Catalog System

Commerce Server 2007
For the latest version of Commerce Server 2007 Help, see the Microsoft Web site.

The Commerce Server 2007 Catalog System lets you import, export, create, and manage online catalogs. Commerce Server stores catalog and product data in the Catalog database. Developers use the Commerce Server Catalog System APIs to define products, categories, base catalogs, and virtual catalogs.

The Commerce Server 2007 Catalog System includes support for the following functions:

  • Creation of virtual catalogs for custom and contract pricing as well as virtual catalog subsets and aggregates that support application of different pricing models, such as seasonal pricing.

  • Creation of catalog sets for customers matching certain profiles.

  • Multiple search mechanisms.

  • Integration with other Commerce Server systems, such as the Inventory System, Marketing System, Orders System, and the Commerce Server Staging System.

  • Import and export APIs to support line-of-business systems integration and integration with Microsoft BizTalk Server.

The following table describes the Catalog System features and enhancements. For information about the features available from the Windows Smart Client Web services-enabled Catalog Manager application, see Catalog Manager.

Feature

Description

Data management

  • Extensible catalog schema. Extend the Catalog database schema by creating your own custom properties for product and category definitions.

  • Catalog definition management. Create, edit, retrieve, and delete definitions for products and categories.

  • Catalog schema management. Create, edit, retrieve, and delete property metadata.

  • Bulk data update. Perform bulk updates and deletes of properties for multiple products or categories by specifying an expression or a dataset.

  • Full-text search. Enhanced full-text searches that support inflectional, weighted, and proximity searches.

  • Catalog hierarchies and product sequencing. Manage the display order of products and categories by specifying the hierarchy of categories and catalogs and the order of products and categories.

Virtual catalog

  • Virtual catalog management. Create virtual catalogs from aggregates of base catalogs to create, for example, a spring sale catalog or to display prices in a different currency such as euros.

  • Virtual catalog properties and ranking. Modify the virtual catalog properties, rank products, categories, and variants in a virtual catalog.

  • Virtual catalog views. Create a virtual catalog by aggregating two or more virtual catalogs into another virtual catalog.

Application Programming Interfaces

  • Catalog API. Create, modify, extend, and manage catalog data programmatically.

  • Web Service and Agent API. Perform distributed management of the Catalog and Inventory System programmatically.

Applications

  • Catalog Manager. Manage catalogs by using the new Windows Forms-based Web service.

  • Catalog and Inventory Schema Manager. Manage inventory metadata and SKUs by using the new Windows Forms-based Web service.

  • Catalog import and export. Import and export catalogs to business user desktops by using a new Web service/agent.

Staging

  • Base and virtual catalogs, catalog sets, and full-text index staging. Choose which catalogs to update, whether to update base/dependent catalogs, virtual catalogs, and/or catalog sets, and whether to generate a full-text index update.

  • Property and language. Choose the catalog properties and languages to stage.

  • Customized expression-based staging. Define the parts of a catalog to stage by specifying filter and hierarchy criteria.

  • Catalog definitions/schema staging. Choose to update catalog schema.

  • Full or incremental updates. Choose whether to stage all data or only data that has changed since the last catalog was staged.

  • Transactional or non-transactional. Existing catalog data is not changed in the event an error condition occurs during staging.

  • Refresh catalog cache. Choose to refresh the data cache on the Web site cache after updating catalog data.

Command line tools

  • Import tool. Import catalog data.

  • Export tool. Export catalog data.

Formats

  • Catalog XSD. Use the XSD format for standards-based representation of catalogs.

  • XML import/export modes. Perform parameterized import and export of catalog data.

LOB support

  • BizTalk Adapter for Catalog. Exchange catalog data with external systems programmatically.

  • Synchronization. Synchronize any line-of-business system with catalog data on the production server.

Security

  • Granular security. Use Windows Authorization Manager scopes, roles, tasks, and operations to manage access to the Catalog System.

Supportability

  • Catalog pipeline performance counters. Record events associated with the run-time performance of the Catalog System pipeline components, such as number of catalog lookups performed, average catalog lookup time, and more.

  • Catalog run-time performance counters. Record events associated with the run-time performance of the Catalog System Web service, such as total number of product searches using free text search, average time to perform Product searches using free text search, and more.

  • Catalog management-time performance counters. Record events associated with the management-time performance of the Catalog System, such as total catalog updates performed, average time per catalog update request, number of catalog updates per second, and more.

  • Windows Event Tracing. Use to help with troubleshooting.

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