Sunday, April 4, 2010

Commerce Server 2009 and Sharepoint 2007 Evaluation VPC

On Microsoft Connect, there is a Commerce Server 2009 Evaluation VPC (February 2010 version) available for download to partners and customers. This VPC has Commerce Server 2009 and Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007 (MOSS) fully installed and configured (Core Systems, Multi-Channel Commerce Foundation, SharePoint Commerce Services), including the new Default site with the Template Pack running in SharePoint using the 30 new Web Parts.

Register to download the latest VPC update, complete with a demonstration script, sales collateral, samples, and videos at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=164446

© Copyright 2010, Tomas Elfving

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Commerce Server vs MOSS 2007

First of all, Mei Ling has written a great blog about getting Commerce Server 2007 working with MOSS, definately recommended reading.

There does seem to be some disconnect between the MOSS team and the CS team. This blog post looks into the areas of overlap of functionality.

Catalog Management
Commerce Server gives you rich catalog management functionality. Here, you could go down different paths. If all you needed was a catalog management function, you could easily define a few custom Content Types and some lists and you'd have the same functionality. However, you wouldn't have the integration with the basket and order management functions, so it’s probably best to leave it in the CS database. So here you have a choice, either:
a) Use the BDC to consume your CS catalog
b) Write your own CS web parts to use directly within MOSS
A combination of these last two methods are probably a good way to go.

Checkout Processing and Order management
I wonder why the CS team didn’t decide to rip out the (difficult to debug) pipeline framework and replace it with Windows Workflow. An alternative to the checkout processing and order management is to use InfoPath forms and workflow to put stuff in the correct databases, and send messages through BizTalk (or other service bus technology)  to actually take the money and send orders to the fulfillment houses.

eMarketing
One of CS's other big functional areas is in eMarketing, and again we see more than one way of doing stuff. Do you use the CS targeting system or MOSS audiences? I’m not sure, but it’s at risk confusing my users with two different systems to target their users. I think audience targetting through MOSS is better, simply because we will want to target both products and content to the same audience groups.

Discounting System.
This is one of the stronger points of CS, and I can't see anything obvious in MOSS to replicate this functionality.

Reporting and Analytics
CS uses SQL 2005 Reporting and Analytics, so these reports can be consumed into a Report Center within an MOSS Intranet.

Membership and Role providers
The out of the box providers are hooked up to CS as well as in MOSS so this is no area of concern. Using Forms Authentication, you could reuse the same in a MOSS environment.

So in conclusion, use the catalogue management, the shopping basket and the discount system from CS whereas all the other CS functionalities could easily be handled by reasonable amounts of custom development work in MOSS.

© Copyright 2010, Tomas Elfving