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Emerging Technologies for eCommerce
Gopalan Suresh Raj

eCommerce involves doing transactions on the Internet be it online shopping, online banking, business to business commerce, EDI - Electronic Data Interchange, and a whole bunch of other stuff that can be handled over remote sites automatically without any human intervention.

eCommerce Applications need not necessarily only have Web-based front-ends. They can also be an Application running on your Command Prompt, that talks to server components elsewhere, or it can be a typical Windows Application with a GUI front-end which may once again talk to server components elsewhere on a network. 

eCommerce Applications with Browser front-ends are called Thin-Client applications. eCommerce Applications which have an Application based front-end (or more specifically native Applications that run on an OS instead of a browser) with all the native Windows-like GUI -- buttons, list-boxes, edit-controls, etc. are called Fat-Client eCommerce Applications.

Creating eCommerce Applications generally involves building and interacting with Components that are distributed all over the network. Each eCommerce Application can be divided into multiple Tiers. These Tiers are classified depending on what tasks they perform. These are generally broadly classified into

1. Presentation Services or User Interface Tier (Client Tier)
2. Business Logic or Middleware Tier
3. Database Services or Data Source Tier

Figure: A Typical 3-tier eCommerce Application - A Banking Application (Fat-Client)

Once again when building an eCommerce Application you have to decide which technology you want to go with.
1. Microsoft has COM+/Windows DNA, and the .NET Framework,
2. Sun has Java/J2EE,
3. OMG has CCM/CORBA 3.0, and
4. IBM goes with every other vendor for convenience and are more inclined towards Java and CORBA solutions.

Please look at this chart that I've created. The areas in gray are common across any vendor solution.

Emerging Technologies for eCommerce







Presentation Services / User Interface Tier

1. JavaScript
3. XML

1. Visual C++/MFC,
2. Visual Basic,
3. Visual Interdev,
4. Visual J++/WFC,
5. ActiveX Controls /COM,
6. Active Template Library (ATL)
7. Windows Template Library (WTL) - Even though MS does not officially support this
8. Win32 API,
9. VBScript,
10. JScript,
11. DHTML 
12. C# (C Sharp),
13. .NET WinForms.

1. Java,
2. Java Beans,
3. Applets,
4. JFC/Swing
  1. VisualAge for Java,
2. WebShere Studio,
3. NetObjects Script Builder,
4. Visual Age for SmallTalk
1. Inprise JBuilder for Java,
2. Borland Delphi,
3. Borland C++ and OWL,
4. Symantec Visual Café
Middleware / Business Objects Tier

1. XML
2. XML Parser Programming with both the DOM and the SAX APIs

3. Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)

Microsoft Component Services and Windows DNA:
1. COM+,
2. DCOM,
3. MTS Programming,
4. MSMQ Programming,
5. ASP,
6. ASP+.NET,
7. Internet Server API (ISAPI),
8. ADO, ADO+.NET and OLE/DB,
9. The .NET Framework,
10. .NET WebForms

11. ODBC,
12. ADSI,
13. Microsoft XML Parser MSXML Programming using its COM interfaces,
14. Security Services Programming,
15. Universal Plug-n-Play.
16. Active Template Library (ATL)

Java 2, Enterprise Edition:
1. EJB,
2. Java/RMI,
3. RMI over IIOP,
4. Java-IDL,
5. JMS,
7. JNDI,
8. JavaMail,
9. Sun XML Parser Programming,
10. Java Activation Framework(JAF),
11. JDBC,
12. JSP,
13. Servlets API, 14.Security Services Programming,
15. Jini and
16. JavaSpaces.
2. CORBA Component Model (CCM),

CORBA Object Services (COS) like
3. Naming,
4. Events,
5. Transactions,
6. Persistent Object,
7. Lifecycle,
8. Concurrency,
9. Externalization,
10. Query,
11. Licensing,
12. Property,
13. Time,
14. Security,
15. Trader Object,
16. Collection, etc. (there are about 20 COServices)
Java Enterprise API:
1. EJB,
2. JSP and
3. the Servlets API,

5. MQSeries Programming,
6. IBM XML Parser (XML4J) Programming
1. IONA OrbixWeb,
2. Inprise VisiBroker,
4. PERL/CGI script programming, etc.
Database Services / Data Source Tier SQL Server     DB2 Universal Database 1. ORACLE,
2. Sybase,
3. Informix, etc.


Application Server Administration, Deployment, Configuration, and Management Microsoft BackOffice:
1. Internet Information Server (IIS),
2. MSMQ,
3. MTS,
4. Site Server,
5. Commerce Server
6. SNA Server and COM-TI

7. Windows 2000 App Server,
8. BizTalk Server,
9. Developing automated deployment scripts,
10. Windows Shell Programming using the Windows Script Host (WSH).
1. NetDynamics,
2. iPlanet

3. Solaris OS
  1. WebSphere Application Server,
2. IBM HTTP Server,
3. CICS,
4. IBM MQSeries,
5. Domino Application Server
1. Firewall Configuration for HTTP Port 80 Tunnelling for DCOM, IIOP and RMI,
2. BEA-WebLogic,
3. Tuxedo,
4. BroadVision,
5. Gemstone,
6. Secant,
7. Inprise Application Server,
8. Persistence Power Tier,
9. Netscape Enterprise Server,
10. ORACLE Application Server,
11. WebObjects (Apple),
12. Sybase Enterprise Application Server,
13. Progress Aptivity,
14. Dynamo Application Server,
15. IONA iPortal,
16. Unify eWave Engine,
17. Apache Server, etc. and a zillion others.

18. Linux OS
Content Management and Usability 1. Webpage Layout and Design with FrontPage and
2. Visual InterDev

    1. NetObjects Script Builder,
2. IBM WebShere Studio, etc.

Methodology, Design, etc.

1. UML
2. Design Patterns
3. Anti-Patterns
4. Refactoring
5. Xtreme Programming


About the Author...
Gopalan Suresh Raj is a Software Architect, Developer and an active Author. He is contributing author to a couple of books "Enterprise Java Computing-Applications and Architecture" and "The Awesome Power of JavaBeans". His expertise spans enterprise component architectures and distributed object computing. Visit him at his Web Cornucopia© site ( or mail him at


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This page has been visited times since October 19, 2000.

Last Updated : Oct 19, '00

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