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Introducing SerializableCart mode

Since 10.2.0, Episerver Commerce introduced big changes that support cart features: SerializableCart.

Why?

In Commerce 9, we improved catalog performance -- about 10 times faster as I remember :).
The purpose of SerializableCart is also performance improvement. SerializableCart mode is ready for bigger sites with more concurrent customers.

How?

To improve performance, SerializableCart mode stores all cart data in one place with data was serialized as json. All order information (addresses, lineitems, and so forth) is converted to a json string when saving and then deserialized when loading. It reduces a lot of time.

In theory, SerializableCart loads 2 times faster and saves 14 times faster than the legacy cart. An impressive number, isn't it? :)

Using SerializableCart

  1. Enable SerializableCart mode.
  2. Convert IShippingGateway to IShippingPlugin using abstraction classes. 
  3. Convert IPaymentGateway to IPaymentPlugin using abstraction classes. (Refer to post to figure out how to migrate)
  4. Navigate to CMS/Admin. In Scheduled Jobs, run Legacy cart migration for migrating legacy Cart to SerializableCart.
  5. Finally, process the new cart mode like my previous post.

Note that this SerializableCart feature is in beta and does not support creating carts in Commerce Manager. But all purchase order operations in Commerce Manager still work.
The latest Quicksilver on Github is using SerializableCart mode.

The final version will be released soon, in some next release :)

We hope that this change helps you!

/Son Do

    (By johan.book , 06 January 2017 15:54, Permanent link)

    This is good news! It would be good if there was support for adding custom columns to SerializableCart table, for efficient filtering. We tend to use custom fields a lot with MetaDataPlus. I guess a WHERE Data LIKE '%"CustomColumn": "@Value%"' would not a good idea ;-)

    (By Andreas J , 06 January 2017 21:36, Permanent link)

    Is really the latest version of Quicksilver on Github updated with the serialized carts feature? The latest commit adds the feature SerializedCarts to ecf.app.config but it's not enabled.

    I guess this feature is nice - at least in a performance perspective. Wouldn't it be more awesome if you could specify how to persist/read the cart? If you really cared about performance, you could store the serialized cart in Redis which surely would increase performance a lot.

    This is not a suggestion to the writer of this blog, it's a suggestion to the Episerver team of course.

    (By Magnus Rahl , 07 January 2017 10:54, Permanent link)

    Thanks for your feedback guys!

    Part of the motivation for introducing the order abstractions is to allow different implementations, not only for carts but also purchase orders and other order entities. However, rewriting the standard implementation isn't exactly trivial considering the need to be (somewhat) backwards compatible both with existing solutions and other parts of our own code, most notably Commerce Manager.

    To rewrite the order system completely we would likely want to write out CM and replace it with a new GUI for order management, which is a big task. For that reason we decided to do a smaller scope story focused on the carts because this was where we were hurting the most (support for the new carts in CM is coming soon). Within this smaller scope we did not want to pull in a new dependency like Redis. While it is very simple to set up and use Redis in Azure, on-prem (and dev/test environments) is not trivial.

    Considering the performance gain we could get with the current tech, we decided it wasn't worth the added complexity at this stage. That said, it is definitely a possibility that we will add a Redis backed implementation in the future. And with the abstractions it is already a possibility to roll your own, mind you will not have full support in Commerce Manager. But if the project does not require Commerce Manager you can even replace purchase order storage, IIRC this has already been done in some implementations.

    Making custom columns queryable is an interesting challenge in this context. Adding that capability to the abstractions puts a lot more work on the implementer. We could maintain some kind of queryable index on the side but again that could mean pulling in another dependency (e.g. Find). We'll discuss it.

    Quicksilver uses the order abstractions throughout so you just need to flip the flag to use the serialized carts feature.

    (By Mark Hall , 07 January 2017 17:26, Permanent link)

    It is on my to do list to have a Redis cart implementation.  Should not be hard now thanks to work with this story.

    • IOrderGroupBuilder. Used to create sub-components for IOrderGroup. A builder is registered to create sub-components for a collection of type order group (see ForType property). A builder also has a SortOrder. If there are multiple registered builders for a type, the one with the highest sort order value is chosen.
    • IOrderGroupFactory. Responsible for creating instances of order group components by using IOrderGroupBuilder. The default implementation automatically registers all builders for all types of IOrderGroup.

    If I were to use Redis in production I would make sure to have an impersonation feature so my customer service reps could still manipulate carts on behalf of customer since this functionality would not work in commerce manager.  Purchase orders could still be managed in commerce manger since there would no changes to the implementation.  

    In the long run would be nice to have an ui interface to manager orders from any implementation like our pricing and inventory systems.  I think is something that will get done, just not in the short term. 

    (By Arve Systad , 16 February 2017 08:41, Permanent link)

    See my question over at http://world.episerver.com/documentation/developer-guides/commerce/orders/serializable-carts/ - this should be answered in the documentation. Looks like awesome work so far, hoping I'm right in my theory there! :-)

    (By Todd Jasper , 25 April 2017 17:13, Permanent link)

    Couple questions:

    1. Is the same purchase order record that's created now when submitting an order created from this serialized cart?
    2. When migrating existing carts to serialized carts, are the legacy order groups deleted?
    (By Bien Nguyen , 26 September 2017 10:35, Permanent link)

    Hi Todd,

    Sory for very late reply.

    1. Yes, it's the same purchase order record when placing a serializable cart.
    2. Yes, legacy carts will be removed after the migration

    Regards,

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