Description | Lectures | References | Final Projects


Electronic commerce, commonly called eCommerce, is traditionally defined as the buying and selling of goods using electronic transaction processing technologies. Over the past fifteen (15) years these approaches have gone through a cycle that has extolled both great promise and bitter disappointments only to be followed lately by a substantial rebound and growth to respectability and even dominance. With world essentially rebound from the 2008 economic downturn, the efficiency, scope and reach of eCommerce continues to be strong as the overall market continues to set all-time high. CNBC

Moreover eCommerce continues to evolve both technologically and in the scope of its market reach. Technologically, desktop and laptop/notebook computers have been the dominant client/user-side technology with the server-side being either dedicated servers owned/managed by the eCommerce entity (e.g. the entity providing the goods/services) or an intermediate entity providing what is termed "cloud computing" resources shared by many eCommerce companies. More recently, Apple, Samsun, Amazon and a host of others have evolved this paradigm by creating an environment by which other devices such as an iPhone, iPad and Android-based smartPhones, a host of Tablets (that cost as little as $40.), wrist computers glasses and HoloLens are emerging as serious client-side technologies. The extreme portability, mobility and place-aware nature of these devices is expanding the fundamental character of the eCommerce environment. Enabled is on-the-go eCommerce that is place- and time-aware now. Enabled is on-the-go eCommerce that is place- and time-aware now, has remembered the past and continually makes intelligent expectations about the future. Most importantly, it does this everywhere, both in-place and on the move.

The scope of the eCommerce market has also evolved beyond the narrow buying and selling of goods to include services of all kinds including entertainment and communications that is making eCommerce an integral part of everyone's daily life. It is these fundamental daily personal services provided by the extended scope of eCommerce that have the opportunity to substantially enhance the daily lives of all individuals.

The aspect that is of particular interest to me is the mobile eCommerce space, that is the creation of an enhanced environment while on-the-go. One travels to enhance one's time and place utility. Traditionally this has required the expenditures of money, displeasure and wasted time. Mobile eCommerce can substantially enhance all elements by enabling a better use of the time, bringing enhanced entertainment and information to alleviate displeasure, allowing the mode of transport to operate more efficiently, thus saving money. These combine to deliver the biggest value in making it "affordable" in terms of money, pleasure and time to experience a broader array of destinations that otherwise would not have a place and time utility ehancement that would justify the traditional investment in money, displeasure and time. Such improvements open up vast new markets.

In this course we will study

1. the basics fundamentals of the business and economic motivations for eCommerce as well as the needs and desires of individuals,

2. the underlying computation, information and communication environments that encompass and enable eCommerce transactions, and

3. the evolving role of new highly portable, place-aware, always-with-you personal devices in eCommerce.

We will focus exclusively on those electronic and process technologies that allow for transactions to be conducted with little or no human intervention on the part of the buyer/consumer or the seller/provider. We will characterize the value proposition afforded by such transactions. Initially we will focus on traditional stationary transactions using "wired" connections; however, we will quickly evolve to focus on transactions that are made while on-the-go that, out of necessity, use 2-way wireless communication. This leads us to look into Navigation-based Commerce (nCommerce) and Navigation-based Entertainment (nTertainment or TravelTainment)and even delve into Smart Driving Cars that may allow everyone to more fully enjoy the process of getting there. And there might even be a business case associated with focusing on this sector. Hyundai seems to thinks so since they focued their 2014 Super Bowl 30 seconds on one aspect as does Chunka Mui We will look at the role and opportunity of extremely mobile, place aware, communications and computing enabled devices such as smartPhones (iPhone, Android, WinMobile (?), RIM (??)etc.), and smartPads (iPads, and the plethora of Android tablets), wearables (watches and glasses (or are they simply too goofy??)) and Android - the open handset alliance. A central element that has fueled this nCommerce and nTertainment revolution is a substantially new intermediary in the eCommerce equation, App Stores. They are a substantially different paradigm that is still in its infancy. We will attempt to characterize it, analyze it and try to understand how these technologies can enhance everyone's daily life as well as create opportunities for those that wish to contribute to the evolution of this sector of the economy..

The last third and most important part of the course focuses on the design and construction of eCommerce and nCommerce applications in the following areas:

Nominal homework assignments revolve around the design, construction and evaluation of a traditional eCommerce site. Through a series of assignments, the first part of the course will focus on a generic example, the rental of DVDs for viewing on airplanes (now a very old concept, but one that became NetFlix. The second part of the course will be team project-oriented. It will focus on developing a more substantive student-motivated eCommerce initiative. In place of a final exam, the team Projects will be presented, at a course symposium to be held at the end of reading period. Popular Background readings are:

Zero to One: Notes on Startups by Peter Thiel

Killer Apps by Chunka Mui and Paul Carrol

Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects


Part I. Introduction

Date Title Reading Notes
2/2 Overview of eCommerce, Enrolled Students ; Your Availabilityfor Precept Zero to One: Notes on Startups by Peter Thiel & RideScout Video & RideScout InterestingLinks_2/2/15; Internet50 Assignment
2/4 Perspectives on eCommerce Laudon Ch 3 or Deitel 3; The Internet and the World Wide Web , InterestingLinks_2/04/15,

Part II. Software Technologies and Case Studies of eCommerce

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Date Title Reading Notes
2/9 HTTP Servers, PHP and cPanel, Basic Client-Server Example: Handout1 Hall 16.2-16.5,17.4, 18.1-18.6 (JAVA Related) ; HTML5 Reference, PHP Tutorial, cPanel User Guide, Python Tutorial,and Quick HTML Reference Basic background: Dietel 10.6-10.7, 29.1, 29.3-29.6 Interesting Links_2/9/15;
2/9 Precept eBusiness Models and Information Processing; Bessemers Top 10 Laws of E-Commerce Laudon Ch 2 or Deitel Ch 3 NBS,(Navigation Based Services; nCommerce); eBusiness Notes
2/11 Server-side Data and Transaction Processing. Example: Handout2 Un Met Needs HW2 Assignment Java Notes: Hall ch 17 InterestingLinks_2/11/15;
2/16 Client-Side Processing. Example: Handout3 JavaScript Tutorial ; Hall Ch19.1 - 19.6 JavaScript Notes 2/16/15; InterestingLinks_2/16/15
Precepts 2/16 Lab 2: Server-Side Processing with HTTP - Part II
2/18 Cookies; Handout4 Cookie Tutorial; Cookies & PHP InterestingLinks_2/18; Cookies Notes 2/18/15
2/23 Disussion of Un Met Needs HW2 Assignment , InterestingLinks_2/23/15
Precepts 2/23Initial discussion of Lab 3: Client-Side Processing with HTTP
2/25, Special Seminar: Steve Papa'94, Founder and former CEO Endeca "Luck Favors the Prepared", InterestingLinks_2/25
3/2 Intro to CSS and Beyond HTML:XML CSS Tutorial,Introduction to XML , XML Tutorial XML Notes 3/3; InterestingLinks_3/2/15
Precepts 3/2 Lab 3: Client-Side Processing with HTTP Cookie Tutorial
3/4 Special Seminar: Spencer Lucian'08,VP, Operations and Business Intelligence, "Using the Internets to: Make Hay When the Sun Shines; Else, Preparation." InterestingLinks_03/04/15
3/9 Special Seminar: Troy Ewnachyna'94, VP Business Development and Digital Strategy, NBC Sports & Olympics "Streaming SuperBowl LVIX, Lessons Leasrned", InterestingLinks_3/9/15
Precepts 3/9 Mid-term Week: Precept Cancelled; However, Think about who you'll work with on... HW3: Final Project - Preliminary Proposal Due 3/23
3/11 Final Projects Due 3/24 HW3: Final Project - Preliminary Proposal , , InterestingLinks_3/11/15 Keppler Image Gallery
3/15 - 22 Midterm Break Work on Designing Your Final Project While on the Beach
3/23 Precept: Final Project StoryBoard Presentations Current Partness , StoryBoardLineUp, Entrepreneur Buisiness Plan Reference, Law Depot Buisiness Plan Reference
3/23Precept: Final Project StoryBoard Presentations Current Partness , StoryBoardLineUp
3/25 WebGL Learning WebGL WebGL Notes 3/25 InterestingLinks_3/25/15
3/30 Special Seminar: Rob Hill'84 President, Americon Consulting "Internet Auctions: Game Theory and (Ir)rational Behavior" Auction Reference Links; Auction-Theory Notes InterestingLinks_3/30/15
3/30 Precept:Beyond HTTP: TCP/IP and Socket Communications Handout6 TCP/IP Tutorial TCP/IP IBM Book Lab 5: Beyond HTTP, InterestingLinks_3/30/15 Notes 4/6
4/1 Intro to CSS and Beyond HTML:XML CSS Tutorial,Introduction to XML , XML Tutorial XML Notes 4/1 ; InterestingLinks_4/01/15

Part III. Operational Considerations and Case Studies

Date Title Reading Notes
4/6 Class is Cancelled. To be Made up on Tusday, May 5 Work with your partners on your final projects InterestingLinks_4/06/15
4/6 Follow-up Precept on Lab 5
4/8 Capacity Analysis InterestingLinks_4/8 Capacity Notes 4/8
4/13 Special Seminar: Robert Moore'06 , Founder & CEO RJMetrics "Creating an eCommerce company from scratch: An Investor and Entrepreneur's Perspective" InterestingLinks_4/13, Note Lab 6 capacity Issures Due 4/19
4/13 Precept: Independent work on Final Project
4/15 Internet Pricing Internet Pricing Notes 4/15 InterestingLinks_4/15/15
4/20 Precept: Story-board Presentations of Final Project InterestingLinks_4/20/15
4/20 Precept: Review for Exam two-sided 8.5x11 cheat sheet InterestingLinks_4/20/15
4/22 "9th Week Exam" Closed evrything; two-sided 8.5x11 cheat sheet InterestingLinks_4/22/15
4/27 Special Seminar: Michael Yaroshefsky'12, Analyst, Insight Venture Partners "Analyzing Investment Opportunities" InterestingLinks_4/27/15
4/27 Precept:Interim Presentation of Final Projects Schedule of Interim Presentation of Final Projects InterestingLinks_4/27/15
4/29 Continued... Interim Presentation of Final Projects Schedule of Interim Presentation of Final Projects InterestingLinks_4/29/15
5/4 Make-up Class...Special Seminar:Elizabeth Hamren'93 VP DropCam InterestingLinks_5/04/15

Note: This schedule is tentative and may change during the course of the semester.

Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects

Standard Reference Textbooks and Readings

Additional readings will also be handed-out from time to time. Your are responsible for completing the readings prior to the first day that they will be discussed in class.


Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects

You must complete the following assignments during the course of the semester:

Description Due
Lab 1: Server-Side Processing with HTTP - Part I 2/12
Lab 2: Server-Side Processing with HTTP - Part II 2/19
Lab 3: Client-Side Processing with HTTP 3/5, This is a HARD deadline
Lab 4: Client-Side Processing with HTTP - Part II Merged with Lab3 above
Lab 5: Beyond HTTP 4/16
Lab 6 (PS 1): Capacity: Issues and Analysis 4/19

Final Project

Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects

A Final Project Symposium will be held on Friday, May 8 at 9:00am in Room 101 ORFE. Each group has only 20 minutes for their presentation including: setup time (have everything ready), presentation (15 minutes MAX), and discussion (3 minutes). Attendance will be taken. You will need to sign in and out.

The written element of the Final Projects are due the following Monday 5/11. (Examples from the 2008 final projects).

Virtual investments by the class of 2013 at the beginning in the semester of eCommerce companies was less than spectacular. Class gains were 2.75% while the S&P gained 4.2% . If everyone would have simply bought the average gain would have been 9.11%! Biggest winners were Kyle O'Donovan and Brian Berkowitz (34.25%, 32.53%). Biggest losers were Chetan Narain and Steve Chen/Dao Mi (-20.96% and -18.21%) Tabulated results

After the presentations, we will have a class PICNIC on Friday May 8, (4pm-7pm). @ 42 Cleveland Lane (if I indeed buy the house) and swimming may be available (if I have enough $$$ to fix the pool). Hopefully at worse we can shoot pool. You are welcome to bring a guest.


Grades will be based on your performance on problem sets and labs (30%), a "10th week" exam (30%), the final project (30%) and 10% class participation.