WebSphere Commerce product overview

Important: On December 6, 2018, IBM and HCL Technologies announced a definitive agreement under which HCL acquired the IBM WebSphere Commerce line of software products. The transaction closed on June 30, 2019. The full list of products and part numbers included in this transaction can be found here.

This documentation is current as of the closing date set forth above but only the HCL Commerce Version 9 Knowledge Center, hosted by HCL, will be updated. For information on the latest fixes, part numbers and download information for WebSphere Commerce Versions 7 and 8, Digital Commerce, and Commerce on Cloud, see the HCL Support page.

E-commerce is no longer simply about presenting and selling products online. It is about delivering a smarter shopping experience that is seamless and integrated across all customer touch points. It is about providing a rich, relevant, personalized experience across multiple channels of your business. But ultimately it is about doing more to leverage the power of your brand and present its value consistently to your customers.

IBM WebSphere Commerce provides a powerful customer interaction platform for cross-channel commerce. It can be used by companies of all sizes, from small businesses, to large enterprises, and for many different industries. It provides easy-to-use tools for business users to centrally manage a cross-channel strategy. Business users can create and manage precision marketing campaigns, promotions, catalog, and merchandising across all sales channels. WebSphere Commerce is a single, unified platform that offers the ability to do business directly with consumers (B2C), directly with businesses (B2B), and indirectly through channel partners (indirect business models). WebSphere Commerce is a customizable, scalable, and high availability solution that is built to leverage open standards.

Product portfolio

There are three editions of WebSphere Commerce. Each edition provides an increasing set of functionality:
  • WebSphere Commerce - ExpressWebSphere Commerce - Express is an easily installed and affordable customer interaction platform that is designed to jump-start your online presence.
  • WebSphere Commerce ProfessionalWebSphere Commerce Professional provides a powerful customer interaction platform to help mid-size companies offer personalized, cross-channel shopping.
  • WebSphere Commerce EnterpriseWebSphere Commerce Enterprise provides a sophisticated platform for high-volume B2C and B2B business models and multiple sites.

WebSphere Commerce DeveloperIBM WebSphere Commerce Developer provides an integrated development environment in which you can build and test your customizations to extend the business logic or change the appearance of your site. IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer Editions are available for WebSphere Commerce Enterprise, Professional, and Express. Since WebSphere Commerce is a highly customizable solution, IBM WebSphere Commerce Developer includes everything that you need to develop and test end-to-end e-commerce sites.

WebSphere Commerce Developer uses IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere Software as the foundation of the Java IDE. Rational Application Developer extends the Eclipse environment with visual development features.

Features and benefits

Product comparison chart
Feature Benefit Express Professional Enterprise
Starter stores for the consumer direct business models include Web 2.0, mobile, and social commerce features Reduce costs in site development and deployment. x x x
Starter stores for B2B direct and indirect business models: Reduce costs in site development and deployment. x
Globalization and localization support The WebSphere Commerce architecture is designed to support globalization. Globalization is the proper design and execution of systems, software, services, and procedures so that one instance of software, running on a single server or end-user machine, can process multilingual data and present culturally correct data in a multicultural environment such as the Internet.

All starter stores are localized. In addition to globalization, these starter stores have additional features specific to a market.

x x x
Marketing Marketing Managers can use Web activities and Dialog activities to deliver brand or promotional messages to customers through various methods. Methods include: displaying the message on store pages, or sending a message with email or mobile text messaging.

Precision marketing capabilities allow marketers and merchandisers to create, manage, and deploy personalized marketing campaigns across direct and extended brand touch points according to customer behavior: Target customers with relevant marketing information based on their personal browsing and shopping habits. Other approaches include marketing experiments, targeted marketing, campaigns, and e-Marketing Spots.

Introduced in Feature Pack 2 automatically generates personalized product recommendations for each visitor. Recommendations are based on current session and historical browsing, shopping, and purchasing data through a powerful set of proven and configurable algorithms. Marketers can create marketing campaigns to control when, where, and to which customers to display these relevant product recommendations.

x x x
WebSphere Commerce search

Introduced in Feature Pack 2WebSphere Commerce search provides enhanced search functionality in starter stores. The functionality provides enriched search engine capabilities such as automatic search term suggestions and spelling correction, while influencing store search results with search term associations, and search-based merchandising rules.

x x x
Promotions Using promotions, you can offer customers incentives to purchase. WebSphere Commerce supports numerous types of promotions. Examples of price promotions include simple discounts; merchandise specials such as gifts with purchase and buy-one-get-one; and service promotions that include reduced shipping costs. x x x
Distributed Order Management (DOM) integration This integration provides comprehensive coverage of the order lifecycle across channels, from capture to fulfillment.

Introduced in Feature Pack 2An integration module, supporting a subset of integration scenarios, is provided to enable the use of Sterling Commerce as a Distributed Order Management System that is compatible with WebSphere Commerce.

Feature Pack 5 or laterSterling Order Management integration offers further integration of IBM WebSphere Commerce and IBM Sterling Order Management Release 9.2. This order management-enabled commerce integration strengthens both products, providing a complete end-to-end solution.

x x x
Cross-channel order processing Provides cross-channel business processes to efficiently serve customers, contact-center representatives, gift registrants, distribution channel partners, and others. Interfaces integrate with external systems such as POS, kiosk, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and fulfillment systems (multichannel order management). x x x
Business user tools for managing catalogs, promotions, campaigns, prices, page layouts, and stores.IBM Management Center for WebSphere Commerce The IBM Management Center for WebSphere Commerce, or Management Center, is a suite of tools to support store management, merchandising, and marketing tasks for business users (Sellers, Marketing Managers, Product Managers, Catalog Managers, and others). x x x
Administration tools The Data Load utility provides an efficient data load solution for catalog, inventory, and pricing information into your WebSphere Commerce database.

Introduced in Feature Pack 2The Web feed utility provides a new way to connect to Web feeds, such as a Content Management System, and harvest static, unstructured content.

x x x
Web-based framework tools that are called WebSphere Commerce Accelerator to manage business operations such as managing stores, inventory, fulfillment, orders, returns, payments, and auctions.WebSphere Commerce Accelerator With the WebSphere Commerce Accelerator, you can maintain online stores, hubs, and catalogs by completing various store operations. Managing business operations includes maintaining the presentation of your store to creating and maintaining orders, to tracking store activities. x x x
Analytics and business intelligence using additional software WebSphere Commerce provides a framework and tools to simplify the process of setting up your site to use . is an industry leading hosted web analytics solution. The framework is implemented as a tag library designed to act as an intermediary layer between WebSphere Commerce and . The tools include an auto tagging utility to place analytics tags in your store pages. The tools also include a utility to generate a file that contains your catalog hierarchy for . This solution can significantly reduce the time that is required to deploy web analytics x x x
Payments using a payments plug-in architecture The Payments subsystem contains three main parts: Payment rules engine, Payment plug-in controller, and payment plug-ins. x x x
Open standards support Built on accepted, industry standards like Java technology, JavaServer Pages, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), and XML, WebSphere Commerce can be easily integrated to your existing middleware and systems. x x x
Developer tools Standards-based, rapid application development environment that uses and extends IBM Rational Application Developer based development environment. x x x
Sales Center for WebSphere Commerce A separately ordered product that improves the productivity of call center employees. Gives call center representatives the functionality they need to service and up-sell cross-channel customers. x x
Workspaces A workspace is an access-controlled work area where you can make and preview changes to managed assets, without affecting what is currently running on your site. Working in the context of a workspace is similar to having your own private copy of the managed assets. You can make and preview changes without affecting managed assets outside the workspace. You can commit the changes that you make in a workspace to the production database, and see the effects of your changes on your site. x x
Auctions WebSphere Commerce provides an auctioning component that lets you sell products to the highest bidder. This component provides an ideal environment for implementing small to moderate-scale auctioning as part of your e-commerce solution, and for conducting auctions simultaneously. x x
Contracts and entitlement You entitle customers to various aspects of a store such as what products they can purchase from a store, the price they pay for a product, and what payment methods a store will accept from customers.
Customer entitlement is controlled by the following WebSphere Commerce components:
  • Business accounts
  • Contracts
  • Business policies

Introduced in Feature Pack 2The Catalog Filter and Pricing tool in Management Center can be used to filter by product, category, or product attribute. Filters can be assigned to contracts to support B2B, or to stores to support Extended Sites.

x