Chapter 2. How Is Enterprise eCommerce Deployed Today?

Prior to ecommerce, the Web was mostly static. Web pages consisted of HTML and images—no CSS, no JavaScript, no AJAX, etc. SSL wasn’t even supported by web browsers until late 1994. Many leading ecommerce vendors, including Amazon, eBay, Tesco, and first came online in 1994 and 1995 with initially static websites. Naturally, people coming online wanted to be able to transact. Adding transaction capabilities to static HTML was a technical feat that required:

  1. Using code to handle user input and generate HTML pages dynamically
  2. Securing communication
  3. Storing state in a persistent database

Existing software and the architecture used to wire it all together never materially changed. Instead, new capabilities were incrementally added to the static architectures of the early Internet.


With so much money generated by ecommerce, availability has trumped all else as a driving force behind architecture.

With the rise of omnichannel retailing and the increasing demands it requires, the current approach to architecture is not sustainable. Let’s review the status quo.

Current Deployment Architecture

Most ecommerce deployment architectures follow the traditional three-tier deployment architecture depicted in Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1. NEED CAPTION

The web servers make up the web tier and traditionally are responsible for serving static content. ...

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