Friday, October 31, 2008

E Commerce, A review on Project Characteristics

“Business drives Technology
Technology enables Business”

Electronic Commerce, more widely known as E Commerce is digitally enabled commercial transaction. With the growth of Internet this new form of trade has grown by leaps n bounds. A wide variety of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic fund transfer, Internet marketing, EDI, inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.

Technology is not a panacea! E Commerce Project Characteristics requires a lot of innovative thinking to make it a success.

The steps involved clearly reveals the fact.
  1. Requirement Analysis :- Analyze the requirement of the site by conducting feasibility study. Feasibility study can be done in three different ways,

    a) Technical : Whether I have the technical expertise to develop the site or the organization in need of the e commerce website can provide the technical infrastructure or not.

    b) Economic : The fund needed to develop the site as well as to maintain it can be provided by the organization or not.

    c) Usability : Whether it is feasible to build a site for the proposed functional area or whether the users will be able to use it or not. Eg., An E commerce site in a remote area where most of the population is not computer literate.

  2. Problem Identification :- We need to perform the “as-is” system study. The process that is going to get automated with the help of E Commerce must be done presently manually or with the help of some other existing older automation. We need to identify the problems with the existing system.

  3. Requirement Study :- Requirements can be of two different types.

    a) Functional : What are the features required in the e commerce site so that it will become more user friendly. This can be done by collecting inputs from various departments.

    b) Non functional : This includes many things including performance, capacity , reusability , security , scalability, availability etc. Eg, If the availability of the ecommerce site is 24x7x365 then we need to design it in such a way so that necessary upgrades can be performed without shutting the execution of the site. It is applicable for both hardware and software.

    Another example is regarding the scalability issue. If today the hits to the ecommerce site is in hundreds it is not that the value will remain constant. It can go upto thousands and lakhs and crores. So we need to design it in such a way that it can accommodate any number of hits at any point of time. Like, if the number of hits are much higher then main topics will be displayed i.e. a lightweight version of the page will be displayed. This will make the access faster in congested traffic.

  4. Design : - when we are designing a system we need to identify which portions of the project can be conducted in house, which portions can be conducted by subcontract and which portion to be outsourced.

  5. Implementation :- It includes coding for the site along with benchmarking as well as maintenance. Site is compared with those of competitors in terms of response speed, quality of layout, and design in the process of benchmarking.

  6. Testing :-

    a) Unit testing: testing the site’s program modules one at a time.

    b) System testing: involves testing the site as a whole , in a way the typical user will in using the site.

    c) Acceptance testing : Verifies that the business objectives of the system as originally conceived are in fact working.

Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce.

E Commerce has opened a new horizon and means of trading which is really a trendsetter of this cyber age.

Contrubuted By:
Rik Das
(Globsyn Business School)