SEG4189 - Electronic Commerce Technologies.

Project back to course page

v  Directed Hands-On Research Project (worth 60%)

Ø  10 Minute presentation (Powerpoint) (April 8, 9)

Ø  Implementation (Source coded and/or demo) (April 9)

Ø  Project Report (Word document) (April 9)


  1. Pick an example business on the web or enabling technology on the web to study.
  2. Research the selected business or technology.

Including history of its development, how successful it is in the current marketplace, who or what the main competitors are, and assess what may lie in store for the future.  Summarize your findings (with references).  Both and  are good resources.

  1. Document or define 1 or 2 ecommerce scenarios that illustrate how the selected business or technology works.

This should include a full analysis of both the business and technical aspects of the scenario as we do for the ecommerce scenarios studied in class.

  1. Investigate what tool support there is for hands-on implementation.
  2. A project report (5-10 pages) should be written in Word that describes everything done for the project

                  Including point 2 above, summary of research with a list of references.

  1. A short 10-20 minute PowerPoint presentation should be made that highlights the most interesting aspects of the project to the class. 


Potential Topics

Pick an e-commerce business e.g. Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay, Dell, Walmart, YouTube, Facebook and/or a technology from the list below or get approval from the instructor for your own specific topic.


You might also consider using the project to obtain web developer certification from either Microsoft of Sun.


  1. Federated Identity Management (LDAP, SSO)

Create an identity provider service that registers users on behalf of many different websites including your own (e.g. similar to Microsoft Passport).  Implement support for registered users using LDAP.  The registration should support storage of user preferences.  It should also handle billing on behalf of all websites.  When visitors register they are assigned to one of three groups: Browser (can look but not shop), Credit (can shop but pay by credit card), or Invoice (shop and do not need to pay right away, they will be invoiced later).  The CD Store should be updated to handle visitors accordingly.


  1. Personalization Service (Cookie Synchronization, Data Mining)

Create a service that collects and provides data on shopping patterns on behalf of many different websites including your own (e.g. similar to DoubleClick).  The service provides a profile for any “known” user.  It also collects data events from the website in order to build a “profile” of “known users”.  A user becomes “known” by using cookie synchronization between websites and the service.  The service also provides reports that summarize the data collected across all known users, and which can be used to look for anomalies (Identify theft) or target marketing campaigns (e.g. soccer mom).


3.  AJAX Client

Re-implement the CD website as an AJAX application (i.e. there is a single HTML file plus DHTML/Javascript that defines the entire presentation of the web site).  Communication is done directly from the browser to the business services.  Ensure that the application runs on at least two of Internet Explorer, FireFox, Netscape.  Provide an exhaustive comparison (advantages, disadvantages) between your AJAX client versus traditional web pages.


4. XForms Client

Re-implement the CD Store as an XForms application..  Provide an exhaustive comparison (advantages, disadvantages) between your XForms client versus traditional web pages.


5. Mobile Client

Create a mobile client that allows a user to interact with the web site from either a Windows Mobile or Blackberry device.  You do not need to have a device, it is acceptable to build it using an emulator.  Summarize and compare the technologies and challenges for mobile devices with that of PCs.


6. Support Processes (BPEL, BPMN)

Design business processes to deal with support calls to your website’s 1800 phone number, or support email address:

Problems with the web site

Billing Problems (overcharged)

Delivery Problems (defective or undelivered cds)

Implement an example process using BPEL (recommend Oracle BPEL engine and IDE).


7. Website Monitoring (LOG4J, Reports)

Update the CD Store to log events using Log4J (or related technology) to enable website monitoring of both performance (number of requests/second) and activiy (number of View Details requests, Add Product to Shopping Cart, Checkout Success or Unsuccessful …).  Create an admin app that can view stats on the events that are ocurring the web site.   Support the generation of alerts.  Use the monitoring facility to design scalability tests and reporting (show how performance scales based on the number of users connecting, the size of the database, and the size of your connection pool.)


8. Struts and Faces

Implement your project using Jakarta Struts and JavaServer Faces.  Compare and contract with Web Service approach and WAF approach to Pet Store.


9.  Privacy (PIPEDA, P3P)

Define a privacy policy for your website that indicates how your web site complies with PIPEDA.  Investigate the P3P standard for specifying the privacy policy of your web site and its interaction with the preferences specified by different visitors to your site.  Write three different P3P policies for your web site, and three different P3P policies for different visitors and compare the interaction.  Survey tools for tracking compliance.  Use at least one to illustrate privacy issues on your web site.


10.  Accessibility

Investigate guidelines and tools for tracking accessibility compliance.  Modify your web site so that it has customized support (different look) for Netscape, I.E., and a PDA browser.  Use a PDA emulator to validate.


11.  Internationalization / Localization

Support more than one language in your store (English, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, etc.).  Provide a generic mechanism with clear instructions how an additional language could be supported.  Allow a user to switch languages at any time in the store.  Have the default selection be based automatically on your Windows regional settings when using Internet Explorer.


12.  Patterns

Select one design pattern for each person in your group.  The design pattern must be one that was NOT covered in class.  Create example code in your CD Store that shows how the design pattern works, AND find an example in the Pet Store Blue Print (or possibly another groups project code) to illustrate the design pattern at work.  Provide references where the design pattern is documented as well as references to similar or complementary design patterns (NOT presented by your group).


13. E-Payment

Research and compare different approaches and alternatives to E-Payment.  Implement full integration with PayPal.


14. Public Key Infrastructure

Research and compare technologies for supporting public key infrastructure including smart cards, electronic signatures.  Implement support for public key encryption and non-repudiation using Entrust in your CD Store.


15. Data Mashups

Survey current examples of websites and tools for data mashups.  Then build one of your own.

Google "data mashup", "health data mashup".  Check out  for a step by step guide to building a health data mashup.

Also see:


16. Data Mining and Predictive Modelling

Related to data mashups …but focused on the analysis and inference of trends from publicly available data on the Internet.

Also see:, streaming data from sources such as yahoo!, The Arkansas Walmart data, data from CIHI (Canadian institute for health information)