WebSphere Commerce DeveloperFeature Pack 7 or later

Enabling Commerce Composer support for a Madisons starter store

WebSphere Commerce DeveloperFeature Pack 7 or later In this tutorial, you learn how to enable an existing store to use the Commerce Composer tool to design and manage store pages. The Commerce Composer tool is a Management Center tool that you can use to create store pages and compose the layout design for the pages with reusable widgets.

The Commerce Composer tool gives business users the freedom to quickly create and assemble the contents of your store pages without involving IT. By using a library of prebuilt layout templates and widgets, business users can manage store page layouts directly in Management Center. IT developers can create more layout templates and reusable widgets that business users can use to compose layouts for store pages.

For more information about the Commerce Composer tool, see Commerce Composer overview.

Learning objectives

By completing this tutorial, you learn the procedure for upgrading an existing store to use the Commerce Composer tool. By upgrading an existing store to use the Commerce Composer tool to design and manage store pages, you can gain the following benefits:
  • Business users can use Commerce Composer layout templates and widgets to design and configure store pages without the need for IT assistance.
  • Cleaner organization of code.
  • Separation of data and presentation.
  • Ease of reuse of code. For example, a widget can be easily used in the layout for all store pages.
Note: This tutorial demonstrates how to enable Commerce Composer support for a starter store within a development environment. You can use these steps as a guide to enable support within your production environment.

Time required

Expect this tutorial to take 2 - 3 hours to complete. The tutorial can take longer if you explore concepts that are related to this tutorial.

Skill level

This tutorial is intended for advanced WebSphere Commerce developers who are responsible for customizing store pages and enabling Management Center features. To complete this tutorial, ensure that you are familiar with the following terms and concepts:
  • Management Center framework
  • Web services
  • Data Load utility
  • Nouns
  • SQL
  • XML
  • CSS
  • Rational Application Developer
  • JSP and JSPF files
  • Access control policies
  • Commerce Composer widgets definition
  • Commerce Composer layout template architecture

System requirements

This tutorial uses a store that is based on the Madisons (Madisons-FEP.sar) and Madisons enhancements (MadisonsEnhancements.sar) starter store archives as an example for demonstrating how to upgrade an existing store to use Commerce Composer. You can use this tutorial as a guide for enabling support for any existing store other than a store that is based on the Feature Pack 7 Aurora starter store. By default, the Aurora starter store that is provided with WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 7 is already enabled to use the Commerce Composer tool.

Before you begin this tutorial, ensure that you also complete the following tasks:
  • Install WebSphere Commerce Feature Pack 7.
  • (Optional, but recommended.) Enable WebSphere Commerce search. WebSphere Commerce search must be enabled for your WebSphere Commerce store before your store can use certain Commerce Composer widgets or extend layout assignments for search results pages when customers use catalog entry synonyms as search terms.
    • Many widgets use WebSphere Commerce search APIs to retrieve catalog information. If WebSphere Commerce search is not enabled, these widgets do not work.
    • The Commerce Composer framework uses WebSphere Commerce search to check search term associations for synonyms of a customer search term. If the synonyms are included in the search term associations for a catalog entry, the Commerce Composer framework can use the layout assignment for that catalog entry. If WebSphere Commerce search is not enabled, the Commerce Composer tool cannot check the search term associations. For more information about using synonyms with layout assignments, see Layout assignments for search terms.

    As part of enabling WebSphere Commerce search, ensure that you build the search index for your store. For more information, see Building the WebSphere Commerce search index.

  • (Optional, but recommended.) Enable SEO for your store. Your store must use SEO-friendly URLs in your storefront to use Commerce Composer for creating content pages. You do not need SEO enabled if you are creating only catalog browsing pages.
  • Update your store to Dojo 1.8. To support the use of Commerce Composer widgets and templates on your store pages, your store must use Dojo 1.8. If your store is not updated to use Dojo 1.8, update the Stores\WebContent\Madisons\include\JSTLEnvironmentSetup.jspf file for your store, where store is the name of your store directory. Change the value of the dojoFile attribute in the file to point to dojo18 instead of an earlier version.
    Note: If your store includes custom code that uses Dojo, you might also need to update your custom code to support the update to Dojo 1.8.
Note: This tutorial uses the Apache Derby database as an example database for demonstrating how to use the Data Load utility for loading Commerce Composer data into the WebSphere Commerce database. The focus of this tutorial is to demonstrate the procedure for enabling support for using the Commerce Composer tool to create and design catalog and content pages for a store.

Tutorial resources

To complete the tutorial, use the sample configuration and input files that are included in the following compressed file.


Ensure that you download and extract this compressed file to a temporary directory, such as C:\Temp.