for software and networks.
  1. Auxiliary devices for information display (like monitors and printers)
  2. Information capture devices (like scanners and swipe machines)
  3. Storage devices

The focus of this module will be client hardware (PCs, handheld devices) and server hardware typically involved in e-Commerce applications.

Operating Systems (OS)

Operating systems (OS) provide the basic execution and management environment for the execution of applications software. They are typically associated with a limited set of hardware. In other words, most OSes are only designed to run on certain hardware devices. Specifically, an operating system take semiconductor-based instruction sets and make the instructions available for higher-level programming. They also provide the execution environment for higher-level programs. In some cases, particularly in the case of client hardware, the OS provides the user interface[1] (UI). In the case of most e-Commerce solutions, however, the Web browser handles the user interface instead of the operating system.

Database and data management
Database and data management systems are software products that store, manage, and provide intelligent access to structured data and information.

Packaged applications are solution-specific software products that encapsulate business logic and data structures to support specific business processes in organizations. The buyer, a value added reseller, or another third party installs the software on the target physical platform. Over the past decade, most corporations have shifted from building their own applications to purchasing packaged applications (and then often customizing the packaged applications).

Turnkey solutions are packaged applications delivered pre-installed on a specific hardware and/or network. Packaged applications only include software. (Note that we will discuss packaged applications and turnkey solutions in the same lesson.)

[1] User Interface (UI): The human-machine interface used by people to actually invoke commands on the computer.