Feature Pack 8

Highlights of Version 7 Feature Pack 8

New features available with WebSphere Commerce Version 7 Feature Pack 8 include:

Aurora starter store enhancements for both B2B direct and consumer direct business models, business user enhancements, enhancements, and more.

Feature Pack 8In June 2015, the following documentation and features were added to Feature Pack 8:To use the new features, you must apply the cumulative interim fix JR53438.fep for Feature Pack 8. JR53438.fep also includes the latest security enhancements and fixes for known issues. For a complete list of all the fixes and enhancements that are included, see Cumulative interim fixes for Feature Pack 8.
Feature Pack 8New feature for Feature Pack 8After the initial release of Feature Pack 8, the following features were added:To use these features, you must apply one or more interim fixes to WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 8. The documentation describes which interim fixes to apply and any additional steps to enable the feature.

Single storefront for B2B direct and consumer direct sites

The Aurora starter store is enhanced with B2B capabilities that include requisition lists, multiple saved orders, product entitlement, contract pricing, organization, and buyer registration, and more. The Aurora storefront provides the following extra benefits:
  • A consistent and functionally rich customer experience for both B2B direct and consumer direct stores that use:
    • The Commerce Composer tool in Management Center, to give business users greater control over page creation and design tasks.
    • WebSphere Commerce search for advanced search-based merchandising.
    • Companion assets, including use cases, wireframes, and static HTML pages, to help expedite solution delivery at a lower cost.
  • An enhanced user experience for administrators from buying organizations, who can now manage their buyers and organizations directly in the storefront. Buyer administrators can also perform specific tasks on behalf of buyers, including requisition list management and order submission.
  • Access to validated prebuilt integrations to third-party services and solutions from a wide range of partners. Integrations include partner widgets that are designed for Commerce Composer and B2B-specific integrations.

New informationLearn more...

Expanded REST API services

The WebSphere Commerce REST API is expanded in Feature Pack 8 to include the following enhancements:
  • Support for more consumer direct functions in the Aurora starter store, such as the use of alternative web UI technologies for storefront presentation.
  • Introduce B2B-specific functions in the Aurora starter store.
  • A consistent approach for partner widgets that are designed for Commerce Composer to interact with the WebSphere Commerce server.
  • Support for JSON and XML response formats by default.
In addition, the REST framework is updated to simplify the creation and consumption of REST APIs. For example, best practices when you are working with REST services, and configuration-based command and data bean mapping. New informationLearn more...

A live version of the WebSphere Commerce REST API is available by using the Swagger UI. It is composed of a set of static HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that dynamically documents the available REST API on the WebSphere Commerce test server. New informationLearn more...

The ProductViewHandler REST API is enhanced so that it can retrieve only the merchandising associations for a catalog entry that match a specific merchandising association type. New informationLearn more...

WebSphere Commerce search

Feature Pack 8 enhances WebSphere Commerce search in the following areas:

Enhanced SEO parameters to specify how to substitute strings in generated URLs. InvalidName specifies the strings that must be changed, and fixedName specifies the substitution strings to use instead. New informationLearn more...

Price indexing and facets:
  • WebSphere Commerce search builds calculated prices into the search index, so that a B2B storefront can use the indexed price mode to support contract-based pricing based on calculated prices.
  • The storefront displays facet values based on the selected contract. Asset stores can either share prices, or use different prices for Extended Sites based on the selected pricing model.
Parallel preprocessing and distributed indexing:
  • You can index large catalog data into the search server with parallel preprocessing and distributed indexing by sharding and merging.
  • Data can be split either horizontally or vertically into different threads, so that each thread can process smaller chunks of the data. This approach is useful when the catalog size is large, or when preprocessing and indexing times are not acceptable.
Rule-based sales categories:
  • Business users can create rule-based sales categories that use WebSphere Commerce search to find catalog entries that match defined search conditions. The matching catalog entries are automatically assigned to the categories. Rule-based sales categories can also be updated automatically.

    For more information about rule-based sales categories, see Rule-based sales categories.

Search relevancy enhancements:
  • Site Administrators can group products in search results.
  • Grouping products in search results allows you to aggregate the search results, and display accurate price ranges and facet counts based on the matched entitled items.
Starter store enhancements:
  • The auto-suggest menu uses the SiteContentHandler REST service to apply entitlement and catalog filter rules when offering search suggestions.
Software stack:
  • Updated to Apache Solr 4.7.0.
For more information about a key area of Feature Pack 8, see WebSphere Commerce search and the B2B direct business model.
Feature Pack 8New feature for Feature Pack 8Feature Pack 8 further enhances WebSphere Commerce search:
  • Setting up WebSphere Commerce search in a clustered production environment reduces complexity of the following tasks:
    • Initially setting up the search index in a clustered environment, including configuring replication.
    • Adding more languages or new master catalog index cores in a clustered environment.
    • Setting custom Solr properties, such as caching values, and preserving them after you apply fixes.
    • Adding more search node members into a search cluster.
  • The managed configuration is introduced as a new search deployment mode. It is a variation of the advanced configuration, but contains streamlined configuration tasks, where all managed production Solr cluster members are federated and managed by a deployment manager.
    The managed configuration contains the following characteristics:
    • The search index setup utility includes an extra action and accepts an input property file. Using the new action and property file helps set up more managed search templates for each server type. For example, master, repeater, or subordinate.
    • WebSphere Application Server tools are used to deploy the managed search templates into the deployment manager.
    • The managed templates are synchronized to all Solr cluster members, so that search configuration changes are streamlined when updates are promoted to production.
    • Only the production cluster's primary node needs to be updated with search changes; then, the changes can be replicated to all nodes. For example, you can set up the search index in the master node, and then replicate the index structure to all the subordinate cluster nodes. This task is beneficial when there are many subordinate nodes or many language indexes to be set up.
    • Feature Pack 8The managed repeater and subordinates can perform index check validation to ensure data integrity of the search index.
    For more information, see WebSphere Commerce search server: Managed configuration.
Feature Pack 8

Business user tool enhancements

In the Catalogs tool, a can...
  • Create rule-based sales categories that use WebSphere Commerce search to find catalog entries that match defined search conditions. The matching catalog entries are automatically assigned to the categories. Rule-based sales categories can also be updated automatically. New informationLearn more...
  • Find catalog entries to assign to a single sales category quickly by defining search conditions. New informationLearn more...
  • Create sales categories quickly by adding catalog entries to multiple sales categories simultaneously. New informationLearn more...
  • View the catalog entries that are assigned a specific attribute dictionary attribute by reviewing the References tab for the attribute dictionary attribute. New informationLearn more...
In the Marketing tool, a Marketing Manager or Marketing Director can...
  • Export and download customer segment information, such as the email addresses of all customers in a segment. New informationLearn more...
  • Configure marketing activities to target customers who are viewing catalog entries that have specific attributes. New informationLearn more...
  • New informationOverride the maximum file size limit for marketing content associated assets. A file size limit can exist to prevent users from associating large assets with content that displays on frequently viewed pages. New informationLearn more...

    Administrators can configure the file size limit in the marketing component configuration file for the different MIME (file) types that can be used as a marketing content associated asset.New informationLearn more...

In the Promotions tool, a Marketing Manager can...
  • Prevent promotions from displaying in the main promotions list by moving the promotions into promotion folders. New informationLearn more...
  • Archive inactive promotions to remove the promotions from displaying in the main promotions list and promotion folders. New informationLearn more...
  • Find promotions by using the Advanced Search feature in the Promotions tool. New informationLearn more...

In the Workspace Management tool, a Workspace Manager or Task Group Approver can view the change history for a task group after the task group is approved or canceled. New informationLearn more...

Utilities enhancements

Site administrators can...
  • Configure the to complete the following tasks:
    • Extract data for promotions. New informationLearn more...
    • Feature Pack 8Extract data for widgets, layouts, layout templates, and pages. New informationLearn more...
    • Feature Pack 8Extract data for marketing activities, campaigns, content, attachments, customer segments, and e-Marketing Spots. New informationLearn more...
    • Feature Pack 8Extract data with an SQL-based data extract for improved performance. The is also enhanced to extract data into CSV or XML files for any object type. New informationLearn more...
  • Hide passwords from the command line when you are running the config_ant utility. A password properties file that contains encrypted passwords can be passed as a parameter when you are running the config_ant utility. New informationLearn more...
  • Configure the to complete the following tasks:
    • Feature Pack 8Load data for creating marketing objects, such as activities, campaigns, content, attachments, and e-Marketing Spots. New informationLearn more...
    • Feature Pack 8New feature for Feature Pack 8Configure the to run as a scheduled job. Administrators can configure this job with the WebSphere Commerce Administration Console. New informationLearn more...
    • Compare files by the values in each column instead of by full records when the utility is completing a file difference preprocess. Administrators can also configure the file difference preprocessor to ignore specific columns when the process is comparing files. New informationLearn more...
    • Load promotions. New informationLearn more...
    • Create promotion folders, and sort promotions into the promotion folders. New informationLearn more...
    • Create customer segments by loading a list of customer email addresses. New informationLearn more...
    • Use an update mode for loading changes to catalog entry information. This update mode compares catalog entry data in an input file with the corresponding catalog entry data in the database. The utility then replaces or adds data for only the columns that are specified in the input file. All other columns remain unchanged. New informationLearn more...
    • Mark categories for delete instead of explicitly deleting the categories. New informationLearn more...
    • Reuse assigned values when the same value is needed for multiple catalog entries. By sharing attribute assigned values across catalog entries, you can reduce the number of duplicate values that are created in the database. New informationLearn more...

Enterprise Marketing Management enhancements

Store and site developers can integrate with to simplify collecting customer shopping behavior data. With this integration, customer behavior data can be collected once with existing WebSphere Commerce analytics tags and then sent to . DDX can then relay the data to , IBM Tealeaf, and other IBM and third-party analytics providers. To integrate with , enable the integration for . Then, configure . You do not need to add any new analytics tags to store pages. New informationLearn more...

The integration between and is enhanced so that site administrators can...
  • Configure default values for an analytics provider that apply to all stores that are associated with the analytics provider. By setting site-level default values, you can quickly configure multiple stores to use the same analytics provider settings. New informationLearn more....
  • Reload the analytics integration configuration file for testing configuration changes. By creating a reload file, you can quickly test changes to the analytics provider configuration for store or site. New informationLearn more...

The integration between IBM Tealeaf and is enhanced so that the B2B direct Aurora starter store checkout flow works with IBM Tealeaf Customer Experience. Business users can use IBM Tealeaf Customer Experience to identify and resolve application problems through analytical insights and problem area drill downs. Users can repeat shopper interactions to pinpoint problems and help resolve the problems. New informationLearn more...

Feature Pack 8New feature for Feature Pack 8Site administrators can automatically retrieve and load price list data from , into WebSphere Commerce through an SFTP transport and a scheduled job. New informationLearn more...

Enhanced IBM Sterling Configurator integration

Feature Pack 8 simplifies and accelerates the configuration of complex products by using predefined configurations. Predefined configurations:
  • Enable business users to set up multiple predefined configurations and give entitlement to specific customers.
  • Are indexed for faceted search and navigation.
  • Enable configuration-based pricing and price integration.
  • Support localization.
Learn more...

Additionally, Feature Pack 8 supports integration between WebSphere Commerce, Sterling Order Management, and Sterling Configurator. This integration enables end-to-end processing of dynamic kits. Learn more...

Feature Pack 8New feature for Feature Pack 8

WebSphere Commerce EnterpriseLinuxWebSphere Commerce Patterns

Use WebSphere Commerce Patterns 2.1 with IBM PureApplication System V2.1, IBM PureApplication Software V2.1, or the IBM PureApplication Service V2.1 to deploy a virtual machine with WebSphere Commerce Enterprise Version 7, Feature Pack 8, and Fix Pack 9 installed.

Leverage WebSphere Commerce Patterns to quickly deploy a virtual environment, and simplify and optimize ongoing WebSphere Commerce administration or maintenance activities. WebSphere Commerce Patterns can provide the following advantages:
  • Fast and easy deployment of WebSphere Commerce
  • Simplified deployment topologies
    • You can manage multitier environments (application servers, database servers, and web servers) as a single entity.
  • Fine-grained control over initial deployment and lifecycle management
  • Ability to monitor resource allocation
    • You can also adjust workload capacities during peak usage to ensure that you are using your resources at optimum levels.
  • Ability to apply maintenance or roll out new features with minimal downtime
  • Extensibility to accommodate changes to requirements or for IBM Business Partners to add new functionality
  • Reduction in total cost of operations
New informationLearn more...
Feature Pack 8New feature for Feature Pack 8

Integration with IBM Sterling Order Management Version 9.4

Take advantage of the latest order and inventory management capabilities that are offered by Sterling Order Management Version 9.4. In the Aurora starter store, the integration with Sterling Order Management Version 9.4 gives shoppers the ability to cancel orders directly in the storefront. Shoppers no longer require support from a customer service representative.

New informationLearn more...

For more information about the capabilities of Sterling Order Management Version 9.4, see IBM Sterling Order Management Version 9.4 Knowledge Center.