FIT3021 Infrastructure for eCommerce , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Dr. Joarder Kamruzzaman
Gippsland : Joarder Kamruzzaman, Templar Hankinson
Malaysia : Thomas O'Daniel

ASCED Field of Education: 029999 Information Technology, Not Elsewhere Classified

This unit aims to develop and extend students' understanding and knowledge about the information technology infrastructure that supports and enables modern electronic commerce systems. This infrastructure includes communication networks (wireline and wireless), the Internet, payment mechanisms, and a range of enabling technologies, such as XML, server technologies, software agents, various emerging protocols and standards. Applications and recent developments in such enabling technologies including mobile commerce are explored. The unit approaches some infrastructure issues from the perspective of security in electronic commerce, focussing on real and potential security problems and the techniques for addressing them. Privacy and legal issues concerning electronic commerce are discussed.



Objectives Knowledge and Understanding

On completion of this unit students will be able to:


  • develop a comprehensive knowledge about global information infrastructure;
  • understand the threats to electronic commerce on the Internet and potential security problems;
  • understand the process for the design of secure systems;
  • demonstrate the understanding and need for security protocols and procedures;
  • understand the security issues and vulnerabilities of eCommerce servers and know the defensive strategies;
  • be aware of the problems arising from active content technologies;
  • be familiar with the XML standard and examine how it can be applied to develop ecommerce applications;
  • be familiar with the mobile commerce technology and the services it offers.
  • understand and evaluate electronic payment mechanisms;
  • appreciate the privacy and legal issues and be familiar with anonymity technologies;
  • understand the applicability of intelligent software agents in electronic commerce.


Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

Students will:


  • appreciate the importance of a secure information infrastructure in conducting electronic commerce;
  • appreciate the privacy and legal issues;
  • grasp the ongoing development in emerging electronic commerce technologies including mobile commerce.


Practical Skills

Students will:

  • develop skills in XML to produce small applications.


Prerequisites Before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT 2005 or GCO2813 or GCO2852 or GCO9806 or BEG1601 or equivalent units.

Unit relationships FIT3021 is an elective unit in the Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems degree at Gippsland Campus. It is a prerequisitefor before attempting this unit you must have satisfactorily completed FIT 2005 or GCO2813 or GCO2852 or GCO9806 or BEG1601 or equivalent units.


Texts and software

Required text(s)

Prescribed Text

Simson Garfinkel, Gene Spafford, and Debby Russell, "Web Security, Privacy and Commerce", O'Reilly & Associates, 2002.

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

Public Domain software available

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Recommended reading

Reference Texts

Michael J. Young, "XML step by step", 2nd edition, Microsoft Press, 2002.

Ford W. and Baum M.,"Secure Electronic Commerce", Prentice-Hall, 2001.

Ghosh, Anup K., "Electronic Commerce Security:- Weak Links, Best Defenses", John Wiley & Sons., 1998.

Carey K. and Blatnik S., "XML: Content and Data", 1st edition, Prentice Hall, 2002.

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for FIT3021 are:

A printed Unit Information

Study Guide for 12 weeks (online at the unit web site)

A printed Reader

Lecture slides, tutorial materials, assignment specification and sample solution, sample exam paper (online at the unit web site); Lecture notes and tutorial materials will be provided on weekly basis.

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

Key Dates

1 Internet history and standards SG 1 Week 1
2 Web Client / Server Infrastructure SG 3
3 Securing the Enterprise Infrastructure SG 3 Week 3
4 Security Mechanisms: Authentication & Encryption SG 4 Week 4
5 Security Policies and Protocols: Four Case Studies SG 5 Week 5
6 Mobile Commerce SG 6 Week 6
7 Enterprise Messaging and XML SG 7 Week 7
8 XML: Developing E-Commerce Applications SG 8 Week 8
9 Intelligent Agents SG 9 Week 9
10 Web Services and the Semantic Web SG 10 Week 10
11 Enterprise Networks: Acceptable Use SG 11 Week 11
12 Intellectual property SG 11 Week 12

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


  • Two assignments - 50% (assignment 1 - 30%; assignment 2 - 20%)
  • Final Examination - 50%

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

To pass this unit students must attain not less than 40% in both final exam and assignments.

Your score for the unit will be calculated by:


The final grade is determined by the following weighted formula adopted by GSCIT.

Final grade = min(A+10, E+10, E*R+A*(1-R))

where A = overall assignment percentage, E = exam percentage, R = exam weighting.



Assessment Requirements


Due Date


A report on a selected infrastructure topic April 14, 2006 30 %
An XML based application or design May 19, 2006 20 %

Assignment specifications will be made available Page 9 in the printed Unit Information. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignment1 will be submitted by paper submission. On-campus Students submit the assignment to the School Reception Desk by April 14, 2006 with the appropriate cover sheet correctly filled out and attached. Off Campus (OCL) students Mail your assignment to the Off-Campus Learning Centre with the cover sheet attached. Singapore and Hong Kong Students please mail your assignment to the Distance Education Centre with the cover sheet attached. The due date is the date by which the submission must be received (oncampus students) /the date by which the the submission is to be posted (OCL and DE students).


Assignmnet 2 must be submitted electronically through Webface ( submission. See details on assignmnet specification when released.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Assignments received after the due date will be subject to a penalty of 1 mark for every day that they are late. Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.


This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made to the lecture by email at least two days before the due date. Extensions will be granted for valid reasons only. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary. A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


Outside consultation hours, student can contact directly through email, telephone or fax. Students are highly encouraged to partcipate in newsgroup discussion groups. Please follow the links on unit web site for newsgroups.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices Newsgroup in the Unit Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read the Notices newsgroup is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

Gippsland Campus: Thursday 11:00 am -2:00pm.

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2006