The Technologies Involved In Setting Up A Secure E-commerce Site

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Protocols – protocols are a set of policies and rules that define the communication with multiple (two or more) devices over a network. Networking protocols are able to take control of the end-to-end process which makes sure it keeps within the time, security and can also manage network/data. Different protocols are used for different tasks that need to be achieved.

Web servers – a web server is a piece of hardware that can be used to ensure the eCommerce website can be hosted. The files that are stored on a server that creates the entire website consist of HTML files, image, and database files. The web server generally uses Linux or Windows to run the operating system but will also have to use special software that is needed to manage access requests on a webpage, this is a web server software. A web server is like a PC but there are differences such as more memory and faster processors. If a company website wanted to host an eCommerce website, they will need a web server of their own or they can pay a hosting company to allow them space on a web server that is secure. As most companies are small or do not have the ability to manage their own server, they decide to give that task out to a hosting company.

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Domain name – domain names are needed for your website to be found. Most companies have domain names that are as close to the company name, they can get. Such as google (, which makes it easier for the user to remember and more recognizable just by entering the domain name as it has the company name in it. An eCommerce site must have a domain name and the shorter and recognizable it is will help you when users search for you as it will show up higher on the search engine. Registering a domain name is how a business would use eCommerce.

Web authoring tools – are used to create the visual side of the website of an eCommerce page, this is what the user sees when browsing. Dreamweaver is a web authoring package (website builder) and this would be used to create HTML files that can be used to improve the visual side of the webpage that the user will interact with. There are many other web authoring tools such as visual studio and adobe photoshop.

SSL – SSL is needed to secure online transactions. The SSL certificate helps safety as it also identifies users and encrypts data for the users wherever they may be, whether in-store on online shopping. The reason SSL plays a big part in eCommerce is because of the security it will provide for the user when they try and access your website. this can also be confirmed when a webpage has a padlock image with the HTTPS near the URL. If the user believes the webpage has done everything that includes safety when it comes to transactions, it will make them more confident and likely to buy again.

Compatible with web browsers – this is a (software) application that is used to find, receive and show the content received from the web servers. There are many web browsers and the popular ones consist of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. Developers and development companies test the website to see how it is viewed and to make sure it is the correct size for overall devices and browsers.

Encryption – data/information needs to be encrypted for information to be sent securely. Encryption is key when it comes to entering sensitive data when using the internet, the purpose of encrypting data is to make sure that the information the user is entering (bank/personal) details cannot be hacked or intercepted. When the data is stored in the database it must also be stored using encryption to confirm that it has been stored in the database with the correct level of security. The reason why encryption is needed and is used for eCommerce is, the fact it offers a level of security that if it was not used, the user may not be happy about entering their details. You could even have one customer who has been hacked as you have not used it, this can affect the entire company. Also, it is against the law to not correctly protect customers’ data.

HTTP – HyperText Transfer Protocol also the secure HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) are used to access webpages/websites, HTTPS is more secure for users to enter information which may be personal or bank details as it is more secure than HTTP.

FTP – File Transfer Protocol is a set of rules which are used to transfer information between multiple devices that are also running on a TCP/IP-based network. An example of this being used in eCommerce is when a customer who is shopping online wants a receipt with their order, this would be sent using FTP.

TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is a language that is used over the web by allows for the user to access the internet by handing out protocols. Anyone who uses the internet to access an eCommerce webpage will be using TCP/IP. Each device that is on a network will have a completely different IP address. As TCP/IP is complex it does take someone skilled in that field to understand it but eCommerce developers should have a basic understanding of their existence.

Database – you will need a database when creating a website, the database will be needed by the company to store the data of the products and what they can offer to the consumer. As the database has the information about the products that are seen on the webpage, this will affect which contents are on the webpage. Companies like Argos would have a database that allows them to store the items price, description, etc. they would also have a database that would have customers details, and payment details, and also how the customer paid and their address which is how they remember the address and the customer payment details if they order again.

SET – Secure Electronic Transaction, which allows for secure payment over the web nut it is also encrypted to prevent any interception with the data. The way it works is using a digital signature and if it is not correct it will not allow the transaction to go through.

Metatags – metatags are lines I within a code that are in the HTML files which are keywords for what is on the page such as if eBay has a sale and you type in eBay sale, it will come up with a metatag for you to go directly to the sale and it to search on a search engine which allows it to be found easier.

M2 Justify the importance of communications technology in E-Commerce design.

(Add a section to the report which justifies the importance of communication technologies in designing an E-Commerce solution. Identify the uses of these technologies and any additional hardware and software components that are required to support communications.)

Cables – there are many types of cables. Cables are used to transfer data from one place to another, for example, from one computer to another. There are many types of cables used such as coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, and unshielded twisted pair (UTP). The cables are used to communicate between multiple devices. This is used in commerce by allowing the user to interact with the webpages and accessing the website as data will need to be sent and received for a transaction to be taken place, the user can send payment and receive confirmation of payment.

Switches – a switch is a network device that allows multiple devices to connect on a network by allowing packets to be sent, process, and sent to the correct destination. A switch allows for data to be transferred to other devices which allows for data to be sent and received. A switch is needed in eCommerce as it will allow the consumer to view a webpage as data is being sent and received through the web server and sent again to a router which allows the consumer to access the webpage.

Ports – ports are used to plug-in peripherals, most devices like a laptop and a pc contain ports. There is a parallel port and a serial port, a parallel port can carry out multiple tasks at once, but a serial port is only able to carry out one task at a time. They are needed as they help with external devices connecting such as mousse, keyboard, USB and external hard drives, etc.

Network interface card – NIC is a hardware component that allows devices such as a PC to connect to a network and if a NIC was not used the consumer would not be able to access the web. NICs are necessary as they allow connection to the internet and without this, the consumer would not be able to shop via e-commerce. NIC is a circuit board that is connected to a motherboard, but it can be used wired or wirelessly.

Router – the router is a device that is used for connecting a device and the user to the web. The user will have a router and also will the company whose website the user is browsing through. A router looks through the packets of data received and will work out where they need to be sent by reading the necessary information. if the user went on the website the router, they are using will then ask the companies router for access and in return, you will see the company’s website once they send out their packets.

Modem – A modem is a networking device that can both sends signals for coding and decoding information simultaneously. Modems are used mostly for sending and receiving data between two computers, this data is transmitted through the application of telephone lines. Previously modems were used in the past but as the popularity of broadband grew it was most commonly used for accessing the Internet thus making the use of moderns unutilized. The importance of a modem as a communication device in the e-commerce industry allows the customer to communicate possible solutions and responses through email.

HTTP – stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, this is everything but the security that HTTPS offers. HTTP is needed for the internet to be used and how information is shown plus how the information is being sent and received with the web browsers and the web servers which makes it important.

HTTPS – stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Unlike HTTP, HTTPS is encryption which adds a layer of protection when data/information is being transferred. The reason why encryption is important is to protect customers’ information/data. The way encryption works is it would encrypt the data/information is encrypted and is transferred to where it needs to go, once the information/data reaches the endpoint it is then decrypted for the end-user to see, this prevents any inference during the transfer of the sensitive data and if it does get intercepted midway it would not be easy to read because of the encryption.

FTP – file transfer protocol is a way that files are transferred between devices. It is a way of files being transferred from one device and being received on another device securely.

IMAP – Internet Message Access Protocol lets you access your emails from anywhere. Server store your emails, so if you have messages in your inbox, etc your email clients make contact with the server which will connect you to your messages. It is needed for eCommerce as it allows the customer and the company to email one another and for the company to read and know they have responded to an email and put it in the correct folder.

TCP/IP – Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). TCP/IP is a language that manages how information is being transferred (sent/received) over the web. Internet protocol (IP) is needed so information can be sent and received. This helps with the security of the information being transferred when e-commerce is being used as it will allow for users’ information to be sent more securely and it will be less likely for an attack to occur. As TCP/IP is complex it does take someone skilled in that field to understand it but eCommerce developers should have a basic understanding of their existence.

POP3 – post office protocol is a standard in networking that is used to receive mail online. It is a server between the client and the provider of your internet which uses a server to store your online mail. POP3 can be used in eCommerce for if the customer has a question, they may want to ask the company/seller which they may need an answer.

D2 Evaluate the role that database technology plays in the development and sustainability of E-Commerce.

(Add a final section to the report that evaluates the role that database technology plays in the development and sustainability of E-Commerce.)

Before eCommerce was Used

Before databases were used in eCommerce, customers were not able to purchase online, they would have to go into a store to purchase any items they needed. Also, when you were in-store they would only sell you the items that were available and not sold out, they were not able to reserve items for as they can when using eCommerce. Also, items that were instore and sold out you would not be any of the wiser about unless you went instore to check on them, but that would have to be done while the store was open, unlike e-commerce which is open 24/7 unless you found a shop which was open all day.

When eCommerce was in Use

When databases came into play, eCommerce started to emerge as it helped companies make more money as they were able to open an online store that could be viewed all hours of the day.

It allowed for companies to sell products online by sorting their items into different categories such as they did instore, Tesco having frozen section, fruits, drinks, and snacks like they had instore. You can access the store 24/7 which allows for the website to constantly be available and the database would have to be in use in case someone wants to take a look at the company’s webpage. as it will be available all day this can improve sales as it is like having a store that is open all day and available to anyone with an internet connection.

The customer’s information will be sorted on a database making the payment relatively easy as long as they have a password and username that they remember it will pull up all their information for them without them entering it in manually. Using a database on your site allows receiving payment as you can see using the database what items are selling and which are not also allowing you to see what each customer is buying and how many times they are buying certain items allowing you to offer the deals on what they prefer. You will also have their personal information such as names, addresses, bank details, age. Customers can also shop with ease using search bars and categories helping them find items easier and spending more money with less effort.


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