Unified Commerce Server Architecture for Large Number of Enterprise Stores

To serve a large number of enterprise customers, enterprise supplier needs to set up many custom B2B stores, each personalized with special promotions and dedicated contracts. The custom store needs to empower business buyers to shop in the following fashions: 1) Buyers visit the custom store, make direct decisions on product selection, based on entitled pricing, and check out orders; 2) Buyers use their own company's procurement software, perform catalog shopping on one or more remote custom stores, return an order quote back locally for approval, and subsequently send approved orders to supplier for fulfillment; 3) Buyers shop with own company's procurement software, using catalog pre-loaded with product and pricing information extracted from supplier's custom stores, and then place purchase orders. This paper describes an industry implementation experience, on how these shopping paradigms can be accommodated effectively and efficiently using a unified commerce server architecture. It is explained, how one master catalog subsystem can be personalized to accommodate the following business processes: B2B Direct catalog shopping, B2B procurement with remote catalog punchout, B2B procurement with local catalog, and entitled catalog extraction. A detailed discussion on how to build a unified commerce server in a 2-tier architecture is illustrated by the handling of various different punchout protocols in one common implementation. The study also reports on the issues and efficiency considerations by different approaches for real-time entitled pricing lookup vs. batch pricing extraction operations.

By: Trieu C. Chieu, Florian Pinel, Jih-Shyr Yi

Published in: RC23200 in 2004


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