A Look Into the 2205 SAP Commerce Cloud Release
SAP have been consistent with the major releases in recent years. SAP Commerce version 2205 has landed exactly a year after the scheduled release date of 2105, although 2105 was several weeks later than planned.
There have also been some functional changes in the following areas:
- Improvement on Backoffice tools on useability for business users
- Maximizing agility with more OCC APIs and additions to Spartacus
- Promotion engine additions
- Integrated “One-Office” approach for B2B
- In-moment personalization using Intelligent selling services
- Commerce Cloud automation & security
Backoffice tool usability improvement
Backoffice and SmartEdit have been a revolution in SAP Commerce platform, compared to legacy HMC and cockpits era, With this release SAP have taken a leap considering business users’ ease and useability of these tools.
In this new version, the standout change is Backoffice Themes, which will allow business users to select the theme and branding. It might sound very basic but people who have seen & worked on HMC & cockpits, they would understand how tricky it was to change the look-and-feel of these tools that were built around the old ZK-OSS framework.
Now, a theme can be selected and set at the default user level or at the organizational level as well:
Along with the Themes, admin user should also be able to set the company Logo from Backoffice too
Backoffice Product Cockpit – Compare enhancement
The compare functionality in the Backoffice Product application has been enhanced so that users should be able to modify the selected compared items by dragging an attribute of the compared (sticky) item and dropping into the compared relevant field of another item
Backoffice – Feedback
Users should now be able to submit their Backoffice experience to SAP via a Feedback button in top system bar
Maximizing agility with more OCC APIs and additions to Spartacus
APIs ,APIs & more APIs….
This release has really bridged the gap between the commerce APIs (OCC) & the accelerator features, which will hopefully allow SAP Commerce customers to move on true headless without major customization at OCC layer.
Expanded Headless Commerce Coverage
- cXML APIs for PunchOut
- Improvements to integration hooks and event logic
New Public Storefront OCC APIs
- Future Stock OCC API
- Base Sites OCC APIs
- B2B Users OCC API
The release information on Spartacus is described here: https://sap.github.io/spartacus-docs/release-information/ At time of writing (August 2022) the current version is 4.3 with planned next release on the roadmap cited as version 5.0 tentatively September 2022
Threshold for Subset of Cart
There has been an addition to the promotion engine as well with two new actions which allow promotions/discounts to be applied on a subset of products in the cart.
Promotion engine introduces two new actions:
- Percentage discount on subset products
- Fixed discount on subset products
With the actions, customers can define promotion that is just applied to subset B of cart when the total price of subset A reaches the defined threshold.
Based on my personal experience, I could say that it will certainly help Telco customers massively after removal of child carts from Telco Accelerator. And this could be really useful for merchants who offer split delivery or split delivery / collect in store – this opens up many possibilities for merchants to influence customer behaviour in cart and checking out.
Integrated “One-Office” approach for B2B
To combine the holistic digital experience to B2B storefront users, order integration has been improved to integrate Order Capture for B2B Storefront Users with SAP S/4HANA, with feature-rich and comprehensive business rules in SAP S/4HANA Sales
This integration will also help a centralized hub to connect to all sales channels and fulfilment locations with the SAP Order Management foundation integration and gain performance insights to manage omnichannel business performance
In-moment personalization using Intelligent selling services
SAP Intelligent Selling Services (ISS) Integration
Intelligent Selling Services, in simple words, is a recommendation engine, which captures and analyses behaviour data in real time across each customer’s commerce journey to create individualised customer experiences. These are optimised for both customer relevance and business impact
Intelligent selling services for SAP Commerce Cloud helps driving customer loyalty & improve conversion rate using real-time personalization through Recommendations and Merchandising product carousels. It also provides testing, reporting and management tooling to understand, monitor and improve personalisation. There is an out of the box integration with SAP Commerce cloud to SAP ISS
Cloud Automation Platform & Security
There are some new additional functional and security features have been added to the Commerce cloud portal
Now, Environment permissions can be upgraded from a subscription-based model to a more flexible environment-based model access in order to separate access for a specific environment (i.e. development and/or production) to user profiles
Private GIT Support
For customers with their own privately hosted infrastructure or have higher security requirements than using a secured publicly available Git repository, Private Git Support allows you to connect customer’s private code repository to SAP Commerce Cloud for added security to protect them from external threats and risks.
Major framework and library upgrades
Groovy 3.x & Mockito 3.x versions have been upgraded to latest versions and the package now needs Java 17 to compile.
What to expect in next release?
SAP promises their customers & partners for more innovations and improvements in the next release
- Modernizing the cloud platform, easy to extend and composable platform
- Support for more commerce business models like rentals, refurbishment, and resale
- Experience-led commerce
- Tighter end-to-end integrations with SAP products
- Added security measures
The only difference in this version is that you would need Java 17.
On a side note, I also notice that the recipe model has changed and now it only allowed you to install complete CX, not by the individual accelerators i.e. B2C or B2B etc. It is good that you get everything as part of single recipe but then it takes really long to get the environment ready to be focused to just the extensions you need. In addition, the full CX build takes significantly longer to compile and to fully initialize, maybe up to 90 minutes
- Extension secureportaladdon Addon
- OnDemand Connect module
- Commerce Infrastructure Services module
- MySQL – 5.7
- SAP HANA – HANA 1.00 SPS12
- Microsoft SQL Server – 2016
- HSQLDB (Single Node) – 2.3.4
Overall, this release doesn’t have massive ground-breaking changes, but it does include some key changes in core, OCC, B2B and cloud platform. This release also shows SAP’s commitment towards headless commerce and also towards CCv2.
Solution Architect II