SAP Commerce Cloud 1808 (Hybris Commerce 6.8) is released. What’s new? – hybrismart | SAP hybris under the hood

SAP Commerce Cloud 1808 (Hybris Commerce 6.8) is released. What’s new?


SAP introduced a new version of SAP Commerce Cloud (previously SAP Hybris Commerce). In this article, I explain the key changes, improvements and enhancements announced by SAP. The article is based on the official release notes and videos as well as a bit of experimenting with the new version. After examination of the materials, code changes and documentation updates, I have to say that this release is just a minor update. Among the enhancements, only a few deserve to be highlighted: Integration API and, at a stretch, SmartEdit Content Versioning.

Let’s have a deeper look at the new features.

Search and Navigation

For me personally, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor.  All of them are mainly UI improvements.

  • Adaptive Search Improvements
    • Managing Promoted Items
      • You can promote and exclude individual items with just a few clicks to make your items more visible or hidden away from the customer.
      • You can boost items to show them on top, regardless of the sorting
      • You can highlight the promoted items in the search results
    • Marked Categories with Configurations
      • The category tree navigation has additional icons and other UI enhancements. They are supposed to help you with the better understanding of how the categories are configured.
    • Improved Synchronization of Search Profiles
      • You can see the real-time search profile synchronization status directly in Adaptive Search perspective. If the profile hasn’t been synced, you can synchronize it using the button.
  • Multiple Solr Version Support
    • The system supports now more than one version of Solr server. In 1808, Solr was upgraded to 7.4.x. The configuration files are now in the version-specific folders (7.2, 7.3, 7.4, …). You can easily switch the versions via configuration.

SmartEdit

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor.  One of them, Versioning, may look interesting, but it is just a first step. For example, it doesn’t protect you fully from the accidental damage of the page. In case of the damage, you can restore only the whole page, but not individual components (to replace the broken ones).

  • Versioning Content
    • You can create, preview, search for, and delete a page version. You can also roll back to a page version and continue to edit the content. When you create a version, Smartedit saves/rollback content slots, components, page meta data. Shared content slots, restrictions and some other info are not saved.
  • Managing Homepages
    • You can mark any page as a homepage for a content catalog.
  • Managing Trashed Pages
    • You can restore pages previously trashed. You can also permanently delete the page.

Personalization (based on SmartEdit)

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor. These changes are important only for developers.

  • Segment Provider
    • Responsible for creating the anonymous and registered user segments based on user type. Using this segment provider enables business users to prevent undesirable site behaviour. For example, if a registered user was eligible for a promotion and logs out, an anonymous user in that session cannot benefit from the same promotion.
  • Refactored Calculation Configuration
    • You can configure periodic calculation actions individually for different types of users (for example, separately for anonymous and registered)
  • Scope Level Security for Web Services
    • Personalization webservices support OAuth scope level security settings.

Promotion Engine and Rule Engine

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor.

  • Advanced Search Refinement
    • “in” operator is now supported in promotion rule filters.
  • Halt Rule Action
    • this action immediately stops processing of further rules. This can be used to jump out of processing when the rule is activated, reducing further processing, and also stopping any other promotions from being applied.
  • Order Threshold Perfect Partner Condition
    • Allows a customer to buy a certain product from within a defined set for fixed price when the threshold order value is exceeded. Can be used only with one action: Target fixed price on products.
  • Drools 7.7 Upgrade
    • Newer version of Drools is used now.

Backoffice Product Content Management

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor.

  • Classification System in Microsoft Excel Import and Export
    • Classification classes are now supported by Microsoft Excel Import/Export introduced in 6.7.
  • Validation Engine integration in Microsoft Excel Import
    • The validation engine is now integrated with the Excel import functionality. Validation constraints have
  • Enhancements in the Assortment and Compare Views
    • The assortment view is now changed to use solr search and the compare view is enhanced to be more compact by introducing collapsible containers for collections and localized attributes.

Backoffice Framework

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor. These changes are important only for developers.

  • Solr Hot Update
    • The default strategy for updating Solr index in Backoffice was changed to a hot update, which allows to immediately reflect the changes in data in the Backoffice Solr index. Previously
  • Connection Removal and Access Setting
    • You can remove any widget connection in Backoffice when you no longer need them via widgets.xml
    • You can specify/remove/replace access restrictions for particular widgets via widgets.xml
  • Component Blacklisting
    • You can exclude arbitrary chosen components from being loaded by the framework. This allows for quick prototyping using unsafe structures with the possibility for easy discovery of such constructs on pre-production environments.
  • Explorer Tree Performance Improvements
    • Now it supports wide and/or deep trees. Previously lookup in large trees was slow.

Commerce APIs

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are minor. The changes relate mainly to GPDR and AJAX/Angular storefronts.   These changes are important only for developers.

  • New Consent Management REST APIs
    • Getting a list of all of a user’s consents or the details of the specific consent, recording the giving consents and consents withdrawals.
  • New Countries REST API for Billing and Delivery Countries
    • Provides the benefit of being able to distinguish between countries you deliver to as opposed to countries you can bill from. For example, if your storefront delivers only to European Community countries, you can still allow billing from countries outside of Europe.
  • New Regions (State/Provinces) REST API
    • Getting a list of regions of the particular country. This call is intended for populating address forms, such as for billing or delivery.

Platform

From my personal view, all hybris 6.8 enhancements explained below are extremely minor.

  • Configurable Web Roots in Installer Recipes
    • You can change the web root path of an extension per aspect. Aspect here is a configuration to create an image for a specific purpose.
  • Runtime Configuration Change
    • The system now supports runtime configuration files. It checks the file at regular intervals and update in-memory properties once they are changed in the file.
  • Shutdown script
    • The script shutdown.sh initiates a graceful shutdown procedure through a rest call. It suspends the node and waits for completion of long-running tasks, until all threads get suspended. It helps to avoid abrupt process termination.
  • Removal of Deprecated Initialization/Update Code, Extension Removal and Deprecation, third-party libraries are upgraded
    • Old stuff was removed. Nobody uses it althrough, nothing interesting. Third-party libraries, such as Spring or AspectJ, are upgraded.

Integrations

Context-Driven Services Integration

Context-Driven Services is part of SAP Cloud Service.  The Context-Driven Services Foundation integration into SAP Hybris Commerce allows you to capture multiple interactions and commerce events from a SAP Hybris Commerce storefront and to process it in Context-Driven Services Foundation in real time.

It seems this is a new name for Hybris Profile (via YaaS).

  • Full Synchronization of Personal Details
  • Price Information in Cart Events
  • Category Information in Cart and Order Events

SAP Integrations

This announcement look very interesting. SAP introduced a new way of integration framework (in addition to DataHub and SAP PI).

  • Integration APIs
    • “New way of integrating with SAP Commerce Cloud”
    • Can be used with “SAP Cloud Platform Integration” (SAP CPI).
    • New backoffice perspective for modelling and monitoring of integration data, “Integration UI Tool”
    • No restart or re-compilation of the platform necessary
    • Monitor inboard data
  • SAP Back-End Integration: SAP S/4 HANA
    • Ready-to-use SAP CPI “recipes” for SAP S/4 HANA<->SAP Commerce Cloud integrations.
  • SAP Marketing Integration
    • You can use data from the SAP Marketing system to drive the display of entire page variants in the storefront. When a user logs on, SAP Commerce Cloud checks to see if they belong to a target group or an active campaign in the SAP Marketing system. If this condition is met, SAP Commerce Cloud retrieves the target groups or campaigns associated with that user from the SAP Marketing system. SAP Commerce Cloud uses this data to create segments and then stores them, making them available for selection in SmartEdit when defining a customization.
  • SAP Revenue Cloud Integration.
    • B2C Customer Replication. When a B2C customer registers on the SAP Commerce Cloud storefront, the details are replicated to SAP S/4HANA asynchronously using SAP Cloud Platform Integration.
    • Rate Plan Replication. The usage-based charges (block, volume, and tier) maintained for the products are replicated to SAP Commerce Cloud along with one-time and recurring charges. The usage-based charges are displayed on the product details page.
    • Subscription Management. On the subscription details page, the customer can view the current usage details for the unbilled transactions
    • Payment Integration. When the customer places an order, payment details are captured using the existing integration with SAP Digital Payments.
  • SAP Customer Engagement Center Integration
    • Integration Configuration. A new configuration screen provided in Backoffice allows easier configurations to integrate service ticket with the SAP Customer Engagement Center.
    • Service Ticket Priority. Customers can convey the importance of the service ticket by assigning a priority to the ticket.
    • Account Deletion. Accounts deleted in Backoffice are marked for deletion in SAP Customer Engagement Center
    • Sales Order Deletion. The integration enables deleting the sales orders from SAP Customer Engagement Center when they are deleted in Backoffice.
  • SAP Product Configuration
    • Asynchronous Order Management (AOM) with Synchronous Pricing. As of this release, the AOM scenario supports synchronous pricing for configurable products in the shopping cart and at the checkout. As a result, you can now obtain the latest prices from the SAP backend for orders that are created in the online store. Using this scenario, it is possible to use the SAP back end as the leading pricing system, while at the same time leveraging the performance advantages that AOM offers.
    • Compatibility with S/4HANA Advanced Variant Configurator. 
    • Using Rules to Give Discounts on Option Level. As of this release, you can
      • define discounts for specific characteristic values.
      • base the discount on all the conditions that are available in Rule Engine.
      • create messages that are associated with the discount.

In this version, SAP also fixed a bug with Generic Audit, which is explained in this article on the blog.

Rauf Aliev

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