Minimal back-office for your eBusiness
I have been running two eBusinesses (namely
PeopleWords.com and Lokad.com) and back-office systems play an important role in your business.
Basically, there are 3 unavoidable elements for any eBusiness back-office
- Account & User deletion
- Error logs reporting
- Business oriented dashboard
Account & User deletion: IT’S THE LAW, well, at least in Europe, but I suspect that many other countries provide similar laws, rules or guidelines. Intuitively, if a user who has just created an account asks for a deletion of his account (including all the user-related data), complying is a legal requirement. For example, I have been asking for months the people of
StrikeIron.com) to delete my account (mostly because they keep pinging deprecated Web Services URLs of Lokad that do not exist anymore); but they never complied so far. I am not going to sue them for that, but I would suspect that they simply never implemented the delete account feature in their back-office.
Error logs reporting: Running your application on your own web server has a huge advantage: collecting the exceptions that are thrown on your web server is mostly trivial. Many tools (such as ELMAH) can be deployed within hours to provide efficient error logs reports. Exceptions are not the only kind of bugs that your visitors can encounter, yet, it’s so easy to keep track of them that you must not disregard such a cheap way of detecting bugs.
Business oriented dashboard: It exists many generic web analytics tools ranging from raw webserver logs to sophisticated user tracking system. Yet, when you design a web application, those elements are most probably going to be only a rough estimate of what your users are actually doing. Indeed, it’s often much more interesting to design simple (yet highly specific) indicators that reflects some key aspects of the usage of your application. Those indicators could be critical to quickly estimate impact on a web marketing campaign.
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Update: it appears that StrikeIron had been reading this blog. I have received a kind e-mail from their staff. The Lokad Web Services have been removed 2007-04-27 (4 days after the initial post).
April 25, 2007 | joannes