SAP Commerce Cloud 2011: What is new?

For those in a hurry: The most important changes at a glance

  • Commerce OCC API enhancements
  • New capabilities in Context-driven Services
  • New extensibility features with Integration and Runtime Data Modeling
  • Enhancements to Integration API’s
  • Backoffice Framework enhancements
  • Adaptive Search Grouping in Search and Navigation
  • New Platform features



For those with more time: Details of the SAP Commerce Release 2011


Commerce OCC APIs (Omni Commerce Connect)

To decouple your front-end storefront from the back-end platform, you can use the OCC APIs to create a flexible e-commerce system. The best-known example of a separate front-end storefront is Spartacus, published with Hybris 1911.

In SAP Commerce 2011, configurable bundles have been added to increase profit and customer value by bundling products and services. Using OCC APIs, you can define different prices for products that are sold together. You can offer the customer convenient, ready-made options or simply guide them through the bundle process. The bundles now also allow inventory control, bringing slow-selling products back to the foreground.

In order to better design a purchase transaction and to simplify it for the end customer, the shopping cart validation was modified. The shopping cart behavior can be changed via validation hooks. Customer errors should be corrected early, visibly, and automatically.

Another new Commerce OCC interfaces feature is the deactivation of the API endpoint. This enables developers to use custom APIs instead of the standard APIs. Furthermore, endpoints can be activated/deactivated during operation without requiring a restart.

The OCC AddOn Converter is also very interesting for developers. Its functionality makes it possible to convert an OCC AddOn to an OCC extension. This has the advantage of being able to use the required functions without the "AddOn Installation", which is needed in the standard version.

 

New capabilities in context-driven services

Context-driven services is an add-on that provides a range of services for a more personalized customer experience. In SAP Commerce version 2011, new features were introduced to the context-driven service, for a better customer experience and real-time personalization.

Through machine-learning-based recommendations, it is possible to offer alternative products to website visitors. Based on user interaction with the website, the products displayed can predict the next item the user will want to see. Through this integrated solution, user interaction is enhanced and product recognition is improved.

Various preferences characterize each user, such as brands or favorite colors, which are determined by interaction with a website. It is more likely that a brand is more relevant to a user the more often he or she interacts with it. In other words, the user has a high affinity for this product. By bundling these interactions across all website visits, the context-driven service can develop an image of this customer’s preferences, based on the rise and fall of affinities. To ensure customer satisfaction and retention, dynamic affinities have been added to SAP Commerce 2011. Among other improvements, these now decrease over time if the user shows no interest for a while. This improves product discovery, leading to increased sales.

 

New extensibility features and integration API features

New extensibility features have been included for a better user experience and higher productivity.

In the 2011 release, Kyma features were made available to improve the user experience. The back-office now provides a simple, easy-to-use interface for users, to make your integration APIs available to Kyma. To prevent users from inadvertently deleting configurations and integration objects, security measures have also been implemented.

The classic enhancement mechanism can be circumvented by newly introduced runtime attributes. In a variety of extensibility scenarios, attributes can now be added and used via the back-office. To enable additional runtime configurations without having to restart/initialize SAP Commerce, administrators can also use virtual attributes in a dedicated security script. This is used to change and extend business functions without affecting the stability of the backend.

With webhooks, notifications are sent to other configured URL targets when items are saved/updated. In this release, webhooks have been enhanced with filters that allow users to create dynamic scripts with data that should not be shared outside of the SAP Commerce Cloud.

 

Back-office framework enhancements

To improve the productivity of business users, time-consuming manual tasks have been simplified. Companies thereby increases their quality and efficiency.

  • A password change function makes a back-office password change directly effective without having to restart the system. Administrators can enable or disable this function.
  • Filtering of the catalog tree is more effective with the 2011 release, through the use of dynamic nodes. The new algorithm ensures that even large catalogs can easily be searched and narrowed down. This flexible-search-based filtering has lower memory usage and is faster when compared to the cache-based approach.
  • Elements in the advanced search can be filtered by date and time using a new date attribute.
  • For CSV imports, a column delimiter has been added that can be configured globally for all or for specific types.
  • Classification attributes can now be used to change the order and to process large quantities, thanks to an update of the mass processing function.

 

Adaptive search grouping in search and navigation

Another new addition is grouping configuration at the category level. By default, products and their corresponding variants are treated and displayed separately. With groupings and associated variants in one category, this display behavior can now be changed. This makes it possible to easily combine products on your site, providing customers with an intuitive search. Since this requires fewer clicks to display more elements, these results have a positive effect on the end customer.

 

Platform changes

As well as features and bug fixes, the latest version brings some platform changes. By adjusting properties and their default values, the process engine has improved.

Security for managing HTTP sessions and OAuth2 tokens has also been modified and improved to prevent the use of outdated HTTP sessions or OAuth tokens after a customer password has changed.

If you are interested in detailed information on platform modifications for the 2011 release, please click here.