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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Web applications and E-business

Try to take a look at Google blog and you can see the amazing technology breakthroughs everyday. Their innovating projects like Google Maps, Google Suggest and Search History are so powerful and they can actually sketch the picture of the next technology era. (Imagine Google Map being used in car GDS systems). As much as others are happy about the convenience these new inventions bring, being a software engineer myself, I am even more curious about the backend software logics and hardware platforms that are supporting these new applications. Google Map can zoom the whole US map down to street level and figure out the driving directions from source to destination in no time, Google Suggest can provide possible searching phrases with the approximate number of results along with your typings (this actually requires server round trip and quite a lot of calculations). How come they can achieve that?
Although personally I don't want to dive too deep into its technical architecture, I do appreciate their effort in putting forward nice applications, which will certainly play an important role in next generation electronic commerce. Amazon succeeded by a set of well designed cookies that records what items visitors have purchased and browsed, then derives a list of related items that he/she is possibly interested. Ebay succeeded by having a great platform and rich database for people to trade on. As the trend goes, e-commerce will no longer be represented by one or two successful cases. The capitals for setting up e-stores are much less than traditional ones. Once entrance barriers like security are likely to be lessen, large number of electronic stores may emerge, a massive transformation from "bricks" to "clicks" will appear.
In short, always love what you are working on, I am looking forward to more inspiring applications and great businesses coming after.