There are certain similarities between the functioning of an electronic commerce business and a real world business. The most important things for both type of trades is that there is an outlet where consumers can purchase their goods or services. Customers should be able to view the inventory of a business and choose what they would like to buy.
A business operating in the physical world would have a store that customers can visit. Virtual businesses, however, have an ecommerce platform. It is a digital storefront that consumers can use to view and purchase the goods or services offered by electronic commerce corporations. These platforms are a sequence of software technologies that vendors can use to create and administrate an online store. The store hosts the goods or services offered by the vendor.
Each business has its own specifications and requirements, thus the platforms need to be tailored accordingly. The software needed differs between each vendor. Typically the choices between software can be divided into fully integrated and pre-integrated.
Integrated software offers an intricate collection of application programs that share a common database. Pre-integrated software has external solutions that can be used with another solution. Pre-integrated software offers minimal development effort.
Electronic commerce platforms are based on programming languages such as Java, PHP, and .net. Java is now more commonly used than other languages. It has the advantage of being both object and standards based.
Building and Delivering
The platforms are devised using a collection of frameworks and tools. These are integrated into the platform and usually consist of APIs, data models, server side scripts, integration framework, business logic, and developmental environment. An API (Application Programming Interface) that is a series of subcomponents that developers use to ensure effective operations on the platform.
Once an electronic commerce platform is built, it must be delivered to the web. This is done through hosting. There are two types of hosting that individuals or organizations can be offered regarding their platforms. They are on-premise hosting and on demand hosting. On premise hosting is when the person or the corporation hosts the website on a server within the company building. The server is physically present inside the company. Some of the advantages of on premise hosting is that it offers greater regulation of the platform. There is also more transparency with the data and provides a better perception of data security. The physical demands of this option, however, can be quite expensive.
The other option is on demand hosting. It is also known as hosting in the cloud. Here, corporations create their platform at a lower cost. The system is then upheld and upgraded by the vendor. On cloud hosting is seemingly less secure regarding data protection. There are, however, major service providers that have extensive data protection features. These allow organizations to have easy access to all of their information while still retaining a great deal of security with their activities.
Setting up an electronic commerce platform can be quite daunting and challenging. This is especially true for individuals or organizations that do not have a great deal of technological expertise. There are, thankfully, many vendors and service providers that will create a platform in its entirety to certain specifications. The effort that is put into this endeavor is certainly worth the outcome as businesses often experience a significant boost when using online platforms.