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Related to Building E-Commerce Applications and Infrastructure but modified from Chapter 12 for Lo205 Judith Molka-Danielsen 26.02.02 Learning Objectives E-Business Application Development: approach and applications

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Related to Building E-Commerce Applications and Infrastructurebut modified from Chapter 12 for Lo205Judith Molka-Danielsen 26.02.02

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Learning Objectives

  • E-Business Application Development: approach and applications

    • Requirement Definition: know your business needs; and where are the data (dbms).

  • Develop

    • Application service providers (ASP) (do it all)

    • Turnkey, (buy package, install self)

    • Write it – (labor costs, revisions, option OOP)

    • Buy it on a e-market, (evaluating packages, RFP)

  • Install, operate, maintain (self, outsource)

    • Service Level Agreements (SLA)

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Figure 12-3EC Application Development Process

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A Development approach

  • Development process

    • Step 1: EC architecture creation--systems analysis approach

    • Step 2: Select a development option

    • Step 3: Installing, connecting, and more

    • Step 4: Deployment

    • Step 5: Operation and maintenance

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As with any project management process

  • Form a Team to manage the process and vendors

  • Must Collaborate with business partners

  • Must Periodically evaluate system performance

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Example of an EC Applications: A storefront

  • A storefront—built on seller’s server

    • B2C storefronts – required functionality

      • Discover, search and compare products

      • Select product ad negotiate price

      • Aid in evaluation of products and services

      • Payment of purchase and order processing

      • Order confirmation

      • Guest book for comments and contacts

      • Credit verification system

      • Arrange delivery (tracking)

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Another EC Applications – a storefront B2B

  • A storefront—built on seller’s server

    • Suppliers’ sell-side in B2B

      • Personalized catalogs

      • B2B payment gate

      • Electronic contract negotiation

      • Product configuration

      • Ability to use m-commerce

      • Affiliate program capabilities

      • Integration with corporate back-end

      • auctions

  • E-procurement and reverse auctions

    • Personalized aggregation of catalogs

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Personalized pages

Security and privacy protection

Integration capabilities

Searching and indexing


Performance caching


Polls and evaluations

E-mail service


Major EC Applications - Enterprise portals – expected services

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Collaboration services

Community services

Web-automated workflow

Integrated business process solutions

Data mining

Transaction flow

Language translation

Central coordination of global logistics

Integration services

Negotiation mechanisms

Comprehensive links

Major EC Applications - Enterprise Exchanges- expected services

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Developing an EC Architecture

  • The 6 steps of development are:

    • Step 1: Define business goals and vision

    • Step 2: Define the information architecture

    • Step 3: Define data architecture

    • Step 4: Define your application architecture

    • Step 5: Define the EC technical architecture

    • Step 6: Define the organization architecture

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Availability of many off-the-shelf packages

Saves time

Requires few dedicated personnel

Not the first and only user


Software doesn’t exactly fit needs

Loss of control over improvements and versions

Difficult to integrate

Vendors may drop product or go out of business

Development Strategies –buy applications (turnkey approach)

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Development Strategies forEC Applications (cont.)

  • Lease (ASP provide the whole service)

    • Types of leasing vendors

      • Lease the application from an outsourcer and install it on company premises

      • Use an application system provider (ASP)

  • In-house development: insourcing (make it)

    • Development approaches

      • Build from scratch

      • Build from components (XML, Visual Basic, Perl)

    • Prototyping methodology

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Other Development Strategies forEC Applications (cont.)

  • Also buying services

    • Join an e-marketplace or exchange

    • Join a third-party or reverse auction

    • Joint ventures

    • Join a consortia

    • Hybrid approach

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Outsourcing and Applications Service Providers

  • Outsourcing

    • Internet malls

    • ISPs

    • Telecommunication companies

    • Software houses

    • Outsourcers and others

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Applications Service Providers

  • Benefits to the ASP vendor

    • Companies generate revenues from sources other than connectivity and transport

      • Lucrative Web site hosting

      • Web design consulting

      • Hosted applications with access charges

    • Benefits to the leasing companies

      • Saves time, expenses (labor) in development stage

      • Reduces software maintenance, upgrading, and training time

      • Reduces time-too-market

      • Enhances ability to adapt to changing market conditions

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Functionalities of development packages and criteria of choice

Information requirements

User friendliness

Hardware and software resources


Maintenance services


Vendor quality and track record

Estimating costs

Measuring benefits


Forecasting and planning for technology evolution

Criteria for Selecting a Development Approach

  • Criteria

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Scaling choice






Database format and portability

Application and data storage

Scope of service

Support services


Criteria for Selecting a Development Approach (cont.)

  • Criteria (cont.)

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System Analysis Activities and Tools choice

  • Requirements analysis

    • Methods for determining requirements

    • Joint Application Development (JAD)

  • Modeling approaches may be based on:

    • Activity/process

    • Use case/object-oriented

    • Interprocess

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System Analysis Activities choiceand Tools (cont.)

  • Component-based development

    • Components evolved from objects of object-oriented methodology

    • They are much larger than objects and now serve as plug-and-play building blocks for developing large complex systems

    • Reasons for using components

      • Code reusability

      • Support for heterogeneous infrastructures and platforms

      • Rapid assembly of new business applications

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System Analysis Activities choiceand Tools (cont.)

  • Enterprise application integration

    • Aims to integrate applications (including internal applications) that have been developed by different organizations

    • If source code is unavailable (altering the application is not possible), EAI becomes the glue between the applications

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Figure 12-6 choiceLevels of Enterprise Integration

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Electronic Catalogs, Shopping Carts choice

  • Electronic catalogs, shopping carts, and merchant servers

    • Templates or wizards for creating storefronts and catalog pages

    • E-shopping carts

    • Web-based order forms

    • Database for product descriptions, etc.

    • Integration with 3rd party software—taxes, shipping, etc.

  • Electronic payment systems

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Web chatting choice

Communication centers

Customer service

Community discussion

Video chat


Text streams

Ambient Webcasts

Streaming audio

Internet telephony

Web Chatting, Webcasting,and Internet Telephony

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EC Suites choice

  • Suite—combined set of tools giving builder and users:

    • Greater flexibility

    • Specialization

    • Customization

    • Integration

    • Support for complete functionality

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Figure 12-8 choiceOpen Market EC Server Architecture

Source: Interworld,com/solutions

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EC Suites choice

  • IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite

    • Web server for catalog management

    • Application server for security

      • Reverse auctions

      • Exchanges

      • Contracts

    • EC suite server sell-side ordering and auctions

    • Database server

    • HTTP interface

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IBM WebSphere Commerce Suite choice

  • Delivers an open, standards-based solution platform with integrated components for building e-marketplace

  • Facilitates operational efficiency and high return on investment

  • Uses Java and XML technologies to aggregate sellers’ catalogs

  • Provides optimal customization and flexibility

  • Incorporates e-marketplace functionality

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Figure 12-10 choiceWeb to Database Connection

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Connecting to Databases, Legacy Systems, and Business Partners

  • Connecting to business partners

    • Critical to success of EC, especially for B2B applications

    • Issues to be dealt with:

      • Connectivity

      • Compatibility

      • Security

      • Scalability


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Selecting a software package Partners

  • Steps in selecting software package

    • 1: Identification of suitable packages

    • 2: Determination of detailed evaluation criteria

    • 3: Evaluation of candidate packages

    • 4: Choosing a package

    • 5: Negotiating the contract

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General category of packages Partners

  • Identification of suitable packages

    • Sources of information about packages

      • Hardware vendors

      • User groups

      • Technical and trade publications

      • Consultants experienced with an application area or industry

      • Friends and competitors

    • Preliminary evaluation criteria to eliminate all but a few of the most promising packages

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Evaluation criteria Partners

  • Detail what one must know about the package, and how important each criteria

    • Characteristics of the vendor

    • Functional requirements of the system

    • Technical requirements the software must satisfy

    • Amount and quality of documentation provided

    • Vendor support of package

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More selection criteria Partners

  • Requirements for purchase (RFP) is developed including:

  • Information about the vendor

    • How long the vendor has been in the EC software business

    • Number of employees, financial and location of its sales and support offices

    • First release date of system being considered

    • Date of last revision

    • List of companies using the software to contact as references

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Developing the RFP Partners

  • Project team develops essential functional requirements the systems must satisfy (RFP)

    • Mandatory requirements

    • Desired features

    • Stated as questions about the characterizes of the package

    • Ease with which software can be tailored to fit company’s current needs or enhanced in the future

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Evaluate candidates for RFP Partners

  • RFP is sent to short list of qualified vendors

  • Responses generate massive volumes of information for evaluation to determine

    • Gaps between the company’s needs

    • Capabilities of the proposed application packages

  • To help determine which package, may use a table (see Table 12-2)

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Choose the package fro the short list Partners

  • Determine how the packages might be modified to remove any discrepancies with the company’s desired EC application

  • Most important factor is additional development effort required to tailor the system:

    • To company’s needs

    • To integrate with company’s environment (legacy systems)

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Choose the package (cont.) Partners

  • People have to adapt to the software

  • Significant changes in how they do their jobs

  • Need user Commitment to system to succeed

  • Project team should verify that:

    • Users of the system support the decision to buy the selected package

    • IS people who will support the system agree that the system will work in their environment and that they can support is satisfactorily

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Contract negotiations Partners

  • Contract negotiation (EC managers and/or IS department)

    • Specifies the price of the software

    • Determines the type and amount of support to be provided

    • Integral part of purchase process

      • Company’s power is in being able to choose another vendor’s product

      • Concessions from vendor must be negotiated before final decision on which package to buy

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Service Level Agreements Partners

  • Service level agreements (SLAs)

    • Formal agreements regarding the division of work between a company and its vendors

    • SLA can achieve facilitation and coordination by:

      • Defining the partners’ responsibilities

      • Providing a framework for designing support services

      • Allowing the company to retain as much control as possible over their own system

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Vendor and Software Selection Partners(cont.)

  • Service level agreements (SLAs) (cont.)

    • Four steps for establishing SLA

      • Defining levels

      • Dividing computing responsibility at each level

      • Designing the details of the service levels

      • Implementing service levels

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Site Management and PartnersUsage Analysis (cont.)

  • E-commerce management tools (cont.)

    • MainView for e-business management

      • Manages mainframe-based EC applications

      • Monitors mainframe network connections

      • Systems administration

    • Service assurance center for e-business—methodology, products, and services designed to optimize performance and availability of business applications

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Process of Storefront Development Partners

  • Issues to be addressed before choosing the proper solution include:

    • Customers

    • Merchandising

    • Sales service

    • Promotion

    • Transaction processing

    • Marketing data and analysis

    • Branding

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Availability and fast loading Partners

Simplicity of site structure

Use of shopping cart

Good navigation


Maximizing ways to order and pay

Establishing credibility

Offering personalized service

Pre- and post sales support

Realistic pricing

Process of Storefront Development (cont.)

  • Design guidelines

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Managerial Issues Partners

  • It is the business issues that count

  • In-house or outsource

  • Consider an ASP

  • Do a detailed EC architecture study

  • Security and ethics

  • Choosing a vendor/software

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Bob the builder Partners: In-house or outsource?