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Microsoft Commerce software is bound to the Internet Information Server software and various other software components that are included in the Windows NT Option Pack. So, early in the writing of this book, we had to decide how much, if any, background to supply about any dependent applications or the operating system itself. Since there are other books on these topics, we opted to omit information on these products and instead focus on how to implement an E-commerce web site. Although experience in Internet Information Server or Windows NT is not a requirement for understanding this book, knowledge in those two areas is important to the long-term goal of implementing and maintaining a stable web site environment.
Our second decision while we were writing this book was whether the book should be an administrative or a programming book. The answer to this question soon became evident. An E-commerce administrator, to implement some of the common E-commerce features, must modify certain Active Server Pages auto-generated by the Commerce Server software. Therefore, this book shares its pages with administrative and programming topics. Web developers, E-commerce site administrators, and IT managers should all find this book useful.