University of Twente Student Theses


Design and Instantiation of Reference Architecture of Pluggable Service Platform in E-Commerce

Paramartha, Mohammad Anggasta (2014) Design and Instantiation of Reference Architecture of Pluggable Service Platform in E-Commerce.

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Abstract:In the beginning of e-commerce era, retailers introduced online channel mainly by adopting vertically integrated e-commerce solutions to gain control of all e-commerce functionalities. However, it is con-sidered to be nearly impossible for a single platform to be the industry-leading expert in all the func-tionalities. If the functionalities are tightly coupled to the platform, the options for the retailer be-come severely limited. In addition, retailers began to realize that enterprise agility could be compro-mised. In order to maintain agility, it is advised to have a lightweight, modular, and flexible architec-ture with small core functionalities. Other functionalities then can be plugged-in to the platform through third party providers. With this approach, retailers gained the ability to customize the plat-form to meet their specific needs. Companies eventually started to shift from the monolithic and vertically integrated systems towards a collaborative network of partners within the value chain. In this type of ecosystem with diverse soft-ware systems and technology of the network partners, integration and interoperability become critical factors to enable information exchange and seamless coordination among the partners. Recent de-velopment in Information Technology field has also led to proliferation of new technologies such as cloud computing, mobile and social media. As a consequence of this situation, retailers are facing new integration challenges. Failure to cope with these challenges will eventually result in decrease in en-terprise agility, which ultimately will have negative impact on overall business performance. Objective Thus, this research aims to design and develop a reference architecture of a novel pluggable service platform in e-commerce. This platform should be able to support seamless integration and coordina-tion of e-commerce supply chain partners’ diverse applications and services, which could include aforementioned emerging technologies (cloud computing, mobile, SaaS, social media) Methodology In this research, we use a research methodology called Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM). DSRM is about solving problems by introducing artifacts in a context. The artifact that we propose is a reference architecture for pluggable service platform in e-commerce. This methodology comprises of six stages which correspond with each chapters of this report. First, state-of-the art analysis will be performed to understand the currently available e-commerce web shop platform and integration plat-form solutions in the market. Based on the findings of the market analysis and motivated by literature study on service-orientation paradigm, the reference architecture will be designed. This proposed de-sign will be then instantiated by means of a prototype for a specific use-case in e-commerce to demon-strate the feasibility of our architecture design. Finally, the platform design will be evaluated. Key Findings The main output of this research is the reference architecture design of the pluggable service platform. Around this output, some key findings from each chapter in this report could be concluded:  Latest development and trend of e-commerce web shop platform solutions have been inves-tigated in chapter 2. The main finding is the list of functionalities that are commonly provided in a basic e-commerce packages. These functionalities are used as an input for the e-tailer part in the complete reference architecture  State-of-the art of integration platform solutions has been elaborated in chapter 3. The main result from this chapter is the ‘Collaborative Service & Process Framework’ component whose functionalities are derived from SOA Governance and API Management technologies.  Chapter 4 contains the complete reference architecture design, which adhere to service ori-ented design principle and has been constructed with TOGAF framework and Archimate mod-eling language. The highlight of this chapter is the ‘Collaborative Data Management’ compo-nent, which proposes the creation of a canonical data model, equipped with schema mapper function, as a reference of data model for external services  Prototype realization in chapter 5 demonstrates the applicability of our platform design to be applied to solve real e-commerce case. This also shows the suitability of the cloud-based inte-gration platform solution in the market to fulfill the goal of this research. Through the evalu-ation phase, we realized that there are no well-defined metrics to assess pluggability in quan-titative ways. We then assess the extent to which our platform design has supported the goal of this research by means of agility. Agility was proved in this research to be suitable as a surrogate measure to pluggability.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management MSc (60029)
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