You are on page 1of 5

Electronic commerce

Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, consists of the buying

and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other
computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily with
widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing
on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online
transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and
automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide
Web at least at some point in the transaction's lifecycle, although it can encompass a wider range
of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones as well.

Purchasing managers need to periodically evaluate supplier performance in order to retain those
suppliers who meet their requirements in terms of several performance criteria. Six attributes
frequently used as performance criteria are identified and used in this study. These attributes are:
on-time delivery, quality, price/cost targets, professionalism, responsiveness to customer needs,
and long-term relationships with the purchasing company. Purchasing managers use all six
attributes jointly in evaluating supplier performance. Further, in making their choices the
purchasing managers must necessarily make trade-offs among different levels of these
attributes. Conjoint analysis is the appropriate method for measuring preferences where several
attributes are used jointly in an overall evaluation. This article reports the results of an
exploratory study examining the trade-offs made by Chinese purchasing managers among the
six attributes identified earlier. The priorities of Chinese managers as well as the trade-offs they
make are finally discussed in terms of their implications for Western marketers.

Tradeoffs Replication

Data replication is an important technique for improving the performance, availability, ubiq-
uity, durability, and manageability of a broad range of large-scale applications such as personal
file systems, web services, enterprise data management systems, and grid computing.
However,due to the fundamental trade-offs between consistency, availability, and performance ,
repli-cation systems must make compromises to suit the specific workloads or environments they
aretargeting. My research focuses on finding the optimal tradeoffs for different real-world
applica-tions by taking advantage of workload characteristics and/or application semantics and
buildinga unified infrastructure to simplify the innovation and implementation of new tradeoffs
for newenvironments.

Towards a Unified Theory of Replication

As technologies and workloads evolve, new replication systems will continue to be needed.
Unfor-tunately, existing replication protocols and mechanisms are intrinsically entangled with
specificpolicy assumptions. To accommodate new trade-offs for different policy requirements,
new sys-tems are typically built from the ground up and co-mingle mechanisms and policies in
their design.
The central thesis of my research is that there is a set of flexible common replication mechanisms
that capture the right abstractions for replication and therefore can serve as a replication “micro-
kernel” for building and deploying replication systems for different environments and workloads
by simply defining the right policies on top of the mechanism layer.
PRACTI Replication. As a step towards realizing this vision, we first defined a taxonomy for
understanding replication systems based on three vital properties: (a) Partial Replication (PR)
means that any data can be replicated on any device; (b) Any Consistency (AC) means that the
system supports a range of consistency guarantees; and (c) Topology Independence (TI) means
that information can flow between any pair of nodes.
2 Other Research
Although it is provably impossible to provide simultaneously optimal consistency, optimal avail-
ability, and optimal performance for general-case wide area network replication, we can,
perhaps, provide nearly optimal behavior for specific applications by taking advantage of a given
application’s semantics or/and workload characteristics. Here I briefly share my experience in
applying this approach to solve edge-service problems.
Distributed E-commerce System. The emerging edge services architecture promises to im-
prove the availability and performance of web services by replicating servers at geographically
distributed sites. A key challenge in such systems is data replication and consistency, so that
edge server code can manipulate shared data without suffering the availability and performance
penalties that would be incurred by accessing a traditional centralized database. We use a dis-
tributed object architecture to build an edge service data replication system for an e-commerce
application, the TPC-W benchmark, which simulates an online bookstore . We take advantage
of application specific semantics to design distributed objects that each manages a specific subset
of shared information using simple and effective consistency models. Our experimental results
show that by slightly relaxing consistency within individual distributed objects, our application
realizes both high availability and excellent performance. For example, in one experiment we
find that our object-based edge server system provides five times better response time over a
traditional centralized cluster architecture and a factor of nine improvement over an edge service
system that distributes code but retains a centralized database.
Dual Quorum Replication. Dual-quorum replication [5] is a novel data replication algorithm
designed to support Internet edge services. Edge services allow clients to access Internet services
via distributed edge servers that operate on a shared collection of underlying data. We focus on
the key problem of sharing read/write data objects across a collection of edge servers when the
references to each object (a) tend not to exhibit high concurrency across multiple nodes and (b)
tend to exhibit bursts of read-dominated or write-dominated behavior.

3 Future Research
Offline Web Service Infrastructure. One interesting observation of the technology trends is
that in the last decade, the capacity of storage has grown by more than two orders of
magnitude,whereas the bandwidth of network has not significantly improved. The un-matching
growth of storage and network technologies favors widespread use of data replication for trading
inexpensive storage to obtain improvements in human wait-time and productivity. With the fast
growth of online applications and services and the need of accessing them from mobile devices,
supporting online services “offline” is becoming a hot topic in the next generation of web


The Hong Kong order of precedence is a nominal and symbolic hierarchy of important
positions within the Government of Hong Kong.[1] Administered by the government's Protocol
Division, the hierarchy does not determine the order of succession for the office of Chief
Executive, which is instead specified by the Basic Law of Hong Kong.

As a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong maintains
autonomy on all affairs other than defence and foreign relations. Reflecting that status, the order
of precedence does not include state and party leaders of the Central People's Government.
Government officials from mainland China are generally treated as special guests when attending
Hong Kong government functions.[2]

An order of precedence is a sequential hierarchy of nominal importance of items. Most often it

is used in the context of people by many organizations and governments. It can also be used in
context of decorations, medals and awards.

One's position in an order of precedence is not necessarily an indication of functional

importance, but rather an indication of ceremonial or historical relevance; for instance, it may
dictate where dignitaries are seated at formal dinners. Additionally, it may serve as the order of
succession to determine who replaces the head of state in the event he or she is removed from
office or incapacitated, although the two terms are not interchangeable in most cases.

What follow are general orders of precedence. They may be regarded as default rules upon which
almost all more specific orders of precedence, for particular occasions or in particular
institutions, are based. Universities and the professions often have their own rules of precedence
applied locally based (for example) on university or professional rank, each rank then being
ordered within itself on the basis of seniority (i.e. date of attaining that rank).


E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the
Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are
often used interchangably. For online retail selling, the term e-tailing is sometimes used.
E-commerce can be divided into:

 E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered
into a "virtual mall"
 The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts
 Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data
 E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers
(for example, with newsletters)
 Business-to-business buying and selling
 The security of business transactions
E-tailing or The Virtual Storefront and the Virtual Mall
As a place for direct retail shopping, with its 24-hour availability, a global reach, the ability to
interact and provide custom information and ordering, and multimedia prospects, the Web is
rapidly becoming a multibillion dollar source of revenue for the world's businesses. A number of
businesses already report considerable success. As early as the

• Retail industry
middle of 1997, Dell Computers reported orders of a million dollars a day. By early 1999,
projected e-commerce revenues for business were in the billions of dollars and the stocks of
companies deemed most adept at e-commerce were skyrocketing. Although many so-
called dotcom retailers disappeared in the economic shakeout of 2000, Web retailing at sites such
as,, and continues to grow.
Market Research
In early 1999, it was widely recognized that because of the interactive nature of the Internet,
companies could gather data about prospects and customers in unprecedented amounts -through
site registration, questionnaires, and as part of taking orders. The issue of whether data was being
collected with the knowledge and permission of market subjects had been raised. (Microsoft
referred to its policy of data collection as "profiling" and a proposed standard has been developed
that allows Internet users to decide who can have what personal information.)

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

EDI is the exchange of business data using an understood data format. It predates today's
Internet. EDI involves data exchange among parties that know each other well and make
arrangements for one-to-one (or point-to-point) connection, usually dial-up. EDI is expected to
be replaced by one or more standard XML formats, such as ebXML.
E-Mail, Fax, and Internet Telephony
E-commerce is also conducted through the more limited electronic forms of communication
called e-mail, facsimile or fax, and the emerging use of telephone calls over the Internet. Most of
this is business-to-business, with some companies attempting to use e-mail and fax for
unsolicited ads (usually viewed as online junk mail or spam) to consumers and other business
prospects. An increasing number of business Web sites offer e-mail newsletters for subscribers.
A new trend is opt-in e-mail in which Web users voluntarily sign up to receive e-mail, usually
sponsored or containing ads, about product categories or other subjects they are interested in.
Business-to-Business Buying and Selling
Thousands of companies that sell products to other companies have discovered that the Web
provides not only a 24-hour-a-day showcase for their products but a quick way to reach the right
people in a company for more information.

The Security of Business Transactions

Security includes authenticating business transactors, controlling access to resources such as
Web pages for registered or selected users, encrypting communications, and, in general, ensuring
the privacy and effectiveness of transactions. Among the most widely-used security technologies
is the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), which is built into both of the leading Web browsers


In summary, the early success of e-commerce enabled commercial transactions was more of a
success than failure due to explosive growth in business and the credit economy. Many
companies and investors had jump the gun in the 90’s, and were not prepared to take precaution
till the Internet bubble burst. It was mostly associated with daunting costs and little paybacks in
the form of intangibility. These e-commerce systems had various terms that include business-to-
business, business-to-consumers, consumers-to-consumers and peer-to-peer. They are a part
extension of e-commerce known as e-business systems. Finally, many nations and organisations
still face limitations and barriers to e-commerce. A substantial investment of cost, know-how and
technology awareness in e-commerce related issues such as cyber crime, and especially ethical
and legal practices across international boundaries are essential.