E-Commerce Infrastructure: Planning & Management

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  • 0:04 What Is E-Commerce?
  • 1:08 E-Commerce Infrastructure
  • 3:01 Planning and Management
  • 3:51 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Gloag
In this lesson, we'll take a look at e-commerce, what it is, some of the hardware and software needed to implement it, along with the planning and management that goes along with it.

What Is E-Commerce?

We do a lot of things electronically these days. Just look around you. We communicate through our computers using our favorite email client, we talk and text with friends and family through our cell phones, and we even receive news and information through our favorite television and radio stations. We do these things daily, and all of it is fast, painless, and electronically-based. It will make sense then that we can also purchase things in this fashion. Companies like Amazon and eBay have developed significant businesses around it. We're talking, of course, about e-commerce.

Electronic commerce, or e-commerce as it's more commonly known, is the buying and selling of goods or services over a computer network. These days this means over the Internet, because it connects billions of people all over the world. In this type of structure, all of the viewing, selling, negotiation, and payment of the traditional shopping experience is handled electronically. Companies like Amazon and eBay (and even VISA and Master Card) have created significant businesses around this type of structure. And it gets bigger ever day as more businesses add an online presence to their offerings.

E-Commerce Infrastructure

E-commerce infrastructure is computer-based. As a result, like most computer systems, e-commerce infrastructure has both hardware and software components to it.


From a hardware perspective, the infrastructure involves a number of items. Some of these include:

  • Servers - These are computers that handle the processing requirements for the infrastructure
  • Proxy servers - This is a server that acts as an intermediary between the outside world and the resources of the e-commerce infrastructure
  • Load balancers - These devices split the work to be done so that it's evenly distributed among the e-commerce infrastructure
  • Firewalls - These are protection devices that restrict what a user can do with the e-commerce infrastructure
  • Encryption devices - These devices translate information into non-human readable forms and protect it from prying eyes
  • Interactive voice response units - This is the computer-generated voice you hear when you use voicemail, or when you call a company's automated support center


From a software perspective, some of the infrastructure includes:

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