by June 7, 2002 0 comments



E-commerce envisaged a company selling its goods from a Web page on the Net. You as a customer logged on to the page, placed an order and they shipped you the goods. It was not anybody’s concern whether the company in turn maintained its records in paper ledgers or stone slates. Keeping the funnies out, the e-com enabled organization would still end up having multiple copies of the same data, one with accounts, one with sales, a third with customer relations and so on. Invariably, each copy would be out of sync with the other, leading to general confusion all around, especially when it came to business decision making or when multiple people had to interact with customers and suppliers.

e-business is about doing business with your suppliers and customers electronically, using the Internet and Internet standards and tools (like a browser). But there is no one watertight definition of what constitutes e-business. Loosely, e-business enablement is about 
automating through software, more and more of your business processes and transactions, in such a way that information can flow across software and business boundaries, because all of them have the same underlying standards.

The Building Blocks 
Web Services 
Application Servers

XML: The Carrier 

One important, but often understated element of e-business enablement is the building of business decision making logic into the system, thereby automating routine decision-making. Another important given is that there are no specifically created front-ends for the data to be presented to the user. The browser is the universal front end, and e-mail or messaging software is another key enabler in the e-business world. A third given is that data from one system should be easily available to another, irrespective of vendor. And, ideally, to avoid multiple instances of date being around, all systems should access the same data source, instead of maintaining their own versions of the data.

Krishna Kumar

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