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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

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.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371