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Summary of Reading Assignments: Push Technologies, Internet Portals, Search Engines, Web Servers, Bots, Shopping Carts… Dr. Deepak Khazanchi Push Technologies

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Summary of Reading Assignments: Push Technologies, Internet Portals, Search Engines, Web Servers, Bots, Shopping Carts…

Dr. Deepak Khazanchi

push technologies
Push Technologies
  • An automated delivery of specific and current information from a Web server to the user’s computer’s hard drive (Webcasting is an implementation of push technology)
  • May be used to provide information on
    • Health benefit updates
    • Employee awards
    • Changes in corporate policies
    • Other relevant information
bots or intelligent agents
Bots or Intelligent Agents
  • The word Bot is derived from 'robot', and refers to a computer program performs functions such as information gathering, information filtering, or mediation (running in the background) on behalf of a person or entity.
    • A bot (sometimes called an agent) typically searches the Internet, gathers information relevant to your query or interest, and presents it on a scheduled basis, hourly, daily, weekly, etc.
some examples of agents
Some Examples of Agents
  • Bargain Finder - an intelligent agent for comparison music CD shopping
  • AdHound - searches the classifieds of hundreds of US newspapers daily with relevant ads emailed
  • AuctionBot - a multi-purpose Internet Auction server developed at the University of Michigan. The AuctionBot can be used to create automated Internet auctions according to your specifications, or bid in existing AuctionBot auctions.
search engines
Search Engines
  • A special kind of Web page software that finds other Web pages that match a word or phrase the user enters
  • Contains three major program parts:
    • Spider, crawler, or “bot” – a program that goes to every page or representative page on every web site that wants to be searched
    • Catalog – a program that creates a huge “index” of what is found
    • Search engine utility – a program that receives your search requests, compares it to the index, and provides search results to you
how search engines work
How Search Engines Work?
  • Crawler-based search engines
    • Create their listings automatically (e.g., Google, HotBot)
  • Human-Powered Directories
    • Depends on humans for its listings (e.g., Yahoo)
  • Hybrid search engines
    • Both types of results presented (e.g., Yahoo presents directories and Google results)
internet portals
Internet Portals
  • Portal is a new term, generally synonymous with gateway, for a World Wide Web site that is or proposes to be a major starting site for users when they get connected to the Web or that users tend to visit as an anchor site.
    • Typical services offered by portal sites include
      • a directory of Web sites, a facility to search for other sites, news, weather information, e-mail, stock quotes, phone and map information, and sometimes a community forum.
      • Excite is among the first portals to offer users the ability to create a site that is personalized for individual interests.
    • The term portal space is used to mean the total number of major sites competing to be one of the portals.
types of portals
Types of Portals
  • General portals:
    • Some major general portals include Yahoo, Excite, Netscape, Lycos, CNET, Microsoft Network and America Online's
  • Specialized or niche portals.
    • Examples of niche portals include (for gardeners), (for investors), and (for Windows NT administrators).
  • Vertical or Industry portals or VORTALS
      • (hospitality management industry B2B portal)
  • Corporate or enterprise information portals, EIPs
    • Compare with: Business intelligence portal (BIP)
  • "Stickiness" refers to a Web site's ability to attract engaged, repeat visitors who spend more and more of their time on a given site instead of briefly alighting and then flitting off to some other corner of cyberspace.
    • The two most important measurements of what a Web site has to offer advertisers are
      • ad views and the average time each visitor spends on the site.
        • If you can make your visitor spend more time at your site, they will view more ads and they can be considered more loyal to the site and presumably somewhat more likely to click on the ads and patronize advertisers.
common stickiness approaches
Common Stickiness Approaches
  • The most common stickiness approaches are:
    • Providing content that the user really wants
    • Allowing the user to personalize the site (Yahoo, Excite, and MSN Network, for example)
    • Building online communities in which users post information or form discussion groups (Yahoo, Geocities)
    • Inviting user feedback in response to columnists (ZDNet)
    • Adding games to the site (Yahoo)
    • Using extensive hypertext cross-references to other parts of the site ( and many others)
how a web server works
How a Web Server works

Source of graphic:

web server software feature sets
Web Server SoftwareFeature Sets
  • Core Capabilities
    • Process and respond to Web client requests using the HTTP protocol
  • Security
    • Validation of username and password
    • Processing certificates and key pairs
  • FTP
    • Transferring of files to or from the server
web server software feature sets cont d
Web Server Software Feature Sets (cont’d)
  • Searching
    • Searches the existing site or entire Web for documents
    • Indexing provides full-text indexes for files stored on the server
  • Data Analysis
    • Capture visitor information
      • Who, how long, date & time, what pages were visited.
web server hardware and performance evaluation
Web Server Hardware andPerformance Evaluation
  • Key question is whether a company should host their own Web site
  • Find out what management and sales staff want to accomplish with a server
    • Whom do they want to reach?
    • Will the server run transactions?
    • How involved will the staff be on a daily basis?
third party or internet service provider
Third-party or Internet Service Provider
  • Web and e-commerce novices do not need hardware or software to launch a site
  • Fills the often time-consuming staffing requirements
  • Company does not need to establish a direct Internet connection
web platform choices
Web Platform Choices
  • Faster servers are better than slower ones
  • Good choice for the present, and for the future
  • Intranet and external traffic demands
  • Operating systems supported
  • Scalable
web server performance evaluation
Web Server Performance Evaluation
  • Benchmarking
    • Used to compare performance of hardware and software
  • Connection speed
  • How many users can the server handle
    • Throughput is the number of HTTP requests processed at one time
  • Mix and type of Web pages affect performance
e commerce requirements
E-commerce Requirements
  • All e-commerce solutions must provide at minimum:
    • A catalog display
    • Shopping cart capabilities
    • Transaction processing
    • Tools to modify and add to the store catalog and storefront display
catalog display
Catalog Display
  • Definition: a static listing of goods and services
    • Small storefronts (less than 35 items) can have minimum navigation and organization
    • Large storefronts must categorize items, and provide several methods of finding items (i.e. search engines)
    • Rule: Never stand in the way of a customer who wants to purchase!
shopping cart
Shopping cart
  • Represents an improvement over forms-based shopping
    • Forms were awkward and time-intensive
    • Not user-friendly, confusing and error-prone
  • Shopping carts
    • Keeps track of items selected
    • Items can be added or removed
    • All item identification is stored automatically
    • Running totals are kept
how shopping carts work
How Shopping Carts Work
  • The Web is a stateless system- unable to remember from one transmission to another
    • Therefore, shopping carts must store information about each shopping cart, to avoid mixed-up purchases. Methods used include:
      • Cookies- stored information on a shopper’s hard drive
      • Temporary numbers added to the end of a shopper’s URL
transaction processing mechanism
Transaction Processing Mechanism
  • Required when the shopper clicks the checkout button
  • Usually, browser changes to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  • Software calculates tax, shipping charges, discounts
    • Some software packages connect directly with shippers to get shipping costs
    • Connected with seller’s internal accounting system to allow tallying of Web sales
e commerce tools
E-commerce Tools
  • Inexpensive hosted e-commerce solutions
    • Can create a storefront in less than 1 hour
    • Fees vary, but some allow online business for a few hundred dollars a month; one-time setup fees can be up to $200
      • All charge monthly fee based on number of items for sale
  • Mid-range systems
    • Prices range from $1000 to over $5000
    • Connect into database servers, but are not included in the commerce server price
e commerce tools24
E-commerce Tools
  • Large business solutions
    • Business-to-consumer transactions
    • Business-to-business transactions require additional tools:
      • Encryption
      • Authentication
      • Digital signatures and signed receipt notices
      • Ability to connect to existing legacy systems including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software
marketing smarts
Marketing Smarts
  • Critical to obtain visibility to get traffic to your site
    • Web malls will list your site in a portal-style directory
    • Least expensive method for getting visibility is obtaining and registering your own domain name
      • Make the name say something about your business
    • Use Meta tags and search engines
    • Market on sites with high “stickiness”
      • Make your own web site more “sticky”
banner advertising exchange sites
Banner AdvertisingExchange Sites
  • Help electronic merchants promote their stores online
  • Banners are mutually exchanged instead of selling advertising space
  • Provide ad monitoring software to help determine their advertising click-through count
  • Provide helpful articles on a variety of advertising topics
full service mall style hosting
Full-Service Mall-Style Hosting
  • Offers online stores good service, good Web creation tools, and no banner advertising clutter
  • Charges a higher monthly fee than basic service providers
  • Provides shopping cart software
  • Comprehensive customer transaction processing, including credit card acceptance