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An introduction to e-commerce and distributed applications
An introduction to e-commerce and distributed applications

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1 E-commerce and distributed systems

1.1 Distributed systems

The past four years have seen an amazing growth of interest in distributed systems which address the business needs of companies and which use network technology – primarily the technology employed in the internet. In that period newspapers, magazines and even government pronouncements have frequently mentioned the huge business prospects for companies who embrace internet technologies. There is now a burgeoning literature on e-commerce aimed at the business person and the manager and a thriving industry of book publishing on specific technologies, for example Brown and Honeycutt, (1998); however, there is little published on how to combine the various technologies that are available to design and implement e-commerce systems.


The internet floats on a mountain of jargon and acronyms. Frankenedit is an example of jargon. It is used by writers on internet topics and technologies who are often bullied or bribed by their publishers to write a book on specific technologies quickly in order to be the first to market. A frankenedit is what happens when such an author sends a book to a publisher for rapid editing and it returns in a worse condition than when it was sent.