WebSphere Commerce environments

WebSphere Commerce has different environments that must be accounted for when you plan your WebSphere Commerce site architecture. These environments include your production, staging, authoring, and development environments. These environments can all be on the same, or different, operating systems.

Warning: WebSphere Commerce instance creation is not currently supported with available WebSphere Commerce fix packs that require Java 8. If you need to create a new WebSphere Commerce instance, you must do so with Java 7, before upgrading to Java 8.

Production server

The production server environment is the live environment that is open for business and accessible to customers.

Staging server

The WebSphere Commerce staging server is a part of the production environment where business and technical users can update and manage store data and preview changes.After the users verify the changes on the staging server, the changes can be propagated to the production server. By using the staging server, business and technical users can work to prepare, update, and preview changes while isolated from the live store or site on the production server. This separation allows users to avoid any impact to customers, such as incorrect information or unexpected behavior while customers are browsing store pages.

The staging environment requires you to configure the WebSphere Commerce instance as a staging server when you create the instance. You cannot convert a WebSphere Commerce production server environment to a staging server environment.

Testing server

A testing server can be used for quality assurance (QA) to test functionality and preview changes in a non-staging environment before you propagate to production.

Authoring server (workspaces)

The authoring server environment is an instance of WebSphere Commerce that consists of a staging server that has workspaces enabled. Workspaces provide isolated access-controlled work areas in which you can make and preview changes to managed assets without affecting managed assets and users outside the area. The data in a workspace is kept in a separate database schema until the data is committed to the production-ready data on the authoring server.

The authoring server environment requires you to configure the WebSphere Commerce instance as a staging server and enable workspaces when you create the instance. It can only be deployed in the embedded configuration, not in standard or advanced configurations. You cannot convert a production instance to an authoring server instance.

Development

The development environment is used to customize parts of WebSphere Commerce and unit test any changes. The development environment must be installed on a separate system from the WebSphere Commerce server.

This development environment is provided with the WebSphere Commerce Developer product only.

WebSphere Commerce search

WebSphere Commerce Search can be deployed:
  • On the same machine as the WebSphere Commerce production server; this configuration is the standard configuration.
  • On a separate machine from the WebSphere Commerce production server; this configuration is the advanced configuration.
For more information about WebSphere Commerce search deployment scenarios, see Deploying WebSphere Commerce Search.

If you install a staging server, you can manage the master index on the staging server and replicate the index to WebSphere Commerce Search server or servers in the production environment. For more information about using the index management utility on the staging server, see Replicating and propagating the search index.

If you do not install a staging server, you can manage the master index on your QA server environment and replicate the index to the WebSphere Commerce search server in the production environment. For more information, see Indexing without staging propagation.

In the development environment, WebSphere Commerce Search runs with the WebSphere Commerce server in an embedded configuration.

AIXLinuxWindows

Support for heterogeneous environments

WebSphere Commerce typically is installed in a homogeneous environment. That is, all WebSphere Commerce tiers (web server tier, application server tier, and database server tier) run the same operating system. However, WebSphere Commerce Version 8.0 supports heterogeneous environments, provided that the software vendor claims support for the operating system:
  • Your database server can be on a different operating system than your WebSphere Commerce server. Consult your database server documentation for more details, as there are other considerations when you move data across platforms. For more information, see
  • Your web server tier can be on a different operating system than your application tier (WebSphere Commerce server). This support is identical to the heterogeneous environment support provided by WebSphere Application Server. For more information, see the following topics:
    The following table shows the supported heterogeneous environments across the web server tier, application server tier, and the database tier.
    Supported heterogeneous configurations
    Web server tier Application server tier Database tier
    Any AIX AIX
    Any Linux on System x AIX or Linux for System x
    Any Linux on Power Systems AIX or Linux on Power Systems
    Any Windows AIX or Linux or Windows
  • Your WebSphere Commerce search server can be on a different operating system than your WebSphere Commerce server. However, it is recommended that the same operating system be used across all parent and child servers in a search cluster. For more information, see Index-building topologies and scenarios.