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Chapter 1. Introduction > Technology Issues in Internet Commerce

Technology Issues in Internet Commerce

Technology is, of course, what makes Internet commerce possible. The invention and subsequent spread of the World Wide Web, in particular, provided the technical foundation for many different applications, including those for business. Since its introduction, the Web has changed rapidly, with both rapid growth in usage and dramatic evolution in protocols, systems, and applications. For commerce systems, there are two key technology issues: which technology to use, and how to deal with the fast pace of technological change.

This book is mostly about the first issue: how to apply Internet technology to business problems. Commerce applications bring together many technology components: the Web, databases, high-speed networking, cryptographic algorithms, multimedia, and others. Putting them together to form a secure, high-performance, integrated system can be challenging, but the principles and ideas presented here should provide some useful guidance. The earliest Internet commerce systems were custom software. Over the past few years, it has become possible to assemble a commerce system by using toolkits to integrate software modules and applications from different suppliers. Mature packaged application software for Internet commerce is available as well, in which a complete or nearly complete system is available from a single supplier, perhaps needing integration only to connect it to existing business systems.


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