Category: Uncategorized

Product Content Hub: A Beginner's Guide to New SaaS PIM from SAP

Product data is a core of e-commerce and integral part of the customer experience and customer journey. The well-organized product data drives customer acquisition, sales and eventually results in the increasing lifetime value of a customer.

SAP has recently announced a new SaaS offering, SAP Product Content Hub, a cloud-based solution for product and information management (PIM). The new product relies on the SaaS model only.

In this article, I’m basically just going to give a little bit of an introduction to what SAP Product Content Hub is as well as shed some light on what is under the hood in terms of architecture and customizability. Read More »

What content management system you use is of a much higher importance today than it was years ago. Today’s CMS needs to contend with a multi-device world with a wide variety of tablets, mobiles, laptops, and be architecturally ready for new not-yet-existing channels in the consumer’s universe, such as AR/VR and the Internet of Things.

A CMS typically consists of a frontend part, or a «head», and backend. The headless CMS, as their name says, don’t stick to a single predefined “head”. Theoretically, you can develop your own if it is good for your case. Another name for headless CMS is API-first because this interaction is based on APIs.  

For example, the old hybris CMS Cockpit had both parts built with ZK Framework, which orchestrates both the HTML/Javascript “head” and was the essential part of the CMS backend. These parts were tightly connected and intertwined into a single unit called CMS Cockpit.  Later, SAP announced Smartedit, which has been a big bet and a quantum leap for Commerce Cloud’s content management. Spartacus, the open-source Javascript storefront from SAP, well complemented Smartedit. I published the comprehensive reviews of both products in the blog earlier.

There are a number of headless content management systems that are mature enough to efficiently replace the built-in Smartedit CMS. Among them, I would highlight Contentful, Prismic, DotCMS, Cloud CMS, Amplience, and Contentstack as well-established and innovative products with a clear roadmap and good integration capabilities.

One of my recent research projects was aimed at using Contentstack as a headless content management system for SAP Commerce Cloud. This article uncovers the key highlights of the research.  As a result of that work, I also created a data migration tool for moving existing CMS content from Commerce Cloud to Contentstack.  

What is Contentstack? Contentstack is a SaaS headless CMS with an API-first approach that offers the approach known as Content-as-a-Service. It focuses on managing structured content into data feeds that other applications, such as Commerce Cloud, can consume. You can design a content data model interactively or via the Contentstack API and populate the structures with the content interactively or via the same API.

In this article, I pay special attention to the data migration from Commerce Cloud’s CMS to Contentstack. This exercise helped me to see the complexity in all its glory. Because when you design a system from scratch, you can evade the platform’s constraints by designing the structures compatible only with the new CMS. When you need to migrate data, you have to find a solution on how to adapt concepts and data models to get them compatible with Commerce Cloud.


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Payments: A look Inside the Black Box
Payments is a critical part of any e-commerce system. Integrating with a new payment processor is often full of unknowns for developers, and the documentation is either too cumbersome and time-consuming or, on the contrary, scanty and, to the extent it is available, tends to focus only on technical details. The aim of this article is to provide a primer on the key concepts and terminology of online card payments as well as shed some light on the payment integration and related complexities. It provides brief context on the payment system and key regulatory principles and best practices you need to know before designing and implementing the payment module. We also covered the oft-forgotten edge cases you need to handle for large e-commerce solutions. You will learn what to expect and how to address the payment-related issues and problems. Read More »
In this article, we would introduce “SAP Commerce Developers Toolset” as a free open-source solution for IntelliJ IDEA IDE. Read More »
The Challenges of Chinese and Japanese Searching
Today I want to talk about tailoring website search functionality for Chinese and Japanese languages.  When it comes to entering “the East”, companies often face many challenges they could not have experienced before. Everything is different in China and Japan including the way how websites are built and how the users interact with them. In this article, I will cover one aspect of these challenges: how to adapt product/content search to work with Japanese and Chinese languages.  Read More »
SAP Commerce Data Hub is an ETL integration platform introduced by SAP back in September 2014 as part of Hybris 5.3. Today it is being decommissioned because of better alternatives but many are still using it and may benefit from these insights. In this article, I am going to dissect Data Hub and turn it inside out. It is more or less a post-mortem at this point but for those who are still using Data Hub, it may be a good complement to the official documentation. I must say that nobody liked Datahub despite all the efforts being made by SAP. I think we’ve put up with it for too long. It was the only SAP-aware integration platform that comes with Hybris/SAP Commerce, and later SAP Commerce which was recommended by the vendor for master and transactional data replication. Read More »
There are different ways to integrate SAP Commerce Cloud with SAP and non-SAP systems. The choice would depend upon the capabilities and limitations of the systems involved. These are related to the integration interfaces, data formats, extensibility, cost of changes, strategic plans and many other factors. Right now we are facing to a kind of uncertainty because one solution, SAP Commerce Data Hub, is declared retiring, and another, Cloud Platform Integration, is defined as strategic and developing that may create an impression that the product is immature and in beta (it is not so!). In fact, SAP Cloud Platform Integration is not too young as many from SAP Commerce/Hybris community think. The platform has been continuously evolving since June 2013. It went by another name, SAP HANA Cloud Integration (SAP HCI). The product was renamed at the beginning of 2017 as part of a general rebranding of SAP’s cloud offering. In 2018, SAP SCPI started showing up in the context of Commerce projects. In this article, I want to address the most common myths and objections associated with this product and explain the fundamental concepts behind the solution. Read More »
I updated the upgrade map for SAP hybris Commerce. Using this reference you’ll be able to find a list of the capabilities you get if you upgrade your platform from the version X to the version Y, grouped by topic…. Read More »
Back in 2016, EPAM released an Eclipse plugin that makes it easier for developers to work with SAP Commerce code. It was released in January 2017. Recently we introduced a second version of the plugin. In this article, Maxim Bilohay, one of the plugin developers, describes new features and improvements. Read More »
Today SAP officially released a new version of SAP Commerce Cloud, 1905. “05” stands for “May”, today is 30th, so SAP barely made it on time. What is new? Read More »