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Q.1 Explain the framework of eCommerce in detail

Electronic Commerce Framework
From the business activity already taking place, it is clear that e-commerce applications will be built on the existing technology infrastructure-a myriad of computers, communications networks, and communication software forming the nascent Information Superhighway.

Figure shows a variety of possible e-commerce applications, including both interorganizational and consumer-oriented examples.
None of these uses would be possible without each of the building blocks in the infrastructure:
Common business services, for facilitating the buying and selling process
Messaging and information distribution, as a means of sending and retrieving information
Multimedia content and network publishing, for creating a product and a means to communicate about it
The Information Superhighway-the very foundation-for providing the highway system along which all e-commerce must travel.
The two pillars supporting all e-commerce--applications and infrastructure –are just as indispensable:
Public policy, to govern such issues as universal access, privacy, and information pricing.
Technical standards, to dictate the nature of information publishing, user interfaces, and transport in the interest of compatibility across the entire network.
To better understand the integration of the various infrastructure components in our framework, let us use the analogy of a traditional transportation business. Any successful e-commerce application will require the I-way infrastructure in the same way that regular commerce needs the interstate highway network to carry goods from point to point. You must travel across this highway, whether you are an organization purchasing supplies or a consumer ordering a movie on demand. Understand, however, that the I-way is not one monolithic data highway designed according to long-standing, well
defined rules and regulations based on well-known needs: Rather, still under construction, the I-way will be a mesh of interconnected data highways of many forms: telephone wires, cable TV wires, radio-based wireless-cellular and satellite.
Far from complete, the I-way is quickly acquiring new on-ramps and even small highway systems. The numerous constructors are either in competition with or in alliance with one another, all in an effort to convince traffic to use their on-ramps or sections of the highway because, like toll ways, revenues in e-commerce are based on vehicular traffic, in our case, vehicles transporting information or multimedia content. The myriad transactions among businesses means that the ultimate winner must select the technology for the I-way that best matches future business needs by using today's tools. Building an access road to a ghost town or a highway too narrow to handle the traffic will yield equally little return on investment for those who have been less successful at matching needs with the infrastructure.

Building the various highways is not enough. Transport vehicles are needed, routing issues must be addressed, and of course, the transportation costs must be paid. On the I-way, the nature of- vehicular traffic is extremely important. The information and multimedia content determines what type of vehicle is needed. A breakdown of potential everyday e-commerce vehicles into their technological components shows that they vary widely in complexity and may even need to travel different routes on the I-way, much the way an eighteen-wheeler may be restricted from traveling roads that cannot accommodate it:

Movies = video + audio

Digital games = music + video + software

Electronic books = text + data + graphics + music + photographs + video.

Final pillar on which the e-commerce framework rests is technical standards without which the impact of this revolution would be minimized. For e.g., returning to our analogy with traditional transportation systems, railroad would not have flourished had each state established a separate track standard (meter gauge versus broad gauge, for example) and goods would have to be constantly moved from one train to another every time the standard changed, as they do today at the border between Russia and Western Europe. Similar differences in standards exist today in electricity distribution (110 versus 200 volts) and video distribution (Sony Beta versus VHS), limiting worldwide use of many products.

Standards are crucial in the world of global e-commerce, to ensure not only seamless and harmonious integration across the transportation network but access of information on any type of device the consumer chooses-laser disc, PCs, portable hand-held devices or television + set-top boxes (cable converter boxes) and on all types of operating systems. For example, without the adoption of video standards, video conferencing will never become widespread, as each manufacturer will attempt to develop equipment that maximizes their short-term profits rather than working toward customer goals such as interoperability. While we have strived to limit our initial discussion of the elements of a framework for electronic commerce to an understanding of what part they play within this complex network, it is no accident that we have ended with a convergence of technical, policy, and business concerns. The concept of "convergence" is essential to the operation of the Information Superhighway and to the way the business world is gearing up to deal with it. It is only fitting that we preface our discussion of the one element of our framework we have not yet discussed in detail-e-commerce application them selves with a clarification of the concept of convergence.


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