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  1. #1
    kyle12345 is offline Member
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    Question Feasibility and time

    Hello all. I am completely new to java programming, and web development. Years back I learned C++ and Visual C++ to a moderate degree, so I do have some background in programming.

    I am looking to develop a simple auction website, that will auction one item at a time of my choosing. I need to create an app that has an extremely accurate timer, can handle potentially thousands of users (thinking google app engine), is very secure (no tampering of users bids, information, etc.), allows for secure payment, and will accurately sort out who bid in what order.

    I know these are extremely tough question to answer, but do all these items sound reasonable? Should I use google app engine to ensure my server can handle volume of customers? How long would this take an experienced developer to design? And finally is the scope of this project too advanced for a do it yourself type of person?

    I would really appreciate some input. Thank so much.

  2. #2
    FON
    FON is offline Senior Member
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    One man army is OK if you want to customize some solution,
    that already has all you need.

    But developing all this from the scratch can be big deal, so gather ad much input as you can before moving on.

    If this is in real commercial purpose with high traffic and real money, don't even think about solving all this by yourself if you just started learning.

    There are companies specialized for this area. Talk to them
    and get their opinion and estimates.

    good luck!

  3. #3
    kyle12345 is offline Member
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    Well as much input as I can get would be greatly appreciated. Trust me I understand this is quite a large undertaking. Honestly my biggest fear with dealing with an outside source is dealing with someone who is unscroupulous. There are many auction apps out there that I could customize, but I worry about their quality, ability to handle many users, and hidden backdoors.

    As for using a very reputable developer, I just don't really think I can afford it. Realistically my budget for design falls around 1000 so that's why I kind of feel that going at it myself may be the best solution.

    Oracle has very simple auction code in their samples, but it is not very robust. That being said, I am only looking to auction one item at a time. Realistically I think my biggest hurdles are handling customer traffic that I anticipate to be between 2000- 5000 people, and making sure it is very secure. I would love to hear some more input.

    Thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Eranga's Avatar
    Eranga is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by FON View Post
    One man army is OK if you want to customize some solution,
    that already has all you need.

    But developing all this from the scratch can be big deal, so gather ad much input as you can before moving on.

    If this is in real commercial purpose with high traffic and real money, don't even think about solving all this by yourself if you just started learning.

    There are companies specialized for this area. Talk to them
    and get their opinion and estimates.

    good luck!
    I'm totally agreed with you FON. Developing these components from the scratch takes a long time in most of the cases. So the best things would be to think about integrating such components together and build the complete solution.

    And also this is really a big task for a newbie in my experience.

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    Eranga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle12345 View Post
    Oracle has very simple auction code in their samples, but it is not very robust. That being said, I am only looking to auction one item at a time. Realistically I think my biggest hurdles are handling customer traffic that I anticipate to be between 2000- 5000 people, and making sure it is very secure. I would love to hear some more input.
    I wonder that how you going to achieve a higher traffic into your application, but auctioning one item at a time. Because the basic idea should be that once a user log into the system he/she has to do something useful on it. In such commercial application, time is really important, so users may not like to hang on the site for a long period to place a bid on the auction. So you may provide up-coming auctions and related stuff as well. But my advice is not to stick with a one, but with many.

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    Eranga's Avatar
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    Regarding your original question, the most important things is not the accuracy of the timer. How to sync with each user and his/her timezone. Because if you are going to use the server time that your application is hosted that not make sens a lot for most of the users. On the other hand how your design is reliable is the key. There should be a timer on the client side (that's on the web page) ticking in each second, and at the exact time the auction must be closed. Not only that each timer ticking must sync with each user log into the system. Otherwise some users may seen that the they place a bid at last minute, but a higher bid wins it. Those messup can be all around in these kind of applications.

  7. #7
    kyle12345 is offline Member
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    The page will only auction one item at a time, but I anticipate it will draw alot of people because the items will be so interesting that people will be willing to spend time doing it. I do plan on putting some sort of entertainment to go along with the auction, just to keep people busy.

    As for the timer, I suppose that is what I meant by accuracy. I am well aware of the syncing issues, and that is a big big deal. Especially with the auction format I will be using. It will be very similar to if you were at an auction house, where they use "going, going, sold!" If a user places a bid, then the timer will kick back up another 30-60 seconds. So having it be the same for all users is of utmost importance.

    So when you said I should look into gathering the components and assembling them for a final solution, are you saying I should look into buying just smaller bits of code and tying it all together?

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    Eranga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyle12345 View Post
    The page will only auction one item at a time, but I anticipate it will draw alot of people because the items will be so interesting that people will be willing to spend time doing it. I do plan on putting some sort of entertainment to go along with the auction, just to keep people busy.
    Look at the site like ebay. As you said one auction at a time, but user has an option to choose many options there, means many items. If you have only one them I'm sure it's a real challenge to gat more traffic on your site.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyle12345 View Post
    As for the timer, I suppose that is what I meant by accuracy. I am well aware of the syncing issues, and that is a big big deal. Especially with the auction format I will be using. It will be very similar to if you were at an auction house, where they use "going, going, sold!" If a user places a bid, then the timer will kick back up another 30-60 seconds. So having it be the same for all users is of utmost importance.
    Hmmm, it's challenge. Try to come up with a strong algorithm to do that. But it's not better to backup the timer, specially with slow connections. Actually in my experience almost all methodologies use for these kind of timers has many issues. With the several cycles only you can have a strong algorithm. :)

    Quote Originally Posted by kyle12345 View Post
    So when you said I should look into gathering the components and assembling them for a final solution, are you saying I should look into buying just smaller bits of code and tying it all together?
    A bit. You no need to collect lots and lots such components. Only few is enough. You can find lots of open source such applications. The thing is none of them does not have all what you need, and at that point you need additional components. You have to customize them accordingly. Don't invent the wheel again. It may cause lots of issues on you.

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