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 approached 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 the current world-wide efforts to emerge from the recent economic downturn, the efficiency, scope and reach of eCommerce continues to be strong. USA Today Internet 50

Moreover eCommerce continues to evolve in 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 and Google have evolved this paradigm by creating an environment by which other devices such as an iTouch, iPhone, iPad and Android-based smartPhones and Tablets 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, has remembered the past and continually makes intelligent expectations about the future.

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.

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 or the seller. 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). We will look at the role and opportunity of extremely mobile, place aware, communications and computing enabled devices such as smartPhones (iPhone, Android, WinMobile (?), etc.), and smartPads (iPads, and the plethora of Android tablets) 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 just in its infancy. We will attempt to characterize it, analyze it and try to understand how these technologies can enhance daily life.

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. 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.

Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects


Part I. Introduction

Date Title Reading Notes
2/6 Overview of eCommerce, Enrolled Students ; Your Availabilityfor Precept Laudon Ch 1 or Deitel 1 Internet50 Assignment & Apple Surges on Net Income Doubling & Amazonís Shares Tumble After Sales Miss Estimates: Seattle Mover(+8.3%)
2/8 The Internet and the World Wide Web Laudon Ch 3 or Deitel 3; & Google Earth Dives Deep

Part II. Software Technologies and Case Studies of eCommerce

Date Title Reading Notes
2/13 HTTP Servers, PHP and the CGI, Basic Client-Server Example InterestingLinks_2/13; Hall 16.2-16.5,17.4, 18.1-18.6 ; HTML5 Reference, PHP Tutorial, CGI Tutorial,and Quick HTML Reference Dietel 10.6-10.7, 29.1, 29.3-29.6
2/15 eBusiness Models and Information Processing; NBS,(Navigation Based Services); InterestingLinks_2/15; Laudon Ch 2 or Deitel Ch 3 eBusiness Notes
2/20 Server-side Data and Transaction Processing Un Met Needs HW2 Assignment ; InterestingLinks_2/20; Hall ch 17
2/22 Client-Side Processing JavaScript Tutorial ; InterestingLinks; Hall Ch19.1 - 19.6 JavaScript Notes 2/21
2/27 Saving State Information, Cookies Cookie Tutorial; InterestingLinks_2/27 Cookies Notes 2/27
2/29 Special Seminar: Robert Moore'06 , former analyst, Insight Venture Partners, founder & CEO RJMetrics "Creating an eCommerce company from scratch: An Investor and Entrepreneur's Perspective" InterestingLinks_2/29
3/5 Special Seminar: Colin McCarthy'09 and Daphne Earp'10, YEXT "Making a business out of Intelligent Local Search" InterestingLinks_3/5
3/7 Special Seminar: Troy Ewnachyna'94, VP Business Development and Digital Strategy, NBC Sports & Olympics "Trends in Sports Live Streaming", InterestingLinks_3/7
3/12 Beyond HTML:XML InterestingLinks Introduction to XML , XML Tutorial, CSS Tutorial, XSLT Tutorial,and SOAP Tutorial XML Notes 3/12; InterestingLinks_3/12
3/14 Final Projects Due 3/26 HW3: Final Project - Preliminary Proposal , Current Partnes , Notes 3/14 InterestingLinks_3/14 Link to Mars Rover Movie (old but still v. good) Keppler Image Gallery
3/26 Special Seminar: David Holdcroft, BAA; and Proposals for Final Projects Presentations "Heathrow's Pods" InterestingLinks_3/26
3/28, Special Seminar:Larry Reich, Technology & Consumer Electronics Guru "Future of the iPhone,iPad,Android and other mobile eCommerce technologies" InterestingLinks_3/28
4/2 Final Project StoryBoard Presentations Schedule of StoryBoards
4/4 Beyond HTTP: TCP/IP and Socket Communications and Proposals for Final Projects Presentations TCP/IP Tutorial TCP/IP IBM Book InterestingLinks_4/4 Notes 4/4

Part III. Operational Considerations and Case Studies

Date Title Reading Notes
4/9 Really SmartPhones: Enablers of Navigation Based Commerce (nCommerce), iPhone, Android, Google Maps, Visual Earth, etc; SmartPhones as Clients, Dietel 28 InterestingLinks_4/9 nCommerce Notes 4/9,
4/11, 16 Capacity Analysis InterestingLinks_4/11 InterestingLinks4/16 Notes 4/11
4/18 "Internet Auctions: Game Theory and (Ir)rational Behavior" by Rob Hill'84 President, Americon Consulting Rob Hill Auction Reference Links; Hill Slides InterestingLinks_4/18 Auction-Theory Notes
4/23 Internet Pricing InterestingLinks_4/23 Notes 4/13
4/25 "11th Week Exam" Closed evrything; two-sided 8.5x11 cheat sheet InterestingLinks_4/25
4/30 Interim Presentation of Final Projects Schedule of Interim Presentation of Final Projects InterestingLinks
5/2 Interim Presentation of Final Projects Schedule of Interim Presentation of Final Projects InterestingLinks

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

Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects

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 2/20
Lab 2: Server-Side Processing with HTTP - Part II 2/27
Lab 3: Client-Side Processing with HTTP 3/7
Lab 4: Client-Side Processing with HTTP - Part II Merged with Lab3 above
Lab 5: Beyond HTTP 4/9
Lab 6 (PS 1): Capacity: Issues and Analysis 4/18

Final Project

Description | Lectures | References | Assignments | Final Projects

A Final Project Symposium will be held on Friday, May 11 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 5/14. (Examples from the 2008 final projects).

Virtual investments by the class of 2011 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 ahve 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 another PICNIC at my house 24 Montadale Circle (2 miles from campus, tel : 980 1427)) on Monday May 9, (4pm-7pm). We will play a softball game; bring a softball glove if you can. A pool is available, so bring your bathing suit. A pool table is available, so bring plenty of money! 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.