Catalog navigation

Catalogs partition catalog entries and catalog groups into meaningful views for customers.

To illustrate how online catalogs can be used in partitioning, use the following basic retail store example as a reference.

Many retail stores rotate their merchandise according to the time of year. A catalog can create seasonal views of the underlying product universe. Catalogs allow full or partial inclusion of catalog groups, or a combination of the two. Using the retail store example, a catalog group called Men and a catalog group called Women may appear in both the summer and the winter catalogs. When part of the summer catalog, the Men and Women catalog groups contain summer apparel, such as sandals, and when part of the winter catalog, the Men and Women catalog groups contain winter clothing, such as boots. Both catalog groups may share certain catalog entries which contain identical and seasonally neutral articles of clothing, such as shirts and pants:

The catalog overview diagram illustrates how two catalogs can share certain catalog groups.

However, during the summer season, only catalog groups and catalog entries appearing in the summer catalog are accessible:

The diagram outlines the summer catalog view only.

Similarly, during the winter season, only the winter catalog with its associated catalog groups and catalog entries is displayed to the customer:

The diagram outlines the winter catalog view only.

Partitioning the catalog can be extended into a much more complex structure, depending on your needs.

In the database schema, every Store object in the WebSphere Commerce system is related to at least one Catalog object. Catalogs can be shared among many Stores, and each Catalog can be related to one or more CatalogGroup objects, which represent the root catalog groups in the Catalog navigation tree. One or more catalog entries may belong to a catalog group.