Investigate How E-Business Can Benefit from Methods Based on Software Agent Technology

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INVESTIGATE HOW E-BUSINESS CAN BENEFIT FROM METHODS BASED ON SOFTWARE AGENT TECHNOLOGY

by
Charity Ndabandaba
201222672

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree BTech: Software Development

in the

FACULTY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
(Department of Systems Development)

at the

TSHWANE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Study leader:

Mr. R Jacobs

Date of submission

07 October 2009
RESEARCH PROPOSAL
EVALUATION FORM

Miss, C N Ndabandaba201222672
ASPECT TO BE EVALUATEDWEIGHTMARK ALLOCATED
Technical care
Title page
Other technical aspects
List of references15
Problem statement10
Research objectives15
Literature review40
Possible research hypotheses10
Importance / benefits of the study10
TOTAL100

Comments:

Marked by: ________________________
Signature of study leader
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.INTRODUCTION1
2.BACKGROUND2
2.1.BACKGROUND OF SOUTH AFRICA AND ICT4
2.2.BACKGROUND OF E-COMMERCE AND E-BUSINESS IN SOUTH AFRICA5 3.PROBLEM STATEMENT7
4.PURPOSE OF THE STUDY7
4.1.RESEARCH OBJECTIVES8
5.LITERATURE REVIEW8
5.1.E-COMMERCE8
5.1.1.TYPES OF E-COMMERCE8
5.1.2.BENEFITS OF E–COMMERCE9
5.2.E-BUSINESS10
5.3.SOFTWARE AGENT TECHNOLOGY12
5.3.1.FORMS OF SOFTWARE AGENTS14
5.4.AGENT TECHNOLOGIES IN SUPPORT OF E-BUSINESS15
5.4.1.AGENTS FOR BUSINESS-TOBUSINESS E-COMMERCE16
5.4.2.MODELS FOR AGENTS AS MEDIATORS IN E-COMMERCE18
5.4.3.BASIC CHARACTERISTICS OF E-BUSINESS AGENTS21
5.4.4.TYPE S OF AGENTS22
6.IMPORTANCE / BENEFITS OF THE STUDY22
7.RESEARCH METHODOLOGY23
7.1.INTRODUCTION23
7.2.OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH APPROACHES23
7.3.OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH DESIGNS OR STRATEGY AND TECHNIQUES25 7.3.1.EXPLORATORY RESEARCH26
7.3.2.DESCRIPTIVE RESEARCH27
7.3.3.CAUSAL RESEARCH27
7.4.OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH PARADIGM OR RESEARCH PHILOSOPHY28 8.DATA GATHERING / COLLECTION29
9.DATA ANALYSIS32
10.ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS33
10.1.PROTECTION FROM HARM34
10.2.INFORMED CONSENT34
10.3.RIGHT OF PRIVACY34
10.4.HONESTY WITH PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES35
11.TRUSTWORTHINESS35
11.1.TRUTH-VALUE (CREDIBILITY)36
11.2.APPLICABILITY (TRANSFERABILITY)36
11.3.CONSISTENCY (DEPENDABILITY)36
11.4.NEUTRALITY (CONFIRMABILITY)36
12.LIMITATIONS37
13.CHAPTER OUTLINE37
14.BUDGET38
15.RECORDS38
16.PUBLICATION38
17.REFERENCES39

APPENDICES

APPENDIX A: TOPIC 5
APPENDIX B: TOPIC 7

LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Levels of internet enable business
Figure 2: Modules of E-business
Figure 3: Business agents in a vertical application
Figure 4: Relationships within the framework
Figure 5: The role of agents as mediators
Figure 6: The Data Analysis Process

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research approaches Table 2: Main Types of Qualitative Research
Table 3: Data gathering methods
Table 4: Model of trustworthiness of qualitative research.

INVESTIGATE HOW E-BUSINESS CAN BENEFIT FROM METHODS BASED ON SOFTWARE AGENT TECHNOLOGY

1.INTRODUCTION

Internet usage has been growing exponentially in South Africa since the early nineties. Electronic data exchange systems and the penetration of ISDN-based applications are stimulating an ever-increasing number of businesses to participate in e-commerce world-wide at anytime (Papazoglou, 2001). Based on these facilities for communication and data exchange, many kinds of businesses are moving to the electronic world of the web to connect customers, suppliers and partners to respect the globalization of markets. E-Commerce is the ability to perform business transactions involving the exchange of information, goods, services and payments between two or more parties using electronic tools and technologies (Turban, Lee, King, and Chung, 2000).

One of the key characteristics of...
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