Feature Pack 4 or later

Smart phone and tablet starter stores

Smart phone and tablet starter stores provide rich storefronts for several mobile devices and platforms. They can be viewed on mobile devices using the mobile web, or deployed as native or hybrid applications. Smart phone and tablet starter stores demonstrate best practices in mobile store development with WebSphere Commerce, and can act as a base for implementing mobile storefronts for various platforms.
The following diagram illustrates the relationship between WebSphere Commerce, smart phone and tablet starter stores, and other platforms:
WebSphere Commerce, smart phone and tablet starter stores, and other platforms
Where the following integration points exist:
  • Smart phone and tablet devices can access starter stores using their mobile web browsers or native applications. The mobile web starter stores use OAGIS services, while the native applications use REST services as a sample.
  • Capabilities such as analytics and distributed order management (DOM) integration can be added to the mobile reference applications. For example, orders that are submitted through the mobile channel can be processed by your back-end DOM system.
  • The technologies that are used in building the mobile reference applications support device-specific Software Development Kits (SDKs) and mobile web development technologies such as HTML 5, CSS 3, and Dojo mobile 1.7.
  • Other possible integration points for mobile such as user notification capabilities, social mobile commerce, mobile payments, location services, and other vendor mobility services.
Where the following storefront types exist in smart phone and tablet starter stores:
Mobile web starter stores
Fully featured storefronts available using smart phone and tablet web browsers. Store pages are designed for the form factor, where:
Smart phone store pages are designed as simple, clear, and tap-friendly on smart phones with limited screen space.
Tablet store pages are designed for larger, more powerful, multimedia capable, tap-friendly tablet devices.
Mobile applications
Feature-rich storefronts that are accessed as an app directly installed on smart phones or tablets.
Mobile applications provide enhanced functionality over the mobile web storefront by using device-specific features such as a smart phone's contact list.
The native application and storefront elements are all coded using the mobile operating system's Software Development Kit (SDK).
The hybrid application delivers a native experience by wrapping the mobile web storefront with a native shell. The native shell elements are coded using the mobile operating system's SDK, while the storefront is accessed using the mobile web interface.

The usable mobile experience

Smart phone and tablet starter stores are optimized for smart phones and tablet devices that are capable of providing full HTML web browsing capabilities, and that can run native applications. The presentation elements of the smart phone and tablet starter stores are simplified to broaden support, consistency, and performance across multiple mobile platforms. This results in a robust mobile storefront comparable to the rich functionality found in the Madisons starter store. That is, smart phone and tablet starter stores provide a rich user experience on mobile devices over simply browsing the desktop-optimized Madisons starter store on a mobile device.
Larger and richer user interface elements
Touchscreen support is improved over desktop starter stores by using larger buttons and more tap-friendly areas in the storefront.
Store pages use larger fonts and higher resolution images for better browsing and readability.
Each store page is presented as simple, clear, and easy to use. Smart phone pages are designed with smaller screens as a base. Tablet pages are designed for larger, more powerful, multimedia capable, touchscreen operated devices. Rich, high-resolution product images are used and displayed with image views and detail views.
Ease of use in the mobile storefront
Smart phone and tablet starter stores feature a dynamic and engaging home page, featuring targeted marketing content for tablet users, and easy to use catalog browsing. Each store page is optimized for both landscape and portrait orientations.
Shopping cart and checkout flows work quickly and efficiently when shopping on mobile devices.
Less typing is necessary to shop on the mobile store. Autocomplete search is enabled when searching the storefront. In addition, infrequently used store features are less visible or even hidden completely if they are not useful on mobile devices. A full site link is available in the footer in smart phone and tablet starter stores for desktop-specific functionality.
With Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) calls, the frequency to load or reload entire pages is significantly reduced.
Dojo mobile widgets, HTML 5 and CSS 3 features enable seamless user interface interactions in the storefront.
Rich functionality for stores and devices
Search-based navigation, including landing pages, helps customers quickly find what they are looking for, while delivering targeted content with a rich user experience.
Location-based services enable customers to find store locations closest to their current location, regardless of device. They also enable customers to check in to nearby store locations, and view e-flyer content.
Note: Accessibility guidelines for mobile devices are not well-defined or established. Therefore, accessibility standards are unsupported for smart phone and tablet starter stores.

Storefront support

The following storefronts are available by default on smart phone and tablet devices:
Feature Pack 5Feature Pack 4Madisons starter store
Mobile web storefront available on smart phone (MadisonsMobileEnhancements.sar) and tablet (MadisonsTablet.sar).
Mobile applications available for Android smart phones, and iOS smart phones and tablets.
Aurora starter store

Feature Pack 6The Aurora mobile web storefront is available by default for smart phone (AuroraMobile.sar) and table (Aurora.sar) devices.

Feature Pack 7 or laterResponsive Aurora starter store available on desktop, smart phone, and tablet (Aurora.sar). There are no longer separate SAR files to publish for each device class.

Mobile applications available for Android and iOS smart phones and tablets using the IBM Worklight mobile development platform.

Notes:
  • Feature Pack 5Feature Pack 4Install APAR JR41340.
  • Feature Pack 6 or later By default, when the Aurora starter store archive (Aurora.sar) is published, the Aurora starter store is available for display on tablet devices. There is no separate tablet-specific SAR file to publish.
  • Feature Pack 7 or laterThe responsive Aurora starter store (Aurora.sar) is available for all devices. There are no longer separate mobile or tablet-specific SAR files to publish. Publishing the AuroraMobile.sar on the responsive Aurora starter store (Aurora.sar) is not supported or required for the Mobile web storefront or mobile application.

Device support

The following table summarizes mobile device support for smart phone and tablet starter stores:
Mobile device support
Mobile web Native Application Hybrid Application
Smart phone Tablet Smart phone Smart phone
AndroidiPhoneBlackberryOther WebKit-based web browsers AndroidiPadPlaybook Android AndroidiPhoneiPad

Smart phone and tablet devices using Android and iOS mobile operating systems are supported by default. For more information on specific device stack levels, see Supported web browsers for mobile shoppers and Applications for mobile shoppers.

In addition, smart phone and tablet starter stores contain device-specific support for determining the mobile platform being used by shoppers. For example, the storefront can differentiate between a smart phone shopper using its native web browser, and a smart phone shopper using a mobile application. The store is then customized to match the behavior of the shopper's browser or mobile application.

Mobile devices that are not capable of providing full HTML web browsing capabilities or that cannot run native applications are not supported. Older mobile devices can instead use the Madisons mobile starter store as a fallback alternative.

Location-based services

WebSphere Commerce uses location-based services to target customers using Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled mobile devices. See Location-based services for more information

Limitations

The following limitations exist in smart phone and tablet starter stores:

Mobile web limitations

Feature Pack 5Feature Pack 4Madisons mobile starter store:
  • Smart phone and tablet starter stores support the same languages as the Madisons starter store with the following exception:
    • ar_EG (Arabic) is not supported.
  • Bi-directional languages are not supported by default in smart phone and tablet starter stores. If you require bi-directional language support, you must manually add the language to the store.
  • Search rule experiment statistics are not supported in smart phone and tablet starter stores.
  • Store preview is not supported for smart phone and tablet starter stores.
  • Non-WebSphere Commerce search flows are not supported in smart phone and tablet starter stores, as WebSphere Commerce search is used by default in the storefront.
  • Shopping list types differ between smart phone and tablet device storefronts. For more information on each implementation, see Mobile Web starter stores shopping list page.
  • The coupons page on tablets shows only high-level coupon information. Product information is not shown.
  • The tablet starter store does not contain a site map.
  • Devices using iOS might have issues accepting invalid certificates as part of an Ajax request. Therefore, during development, storefront issues might occur such as items not being added to the shopping cart.
    To resolve this issue, either:
    • Generate a valid certificate, or
    • Manually trigger an invalid certificate alert by manually loading a store page using HTTPS and accept the certificate before adding an item to the shopping cart.
  • The tablet starter store does not support 7" devices.
Feature Pack 6 or laterAurora mobile starter store:
  • The store footer might not display correctly using Android 4.1.2 devices with the default web browser. This issue is resolved by scrolling on the page in the mobile browser.
  • The storefront might not scroll correctly using BlackBerry 6 OS devices with the default browser, and that do not contain touchscreens.
Feature Pack 7 or later

Responsive Aurora starter store limitations

  • Feature Pack 7 or laterVideos on the search landing page might not play correctly on iOS devices when viewed from a development environment. To resolve this issue, the videos must be reside on a web server where byte-range requests are supported. For more information, see Safari Web Content Guide: Creating Video.

Mobile application limitations

Emulator limitations:
  • The Java-Javascript bridge in the Android 2.3.x emulator blocks key functions of the Android hybrid application. You must use a real device to customize the Android hybrid application in Android 2.3.x. For more information, see Android Issue 12987.
Feature Pack 5Feature Pack 4Hybrid application limitations:
  • The sample Android hybrid application does not support device orientation, quick checkout profile, and advanced search.
Native application limitations:
  • The sample Android native application does not support password resets in the storefront. Registered customers must use the mobile web or hybrid application storefront to perform password resets.
  • The sample Android native application experiences performance issues when expected images do not exist for store category pages. This issue can be resolved by ensuring that all image paths are valid, or by modifying the client to prevent the store from downloading images. For example, the sample native application cannot download images for categories that are found in the asset store. Therefore, site administrators must create category images for each Extended Site.
  • The sample Android native application does not display the number of products in brackets under subcategories, with WebSphere Commerce search enabled.
  • The sample Android native application does not support promotion codes, subscription pages, device orientations, pagination, product compare, remember me, address book pages, coupon pages, password retrieval, shopping lists, quick checkout profile, and advanced search.
Feature Pack 6 or laterIBM Worklight application limitations:
  • To work with IBM Worklight, you must have licenses for one of the following products and versions:
  • Some native user interface elements in the Worklight Android hybrid application, for example, the Android search dialog, cannot be right-to-left mirrored using the Android RTL Layout Support API. This behavior is due to required configuration changes to the application's targetSdkVersion that is greater than or equal to version 17, which prevents the Worklight Options Menu API from functioning on devices or emulators without a hardware menu key.