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What is Ecommerce ?
The high rate of growth of business carried over Internet has made it synonymous with the whole phenomenon of E-commerce. Electronic commerce is the new term for existing activities being done in new ways. As long as communication networks have been available,they have been used to their fullest capability by entrepreneurs to create business opportunities. Most prominently, the meteoric rise of the Internet and the World Wide Web has accelerated the transformation of global commerce, allowing for instantaneous, inexpensive contacts among sellers, buyers, investors, advertisers, and financers throughout the world. The rapid integration of the Internet and other telecommunications based functions nearly into every sphere of business is what has given rise to the recent international focus on the new world of Electronic commerce.

Understanding the concepts

Electronic commerce is a much broader term encompassing not only EDI but also other forms of communication,
such as E-mail and Electronic bulletin boards. EDI was primarily developed for high volume exchange of commercial documents in standardized electronic format over an electronic public network between the automated business processes of trading partners. E-mail, on the other hand, is the exchange of less structured correspondence
in electronic format.

History of Internet

Internet stands for Interconnected Networks. It is viewed as a prototype of the I-way and,is the closest we have been
able to reach the standards of the ideal I-way proposed for e-commerce. Presently a group of worldwide information highways, Internet was started in 1965 as an experimental network with funding from the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) of the US Department of Defense. Since then this network has grown from a handful of universities and research institutes, to several thousand connections in over hundred countries. With more and more organizations trying to get access to Internet to see what was all about this 'information revolution', the purpose of Internet evolved through different stages. Several discipline specific networks were established during 1980-1985, such as CSNET and MILNET. CSNET catered to the communication and information requirements of computer science researchers all over the world. MILNET took over the defense and military traffic from ARPANET. The National Science Foundation (NSF) took over the academic and research network from ARPANET and created NSFNET in 1987, which was later christened as the Internet. The period 1985-1990 witnessed major developments in the field of scientific research and Internet connectivity became an essential tool for this progress. After the success of Internet mail, IBM and MCI took over the management of NSFNET. The US government prohibited commercial use of
NSFNET, so. a commercial backbone was also run parallel to the NSFNET. This comprised of several private ISPs.

Types of Ecommerce

E-commerce is not merely selling a T-shirt over the World Wide Web. It is much more than that and includes
communioBtion activities among trading organisations and within them. The prevailing E-commerce activities have
been divided into 3 major categories:

i) Business to Consumer E-commerce
ii) Business to Business E-commerce
iii) Business to Employee E-commerce

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