SAP Commerce Cloud 1905: What is new?

SAP Commerce Cloud 1905: What is new?

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

  • SmartEdit now supports the Spartacus storefront (Open-Source JavaScript storefront)
  • There are now workflows in SmartEdit for creating content (a long-awaited feature)
  • Supported/used versions of Java, MySQL and Spring have been increased
  • Pages for transaction emails are now available
  • Some recipes from the Hybris Installer have been removed
  • The folder structures have been changed
  • Apache Maven (build-tools/apache-maven) is no longer included in the SAP Commerce package
  • Various bug-fixes
  • SmartEdit now supports the Spartacus storefront (Open-Source JavaScript storefront)
  • There are now workflows in SmartEdit for creating content (a long-awaited feature)
  • Supported/used versions of Java, MySQL and Spring have been increased
  • Pages for transaction emails are now available
  • Some recipes from the Hybris Installer have been removed
  • The folder structures have been changed
  • Apache Maven (build-tools/apache-maven) is no longer included in the SAP Commerce package
  • Various bug-fixes

For those with more time: Details of the SAP Commerce Release 1905

Spartacus Storefront
The new Angular storefront, Spartacus, is a decisive step towards the separation of backend and frontend. The communication between storefront and backend now takes place exclusively via the OCC REST API. The complete interactive API documentation is generated by Swagger and can usually be accessed via the URL https://localhost:9002/rest/v2/swagger-ui.html.

Background: The long-term goal of the conversion to an Angular frontend is the migration to a Progressive Web Application (PWA, 11.6.2019). This is to ensure a "native" view of the application, depending on the device. A PWA can also be used to close the gap between the website and the application. The advantage for online retailers: You can deploy an app with little or no effort.

Technically, the storefront is based on the Angular CLI, Node.js, and Yarn. MS Visual Studio code is recommended for storefront development, together with a list of extensions maintained by SAP (found in the Spartacus-GitHub)
The Spartacus storefront is compatible with SAP Commerce version 1811. However: In order to edit it in SmartEdit, the new version, 1905, is mandatory. Other features also require the new version, such as the new CmsFlexComponents and the "Forgot Password / Recover Password" function in the Spartacus storefront.

The release of Spartacus version 1.0 is planned for June 2019 (“The first release (1.0) is planned for the third week of June, a few weeks after the release of SAP Commerce Cloud 1905” - SAP Spartacus Storefront GitHub Wiki, 6.6.2019). Another major release is not planned in the next six months unless the next Angular version (Angular Ivy) promises significant improvements. According to the roadmap, however, regular updates should be delivered every 2 weeks. We expect exciting changes, especially in Q3 2019, as the Cloud Cart, the Cloud Search, and the B2C Guest Checkout feature have been announced for this release.
 
Modifications to SmartEdit

Workflows
Website content management is often a multi-step process: Different stakeholders need to work together to prepare content for publication. To coordinate complex processes, SAP Commerce Cloud Version 1905 introduces practical CMS workflows for SmartEdit. They help to automate business processes and to facilitate team collaboration in the area of content management.

An example of a workflow can be found in the SAP Commerce Help video.

Spartacus JS Storefront
SmartEdit now includes full support for the Spartacus JS storefront. Storefront content can now be officially managed and personalized. For a contextualization (language, country, date, etc.) of the content to be managed, ticket tokens are used for each REST API call. During a revision of the classic storefront, this ticket token is sent via the SmartEdit iFrame.

Improved usability: UX harmonization for SAP product
Also, the new 1905 has a few visual improvements in Smart Edit. The navigation has a new look. It makes it easier to switch between pages. The area where the different devices can be selected and the preview area have moved to the right-hand side of the screen.
Version upgrades

SAP Commerce Cloud version 1905 updates some of the integrated technologies. Thus, Spring 4 support (Core 4.3.17.RELEASE) was upgraded to Spring 5. This is due to the fact that support for Spring 4.3 expires in 2019. One of the most important new features of the Java framework Spring 5.1 is the support of Java JDK 11.


Java JDK 11 is now the foundation for SAP Commerce Cloud. With the support of Java JDK 11, there is now the possibility to declare Lambda functions via the keyword "var". HTTP Client APIs were also modified. The most important change, however, is that Oracle introduces a new license model with Java 11. The Java 11 Oracle JDK can only be used free of charge in development; in production environments, an Oracle support contract must be purchased. The use of the SAP JVM for productive systems, which is freely available to SAP customers, could help here.

Additional features that are now supported following the SAP Commerce Cloud 1905 release:
  • MySQL 8.x
  • Oracle 12.2
  • KUBE_PING
  • Solr 7.7.1.
Transactional emails

Whether order confirmations, promotions or account activities, sending emails to customers can be very time-consuming in day-to-day business. In the new version, content managers can create and update transactional emails directly in the SmartEdit interface. This was one of the last remaining gaps in web content management systems (WCMS), Cockpit.

Updated installation recipes

With the introduction of SAP Commerce Cloud 1905, two things change when installing an initial shop system. First of all, it should be noted that some of the recipes still available in version 1811 have been removed. This includes the following recipes:

  • b2b_acc
  • b2c_b2b_oms_dockerized
  • b2c_acc
  • b2c_oms_dockerized
  • base_images
  • b2c_acc_cpq_dockerized
  • centralized_logging
  • b2c_acc_dockerized
  • b2c_acc_dockerized_gridfs
  • b2c_acc_oms
  • platform_only
  • platform_only_dockerized
  • platform_only_gridfs_dockerized
  • b2c_b2b_acc
  • y2ysync_dockerized

The second important change: every installation via recipes now requires an initial admin password. This new installation step can be carried out in two ways. Either the "-A local_property:initialpassword.admin=[New Password]" parameter is appended to the "./install.sh -r [Recipe] initialize” command or the "initialpassword.admin" property is added to a manually created installer/customconfig/custom.properties file before installation. Before installation, the property is automatically added to /hybris/config/local.properties and removed after installation. This additional step is no longer necessary for a subsequent initialize via "ant initialize" or via the HAC.

Modified folder structure

The folder structure of extensions, add-ons and modules has also changed with version 1905. Starting with this version, folders such as "ext-addons" and "ext-data" are no longer on the same level as the "custom" and "platform" folders. Instead, there are now three logically separated folders on this folder level. A "custom" folder for all your own extensions, a "platform" folder with the SAP Commerce Cloud core and a "modules" folder, which contains all standard extensions, add-ons, and modules. Changes to existing CI scripts may be necessary due to these path modifications.

Platform Changes
Using the samlsinglesignon extension, an SSO login for backend applications is now possible. An outbound sync enables SAP Commerce items to be synchronized with external systems. This automatically exports changes to the target system and can also be used for monitoring purposes.

However, the latest version does not only bring new features, bug-fixes, and additions. Some of the established extensions have been removed. These include e.g. oci, bmecat, classificationsystemsm reporttcockpit, mcc. A list maintained by SAP can be found here.

The access rights of the various roles (admin, user) are enforced more consistently in the back office. Products can now only be created and deleted by admins. Normal users have read-only rights by default.