Substitution variables for entering HTML in Management Center

In the Marketing tool, you can use substitution variables in marketing content HTML to improve the handling of links to store pages and files from the marketing content. By using these substitution variables, you can use the same HTML in your store preview and production storefront without changing the context root. The marketing engine dynamically replaces these variables with the correct context root information.

Previously if you entered HTML in the text field when you created or changed marketing content, you had to hardcode the specific context root for image paths and URLs. If your Management Center store preview and storefront used different context roots for images and URLs, you could not use the same HTML in store preview and the storefront. To switch between viewing the images and URLs in store preview and the storefront, you had to change the context root. You can include substitution variables for the image path and URLs so that you can view the images and URLs in store preview and the storefront without changing the context root. You can set the substitution variables for the context root when you create or change marketing content in the Management Center.

Sample static HTML snippet

Your starter store e-Marketing Spot JSP files are enhanced to pass in substitution variables for image content. These variables are replaced in the content text and the image HTML. If you want to use the [contextPath] and [imagePath] variables when you create or change the HTML for image content, these paths must be passed by the e-Marketing Spot JSP file. Include the following code to the e-Marketing Spot JSP files for your store to enable the use of these variables for your store e-Marketing Spots.
<c:if test="${!empty env_contextAndServletPath}">
  <wcf:param name="DM_contextPath" value="${env_contextAndServletPath}" />
<c:if test="${!empty env_imageContextPath}">    
  <wcf:param name="DM_imagePath" value="${env_imageContextPath}" />

Within your image content HTML in Management Center, you can then include substitution variables when you define the image path or any URL. For example, the following HTML snippet includes [imagePath],[contextPath], [storeId], and [catalogId] substitution variables:

<div class="espot" style="position:relative;">
  1<img alt="Dresses Image" src="[imagePath]/Aurora/content/custom/images/en_US/dresses_espot.png"/>
  2<a href="[contextPath]/SearchDisplay?searchTerm=dresses&amp;storeId=[storeId]&amp;catalogId=[catalogId]">
    <div class="imagelink" style="position: absolute;  top: 220px; right: 0px; ">Dresses</div>
  • The line marked 1 shows how you can include images in your static HTML. You can link to image files that you upload by using the Assets tool in Management Center. Notice that the path to the image file must start with the [imagePath].
  • The line marked 2 shows how you can link to other store pages from your static HTML. This example uses the SearchDisplay command to link to the search results page that contains results for the search term dresses.

Substitution variables for use in static HTML

WebSphere Commerce provides a set of substitution variables that you can use in your static HTML for marketing content. You can use these substitution variables for the marketing text image map HTML. By using the substitution variables, you can preview your custom content pages as they display on your live store. When you insert a substitution variable, the server automatically replaces the variable with the correct data from the current store environment.

The following table details the substitution variables that are supported by default.

Tag Starter store variable Description
[contextPath] ${env_contextAndServletPath} For URL links:

Used together, these two variables insert a portion of the URL to a store page.

Example 1: To link to another store page called terms-of-use:

<a href="[contextPath]/aurora/content/terms-of-use">...</a> 

Example 2: To link to a search results page for the search term dresses:

<a href="[contextPath]/SearchDisplay?searchTerm=dresses&storeId=[storeId]&catalogId=[catalogId]">...</a>
[imagePath] ${env_imageContextPath} For image links:

This variable inserts the portion of the image path that comes before /storedirectory in the Assets tool.

For example, if the image file is at the following path in the Assets tool:


The link uses the [imagePath] substitution variable to generate the following path:

[storeId] For URL links:

This variable inserts the store ID in the URL. See Example 2: for the [contextPath] variable.

[catalogId] For URL links:

This variable inserts the catalog ID in the URL. See Example 2: for the [contextPath] variable.

[ProductDisplay?productId=NNN] For substituting the SEO URL for product information.
For example, if the product page is at the following URL:
The link uses the [ProductDisplay?productId=NNN] substitution variable to generate the following URL:
[CategoryDisplay?categoryId=NNN] For substituting the SEO URL for category information.
For example, if the category page is at the following URL:
The link uses the [CategoryDisplay?categoryId=NNN] substitution variable to generate the following URL:
Note: As a best practice, prefix the [contextPath]/ to the href URLs that you include in your HTML source code. Where [contextPath]/ is the context or servlet path to the URL. For example,
<area shape="rect" coords="62,228,195,251" href="[webapp/wcs/preview/servlet]/[CategoryDisplay?categoryId=10003]"
Where [webapp/wcs/preview/servlet]/ is the value for the [contextPath]/.

Using substitution variables with REST calls

Store developers are responsible for passing in the name and value to be replaced with substitution variables.

There are two types of substitution variables: 1 Predefined, and 2 Dynamic.

1 For predefined substitution variables, the marketing engine defines two useful variables for static HTML content, [contextPath] and [imagePath].

For example, in the widgetdir/ file, the variables DM_contextPath (which will replace [contextPath]), and DM_imagePath (which will replace [imagePath]) are passed as parameters in the /espot REST API call.

The variables env_contextAndServletPath and jspStoreImgDir are defined in the storedir/Common/EnvironmentSetup.jspf file:

<%-- Call the REST service to get the data to display in the e-Marketing Spot --%>
<wcf:rest var="eSpotDatasRoot" url="/store/{storeId}/espot/{name}" format="json" >
            <%-- the name of the e-Marketing Spot --%>
            <wcf:param name="DM_EmsName" value="${emsName}" />

            <wcf:param name="DM_contextPath" value="${env_contextAndServletPath}" />
            <wcf:param name="DM_imagePath" value="${requestScope.jspStoreImgDir}" />

Therefore, store developers will need to find out the applicable values for their environment and pass in DM_contextPath and DM_imagePath parameters in the REST call.

2 For dynamic substitution variables, store developers can pass in one or more variables, such as DM_SubstitutionNameX and DM_SubstitutionValueX, where X is a value starting at 1.

The Aurora starter store passes in 6 of these variables: [storeName], [fullPathHomeURL], [langlocale], [productTotalCount], [contentTotalCount], and [widgetSuffix].

For example, in the widgetdir/ file, the following code appears:

<c:if test="${empty param.substitutionName1}">
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionName1" value="[storeName]" />
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionValue1" value="${storeName}" />
<c:if test="${empty param.substitutionName2}">
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionName2" value="[fullPathHomeURL]" />
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionValue2" value="${homePageURL}" />
<c:if test="${empty param.substitutionName3}">
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionName3" value="[langlocale]" />
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionValue3" value="${locale}" />
<c:if test="${empty param.substitutionName4}">
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionName4" value="[productTotalCount]" />
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionValue4" value="${searchTabSubText1}" />

<c:if test="${empty param.substitutionName5}">
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionName5" value="[contentTotalCount]" />
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionValue5" value="${searchTabSubText2}" />

<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionName6" value="[widgetSuffix]" />
<wcf:param name="DM_SubstitutionValue6" value="${widgetSuffix}" />

In this scenario, the store developer will need to find out the values applicable for their environment and pass in DM_SubstitutionNameX and DM_SubstitutionValueX parameters in the REST call.