Extending Epi Server Commerce Catalogue

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Hi guys,

 

We are currently using Epi Server 7.5 with the latest version of Epi Server Commerce system.

Epi Server Commerce catalogue is quite flexible.

There are features like bundles and packages which are quite useful for us.

But we have some complicated scenarios that aren't in the scope of the basic Epi Server Commerce functionalities.

We need to extend the basic products and product's variations with a collection of attributes.(e.g. a specific product variant must have a collection of summaries)

We also need to define some specific entries in the catalogue which must represents real life entities like an album or an artist.

That's why we are going to extend the basic Commerce catalogue with Meta Data Plus engine or/and Business Foundation Framework.

We went through Epi Server Commerce documentation but we are still not sure what is the best way to do it.

As far as we understand BFF is more powerful but if we use it then we will lose some features like products caching and lucene search.

Also Meta Data Plus engine is the default way for extending the catalogue.

That's why I want to ask you several questions on Epi Server Commerce Catalogue:

1) How is Commerce Catalogue supposed to be extended with a collection of attributes?

(e.g. when there is a product variation with a collection of attributes. In this case we have 1:N relationship between the product's variation and its additional attributes)

2)What about a collection of complex attributes?

Let's say that we have a product's variation that has a list of summaries and every summary contains 3 or 4 fields.

3) Is Meta Data Plus engine the recommended way for extending Epi Server Commerce Catalogue.

4) If we want to use BFF then how difficult will be to import/export data in/from the catalogue?

We have more than 250 million products in our catalogue and we aren't sure how easy will be to import/export data with BFF.

Maybe in that case we will need some kind of a custom implementation.

5)What about caching with BFF? Do you think that is very difficult to be implemented?

Is there any workaround here?

6)We want to create some custom product category types like artists. What is the best way to do it with Epi Server Commerce system?

7)In some scenarios we need to extend a product's variation with an attribute which is restricted to a specific set of values.

(e.g. every product's variation has a rating which is a value from 1 to 5.  We want these values(from 1 to 5) to appear as a dropdown(or similar UI component) in the commerce catalogue so the administrator to be restricted to select one of these values. Is is possible to be done?

 

Thanks for the help,

#79306
Dec 12, 2013 19:35
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Hi!

I can't answer all your questions straight away but perhaps I can get you some answers if you can give me a bit more information:

Have you looked at the new EPiServer Commerce 7.5 version and its support for the typed content model? Using the typed model and the new editing UI you have a lot of extensibility for the catalog models out of the box (like defining a selector with fixed values like you ask for using just a standard C# attribute), and if that is not enough you could customize even more using the custom property concept from EPiServer CMS. The new typed content model is built on top of Metadata Plus.

This collection of attributes (like the multiple descriptions), what will it be used for? If it is to support descriptions in multiple languages you have that support out of the box. There are possibilities to add collections of items to a product/variation as well, depending on the exact requirements it might require implementing a custom property but it is definitely possible.

/Magnus

#79311
Dec 13, 2013 8:37
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Thanks Magnus,

 

This was quite useful to me.

With the new features in Epi Server Commerce 7.5, the catalog is very extensible.

Following my previous questions,

I have one more question for you.

Let's say that we have a product which has a color and/or a size.

In some situations we need color SKU, in some situation we need size SKU and in some situations we need SizeColor SKU.

If I want to implement this structure in the Commerce catalogue then what is the best way to do it?

One possible solution is to create Size,Color and SizeColor Skus.

But we have more than 10 different varations like size,color, arrangement etc.

If we go with this approach the number of combinations between the types will become very big.

This is something that we want to avoid.

Maybe we can create a product variation which could have some relations (associations) to other products which could keep the addtional information.(e.g. A sku could have relations to sizes, colors and arrangements)

Thanks,

#79537
Dec 19, 2013 16:08