Evaluating the adoption of a SOA approach to developing applications

At the current ‘evolutionary stage’ of E-Business technologies, the multi-tier architecture (illustrated in Figure 1) utilised by Picture Rights can be regarded as a more traditional design. As a common business approach, this multi-tier architecture is relatively mature and stable with the advantage of being well-supported. When based on standards, this architecture allows for future developments because each tier can be readily exchanged due to defined interfaces between tiers. This model automates many activities of the business processes, for example, a client could submit a web form with a picture attachment to request a quote. However, the model fundamentally relies on the human operator as input to the process so the level of automation is ‘capped’ e.g. the user may have to re-submit multiple forms. The Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an alternative approach whereby the most relevant group of technologies is the Web Services Architecture (WSA). The primary goal of adopting a WSA approach is to enable automation by providing interfaces between the company’s electronic business systems and external or internal software applications. Figure 2 outlines the operation of web services. The WSA does not replace the existing architecture but is complementary: the web service still uses a web[…]

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The contribution of Amazon’s e-commerce activities to our current ‘digital revolution’

Jeff Bezos setup Amazon in 1994 and began trading on the Web in 1995 in the initial, subsequently regarded, commercialisation period of the Internet’s development. Many consumers adopt technology in a relatively passive process, likened to following fashion (as opposed to making informed decisions about standards or scalability) – demonstrated by a study of mobile phones in colleges (Katz, 2006). By default, one may therefore see Amazon’s business success from a hard-deterministic perspective i.e. the availability of technology enabled Amazon to (luckily) thrive. However, Amazon’s strategy, in its early adoption of e-business technology, involved a process to co-construct the e-business technologies (i.e. Web) to bring about change – the ‘digital revolution’. Amazon’s innovation lay within the use of technology to transform commercial and the social landscape so this essay focusses on Amazon as a retailer of books in its first decade of growth. The Digital Revolution The ‘digital revolution’ describes the “changes to society and business, beginning in the 1990s, that were brought about by technologies such as digital networks, computer software and new digital media” (T320, Block 1 Part 1, p.26). Despite a widespread acceptance in contemporary society that the digital revolution is humanity’s most radical technological leap, some[…]

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