Study guide for 2004/05



News and announcements



Learning outcomes

Method of teaching

Lecture/seminar programme


How the assessment relates to the learning outcomes

Core reading list

Supplementary reading and study material

Reassessment details




News and announcements


This module is part of the BSc Information Systems and Management, Autumn Term 2004. It covers both the theory and practice of conducting business over the Internet and the world Wide Web. Students should read this study guide carefully and also ensure that all the links have been followed to other accompanying material. The information in this study guide is maintained by Dr Roger Johnson and Dr George D. Magoulas, who you can contact by email: rgj@dcs.bbk.ac.uk;  gmagoulas@dcs.bbk.ac.uk if you have any queries or you want to set up an appointment.


This webpage will be updated while the course is in progress. Please be sure that you check it to find out up-to-date information about the module.


03/11/04: The coursework deadlines have been revised. Check the revised coursework description document in the Assessment section.

26/11/04: A Seminar entitled “From E-commerce to E-business: current developments and future directions” will be given by Dr Natasha Papazafeiropoulou (Brunel University) on the 3rd of December. The seminar will take a technology-oriented as well as strategy-oriented approach to e-commerce/business phenomenon, analysing cases studies from various industry sectors, while giving projections for the future of the e-commerce era. You are expected to participate in an active discussion about the pros and cons of e-commerce practices, comment on case studies and even give your ideas for successful application of e-commerce endeavours.


29/03/05: Revision class-1 is Friday April 22, Room 124, 6pm-7.30pm and Revision class-2 is Friday May 13, Room 124, 6pm-7.30pm





Electronic commerce is defined as any business process or exchange conducted electronically over telecommunication networks. This could include exchanging data files, designing and maintaining a web site, using businesses’ web-sites or buying and selling goods online. Web-based business is generating a vast amount of consumer transactions. The aim of this module is to present and discuss concepts and challenges of e-commerce providing a balanced coverage of both the technological and the strategic aspects of successful e-commerce. It will cover the business strategies of e-commerce, and the technologies involved in the design and deployment of e-business. No particular programming language knowledge is assumed and mathematical prerequisites are kept to a minimum. Familiarity with Computer Networks is an advantage.






·         To introduce the basic concepts of e-commerce theory and practice;

·         To present and discuss business strategies and technologies for e-commerce;

·         To have hands-on experience with implementing a simple e-shop.




Learning outcomes


By the end of the module students must demonstrate ability to:

·         Discuss basic concepts of e-commerce;

·         Discuss and explain theoretical and practical issues of conducting business over the internet and the Web

·         Evaluate user needs and implement a simple e-commerce site.




Method of teaching


The module will be delivered through a series of lectures, which runs in two threads, one addressing the technological aspects (delivered by G. Magoulas- GM), the other addressing the commercial and societal (delivered by R. Johnson - RJ). Several evenings are given over to a practical e-shop implementation (delivered by Dionisis Dimakopoulos- DD). Lectures are on Fridays 18:00-21:00 in room 124 in the School’s Building. It is strongly recommend that you attend these lectures.




Lecture programme


Lectures are on Fridays 18:00-19:20 and 19:40-21:00. The following lecture programme is based on our best estimates of the course material but may need to be varied as the course progresses.


Week 1: 4 October – 8 October 2004

Lecture 1: Introduction, Overview and Case Studies (RJ)

Lecture 2: Infrastructure I: Computer Networks (GM)


Week 2:  11 October – 15 October 2004

Lecture 3: Selling on the Web (RJ)

Lecture 4: Infrastructure II: the World Wide Web (GM)


Week 3: 18 October – 22 October 2004

Lecture 5: Web Server Hardware and Software (GM)

Lecture 6: Marketing on the Web (RJ)


Week 4: 25 October – 29 October 2004

Lecture 7: Business-to-Business strategies: from EDI to E-commerce (RJ)

Lecture 8: Auctions, Virtual Communities, Web Portals (RJ)


Week 5: 1 November – 5 November 2004

Lecture 9: Environment of E-commerce and Planning for E-business (RJ)

Lecture 10: E-commerce Software (GM)


Week 6: 8 November – 12 November 2004

Reading week


Week 7: 15 November – 19 November 2004

Lecture 11: Payment systems (RJ)

Lecture 12: E-commerce Security-I (GM)


Week 8: 22 November – 26 November 2004

Lecture 13: E-commerce Security-II (GM)

Lecture 14: User Experience (GM)


Week 9: 29 November – 3 December 2004

Lectures 15-16: Guest lecture


Week 10: 6 December – 10 December 2004

Lab 1: E-Shop Exercise (DD)

Lab 2: E-Shop Exercise (DD)


Week 11: 13 December – 17 December 2004

Lecture 17: Revision (RJ+GM)

Lab 3: E-Shop Exercise (DD)






The module is assessed by a three hours written exam, which counts for 80%, and a piece of coursework that counts 20% of the overall mark. The coursework covers both theoretical and practical aspects of E-commerce. In the practical part students are asked to design and implement a simple e-shop. You can use any tool(s) you prefer for your implementation, e.g. Microsoft Site Server 3.0, Shop Creator (there will be three sessions on how to use this tool – see the lecture programme) etc. Your e-shop should mimic an actual company and contain a number of products.




How the examination relates to the learning outcomes


The examination relates to the basic learning outcomes stated earlier in this document. Exam questions will cover all aspects of the module, assessing the accomplishment of ALL learning outcomes.




Reading list


The following reading list is a recommended source of course material.




Electronic Commerce by G P Schneider

Published by Thompson Learning, ISBN 0-619-15955-3 (from £16.00 on the Web).



Electronic Resources


On the following sites you can find relevant material:

·         http://portal.acm.org/portal.cfm

The URL of the ACM digital library.

·         http://www-us.ebsco.com/online/Reader.asp

Links to several journals. You might need your ATHENS password to access that.

·         http://www.elsevier.nl/locate/issn/08936080

Elsevier Publisher. You might need your ATHENS password to access that.

·         http://www.eevl.ac.uk/

EEVL is an award-winning free service, which provides quick and reliable access to the best engineering, mathematics, and computing information available on the Internet.

·         http://www.bids.ac.uk/

Links to several journals. You might need your ATHENS password to access that.

·         http://www.tedhaynes.com/haynes1/newterms.html

The E-Commerce Dictionary

·         http://www.theecademy.com/

A  wealth of UK-relevant information for electronic business

·         http://www.wilsonweb.com/

A large source of key information about e-business - articles, links to resources on e-commerce and Web marketing.

·         http://www.ecommerceadvisor.com/

Expert advice on e-commerce strategies & technologies.

·         http://www.w3.org/ECommerce/

Latest developments on e-commerce from the Electronic Commerce Interest Group of the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium).

·         http://www.useit.com/

Resources on Web usability and e-commerce user experience from Jacob Nielsen and his team.

§     http://www.fred.net/dhark/mwp.html

Resources for Managing your Web project.


If you don't have an ATHENS password please visit the Library's web page and follow instructions to get an ATHENS password.




·         ACM Transactions on Internet Technology

·         Data & Knowledge Engineering

·         Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery

·         IEEE Intelligent Systems

·         Expert systems with applications

·         The knowledge engineering review

·         IEEE Internet Computing

·         Decision Support Systems




Supplementary reading and study material


The reading list, above, is the recommended source of course material. You are advised to acquire the core reading text. Use this study guide to assess the coverage and suitability of another textbook. Some of the books will not cover the course entirely and, may contain material not covered in the course.


It is advisable to look in the library or on the Web for further reading around the topic of the module; you will find a lot of literature dealing with e-commerce. Feel free to buy a book of your own choice if it is not included in the reading list, and use the library frequently. You will find it contains lots of other material that will interest you.




Reassessment details


Please refer them to the course booklet – this is standard across the whole college.