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E-Commerce & Application Service CQA Doc No 24

Client Server Technology Client/server is a computational architecture that involves client processes requesting service from server processes. A two-tier architecture is where a client talks directly to a server, with no intervening server. It is typically used in small environments (less than 50 users). A three-tier architecture introduces a server (or an "agent") between the client and the server. The role of the agent is manifold. It can provide translation services (as in adapting a legacy application on a mainframe to a client/server environment), metering services (as in acting as a transaction monitor to limit the number of simultaneous requests to a given server), or intelligent agent services (as in mapping a request to a number of different servers, collating the results, and returning a single response to the client. A common error in client/server development is to prototype an application in a small, two-tier environment and then scale up by simply adding more users to the server. This approach will usually result in an ineffective system, as the server becomes overwhelmed. To properly scale to hundreds or thousands of users, it is usually necessary to move to a three-tier architecture. E-Commerce Electronic commerce is the most recent step in the evolution of business transactions. It replaces (or augments) the swapping of money or goods with the exchange of information from computer to computer. For business-to-consumer e-commerce, the Web has become the dominant pipeline. Business-to-business e-commerce takes many forms. One of them is the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which is a format for exchanging business information over private networks. Pros and Cons : E-commerce is attractive because it reduces the cost of doing business. Sending a few bytes of data over a network is cheaper, faster and more convenient than sending a messenger or even making a phone call. The primary concern is security. The Internet is very public, and many people hesitate to send sensitive data over the wires where it might be intercepted by nefarious third parties. E-Business E-Business is a current and evolving technological business processes, which allow the accessing, updating and communicating of information in a purely digital format, which can be used more efficiently and effectively, thereby creating a competitive advantage. More developed forms of e-business would include the merging of business processes, enterprise applications and administrative structure to create a high performance organization. This would include such applications as enterprise resource planning, which digitizes and optimizes the entire operational structure of an organization. Portals A portal is a gateway to web access. It is a hub from which users can locate all the web content they commonly need. There are several types of portals – Vertical Enterprise Portals, called vortals, Horizontal Enterprise portals called Mega-portals, Intranets, Internets etc. The advantages of having a portal over an ordinary home page are
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Syntel CQA Forum Providers

E-Commerce & Application Service CQA Doc No 24

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Customization - Different roles require different information. Personalization - Different people with the same role work differently. Efficiency - People get directly to the info they need. Work Flow - Customization insures they don't miss anything. Link Integrity - Software insures that links work or go away.

Reducing development life cycle in web based applications Code Reuse The simplest method is to reuse code that has been developed and tested for previous projects in the same organization. The initial reduction in project time might not be too much. As the process database grows, code reuse has been found to cut more than 20 percent of the project duration. Developing reusable frameworks involves careful planning, as the code must be deployed in other applications with minimal changes. The most commonly used frameworks are the controller part of the MVC architecture, exception handling, database connection pooling mechanism, e-mail framework, utility methods that will be used by many components in the application, reusable scripts (Java Scripts / VB Scripts) etc. Using features offered by application servers Another possible solution would be use the features offered by the application servers. Many application servers today, offer additional capabilities, for example database pool management. These are more safe and easy to use than the frameworks written for some other projects. Selecting the suitable application server with the required features, along with reducing the development time mind, will be the vital decision. Using automated testing tools Maintaining scripts for test data and using sophisticated tools for testing could be a major step towards reducing the development lifetime of software projects. This will reduce the time needed to repeatedly enter test data. Application Service Providers (ASP) Application Service Providers (ASP) are service firms that deploy, host, implement, manage and enhance software applications for customers at a central server farm across a wide-area network, i.e., the Internet or leased lines. Customers access these applications remotely and usually rent them on a per user, per month basis. ASP combine packaged software applications, related hardware, operating system and system/network management software, implementation and connectivity services, and ongoing application management, enhancement and support services into a single bundled solution-enabling customers to simply interact with an ASP rather than a collection of multiple technology and service vendors. Today, the ASP industry is an early-stage, high-growth market that represents a paradigm shift from the traditional application delivery and management model. This emerging industry enables customers to reduce both application deployment timeframes and their total cost of ownership. Ultimately, we believe the ASP industry will have one of the most profound impacts on the world of Information Technology over the next several years. As such, we believe there will be tremendous opportunities for both financial investors and emerging ASP to profit.

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E-Commerce & Application Service CQA Doc No 24

Common Features of ASP 1. The ASP owns and operates a software application. 2. The ASP owns, operates and maintains the servers that run the application. 3. The ASP also employs the people needed to maintain the application. 4. The ASP makes the application available to customers everywhere via the Internet, either in a browser or through some sort of thin client. 5. The ASP bills for the application either on a per-use basis or on a monthly/annual fee basis. In many cases, however, the ASP can provide the service for free or can even pay the customer. Advantages of ASP The ASP model has evolved because it offers some significant advantages over traditional approaches. Here are some of the most important advantages: 1. Especially for small businesses and startups, the biggest advantage is low cost of entry and, in most cases, an extremely short setup time. 2. The pay-as-you-go model is often significantly less expensive for all but the most frequent users of the service. 3. The ASP model, as with any outsourcing arrangement, eliminates head count. IT headcount tends to be very expensive and very specialized (like pilots in the airline example), so this is frequently advantageous. 4. The ASP model also eliminates specialized IT infrastructure for the application as well as supporting applications. For example, if the application you want to use requires an ORACLE or MS-SQL database, you would have to support both the application and the database. 5. The ASP model can shift Internet bandwidth to the ASP, who can often provide it at lower cost. One thing that led to the growth of ASP is the high cost of specialized software. As the costs grow, it becomes nearly impossible for a small business to afford to purchase the software, so the ASP makes using the software possible. Another important factor leading to the development of ASP has been the growing complexity of software and software upgrades. Distributing huge, complex applications to the end user has become extremely expensive from a customer service standpoint, and upgrades make the problem worse. In a large company where there may be thousands of desktops, distributing software (even something as simple as a new release of Microsoft Word) can cost millions of dollars. The ASP model eliminates most of these headaches. Things to Ask a Prospective ASP ASP today offer nearly any service a company might need. Many of these services (like email, Web hosting, ad serving, invoicing and bill delivery, payroll, etc.) are mission critical. It is therefore important to make sure that the ASP you choose will handle your information and relationship in a mission critical way. Here are a set of questions you should ask any ASP: 6. How do customers access the software? Is it through a browser or an application? If it is through a browser, how does the user experience feel? 7. How are customer service issues resolved? If you (or employees) have questions and/or problems with the software, what happens? Does the ASP provide training?
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E-Commerce & Application Service CQA Doc No 24

8. How secure is the data? You want to find out about internal security policies with ASP employees, passwords and access reports to protect your employees, firewall and other safeguards against external attack, and things like tape back ups to handle hardware failures. 9. How secure is the connection between the ASP and the user? Data flows between the ASP and the user whenever the user accesses it. Is it secured by encryption, a VPN, proprietary techniques or some other system? 10.How is the application served? Is your data on a dedicated machine or a shared machine. Both techniques are common and you often have a choice (with dedicated service being more expensive). 11.How does the ASP handle redundancy. If a machine fails or an Internet pipe goes down, what levels or redundancy are in place to keep your servers online? 12.How does the ASP handle hardware/software problems? If a hard disk fails or the application hangs, what are the policies in place around recovery? 13.How does the ASP handle a disaster? If the building were to burn down or a hurricane came through, how would the ASP handle the complete loss of the facility? How long would it be before service is restored? 14.Who owns the data? Obviously the customer should, but this fact should be stated in the contract. 15.How can I get the data out if I choose to select a new ASP two years from now? This is a tricky question on more complicated applications, and one that bears some thought for mission critical applications. 16.How can I move data between existing applications and the ASP? For example, if you have a home-grown ledger system and want to move data back and forth to a billing ASP, how would that work? Many ASP have already thought of this and handle it very well.

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