Solution Overview

The integration of WebSphere Commerce and IBM Sterling Order Management delivers the strengths of both products.

It provides a solution to customers who require robust front-end and back-end selling and order management capabilities. While both systems have inventory, order, pricing, and promotion components, this integration uses an optimal combination of each. The integration manages the order lifecycle across channels from capture to fulfillment. Implementing these components is simplified, because much of the integration is supplied for you.

Workflow Diagram

As the previous figure shows, this integration employs the WebSphere Commerce pricing and promotion components combined with the Sterling Order Management's inventory and order management components. The benefits are:

  • WebSphere Commerce Pricing and promotion modules:
    • Flexible UI, shopping cart management, and checkout through web channel online store
    • Extensive pricing and promotions calculations
    • Broad set of common pricing and promotion rules
    • Support for dynamic kit pricing at both the component and kit levels
    • Promotion and usage statistics reports
  • For Sterling Order Management inventory and order modules:
    • Flexible, intelligent UI for Sterling Call Center and Sterling Store customer service representatives
    • Highly configurable order management capabilities in a single, central order repository
    • Global inventory coordination across sites and enterprises
    • Configurable inventory thresholds and alert management
    • Rule-based, dynamic allocation across internal and external fulfillment locations

The two systems communicate through the Service Definition Framework (SDF), which translates calls and services from one system to the other. Many requests from WebSphere Commerce are direct calls to Sterling Order Management. Others are dropped into a JMS message queue. These queues are continually monitored by Sterling Order Management, which retrieves the requests, processes them, and sends the acknowledgment back through another message queue that is monitored by WebSphere Commerce.

As a result, this integration handles inventory operations and order creation from a web online store, a call center, or a physical store. Inventory checks, reservations, and cancellations are done seamlessly. Because configuration mappings are supplied, customers can easily set up pricing rules, promotions, coupons, and discounts that are interpreted consistently across the integration.