Libreaire, an e-Books Online Store
Omar Nouali and Abdelghani Krinah
D.T.I.S.I., C.E.R.I.S.T., Rue des 3 frères Aïssiou, Ben Aknoun, Alger, Algérie
Keywords: E-Business, E-payment, Java Technologies, Online Store.
Abstract: In this paper, we present an electronic business application and its related architecture. The developed
system consists of a sample e-books sells website that involves shopping in a virtual store. The framework
has been conceived as a prototype system which illustrates how Java technology especially Servlets can
assist developers on building and deploying e-commerce applications. The problematic of E-payment is also
discussed along with selection of the most adequate solution to the proposed architecture. The adopted
model allows for business process logic to be handled at the server side, in a simple and secured way.
In recent years, electronic commerce applications
have gained considerable importance because of the
tremendous growth of the Internet. The Web is
rapidly becoming a major source of revenue for
electronic merchants.
E-commerce means doing business online or
selling and buying products and services through
web storefronts (B2C model). The articles traded
could be physical products or services. They can
also be digital data directly downloadable from the
website. E-business however, is not limited to
buying and selling products online; it extends to
both internal and external business relationships
such as suppliers, payment…etc (B2B model). It
combines the software solutions with strategy and
tactics hence, performing a profitable role within a
Indeed, most online store systems consist of
three layers of application logic. At the base is a
Database Management System which task is data
storage in a database. At the top is the client web
browser used as an interface to the application.
Between the two lies most of the application logic,
usually developed with a web server-side scripting
language that can interface with the DBMS, and can
format HTML pages used for presentation in the
client web browser.
Even though, application development is often
driven with insufficient attention to security and
ease-of-use concerns, causing confusion and
frustration for novice and even experienced users.
Therefore, a new way to allow users to shop online
is required.
In this paper we take the position that the success
of e-commerce is tightly related with the
development of suitable payment model which
guarantees facility and security. After analyzing
Internet technologies, especially those based on
platform independence, we demonstrate how the
latest advances in Java servlets development should
be employed in E-commerce systems.
The online payment problem, evident from the
earliest days of internet, has not gone away. In fact,
the potential of the web, as place to do business
continues to be undermined by the lack of suitable
payment systems: e-business pioneers tended to
focus on products, markets and logistics and
completely underestimated the challenge of
executing downstream payment transactions.
Over the years, many e-payment schemes have
been launched to try and fix the problem: Payment
through the Internet Service Provider(s), Payment
System Providers, and Prepaid Cards. It has been,
however, shown that with the exception of credit
cards (still the most popular approach), SMS-based
mobile phone systems and prepaid cards are the only
major new payment approaches integrated into
online news offers, in the hope of reducing
Nouali O. and Krinah A. (2008).
USING PREPAID CARDS IN E-BUSINESS - Libreaire, an e-Books Online Store.
In Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems - SAIC, pages 211-214
DOI: 10.5220/0001681702110214
customers’ reluctance to make payments over the
A dominant form of such new e-money systems
is that they are server-based, i.e. that funds are not
stored locally on chip cards or computers, but kept at
a central server (e.g. at the issuer). They promise
their users greater convenience and lower set-up
costs than the first generation of e-money.
Prepaid cards provide a very good solution to the
online payments problem. In some areas, such as
mobile phones, where more of the prepaid cards
infrastructure is in place, this mechanism is already
providing a mass market platform. On the web,
however, the use of prepaid cards remains very
limited. Yet, and until a better solution comes along,
the prepaid cards remain the best way to deliver
much of the functionality demanded by business and
consumers alike.
The principle consists of scratch cards with an
identifying number that needs to be revealed. Before
the cards are produced and delivered, the system
creates unique digit number exactly the same
amount as cards ordered. Before the cards go to the
distributor, they are loaded in the system. However,
they are not activated yet. It is only when the
distributor, for example, passes a small number of
them to a dealer that the cards are activated. This
means that if the cards are stolen beforehand, they
are worthless. This is one of the most important
security factors in the concept.
When the user account is consumed, or
insufficient for desired order, the consumer is
verified to improve the fund in order to be liable for
further payments in the supplier website.
After the consumer authenticates himself with
security procedures, the number has to be entered
into the issuer’s website to increment the “user
account” with the corresponding value. The entered
serial number is encrypted per SSL and routed to the
Web server of LibreAire system. Here, the input is
checked by the application and routed to various
databases. The payment is processed and debited
The Cerist E-Books online store is a web application
running into a Tomcat Servlets container. It can be
imported to any platform or system since Tomcat
container is carried out by a Java Runtime allowing
application portability.
Collected information storage and retrieving is
managed by a MySql Data Base Manager System.
Behind the scene, the implemented solution was
built as a combination of a set of components and
technologies as explained in the following section.
4.1 Architecture
The following diagram shows in more details the
modular architecture of LibreAire Electronic Books
Store System. We have chosen to use the 3-tier
client/server architecture (figure 1):
Figure 1: SALE global Architecture.
Tier 1 (client) consists of a standard Web
Browser for customers navigation, and a local Java
application used by an administrator to manage the
Tier 2 (server) is made of a Web Server in
interaction with a, generally included, Servlets
engine. These two entities are running onto a Java
Runtime Environment.
Tier 3 (DBMS): The Database Management
Server software comprises the third and final tier.
4.2 Example Use Case
The following series of screen shots represents the
screens that user would transit in a complete
shopping scenario.
4.2.1 Anonymous Mode: Navigation
User is shopping in anonymous mode, he can access
the site home page, and he can also consult available
articles, know their prices and get more details on
ICEIS 2008 - International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems
each of them. Moreover, this mode also allows him
to select articles that interest him by adding them to
a virtual shopping cart.
Unfortunately, user is not able to buy products. He
has to login before.
4.2.2 Anonymous Mode: Registration
If user has never been registered as system’s client,
he must subscribe before any transaction procedure,
by submitting a set of private information, especially
a valid e-mail address. Doing that, he will receive
his password by e-mail that he can access his
4.2.3 Connected Mode: Authentication
To complete any transaction, user have to login into
the site, using his login (submitted during subscribe
operation) and the corresponding received password.
The server will compare this information to database
client’s accounts. If any error met, the user is given
access to the site. This is the medium step between
anonymous and connected modes.
It is important to notice that user can login/logout
to his account without loosing the shopping cart
content. This offers him more privacy since he can
authenticate himself at any desired time of shopping
process. Except for operations where client identity
is required and then asked by the system.
4.2.4 Connected Mode: Passing Command
Buyer sees the shopping cart whenever he clicks the
detailed cart icon. For each product in the cart (see
figure 2), Buyer will see the product name, the
quantity selected, the preview thumbnail and the
price. He can also see the total order cost at the
In the cart screen, user can proceed to changes of
any product to be purchased. He can then continue
shopping, save current order for a later use, or
proceed to order confirmation.
Detailed cart screen can be shown in anonymous
mode. In this case, user is asked to login since he
clicks on “Save Cart” link or “Pass Command”
After Buyers submit their order, a conrmation is
generated and displayed. This conrmation shows
the detail of order, and includes links to product to
be downloaded.
Once transaction successfully processed, the
buyer is given notice of which items and quantities
have been downloaded and the charge that has been
made to his credit.
Figure 2: Detailed Cart Interface.
4.2.5 Connected Mode: Profile Update
At any time, in the shopping site, registered users
may click the “My Account” icon to log in and view
or change account details. In the profile details,
Buyer sees a list of all their previous transaction.
They can view, update, progress or cancel
previously saved orders. They can also change their
login password or E-mail address.
4.2.6 Connected Mode: Credit Charging
The main update that user can apply on his profile
consists of credit charging, since the user credit is
decreasing after every buying operation. Using the
form shown by figure 3 buyer enters prepaid card
serial, and clicks submit button. The server will
check the submitted number validity referring to
database serials list and increment user credit with
corresponding value.
Figure 3: Credit charging mechanism.
Once all operations finished, user is asked to
click logout link in order to close his shopping
USING PREPAID CARDS IN E-BUSINESS - Libreaire, an e-Books Online Store
The reported types of prepaid cards are submitted
either to registration or licensing requirements. This
mechanism has advantage to be flexible at various
communication platforms; no special hardware or
software is required, which guarantees a greater
flexibility and extensibility to our solution.
This technique of using funds is simple, transferable
and anonymous; the payer does not need to have or
reveal a credit card, debit card or bank account
number in order to pay; he has total control of
available funds via electronic purses. Prepaid cards
model is the preferred usage for anonymous
payments and small amounts, including various
value added services.
With deposited prepaid model, it takes time for a
button click to make a financial transaction, instead
of bank transactions.
The objective of this study is to develop a suitable
platform prototype for E-business. We tended to
demonstrate the effect of the Internet technologies
on the development of Electronic Commerce. In this
way, java technologies have been widely used to
provide flexibility, scalability and integration with
existing enterprise systems.
Because the Internet has evolved considerably over
the past few years, LibreAire has been released to
meet the needs of different browsers, heterogeneous
platforms, security tools and operating systems.
We have also introduced a simple-use and powerful
E-payment model that has already proved its
efficiency in similar areas such as cellular telephony
Future work and research will include developing an
online stores automatic generator. Such a tool offers
users a GU Interface to build and maintain a
complete website shop, with no programming skills
requirements. Respecting the proposed model, the
generated system provides a more customized and
targeted sales.
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