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Java Developer's Guide to E-Commerce with Xml and JSP (Developer's Handbook Series)


XML: the perfect complement to Java in a total e-commerce solution.

Your Java programming knowledge will go a long way toward building an effective e-commerce site. XML is the missing piece, and Java Developer's Guide to E-Commerce With XML and JSP gives you expert instruction in the techniques that unite these closely aligned technologies. Covering the latest Servlet and JSP APIs and the current XML standard, this book guides you through all ...

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XML: the perfect complement to Java in a total e-commerce solution.

Your Java programming knowledge will go a long way toward building an effective e-commerce site. XML is the missing piece, and Java Developer's Guide to E-Commerce With XML and JSP gives you expert instruction in the techniques that unite these closely aligned technologies. Covering the latest Servlet and JSP APIs and the current XML standard, this book guides you through all the steps required to build and implement a cohesive, dynamic, and profitable site.

The enclosed CD contains a complete sample catalog in XML, along with the code you need to accomplish a wide variety of critical e-commerce tasks—editing the catalog, searching and presenting data, presenting and analyzing customer surveys, editing and presenting company news, and equipping the site with a full-featured shopping cart application. The CD also contains the Tomcat Java server, version 3.1.

Text and CD-ROM offering instruction in Java programming with XML and JSP APIs. Shows how Java can be used to solve a variety of Web site problems, and to speed up development and simplify maintenance. The CD-ROM comes with a sample catalog in XML, and the code needed to accomplish a number of e-commerce tasks.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
If you're an experienced Java programmer, now's the time to leverage your skills in enterprise B2B and web commerce -- and here's your book. Relentlessly hands-on, this book introduces every key concept you need to integrate today's most powerful web development technologies, XML and JavaServer Pages. The heart of the book: real-world applications that walk you through the entire process of building an e-commerce site, including shopping cart components, catalogs, information-gathering, content management tools for company news, and more. Fully up-to-date coverage of Servlets 2.2/JSP 1.1, plus a CD-ROM full of code and tools -- including Tomcat, which JSP-enables Apache.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780782128277
  • Publisher: Sybex, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2001
  • Series: Developer's Handbook Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD-ROM
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 7.92 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Brogden has been working with Java since the introduction of version 1.0. He is employed by LANWrights, Inc., where he has been using Java servlet technology for online courseware. Bill has written several books about Java, including Java Developer's Guide to Servlets and JSP, also from Sybex.

Chris Minnick is president of Minnick Web Services, which develops database-driven Web applications for businesses, including law firms and consultancies. Co-author of several Internet-related books and a contributing editor for Software Development magazine, he has been writing about and building Web applications since 1996.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 7: Using Surveys to Know Your Customer

To be successful, an Internet entrepreneur must be able to understand his or her customers. As that entrepreneur, your starting point will always be the records of sales and of user interactions with your Web site. However, in addition to these records, you have the possibility of getting information directly from the customer by means of online surveys. Most people love to provide their opinions if you can convince them that you won't invade their privacy.

The combination of XML and Java servlets is well suited to the creation of online surveys. In this chapter, we go beyond the simple linear survey and create a system that can alter the questions asked according to the user's input.

Customer Privacy Concerns

The general public and policy makers share a very widespread concern about privacy in this age, focusing on every organization that seems to have a computer database. On one hand, businesses are convinced that knowing as much as possible about their customers is the key to survival in a world of cutthroat competition. On the other hand, people view with dismay the possibility that every detail about their private lives could be open to review. You can make your customers feel more comfortable with using your site if you explicitly explain the privacy standards you follow.

Industry Standards

A desire to address the Internet commerce aspects of this issue without involving government led to the creation of an independent, nonprofit privacy initiative named TRUSTe. The following is the premise of this group:
  • Users have a right to informed consent.
  • No single privacy principle is adequate for all situations.
TRUSTe operates as a privacy branding organization similar to the way the UL (United Laboratories) brand is used with electrical equipment.

Member organizations are entitled to display the TRUSTe logo if their published privacy policies meet the TRUSTe standards, they pay the membership fee, and they pass a privacy statement audit. The fees start at $299 for companies doing less than $1 million in revenue, so membership is really quite reasonable.

Note Sites that may collect information from children under the age of 13 have an even more stringent privacy requirement standard. As this is written, Congress is considering new legislation in this area.

TRUSTe conducts monitoring of member sites to verify that they are adhering to their published privacy standards. This monitoring includes submitting user information for fake users and tracking resulting use of the information. Furthermore, TRUSTe aggressively pursues sites that use the TRUSTe logo without authorization.

For both member and non-member organizations, the site is an excellent location for catching up on the news affecting privacy considerations, particularly in the United States. TRUSTe also cooperates with other industry groups that are attempting to establish standard practices for ensuring user privacy.

Public Interest Organizations

Many people feel that there is as much danger from government data gathering as from corporate data gathering. Thus, it is no surprise that a number of public interest organizations exist and express their opinions on privacy issues. One such organization is the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, D.C.

EPIC is concerned with civil rights and general privacy rights. It frequently testifies in hearings and actively uses the Freedom of Information Act to uncover government abuses of privacy in the United States.

EPIC is associated with Privacy International, an international coalition of groups concerned with privacy issues. This group, founded in 1990, is based in London. Privacy International organizes international conferences on privacy issues. It also frequently gets in the news with its annual Big Brother awards to the government organizations and the corporations they deem to have the most invasive privacy records.

Knowing what your customer wants is essential to any online enterprise. But to avoid any semblance of privacy invasion, it is best to have a clearly stated privacy policy and to always allow your site visitors the chance to opt out of giving nonessential information. If your site caters to children, you also better make sure your information gathering is consistent with the latest legislation.

Creating Your Survey with XML Survey Script
A simple but effective form of information gathering is the online survey. Because XML is all about defining the structure of documents, and a survey is a highly structured document, XML is an ideal tool for our task. The XML-driven survey system discussed in the remainder of this chapter is very flexible. As written, it does not associate a particular user with his or her responses but simply aggregates the results. It could easily be modified to save user responses in a user database, but if you do that you should make sure the user understands what is being done with the data.

In this section, we will be developing a generalized XML structure for creating online surveys. Let's start with the following list of design criteria:

Control of Presentation Ideally, we should be able to present questions within the context of our normal Web-page design.

Flexibility of Question Design We need to be able to create a variety of survey methods, from simple yes-or-no questions to a list of multiple-choice options.

Branching Capability A single script should be able to administer different questions to different users depending on their responses to specific questions. For example, if the response to one question indicates that the user never buys music CDs over the Internet, we need to branch away from questions related to music preferences.

Extensibility If a new form of question presentation needs to be added to the system, it should be possible with minimum alteration to the code.

Recording Results Results from each participant should be recorded completely and independently of other participants. This gives us maximum flexibility in analysis.

Determining the Flow of Questions

Figure 7.1 illustrates possible paths through a question script. Essentially, there are blocks of questions that are always presented without branching, ending in a question that provides branching to determine the next path. A branching question can lead all branches to the same block (blocks C and D in the figure both lead to block E, for example) or to different blocks (block A, for instance, leads to blocks B, C, and D, depending on the answers submitted). Blocks either end with a branching question or are "terminal" and end the questionnaire. On reaching a terminal, the system records all responses in a file. The designer has the option of using a unique file for each terminal.

Translating this diagram into XML entities, we have come up with the following structure. A Questionnaire document has an Intro (introduction) and one or more Block entities at the first level. Each Block has one or more Ques (question) entities and may end with a Terminal entity. A Block has a name attribute that is used to direct branching and a type attribute that has the value "terminal" if the block ends with a Terminal tag. This top-level structure is illustrated schematically in Listing 7.1....

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 XML for Data Description

What Is XML?

Rules of XML

Creating Style Sheets with XSL

Using XML in Applications

Programming with SAX

XML at a Glance

Chapter 2 A Catalog in XML

What You Want from a Web Site

Why Choose XML?

The Product Catalog and DTDs

DTD Design Principles

Moving toward DTD Standardization

Chapter 3 Presenting an XML Catalog Online

Presentation Technologies

Organizing the Catalog

Information Flow for Presentation Generation

Chapter 4 Filling a Shopping Cart

The Shopping Cart Problem

The Shopping Cart in Java

The CatalogServ Class

The CatalogBean Class

The ProductFormatter Class

Chapter 5 Billing and Order Confirmation

The Payment Process


Customer Confidence

Gathering Checkout Information

Updating Shipping Information

Chapter 6 Online Catalog Upkeep

Solution Overview

Data Objects

Presentation Code

Chapter 7 Using Surveys to Know Your Customer

Customer Privacy Concerns

The Survey Administering Servlet

Chapter 8 And Now for the News

Designing a News System

The News System

Web Page Presentation

Adding the Latest News

Chapter 9 Keep Them Coming Back

News Sources and Standards

An XML File Grabber

Introducing the NewsModel Class

A Supervising Class

Classes to Display Headlines

Possible Improvements

Chapter 10 Java Web Applications

Specifications In The Servlet API

The Next Generation

Problems Of Scaling Up

Appendix A The Servlet and JSP APIs

Setting Parameters for Applications

Getting Request Information

Setting Response Information

Errors and Exceptions

HTTP Status and Error Codes

The JavaServer Pages API

The PageContext Class

The javax.servlet.jsp.tagext Package



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