What's new for HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.x

The following sections highlight new features and enhancements that are introduced in HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.x update packages.

Important: The HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.x stream is no longer being maintained by HCL. To continue receiving feature improvements, critical software fixes, and support, upgrade to the 9.0.1.x stream.
HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.8

October 2018

New JAVA code customization project
A new customization project is available, crs-logic-ext. You can use this project to build custom JAVA extensions for remote stores.

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Running SQL during the CI/CD deployment phase
You can now run SQL from the utility Docker container during deployment, or at any time, by calling the new RunSQL utility. This utility also takes advantage of a new centralized design for configuring database access.

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Db2 Docker image for development and test environments
Decrease the time it takes to set up development and test environments by using a preconfigured Db2 Docker image as your database. This Db2 Docker image is not to be used in your staging or production environments.

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HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.7

September 2018

New integration with WebSphere eXtreme Scale
For HCL Commerce version 9.0.0.7 and later, you can integrate with IBM WebSphere eXtreme Scale to improve performance in your high-volume implementation. The WebSphere eXtreme Scale licensed program is an elastic, scalable, in-memory data grid that you can use as an advanced cache for HCL Commerce. WebSphere eXtreme Scale processes a massive transaction volume with high efficiency and linear scalability. Integrating with WebSphere eXtreme Scale can provide significant performance benefits for high volume HCL Commerce customers.

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Search indexing performance enhancements using vertical sharding
Sharding is a database operation that lets you apply parallel processing to index builds. Sharding has several flavors, and horizontal sharding is already enabled in HCL Commerce. Now you can do vertical sharding too. Vertical sharding speeds up the preprocessing stage of indexing and can be used alongside horizontal sharding.

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Monitoring HCL Commerce using Prometheus and Grafana
A new white paper is available to demonstrate how to monitor HCL Commerce with Prometheus and how to check the sample dashboard in Grafana. Prometheus helps correct multi-dimension data, while the sample dashboard only shows a portion of the useful data. If the sample dashboard does not meet your business requirements, you can define your own dashboard based on the collected metrics and alter rules for alerts.

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Sterling Omni-Configurator contracted price support
Support Sterling Omni-Configurator integration in B2B store, including all the features supported in B2C store and the B2B specific features, such as ontractual price, product entitlement, requisition list, and saved order.

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HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.6

August 2018

Integration with Sterling Omni-Configurator
Sell complex and configurable products on your storefront by integrating HCL Commerce with Sterling Omni-Configurator.

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OAuth 2.0 framework integration for social login on storefront

Implement OAuth 2.0 social login on your storefront, enabling users to easily log in to your store with their social networking accounts.

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Data manipulation REST APIs for personal information (PI) retrieval and deletion
A new set of data retention REST APIs have been provided to help you integrate line-of-business tools. These APIs make it easier for business users to retrieve or remove personal information, for GDPR compliance or other business purposes.

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HCL Commerce deployment utilities

A deployment tool chain for HCL Commerce, HCL Commerce deployment utilities, is available to provide you with a set of reference utilities for deploying and operating HCL Commerce V9 in a Kubernetes environment.

This tool chain is available within GitHub and is provided for reference purposes only. HCL does not provide support for the usage of the tool chain.

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Index build time improvements
Indexing has been optimized in this release. You can see improvements of up to 50% in index build time, depending on your local configuration and which optimizations you choose to enable.

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HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.5

July 2018

Oracle database support
You can now use Oracle 12c Release 2 (12.2) as your database in development and production environments. Support for Oracle databases is also added to the migration paths from version 7.0 and 8.0 to version 9.0.

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Search engine updated to use Apache Solr 7.3.1
Your customers will experience faster search times due to the performance improvements in Solr 7.3.1.

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Important: If you are migrating to HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.5+ from any previous version, you will need to update some database tables and configuration files. If you have customizations that use Solr 5.3.2, you can upgrade these customizations to work with the new Solr engine. New informationLearn more...
Reference solutions for the Docker container platform
Reference solutions are provided for the applications on the Docker container platform. Because the Docker container platform can be set up based on varied technologies, the information provided in this table is only for your reference. You need to adjust the provided reference solutions or adopt other solutions based on your business needs in the production environment.

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HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.4June 2018

Run HCL Commerce Docker images as a non-root user
By default, Docker images run with root privileges. You can now change this behavior and launch your HCL Commerce Docker containers as any non-root user.

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Building indexes using multiple JAVA Virtual Machines
You can distribute the index and the indexing workload across two or more Search servers to improve indexing performance. This process, known as sharding, enables you to distribute different data ranges within the same virtual or physical machine, or across multiple machines.

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Support for migrating Elite starter stores from Version 7 Feature Pack 6 and Feature Pack 7 to Version 9
You can now migrate your Elite starter store directly from Feature Pack 6 or Feature Pack 7 to Version 9.
Included in the migration document is a guide to transforming existing search BOD services to REST-based search services. New informationLearn more...

HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.3May 2018

Support for direct migration from Version 7 Feature Pack 6 and Feature Pack 7 to Version 9
You can now migrate your Madisons or Aurora starter store directly from Feature Pack 6 or Feature Pack 7 to Version 9 without having to install Version 8.
Included in the migration document is a guide to transforming existing search BOD services to REST-based search services. New informationLearn more...
New logging folder in Docker containers
By default, log files (such as trace.log, SystemOut.log) are now output to a unique folder name that is derived from the container type and the containerId. This new behavior helps you organize log files. Now, you can simply persist all container log files into the same folder on your Docker host machine or your central log server. Since every container has its own unique log folder, you can easily browse the log files of each container through your Docker host.

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Remote caching solution using Apache Kafka and Apache ZooKeeper
HCL Commerce performs frequent cache invalidation to ensure that your customers have access to the most up-to-date product listings, prices, offers and stock availability. You can now synchronize remote cache invalidation using Apache Software Foundation's Kafka and ZooKeeper services. Kafka is an open-source solution for coordinating real-time data feeds. ZooKeeper provides high data availability for distributed systems. Together they ensure that multiple store servers operate seamlessly as one storefront.
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Search repeater and search subordinate port change
To start Search server Docker container by retrieving parameters from container environment variables, if you are configuring a Search repeater or Search subordinate for HCL Commerce V9.0.0.3 or later, you need to specify the -e SOLR_MASTER_SERVER_URL=<Search_master_hostname:3738>.
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HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.2April 2018

Improved Docker container deployment process
The following changes were made to simplify the deployment of Docker containers and your HCL Commerce environment.
HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.1 onlyHCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.0Note: Review the changes and reconfigure your deployment process as needed. For example, if your container deployment process uses the OVERRIDE_PRECONFIG parameter, reconfigure the process by using CONFIGURE_MODE instead of OVERRIDE_PRECONFIG. Also, ensure that you provide the mandatory start up parameters (such as SPIUSER_PWD, and MERCHANTKEY_ENCRYPT) for each container. Otherwise, your deployment will fail with the new Version 9.0.0.2 Docker images.
  • Replaced the OVERRIDE_PRECONFIG parameters with CONFIGURE_MODE. This new CONFIGURE_MODE provides options to either fetch Docker container start up parameters from Vault (CONFIGURE_MODE=Vault), or from container variables (CONFIGURE_MODE=EnvVariables).

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  • Added Quick Help documents to the Docker images. View the new help documents to learn more about the variables that you can pass in when you start a container.

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  • Added support to leverage Vault to issue internal certification between containers for your custom host names. By default, each HCL Commerce Docker container is configured to use a specific host name and default certificate to connect to other containers. With this new feature, you can pass in your custom host name and embedded scripts will leverage Vault as the certificate authority to apply the internal certificates for your containers.

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  • Added support to specify your custom spiuser password, merchant key, and datasource configurations during container start up through container variables. Previously, you needed to create a Dockerfile and build a new Docker image to update the configurations.

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Persisting log files to the Docker host machine
Learn how to persist log files to the Docker host machine so that you can still troubleshoot issues when a container is inaccessible or destroyed.

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Updates to support GDPR
HCL Commerce is updated to assist organizations with the European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect on May 25, 2018. The following enhancements support companies responding to customer requests about their personal data, such as:
  • Providing SQL queries to help enable the deleting and updating of personal data.
  • Enabling SSL communication between HCL Commerce servers.
  • Providing more granular logging so that changes to personal data can be tracked.
  • Providing storefront configuration to help enable just-in- time privacy notices to be displayed in the storefront.
  • Providing the ability for shoppers to opt-in or opt-out of targeted personalization.
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HCL Commerce Search improvements
Parallel processing of large indexes has been enhanced. If you have very large catalog indexes, you can use parallel processing along with sharding and merging to index the data. Both horizontal and vertical sharding is supported.

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Store publish enhancements
The store publish Gradle script now supports custom data template files by using the dataTemplate parameter. As a result, your custom data template file is then used by the RemoteDataload scheduler job to populate your store's bootstrap data and optionally your store's sample data.

In addition, the store publish Gradle script publishes sample data by default by using the crsGenerateSampleData parameter. As a result, your custom store can leverage sample data for the store, such as sample categories, products, marketing activities, and store locations.New informationLearn more...

HCL Commerce Version 9.0.0.1January 2018

Support for direct migration from Version 7 Feature Pack 8 to Version 9
You can now migrate directly from Version 7 Feature Pack 8 to Version 9 without having to install Version 8. New informationLearn more...
HCL Commerce Developer delta updates
The HCL Commerce Developer update process creates a log of any files were added, updated or removed by the developer since the last installation, and also added, updated or removed by the update. This feature eliminates the need for a developer to manually scan through source code to see what was changed. The log (merges.log) records files that you might need to modify or merge to re-implement your custom code.

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HCL Commerce Build tool support in runtime environments
The HCL Commerce Build tool is now available in the Utility server Docker container. Leverage the tool in runtime environments to package and prepare custom code for deployment. New informationLearn more...
Support for Right to Access and Right to Erasure policies
HCL Commerce provides a set of SQL queries that you can use to satisfy data retention policies and adhere to data privacy laws. New informationLearn more...