The Commerce Server development tools are designed to help site developers build and customize sites quickly, and transfer them to customers. Commerce Server includes new development tools and enhancements to Site Server 3.0 and Site Server 3.0, Commerce Edition (SSCE).
Commerce Server has replaced the Site Server 3.0 Starter Sites with three Solution Sites. The Solution Sites are development reference sites that provide an integrated set of features included in Commerce Server. The Solution Sites provide merchandising, catalog display, customer service, and order capture and receipt.
Because the Solution Sites provide comprehensive e-commerce functionality, you can use them as a starting point for developing your own Web sites, and, when you are ready, add functionality that is specific to your business.
Commerce Server includes the following Solution Sites:
- Blank. You can use this Solution Site as a starting point for building your own custom site. It includes all of the Commerce Server resources. The Blank site is included in the Commerce Server box.
- Retail. You can use this Solution Site as a starting point for building a business-to-consumer site. It includes business-to-consumer functionality for personalization, merchandising, catalog search, customer service, and business analytics. It includes the Customer Service, which enables users to manage their own profile information and to view their order status. The Retail site is available from http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/solutionsites.
- Supplier. You can use this Solution Site as a starting point for building a business-to-business site. It uses Active Directory in Microsoft Windows 2000 to provide secure user authentication and group access permissions. It provides purchase order and requisition handling, XML-based catalog updates and exchange, and trading partner self-service. It includes the Partner Service, which enables a delegated administrator (a contact at a supplier company) to manage organizational information, purchase orders, and order status for that supplier company. The Supplier site is available from http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/solutionsites.
The Commerce Server Software Development Kit (SDK) includes header files, sample code, sitelets, and tools for developing e-commerce solutions with Commerce Server.
The Include folder of the SDK contains the header and Interface Description Language (IDL) files required to use and extend the services provided by Commerce Server in Microsoft Visual C++.
The following is a partial list of the sample code provided in the SDK:
- Administration Samples. A reference for creating Commerce Server resources, integrating with and extending Commerce Server Manager, building custom Commerce Server Site Packager components, and building custom Commerce Server Business Desk modules.
- Business Desk Module Framework. A working code base from which to develop new Business Desk modules. This code base demonstrates how to use XML data-islands, and includes the Business Desk widgets for creating a rich, Web-based user interface (UI) to allow for non-technical administration of your Commerce Server site. This sample provides you with an Edit page for implementing the Edit widget, a List page for implementing the List widget, and a Response page for handling requests from the Business Desk UI. Additionally, the AddModuleToConfig.vbs script is provided to demonstrate how to install new Business Desk modules into an existing Business Desk.
- Business Desk Installer. A simple COM component that demonstrates how to use the Administration API in conjunction with the Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 metabase, and how to use the Microsoft Extensible Markup Language (MSXML) parser to install new Business Desk modules into an existing Business Desk.
- Custom Site Packager Component. A component that demonstrates how to package and unpack data specific to the site resources that you create in a Commerce Site Package during the packaging/unpacking process. The Custom Site Packager component is a Microsoft Visual Basic ActiveX dynamic-link library (DLL) that implements the IPuP interface (required for Custom Site Packager components), packages data stored in a Microsoft SQL Server™ database, and unpacks the data into a specified site.
- Data Warehouse Schema Browser. A schema browser you use to view Commerce Server Data Warehouse classes, class properties, data members, and class relationships as they are defined in the logical schema. This sample demonstrates how to use the Commerce Server OLE DB provider to access the logical schema of the Data Warehouse.
- CSF Score Headlines. A sample that demonstrates how to extend the Targeting System using custom Content Selection Framework (CSF) Cache Loading and Scoring components. The CSF Score Headlines sample is based on the premise that you want to target headlines to users of your site based on the age of the headline and what headlines have been seen the most. It demonstrates integration with the Targeting System using both Visual C++ and Visual Basic.
- CSF Debug Utils. A set of Active Server Pages (ASP) that you include in your scripts to dump the contents of a CSF cache and to trace the scoring logic applied for any given content request. The CSF Score Headlines sample demonstrates how to use these debugging utilities.
- CSF DB Utils. A set of SQL scripts that purge the CSF, Expression Evaluator, and List Manager databases of all content.
In addition to the traditional code samples provided in the Commerce Server 2000 SDK, small scale Commerce Server 2000 sites (referred to as "sitelets") are also included. The sitelets demonstrate how to use the API sets from ASP pages, without integrating them with the rest of the run-time services for Commerce Server 2000. Run the sitelets to help you isolate and understand the APIs for a particular feature, without manually filtering extraneous code unrelated to the task you want to perform.
The following sitelets are provided in the Commerce Server 2000 SDK:
- Advertising Sitelet. Demonstrates how to use the Profiling System in combination with the Targeting System to display targeted advertisements.
- Auction Sitelet. Demonstrates how to use the Auction component to implement Winning Bid auctions. It includes a custom Business Desk module designed for managing auctions.
- Catalog Sitelet. Demonstrates how to use the Product Catalog System to offer catalog browse and search functionality on your e-commerce site.
- Discount Sitelet. Demonstrates how to leverage targeted discounts in the order capture process of your Web site.
- Order Sitelet. Demonstrates how to use Commerce Server to implement an order capture process on your Web site.
- Passport Sitelet. Demonstrates how to integrate Passport single sign-on capability with the Profiling System. With this capability, you and your customers can benefit from a single sign-on authentication service, while still being able to use the Profiling System for targeting users, managing user data, and so on.
- Profile Sitelet. Demonstrates how to use the Profiling System to register and authenticate users on your e-commerce site.
The Commerce Server 2000 SDK includes a set of tools to help you simplify and speed up the development process for building sites run by Commerce Server, building products that integrate with Commerce Server, and building add-on components for Commerce Server.
- Pipeline Component Wizard for Visual Basic. This tool provides Visual Basic developers with a release and deployment (RAD) environment for building Business Processing Pipeline components. To install the Pipeline Component Wizard for Visual Basic, register the PipelineCompWizard.dll file in the VB Pipe Wizard folder of the SDK Tools. For example, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Commerce Server\SDK\Tools\VB Pipe Wizard.
- Pipeline Component Wizard for Visual C++. This tool consists of a group of files that you add to your Visual C++ 6.0 installation to automate the creation of Commerce Server pipeline components. The Pipeline Component Wizard creates the object definition and implementation files that contain the function prototypes for all of the interfaces that you need to implement to create a fully functional pipeline component. In addition, the Pipeline Component Wizard creates a property page for your project, in which you add the controls through which users set component properties.
- Pipeline Component Registration Tool. This tool helps you register pipeline components for stage affinity. You register the pipeline component on the computer in which the tool is being run and you can export the data to a Registry Script (.reg) file for deployment to other servers. The Pipeline Component Registration Tool is located in the Registration Tool folder of the SDK. For example, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Commerce Server\SDK\Tools\Registration Tool.
Commerce Server 2000 Help provides detailed documentation that explains how to customize Commerce Server. For example, the documentation includes instructions for:
- Building Business Desk Modules
- Building Pipeline Components
- Working with the Data Warehouse
- Extending the Content Selection Framework
- Integrating with BizTalk Server
- Modifying Your Site for an International Audience
In addition, for each of the Commerce Server objects, Commerce Server 2000 Help includes example code.
The Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit provides detailed information about developing e-commerce solutions with Commerce Server. It is available from Microsoft Press.
The Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit includes information about the following topics:
- Developing multi-language, multi-currency sites
- Implementing identification and authentication
- Extending the Business Analytics System
- Implementing complex pricing schemes
- Developing with the Profiling System
- Modifying order processing
- Integrating with SAP
- Integrating with J.D. Edwards OneWorld
- Testing your site
- Maximizing performance
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