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Thread: YOUR OPINION: ideal e-commerce site

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Question YOUR OPINION: ideal e-commerce site

    If you were to build an e-commerce site from scratch, what would be your preferred way to do it? Meaning, what kind of technologies would you use to implement a e-commerce site with the following assumptions:

    - Traffic would be about 10,000 visitors a day.

    - Catalog would contain 15,000 products or so.

    - The description of the products would not change often, but the prices could change fairly often.

    - New products would be added often, but removed infrequently.

    I am curious to hear the differing opinions and arguments as to which technologies developers would use given these limited parameters.

    Last edited by Rob-L; 04-11-2004 at 10:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Any server-side technology in conjunction with client-side mark-up would do the job.

    Personally, i would use ASP.NET, though, you will need to be running a Windows server to use .NET technologies. Database-wise--MS SQL Server is my choice.

    If your stuck on a Linux/Unix server, try PHP and MySQL. You could also use Perl/CGI, however, i find its a tad messy when compared to PHP.

    Andrew Buntine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    London, UK
    *stuck* on a Linux server?!? Earth calling Andrew!

    Performance, security, stability.

    So I wouldn't even consider hosting anything mission-critical on a Windows machine. In an ideal world your server would show an uptime of a couple of years, and I've only ever seen that with Linux or BSD boxes. A single linux machine will also cope painlessly with that many visits per day, I wouldnt feel confident of that with a Windows box (to put it politely!)

    PHP is an straightforward choice (especially PHP5), and possibly MySQL though I might consider using a proper transactional database (I've heard Sybase touted around a lot recently, though I know very little about it) for something as big as an e-commerce site - you at least want to be able to perform rollbacks when things (inevitably) go wrong.

    Since this is e-commerce, you want to make some money and so you'll probably choose to avoid the kind of licence fees and "upgrade" lock-ins associated with the Microsoft platform. You may even have a team of developers and want to implement proper source control, and so the single-user Windows platform is not going to work for you.

    I love Perl but I would rather be unemployed than implement another e-commerce app using it, even if this were mod_perl. Certainly any CGI solution is going to suck big time once you get more than 3 visitors per hour - it just does not scale well, that's why people don't use it.

    Anyway, enough rambling - I think I would go Linux (dedicated server down at Rackspace ), Apache, Postgres and PHP5. Hmm yeah, when do I start?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thats not what i meant... SQL Server 2004 is by far the most advanced, stable and feature-rich server on the market. The price is the only downfall.

    If you have alot of cash to throw around, i would suggest you purchase Oracle database. Its the dominator in the DB market.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    London, UK
    And that's not what I meant either who says he has a lot of cash to throw around? not many people do at the moment, that's for sure.

    Nice thing is you don't need it - there's plenty of open-source alternatives that beat the pants off your micorsfot rubbish I dont know about you, but to me, having buttons to click and wizards to negotiate isn't the same as feature-rich

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    I like it.. Your right, though, the open-source alternatives are appealing when prices are compared. However, unless you have used Server 2004, you cant call it rubbish.

    Two options, that i would go for:

    - MS SQL Server 2003/2004
    - ASP or .NET

    - Apache HTTP Server
    - MySQL or Oracle.
    - PHP4/5

    Andrew Buntine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    London, UK
    Point taken sir, I admit - the fact is I haven't used SQL Server 2004 at all... tho I have used previous versions and my comments about buttons and wizards and, yes, even the word 'rubbish' did apply to those, and I do stand by it. They did seem like marginally glorified versions of Access, and I think the less said about _that_ the better. Here's hoping things are better now!

    Still I would find it hard to argue for using a MS platform for this sort of thing. In fact I honestly can't find one single reason why I would consider it. And please don't think I'm some sort of blind open-source fanatic that won't consider alternatives - I've built significant apps on the MS platform (for PricewaterhouseCoopers, before the IBM buyout) and on LAMP (for the Financial Times, for Renault UK, for T-Mobile) and I know which I prefer! Especially where cost is an issue

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