Archive for the ‘Software’ Category

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About eCommerce

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or e-comm, is the buying and selling of products orservices over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on such technologies as 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 one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones as well.

  • Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions.

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

Early development

Originally, electronic commerce was identified as the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). These were both introduced in the late 1970s, allowing businesses to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically. The growth and acceptance of credit cards, automated teller machines (ATM) and telephone banking in the 1980s were also forms of electronic commerce. Another form of e-commerce was the airline reservation system typified by Sabre in the USA and Travicom in the UK.

Beginning in the 1990s, electronic commerce would include enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), data miningand data warehousing

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the WorldWideWeb web browser and transformed an academic telecommunication network into a worldwide everyman everyday communication system called internet/www. Commercial enterprise on the Internet was strictly prohibited by NSF until 1995.[1] Although the Internet became popular worldwide around 1994 with the adoption of Mosaic web browser, it took about five years to introduce security protocols (i.e. SSL encryption enabled on Netscape 1.0 Browser in late 1994) and DSL allowing continual connection to the Internet. By the end of 2000, many European and American business companies offered their services through the World Wide Web. Since then people began to associate a word “ecommerce” with the ability of purchasing various goods through the Internet using secure protocols and electronic payment services.

In the United States, some electronic commerce activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These activities include the use of commercial e-mails, online advertising and consumer privacy. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 establishes national standards for direct marketing over e-mail. The Federal Trade Commission Act regulates all forms of advertising, including online advertising, and states that advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive.[16]Using its authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices, the FTC has brought a number of cases to enforce the promises in corporate privacy statements, including promises about the security of consumers’ personal information.[17] As result, any corporate privacy policy related to e-commerce activity may be subject to enforcement by the FTC.

The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008, which came into law in 2008, amends theControlled Substances Act to address online pharmacies.[18]

Internationally there is the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), which was formed in 1991 from an informal network of government customer fair trade organisations. The purpose was stated as being to find ways of co-operating on tackling consumer problems connected with cross-border transactions in both goods and services, and to help ensure exchanges of information among the participants for mutual benefit and understanding. From this came econsumer, as an initiative of ICPEN since April 2001. www.econsumer.gov is a portal to report complaints about online and related transactions with foreign companies.

There is also Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 with the vision of achieving stability, security and prosperity for the region through free and open trade and investment. APEC has an Electronic Commerce Stearing Group as well as working on common privacy regulations throughout the APEC region.

In Australia, Trade is covered under Australian Treasury Guidelines for electronic commerce,[19] and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission[20] regulates and offers advice on how to deal with businesses online,[21] and offers specific advice on what happens if things go wrong..[22]

Also Australian government ecommerce website[23] provides information on ecommerce in Australia.

Forms

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.

On the institutional level, big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce.

Global trends

Business models across the world also continue to change drastically with the advent of e-commerce and this change is not just restricted to USA. Other countries are also contributing to the growth of e-commerce. For example, the United Kingdom has the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita, even higher than the USA. The internet economy in UK is likely to grow by 10% between 2010 to 2015. This has led to changing dynamics for the advertising industry[24]

Amongst emerging economies, China’s e-commerce presence continues to expand. With 384 million internet users, China’s online shopping sales rose to $36.6 billion in 2009 and one of the reasons behind the huge growth has been the improved trust level for shoppers. The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online.[25] eCommerce is also expanding across the Middle East. Having recorded the world’s fastest growth in internet usage between 2000 and 2009, the region is now home to more than 60 million internet users. Retail, travel and gaming are the region’s top eCommerce segments, in spite of difficulties such as the lack of region-wide legal frameworks and logistical problems in cross-border transportation.[26] E-Commerce has become an important tool for businesses worldwide not only to sell to customers but also to engage them.[27]

Impact on markets and retailers

Economists have theorized that e-commerce ought to lead to intensified price competition, as it increases consumers’ ability to gather information about products and prices. Research by four economists at the University of Chicago has found that the growth of online shopping has also affected industry structure in two areas that have seen significant growth in e-commerce, bookshops and travel agencies. Generally, larger firms have grown at the expense of smaller ones, as they are able to use economies of scale and offer lower prices. The lone exception to this pattern has been the very smallest category of bookseller, shops with between one and four employees, which appear to have withstood the trend.[28]

Distribution channels

E-commerce has grown in importance as companies have adopted Pure-Click and Brick and Click channel systems. We can distinguish between pure-click and brick and click channel system adopted by companies.

  • Pure-Click companies are those that have launched a website without any previous existence as a firm. It is imperative that such companies must set up and operate their e-commerce websites very carefully. Customer service is of paramount importance.
    • Brick and Click companies are those existing companies that have added an online site for e-commerce. Initially, Brick and Click companies were skeptical whether or not to add an online e-commerce channel for fear that selling their products might produce channel conflict with their off-line retailers, agents, or their own stores. However, they eventually added internet to their distribution channel portfolio after seeing how much business their online competitors were generating.

SAP Servives

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

SAP Services delivers the tools, technologies, and methodologies that minimize total cost of ownership and maximize your return on investment in SAP solutions.

Tools, technologies, and methodologies are built on our experience in thousands of projects in a wide range of industries and all types of companies – from small businesses to global enterprises. You get the right results at the right price and the right time – each and every time.

Proven implementation methodologies give you control over deployment to reduce risks and ensure reliable results. Best practices anticipate your business needs, reduce costs, and decrease your reliance on external consultants. While online information portals give you direct access to SAP services and foster collaboration across the SAP community.

With SAP Services, you benefit from the following tools, technologies, and methodologies:

  • ASAP – Provides standard methodologies that support the accelerated implementation of SAP applications, offering organizations a wide range of tools to support all stages of an implementation project, from project planning to the continual improvement of an SAP system.
  • Business maps and Solution Composer – Provides a robust platform for effectively transferring knowledge.
  • SAP Service Marketplace – Offers a comprehensive online platform that provides one-stop access and guided navigation to SAP and partner services.
  • SAP Best Practices – Provides fully documented and reusable prototypes that organizations can quickly turn into production solutions.

How SAP help You !!!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

 

  • SAP predefined services – Helps organizations analyze, deploy, and optimize SAP applications while gaining much needed predictability and faster time-to-value via our engineering-driven methodology and modular-based approach
  • Engagement flexibility – Helps organizations use our three-dimensional integrated service delivery model to identify and select the IT services that best match their particular requirements for projects ranging from implementations to upgrades to support
  • Financial excellence – Provide organizations with a portfolio of service offerings that can help them review their financial processes, establish industry best practices, and customers streamline financial reporting and month-end closing
  • Strategic IT – Helps IT personnel use SAP solutions to develop business plans and IT infrastructure, identify and assess the business value of IT solutions and processes, and gain the functionality needed to realize business goals and generate competitive advantages
  • Operational excellence – Helps organizations improve their IT landscape, develop end-user training and certification programs, and integrate IT processes that support outsourcing services and composite IT solutions, offering them guidance in using our field-tested tools, techniques, and methodologies to realize business goals and generate competitive advantages
  • Sustainability – Helps organizations to holistically manage the economic, social, and environmental risks and opportunities involved in implementing sustainability initiatives and establishing their business as a sustainable enterprise

Computer Software ?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Computer software, or just software is a general term used to describe the role that computer programs, procedures and documentation play in a computer system.

The term includes:

  • Application software, such as word processors which perform productive tasks for users.
  • Firmware, which is software programmed resident to electrically programmable memory devices on board mainboards or other types of integrated hardware carriers.
  • Middleware, which controls and co-ordinates distributed systems.
  • System software such as operating systems, which interface with hardware to provide the necessary services for application software.
  • Software testing is a domain dependent of development and programming. Software testing consists of various methods to test and declare a software product fit before it can be launched for use by either an individual or a group.
  • Testware, which is an umbrella term or container term for all utilities and application software that serve in combination for testing a software package but not necessarily may optionally contribute to operational purposes. As such, testware is not a standing configuration but merely a working environment for application software or subsets thereof.

Software includes things such as websites, programs or video games, that are coded by programming languages like C or C++ .

“Software” is sometimes used in a broader context to mean anything which is not hardware but which is used with hardware, such as film, tapes and records.

Overview 

Computer software is often regarded as anything but hardware, meaning that the “hard” are the parts that are tangible while the “soft” part is the intangible objects inside the computer. Software encompasses an extremely wide array of products and technologies developed using different techniques like programming languages, scripting languages, microcode, or an FPGA configuration. The types of software include web pages developed by technologies like HTML, PHP, Perl, JSP, ASP.NET, XML, and desktop applications like OpenOffice, Microsoft Word developed by technologies like C, C++, Java,or C#. Software usually runs on an underlying software operating systems such as the Linux or Microsoft Windows. Software also includes video games and the logic systems of modern consumer devices such as automobiles, televisions, and toasters.

Relationship to computer hardware

Computer software is so called to distinguish it from computer hardware, which encompasses the physical interconnections and devices required to store and execute (or run) the software. At the lowest level, software consists of a machine language specific to an individual processor. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions that change the state of the computer from its preceding state. Software is an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer hardware in a particular sequence. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in an assembly language, essentially, a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via an assembler.

The term “software” was first used in this sense by John W. Tukey in 1958. In computer science and software engineering, computer software is all computer programs. The theory that is the basis for most modern software was first proposed by Alan Turing in his 1935 essay Computable numbers with an application to the Entscheidungsproblem.

Types of software

Practical computer systems divide software systems into three major classes: system software, programming software and application software, although the distinction is arbitrary, and often blurred.

System software

System software helps run the computer hardware and computer system. It includes a combination of the following:

  • device drivers
  • operating systems
  • servers
  • utilities
  • windowing systems

The purpose of systems software is to unburden the applications programmer from the often complex details of the particular computer being used, including such accessories as communications devices, printers, device readers, displays and keyboards, and also to partition the computer’s resources such as memory and processor time in a safe and stable manner. Examples are- Windows XP, Linux and Mac.

Programming software

Programming software usually provides tools to assist a programmer in writing computer programs, and software using different programming languages in a more convenient way. The tools include:

  • compilers
  • debuggers
  • interpreters
  • linkers
  • text editors

An Integrated development environment (IDE) is a single application that attempts to manage all these functions.

Application software

Application software allows end users to accomplish one or more specific (not directly computer development related) tasks.

Typical applications include:

  • industrial automation
  • business software
  • computer games
  • quantum chemistry and solid state physics software
  • telecommunications (i.e., the internet and everything that flows on it)
  • databases
  • educational software
  • medical software
  • military software
  • molecular modeling software
  • image editing
  • spreadsheet
  • Word processing
  • Decision making software

Software topics

 

Software Architecture

Users often see things differently than programmers. People who use modern general purpose computers (as opposed to embedded systems, analog computers and supercomputers) usually see three layers of software performing a variety of tasks: platform, application, and user software.

  • Platform software: Platform includes the firmware, device drivers, an operating system, and typically a graphical user interface which, in total, allow a user to interact with the computer and its peripherals (associated equipment). Platform software often comes bundled with the computer. On a PC you will usually have the ability to change the platform software.
  • Application software: Application software or Applications are what most people think of when they think of software. Typical examples include office suites and video games. Application software is often purchased separately from computer hardware. Sometimes applications are bundled with the computer, but that does not change the fact that they run as independent applications. Applications are usually independent programs from the operating system, though they are often tailored for specific platforms. Most users think of compilers, databases, and other “system software” as applications.
  • User-written software: End-user development tailors systems to meet users’ specific needs. User software include spreadsheet templates, word processor [Platform software: Platform includes the firmware, device drivers, an operating system, and typically a graphical user interface which, in total, allow a user to interact with the computer and its peripherals (associated equipment). Platform software often comes bundled with the computer. On a PC you will usually have the ability to change the platform software. Even email filters are a kind of user software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is. Depending on how competently the user-written software has been integrated into default application packages, many users may not be aware of the distinction between the original packages, and what has been added by co-workers.

Software Documentation

Most software has software documentation so that the end user can understand the program, what it does, and how to use it. Without a clear documentation, software can be hard to use—especially if it is a very specialized and relatively complex software like the Photoshop or AutoCAD.

Developer documentation may also exist, either with the code as comments and/or as separate files, detailing how the programs works and can be modified.

Software Library

An executable is almost always not sufficiently complete for direct execution. Software libraries include collections of functions and functionality that may be embedded in other applications. Operating systems include many standard Software libraries, and applications are often distributed with their own libraries.File:Software.jpg

Software Standard

Since software can be designed using many different programming languages and in many different operating systems and operating environments, software standard is needed so that different software can understand and exchange information between each other. For instance, an email sent from a Microsoft Outlook should be readable from Yahoo! Mail and vice versa.

Execution (computing)

Computer software has to be "loaded" into the computer's storage (such as a [hard drive], memory, or RAM). Once the software has loaded, the computer is able to execute the software. This involves passing instructions from the application software, through the system software, to the hardware which ultimately receives the instruction as machine code. Each instruction causes the computer to carry out an operation – moving data, carrying out a computation, or altering the control flow of instructions.

Data movement is typically from one place in memory to another. Sometimes it involves moving data between memory and registers which enable high-speed data access in the CPU. Moving data, especially large amounts of it, can be costly. So, this is sometimes avoided by using “pointers” to data instead. Computations include simple operations such as incrementing the value of a variable data element. More complex computations may involve many operations and data elements together.

Quality and reliability

Software quality, Software testing, and Software reliability

Software quality is very important, especially for commercial and system software like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows and Linux. If software is faulty (buggy), it can delete a person’s work, crash the computer and do other unexpected things. Faults and errors are called “bugs.” Many bugs are discovered and eliminated (debugged) through software testing. However, software testing rarely – if ever – eliminates every bug; some programmers say that “every program has at least one more bug” (Lubarsky’s Law). All major software companies, such as Microsoft, Novell and Sun Microsystems, have their own software testing departments with the specific goal of just testing. Software can be tested through unit testing, regression testing and other methods, which are done manually, or most commonly, automatically, since the amount of code to be tested can be quite large. For instance, NASA  has extremely rigorous software testing procedures for many operating systems and communication functions. Many NASA based operations interact and identify each other through command programs called software. This enables many people who work at NASA to check and evaluate functional systems overall. Programs containing command software enable hardware engineering and system operations to function much easier together.

Software license

The software’s license gives the user the right to use the software in the licensed environment. Some software comes with the license when purchased off the shelf, or an OEM license when bundled with hardware. Other software comes with a free software license, granting the recipient the rights to modify and redistribute the software. Software can also be in the form of freeware or shareware.

Patents

Software patent and Software patent debate

Software can be patented; however, software patents can be controversial in the software industry with many people holding different views about it. The controversy over software patents is that a specific algorithm or technique that the software has may not be duplicated by others and is considered an intellectual property and copyright infringement depending on the severity. Some people believe that software patent hinder software development, while others argue that software patents provide an important incentive to spur software innovation.

Design and implementation

Design and implementation of software varies depending on the complexity of the software. For instance, design and creation of Microsoft Word software will take much longer time than designing and developing Microsoft Notepad because of the difference in functionalities in each one.

Software is usually designed and created (coded/written/programmed) in integrated development environments (IDE) like Eclipse, Emacs and Microsoft Visual Studio that can simplify the process and compile the program. As noted in different section, software is usually created on top of existing software and the application programming interface (API) that the underlying software provides like GTK+, JavaBeans or Swing. Libraries (APIs) are categorized for different purposes. For instance, JavaBeans library is used for designing enterprise applications, Windows Forms library is used for designing graphical user interface (GUI) applications like Microsoft Word, and Windows Communication Foundation is used for designing web services. Underlying computer programming concepts like quicksort, hashtable, array, and binary tree can be useful to creating software. When a program is designed, it relies on the API. For instance, if a user is designing a Microsoft Windows desktop application, he/she might use the .NET Windows Forms library to design the desktop application and call its APIs like Form1.Close() and Form1.Show() to close or open the application and write the additional operations him/herself that it need to have. Without these APIs, the programmer needs to write these APIs him/herself. Companies like Sun Microsystems, Novell, and Microsoft provide their own APIs so that many applications are written using their software libraries that usually have numerous APIs in them.

Software has special economic characteristics that make its design, creation, and distribution different from most other economic goods. A person who creates software is called a programmer, software engineer, software developer, or code monkey, terms that all essentially have a same meaning.

Industry and organizations

Software has its own niche industry that is called the software industry made up of different entities and peoples that produce software, and as a result there are many software companies and programmers in the world. Because software is increasingly used in many different areas like in finance, searching, mathematics, space exploration, gaming and mining and such, software companies and people usually specialize in certain areas. For instance, Electronic Arts primarily creates video games.

Also selling software can be quite a profitable industry. For instance, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft is the second richest man in the world in 2008 largely by selling the Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office software programs. The same goes for Larry Ellison, largely through his Oracle database software.There are also many non-profit software organizations like the Free Software Foundation, GNU Project, Mozilla Foundation. Also there are many software standard organizations like the W3C, IETF and others that try to come up with a software standard so that many software can work and interoperate with each other like through standards such as XML, HTML, HTTP or FTP.

Some of the well known software companies include Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, SAP, Adobe Systems, and Corel.

 

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