I'm taking an MSc in computing. My skills include Web page design using HTML and very basic CGI scripting using Perl. I can also create and administer Microsoft Access Databases and meet most data retrieval requirements using access. I have knowledge of Java, relational databases and Oracle SQL. I want to administer databases but e-commerce seems to be the future. How best can I link my database interest with e-commerce?
All sites need a good back-end
E-commerce incorporates a range of technologies. Most obviously, it requires a front-end, where Web design and development skills are to the fore. However, an e-commerce operation also needs effective links to its back-end databases, the ability to access the appropriate information and present it to the user in an appropriate format. It must also have the ability to perform transactions and process orders. The gateway may be the Web, but e-commerce relies on database technology, so your desire to link your database interest with e-commerce is achievable.
Build on your database skills - in particular Oracle. If possible, choose a project in this area for your MSc. Good RDBMS (relational database management systems) skills are very much in demand. Also concentrate on the languages/ environments which will take information from the database to the Web page - CGI, ASP, Java.
You mention you have very basic CGI scripting using Perl. CGI programs are the most common way for Web servers to interact dynamically with users. ASP (Active Server Pages) is Microsoft's equivalent to this technology. Java is an object-oriented language that runs on any platform and has a number of features that make it well suited to the Internet. It is very much in demand and when combined with database skills will put you in the right position to develop your area of interest. Your Web design and HTML skills are of less importance for you now.
The panel: Apex, MSB International, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, E-skills NTO, Monarch Recruitment, Reed Computing, Prince Training
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This was first published in November 2000