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E-Commerce Tips

  1. A thin client is a computer with very minimal hardware devices. It still contains processing power, but the bulk of the storage and processing is run on a networked server. In these types of businesses, all the applications and storage are performed centrally. This reduces the overall cost of the network clients and allows for greater centralized control of data processing. The thin client can be thought of as a dumb terminal that took some extra classes.
  2. The backbone of the Internet are the cables that link all the main connection points, each one called a Point of Presence or POP, to the Internet. The vast majority of Internet traffic is carried on fiber optic cables that can route billions of packets each day.
  3. A web cast is an electronic stream of bits of data between a server and a client computer. The data bits can be sound, video, or text and are usually used by technology companies to promote new products.
  4. An Internet Service Provider agreement to host a domain should allow your organization to set up multiple email Ids with your own domain name. If your original email was mailto:mycompany@isp.com, it can now be changed to mailto:yourname@mycompany.com, or mailto:webmaster@mycompany.com, or mailto:sales@mycompany.com, or all three. Email can also be set up as aliases, where email sent to these addresses all go to the same mailbox. Multiple email boxes present the impression of a larger company but also help separate email when the company eventually does grow.
  5. A firewall is a piece of software that analyzes an incoming network message and compares the IP address or message content to a database of approved parameters. If the IP address isn't listed (or is listed on a blocking list) or the message contains text that is not allowed, then the message will be dropped. If the message passes the parameter test, it will proceed to the correct computer.
  6. An image map is a special graphic. Well, the actual graphic is nothing special, but by using mapping software you can segment or define areas on the graphic and create different links for each section. When a visitor selects a section of the image, the browser will process the link associated with that area.
  7. There is an extensive body of university research related to real-time systems. E-commerce real-time systems focus on back-office functionality with the goal of reducing the overall company overhead. For example, if a customer enters an order, there is no reason why the company income statement should not reflect this transaction a few seconds after the order has been placed without any human intervention.
  8. Data mining is the process of using stored data to assist current operations for financial benefit. The most common of these is to analyze customer sales information to adjust product mixes (which products are carried). However, data mining can also be used to assist in creating sales promotions, manage inventory levels, cash flow requirements, etc. Capturing and storing all operational information is the key to the success of future data mining activities.
  9. Company A offers Company B a fee for each user they send to Company A's Web site. The users will link to the A site from a link on B's home page. Company A can manage the process, or they can register with an organization that will track incoming messages for them. When the number of visits reaches a certain threshold that makes economic sense, a payment is made from company A to company B. The main reason for using a third party to track pay-per-click micropayments is to reduce the potential for fraud. These organizations will manage the security aspects of these programs to ensure that the traffic generated is not repeat traffic or that it has not been artificially created by Company B.
  10. Banner ads are those thin ads that you usually see at the top and bottom of the Web sites. They are easy to create and easy to place at various Web sites but the fees charged are based on coverage. The best coverage will occur if you can place the ad to come up for your potential customers. To do this, you will have to use mined or captured data to have an indication of where to place the ad.
  11. The term pipe is used to refer to an Internet connection. Borrowed from the telecommunications world, it was originally used to describe fiber optic cables. Now, it is used to refer to any Internet connection as in "My pipe is down."
  12. A media mix usually refers to the mix of media that you will use in your advertising and promotions. On the Internet this mix will consist of ads, promotions and media such as sound, video, or graphics.
  13. Point-of-sales systems, or POSs, are the laser readers and cash registers that you see in almost every retail location. By scanning a customer card, the laser will store such information as the product purchased, the time of day, the location of the store and the method of payment. This data can then be used to analyze such things as which customers are most likely to buy a particular product based on the buying trends of other customers who have purchased that same product. The analysis is used to create promotional campaigns or to direct advertising efforts.
  14. Open Database Connectivity is an important standard that you should ensure is available in your database. It ensures that the builder of the database has provided or built-in the tools that allow the database to communicate with other software programs and databases such as Microsoft Office.
  15. You can think of bandwidth as the amount of space on a road. If the road is full, you might have to wait to get on or go slowly once you are on. The question of bandwidth and the Internet relates to how much traffic the backbone or infrastructure can manage. It will get better as more bandwidth capacity is added and newer technologies make more efficient use of existing bandwidth. New functions such a streaming video or servlet architecture will take up large amounts of bandwidth, and must be addressed before we are all stuck in a big Internet traffic jam.

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