After Development, What Next?
While you are developing a Commerce Server Web application, you may have installed the various components on a single development computer, such as is described in Building a Commerce Server Single Server Deployment. However, this is rarely the scenario in which your production Web application will be deployed. More likely, the major components that constitute your Web application will be deployed across several different computers, with one or more Web server computers, a separate computer running SQL Server, and so on.
For detailed information about various deployment options, see Deployment.
Another issue that you may or may not have dealt with during the development of the Web application itself is the process of populating your Commerce Server system databases with your complete set of data. For example, depending on the form in which your product catalog data exists, you may, as a developer, be involved in migrating that data into your Commerce Server Catalog System. There are a number of ways in which this could be done. You could write a tool that uses the Catalog System APIs to migrate your product data from a proprietary format into the Catalog System, or, if your product data is in an XML representation, you could use BizTalk Server and the Catalog adapter provided with Commerce Server to import your data into the Catalog System. Another example is that you may have existing customer data to migrate into the Profiles System. These tasks may be one-time tasks, after which the product data, or customer data, is maintained within the corresponding Commerce Server system. It is also conceivable that you would continue to maintain the primary source of this data outside of Commerce Server, and that the data migration processes that you develop are going to be used to periodically refresh the Commerce Server version of the data.
You undoubtedly tested your Commerce Server Web application in the course of developing it, at least in terms of functional testing. After you have deployed your application to its production environment, or an environment that at least approximates your production environment, you will want to perform other types of testing, such as stress and performance testing.
Commerce Server Staging (CSS) may be used to help manage the ongoing processes related to deployment. Development of improvements and corrections to your Web application are likely to continue indefinitely. With CSS, you can create repeatable processes that allow you to establish separate environments for development, staging, and production, with periodic updates from one environment to another.
For detailed information about using CSS to managing your ongoing Web application deployment, see Commerce Server Staging.
Finally, there is the ongoing operation of your Web application. In general, as a developer, you will not be directly involved in the day-to-day operation of the Web application. Business users will handle the business aspects of the application, keeping the product catalog up-to-date, seeing that orders are processed in a timely manner, and so on. IT professionals will be involved in making sure that the application stays up and running, and that the application data remains secure. Nevertheless, these colleagues may need you to create new applications and tools, or modify existing applications and tools, to allow them to better perform their jobs. For detailed information about the day-to-day operation of the Web application that you have developed, see Commerce Server Operations and Concepts and Tools for Business Users.