A content management system (CMS) is a system used to manage the content of a Web site. Typically, a CMS consists of two elements: the content management application (CMA) and the content delivery application (CDA). The CMA element allows the content manager or author, who may not know Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), to manage the creation, modification, and removal of content from a Web site without needing the expertise of a Webmaster. The CDA element uses and compiles that information to update the Web site. The features of a CMS system vary, but most include Web-based publishing, format management, revision control, and indexing, search, and retrieval.
Electronic commerce or ecommerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. It covers a range of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. It is currently one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge.
Ecommerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no barriers of time or distance. Electronic commerce has expanded rapidly over the past five years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or even accelerate. In the near future the boundaries between “conventional” and “electronic” commerce will become increasingly blurred as more and more businesses move sections of their operations onto the Internet.
Flash is a vector animation software, originally designed to create animations for display on web pages. Vector graphics are ideal for the web because they are so lightweight.
Over the releases of new versions of Flash, Macromedia has made Flash more and more controllable via programming, where they have it positioned as a competitor to HTML to build interactive web sites and applications such as an e-commerce store. Macromedia argues that Flash is the way to go instead of HTML because of the following reasons:
- Flash movies load faster and save on download time because Flash is vector based whereas HTML is not.
- Flash intelligently ‘caches’ it’s movies so they don’t have to be reloaded.
- Flash gives the user (the person viewing/using the Flash movie) a more responsive ‘rich-client’ like experience.
All of these points are true, but they can be true for HTML pages as well (except for the vectors). I will address these points now:
Flash pages can be made to load faster, but most of the time, the way they are designed in the real world, they do not. That is not a Flash problem, it is more an issue of the Flash developers going nuts with fancy and heavy Flash movies.
HTML caches pages as well, once images are downloaded they are held in your browser’s cache. The cached images are then used instead of downloading them from the server again.
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