Inventory allocation

WebSphere Commerce supports five inventory systems: Available to promise (ATP), non-ATP, no inventory, external inventory, and DOM inventory. The interface to inventory is encapsulated by a single inventory task command, which in turn invokes the appropriate task commands.

The five inventory systems apply to the following situations:
ATP inventory
Using the ATP inventory model, you can allocate stock from existing inventory or backorder from expected inventory. You can also obtain an estimated availability time for each order item after it is added into the shopping cart. The ATP also supports allocating stocks for future order processing.
Non-ATP inventory
The non-ATP inventory model supports inventory operations that are only based on existing on-hand inventory.
No inventory
The no inventory model assumes that all products have infinite quantities. When the products in a store are virtual products, digital downloadable products, or electronic assets, such as downloadable images or music, you can use this model.
The no inventory model has three typical characteristics that differentiate it from the other inventory models:
  1. All products have unlimited available quantities. Any check of inventory always returns a positive result.
  2. Since all products have infinite available quantities, all order items are successfully allocated after an 'allocate inventory' operation. Specifically, the INVENTORYSTATUS column of the ORDERITEMS table is always set to 'ALLC'.
  3. The No inventory system does not support RTF (Release to Fulfillment), Pick batch, and Ship Confirmation. Order management functions can be supported by custom integration with an existing order management system.
External Inventory
External inventory is used to integrate WebSphere Commerce with external inventory systems. External inventory is the legacy inventory implementation model where WebSphere Commerce directly consumes the inventory information from an external system.
DOM inventory system
DOM inventory is used for WebSphere Commerce distributed order management integration. For the DOM inventory system, WebSphere Commerce calls outbound services to allocate inventory externally. Integration with Sterling Order Management is based on the DOM inventory model. The DOM inventory system differs from the external inventory model in the following ways:
  • The DOM inventory model supports the local inventory cache in WebSphere Commerce. The external inventory model does not support the use of the local inventory cache.
  • The DOM inventory model uses the new logical schema and outbound service interfaces. The external inventory model uses the legacy inventory outbound service interfaces.
To set a store to use a specific inventory model, WebSphere Commerce uses a configuration flag to determine which set of interfaces to use. You need to populate the corresponding tables for inventory configuration and inventory availability of this inventory model. For ATP, non-ATP, and DOM inventory models, refer to the corresponding data models. For No inventory and External inventory models, there are no local tables for inventory. The tables for these inventory models are not populated. The ALLOCATIONGOODFOR column in the STORE database table, is used to define the expiration time of the inventory allocation. The ALLOCATIONGOODFOR column is applicable only for the ATP inventory model. It is not applicable for other inventory models. The INVENTORYSYSTEM column in the STORE database has values:
ATP inventory
Non-ATP inventory
No inventory
External inventory
DOM inventory system