Case Study – Random Walk Shoes
Amy Lawrence, the owner of Random Walk Shoes, has asked you to help her as she launches her company’s first Web site. In college, Amy was a business major with an artistic bent. She helped to pay her way through college by decorating sneakers with her hand-painted designs. Her business grew through word of mouth and through her participation in crafts fairs. By the time she earned her degree, Amy was running a successful business from her dorm room.
Amy expanded her sales efforts to include crafts fairs in nearby towns. She hired two college students to work for her, and she convinced several area gift shops to stock samples of her merchandise. The gift shops were not an ideal retail outlet for her products, however, since most people who want to buy decorated sneakers want to choose specific designs or have special designs created just for them. Customers also want to choose the specific shoes on which the design is placed. One of Amy’s student workers suggested that she consider selling her products on the Web.
Realizing that the Web would give Random Walk Shoes a chance to reach a much wider audience and would allow customers to choose design-shoe combinations, Amy began gathering information and developing estimates about her planned Web activity. Using her digital camera, she took several hundred pictures of shoes, designs, and shoe-design combinations. She then hired a local Web designer to create sample pages for the website, including catalog pages that contained the digital images. She also created a number of videos showing the customized sneakers in action.
When the Web designer had completed a prototype of the site, Amy worked with the designer to calculate page sizes (including the images). The average page size was 1 MB. She also calculated the average size of a video to be 800 MB. Amy and her employees then navigated the prototype site several hundred times to develop an estimate of how many pages an average visitor would download and how many videos they would watch. They concluded that an average site visitor would visit 23 pages and watch one video during each visit. Amy worked with the Web designer to develop estimates of the activity they expect to occur on the website during its first two years of operation. These estimates include:
· The database of Web page information (including the images and the videos) will require about 1 TB of disk space.
· The database management software itself will require about 500 MB of disk space.
· The shopping cart software will require about 300 MB of disk space.
· About 8000 customers will visit the site during the first month, and site traffic will grow about 20 percent each month during the first two years.
· The site should accommodate a peak traffic load of 1000 visitors at one time.
Amy wants to include features on the site that are similar to those found on competing sites (a list of links to businesses that sell customized shoes on the Web is included in the Web Links for your reference). Amy wants the site to provide a good experience for visitors. If the site is successful, it will generate sufficient revenue to allow an upgrade after two years. However, she does not want to spend more money than is necessary to get the site up and keep it running for the next two years.
Your assignment this week is to review the content in this week’s reading and create a report that will help Amy to determine the features and capacities (RAM, disk storage, processor speed) that should include in the Web server computer she will need for her site. Be sure to include some dialog regarding electronic commerce software and any other software recommendations that you deem beneficial to Amy’s operation. Additionally, consider the advantages and disadvantages of using open source Web server software (such as Apache Web Server) on the new computer, and summarize your purchase recommendations. You may also include information from vendors’ sites (such as Dell, HP Servers, or Oracle Enterprise Servers) as an appendix to your report.
The following requirements must be met:
· Write between 1,000 – 1,500 words using Microsoft Word in APA style.
· Use an appropriate number of references to support your position, and defend your arguments. The following are examples of primary and secondary sources that may be used, and non-credible and opinion based sources that may not be used.
o Primary sources such as government websites (United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Census Bureau, The World Bank), peer reviewed and scholarly journals in EBSCOhost (Grantham University Online Library) and Google Scholar.
o Secondary and credible sources such as CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal, trade journals, and publications in EBSCOhost (Grantham University Online Library).
o Non-credible and opinion based sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. should not be used.
· Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased statements, information, etc.) in the paper and list each source on a reference page using APA style. APA resources, including a template, are provided in the Supplemental Materials folder.
Ch 8: Web Server Hardware and Software
Ch 9: Electronic Commerce Software
Schneider, G. P. (2015). Electronic Commerce (11th ed.).
Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Boston, MA. ISBN: 9781285742298
There are many types of computer platforms around the world connected to the Internet. What makes these connections possible is “ . . . platform neutrality . . .” (Schneider, 2015).
Figure 8-1, Schneider, 2015 illustrates the nature of the Internet and platform neutrality. The basic functionality of the Internet is based on the client-server architecture where HTTP protocol provides for exchanges between client and server by use of the TCP/IP Internet protocol.
The exchange between a web client and a single web server is a termed a two-tier network. Exchanges between a web client and two or more web servers are known as a three-tire network and are common when linking web users to databases to provide additional information such as a catalog.
Figure 8-2 and figure 8-3 of Schneider, 2015 provides illustrations of the two and three tier web client and web server exchange processes.
Web Server Hardware and Software
A majority of Internet software is provided from Apache [HTTP] web server and Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS) (Schneider, 2015).
Email makes up a large percentage web usage and spam “(unsolicited commercial e-mail or bulk mail Electronic junk mail” Schneider, 2015) has become a burden to corporations as many resources are used to deter, detect and eradicate viruses that may accompany the spam.
Schneider, 2015 figure 8-5 illustrates the increase over the years of spam as a percentage of companies emails.
Web Server Hardware and Software
Like Internet service providers, Ecommerce has Internet providers that cater to the needs of Ecommerce. Commerce Service Providers (CSPs), Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Application Service Providers (ASPs) provide internet hosting services that are not limited to internet access but also provide, in addition to Internet access, services that support Ecommerce.
Basic functions of Ecommerce software include, Catalogs, Shopping carts, Web services, Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) Integration, and Supply chain management. Schneider, 2015).
Small and mid-size companies use service providers rather than building an expensive Internet hosting network of their own. “Mall-style commerce service provides (CSPs) provide small business with a Internet connection,
Web site creation tools and little or no banner advertising clutter” Schneider, 2015. The advantage to using these CSPs is the relatively low cost to establish an Ecommerce presence on the inter net. Figure 9-8 of Schneider, 2015 provides a summary of estimated cost for establishing a small store online.
Mid to large companies have the resources to invest in Internet development tools and Ecommerce software that connects to database systems for catalogs that can be easily maintained when products or services change or are updated.
Some of the software systems available are Intershop Enfinity, IBM WebSpere Commerce Professional and Microsoft Commerce server (Schneider, 2015).
Large Business that have an existing information system infrastructure can benefit from Enterprise-class Ecommerce software.
Enterprise-class Ecommerce software includes features for linking supply and purchasing functions along with B2B activities (Schneider, 2015). Figure 9-9 of Schneider, 2015 illustrates a typical enterprise-class Ecommerce system.