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“Businesses have begun to engage in increasingly sophisticated uses of information and communication technology. In such firms, B2C and B2B e-commerce are components of an overall e-business strategy. External relations as well as internal processes are being linked. Marketing and sales, logistics and delivery, after-sales service, supply chain management and other business functions are integrated in an overall e-business strategy.

“E-business tools cannot be successfully introduced and implemented without the visionary power and strategic decisions about how to apply information and communication technology for business processes.”


GM-X Technical Architecture

Opening up business operations to embrace external trading partners as well as B2C, B2B and other external Web platforms introduces security risks, and presents systems integration challenges, that can only be addressed through strategic application of proven technologies. GM-X solves the problem through its robust security architecture, and enables enterprises to bridge the gaps between their external operations and internal systems cost-effectively through Web services integration, browser independence, choice of databases, platform independence and virtualization, scalability and high availability options that deliver the utmost security, availability, performance, flexibility and economy.

Robust security architecture [top]

As illustrated above, when external users or third-party e-commerce Web services are permitted to access GM-X directly via the Internet or corporate Extranet:

•  All Internet connections can be encrypted using secure HTTP (HTTPS)

•  GM-X can be deployed in a demilitarized zone (DMZ) or classified militarized zone (CMZ)

•  The DMZ or CMZ can be protected by dual firewalls (recommended) or a single firewall

•  The GM-X database is deployed behind the internal firewall

•  GM-X communicates with firewalled internal systems that are not publicly accessible

•  Organizations can host their own front-end B2C and B2B Web sites in the DMZ or CMZ

•  Front-end Web sites in the DMZ or CMZ can connect to GM-X via Web services

Alternatively, when GM-X is accessible only by internal users via a local area network (LAN), corporate Intranet or wide-area network (WAN):

•  GM-X and the GM-X database are deployed behind the internal firewall

•  GM-X network connections can utilize HTTP or HTTPS

•  The organization’s front-end B2C and B2B Web sites can be deployed in a DMZ or CMZ

•  Front-end Web sites in the DMZ or CMZ can connect to GM-X via Web services

GM-X provides the following standard security features for all network configurations:

•  All users and services must authenticate themselves via user ID and encrypted password

•  Configurable password format, length and rotation policies

•  Optional two-factor authentication (TFA) or one-time password (OTP)

•  Configurable automatic user account de-activation after repeated logon failures

•  Ability to restrict access to authorized devices or during authorized time periods

•  No enterprise data is ever displayed in the browser’s address bar

Web services integration [top]

GM-X flexibly integrates with front-end e-commerce, e-procurement and supply chain tracking Web sites using industry-standard messages and protocols. It applies the same technologies to integrate with state-of-the-art and legacy internal systems using standard application program interfaces (APIs) supported by major software vendors as well as custom APIs.

GM-X exposes Web services via:

•  Simple object access protocol (SOAP)

•  XML-RPC remote procedure call (RPC) protocol

•  XML/Json over HTTP

•  Optional WSSE security using the exchange of one-time or time-limited tokens

Browser independence [top]

GM-X works on any browser that supports CSS1, and HTML 4.0.1 Transitional or HTML 5 standards. No applications need to be installed on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Supported desktop and laptop browsers include:

•  Google® ChromeTM 29+ (Microsoft® Windows®, Apple® Macintosh®, Linux®)

•  Microsoft Edge 13+ (Windows)

•  Microsoft Internet Explorer® v9+ (Windows) or v5.2+ (Apple Macintosh; no chart objects)

•  FirefoxTM 5.0+ (Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux and others)

•  Opera v11.6+ (Microsoft Windows, Linux)

•  Apple Safari® 5.0.5+ (Mac®)

Supported Android mobile browsers include:

•  Built-in AndroidTM browser shipped with all Android tablets and smartphones

•  Google Chrome browser for Android 4.0+

•  Dolphin® for Pad

•  Skyfire Web Browser 4.0

•  OperaTM Mobile web browser

•  Mercury Browser 1.6+

Supported Apple iOS mobile browsers include:

•  Built-in Safari browser shipped with all iPad® tablets and iPhone® smartphones

•  Google Chrome browser for iPad

•  Dolphin Browser® for iPad

•  Maxthon® for iPad

•  Mercury Web Browser Pro for iPad

•  Opera MiniTM

•  Yahoo!® Axis for iPad

Note that Apple's web browser restricts actual Web page rendering capability to its own Safari mobile browser. Anything else (except Opera Mini) is actually an application that presents its own interface and tools on top of Safari’s page-rendering engine.

Supported Microsoft SurfaceTM Tablet browser:

•  Microsoft Internet Explorer v11+

Choice of databases [top]

To protect your relational database management (RDBMS) software investment, and to conform to your existing enterprise standards, the GM-X application database can run on the following relational database management systems (RDBMS):

•  Oracle® 10g+

•  Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 R2+

•  MySQL® 5.1.49+

•  PostgreSQL v8+

Platform independence [top]

GM-X utilizes the ApacheTM HTTP Server v2.2.16+ Web Server and the PHP hypertext processor 5.3.3+ with DOM, XSL and MultiByte String extensions. To protect your operating system software investment, and to conform to your existing enterprise standards, GM-X, the Apache Web Server and PHP can run on the following server operating systems:

•  Linux/UNIX (Linux Ubuntu 10.10, CentOS 5.5, CentOS 6.5 or equivalent)

•  Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2+ (Standard, Enterprise and Datacenter Editions)

Virtualization, scalability and high availability options [top]

Today's enterprises are striving to reduce infrastructure costs through server consolidation, virtualization and intrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and are also exploiting the same technologies to maximize availability and uptime for mission-critical systems. GM-X fully supports such strategies through:

•  Ability to deploy GM-X on virtual as well as dedicated servers

•  Compatibility with hypervisor software that supports either Linux/UNIX or Windows servers

•  Deployment on clustered hypervisor servers to provide automatic fail-over protection

•  Ability to run the GM-X application and database on different physical or virtual machines

•  Clustering of dedicated servers for high availability (cold or warm standby)