|Module Title||E-COMMERCE AND THE SOFTWARE INDUSTRY|
|Co-ordinator||Mr Frank Bott|
|Semester||Available all semesters|
|Other staff||Mr Frank Bott|
|Pre-Requisite||Available only to students taking the Diploma/MSc in Computer Science scheme or the Diploma/MSc in Internet and Distributed Systems (Advanced) scheme.|
|Course delivery||Workload Breakdown||55 hours of contact time; lectures, practicals, workshops.|
|Workload Breakdown||145 hours of private study, practical work and assessment.|
The nature and characteristics of the software industry: broad and narrow definitions. Classification of the products of the industry. Treatment of software assets under different accounting regimes. Structure of the software industry: distribution by size, ownership, specialisation. The growth of outsourcing and its effect on the structure of the industry in different countries. Treatment of software in the calculation of GDP.
Bespoke software v. packaged software. Identifying potential suppliers. Procurement strategies: study of a range of strategies used for procuring large systems by governments in different countries. Case studies of some major procurement failures. Problems occasioned by the need for long-term maintenance of large software systems.Contracts for the provision of bespoke software: fixed price, time and materials. Contracts for packaged software. Use of standard terms and conditions. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
Mission statements, aims and objectives. The need for strategic planning and the problems of doing it in technology-driven industry. Application pull v. technology push. Comparison of the problems of strategic planning in hi-tech products companies and service companies.Special problems of human resource management in the software industry: difficulties caused by a project-based environment; need to keep technical knowledge up to date; effect of strong competition for qualified staff. Motivational theory: application of theories such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's two factor theory to the software industry.
Regulation of the engineering profession in the UK, the USA and continental Europe. The Washington Accord and the Bologna Declaration. Codes of conduct: the BCS code, the IEEE-CS/ACM joint code. Regulation of the industry. OFTEL and OFCOM and their roles. Safety-critical systems and their regulation. The Communications Act 2003, the Data Protection Acts 1984 and 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.
5. Business Processes
The mechanics of buying and selling in a variety of industries. Models for automation.
6. Content Management
The problems involved in ensuring that the content of a web site is kept correct and up to date. The role of software content management systems in handling this problem; their limitations.
7. The Capabilities of Current Technology
A survey of current web technologies.
8. Standards and Standards-Making Bodies
The needs for standards and the area they cover; Standards setting process; Standards setting bodies; BSI, ISO, ANSI, IEEE, CCITT, IAB; IETF; de facto standards. Specific standards for e-commerce.
The threats to electronic transactions. Modern cryptography: public key and private key systems; the RSA algorithm and the DNS algorithm. Key management and secure exchange of keys; the Diffie-Hellman algorithm. Digital signatures and digital certificates. SSL and SET.
Much of the material covered by this module is not available in textbooks. Such textbooks as there are will usually be found to be out of date. Furthermore, they tend to concentrate on e-commerce directed towards consumers, whereas by far the majority of e-commerce systems are aimed at business-to-business transactions. Students will be expected to find information on the Web, where much more up to date material is available, although it must always be treated with caution. Given the caveats above, the books found in the bibliography section may prove useful:
This module is at CQFW Level 7