Why reinvent the wheel when all the hard work has been done and perfected for you? This is essentially what out-of-the-box (OOB) software or commercial off-the-shelf software COTS solutions provide for businesses that are unable to or do not prefer to write code from scratch.
While the benefits of customized builds versus OOB software depend on the nature of the business, ready-made software has become even software developers’ go-to solution to cut out complexity and decrease the time taken to go-live.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is the arguably the best solution for retailers and merchants who are looking for a quick transition into the online business world. When a retailer purchases a Salesforce B2C Commerce license, they are given access to an out-of-box website on top of which developers can build business-specific UI/UX design and modify or enhance existing set of functionalities and requirements to meet the merchant’s needs.
Your storefront, your way
Where Salesforce ecommerce truly stands apart is with its Business Manager tool, which allows merchants, administrators, and developers to quickly and efficiently make changes to the storefront—the face of the ecommerce platform that interacts with the online shoppers. A site may have more than one storefront, depending on the size and nature of the business. Any changes made to the backend business manager will reflect immediately on the storefront, thus maximizing the possibilities for those merchants and administrators without the technological know-how to work independently.
A developer’s playground
Developers build applications for storefront using app development tools. To do this, the developers will need the following tools:
- IDE is the place where they write and test code.
- Business Manager is used to manage the storefront.
Developers can create and manage the new website, configure code, register new cartridges, troubleshoot issues, and create and manage error and maintenance pages using the Business Manager tool. Developers are also responsible for managing operational tasks on Business Manager such as configuring credentials and security status.
A developer’s toolbox
Some tools commonly used by storefront app developers are Business Manager, a source code editor called Microsoft Visual Studio Code, and the Commerce Cloud Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA).
MVC: a developer’s monument
Any technology in the world will one or other way revolve around Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. A typical MVC architecture is outside of the platform’s API layer. The MVC architecture divides an app into three portions:
- View is what is displayed for the digital customers to see in the storefront. The landing page, product listing page, Quickview, and checkout page are all part of the View.
- Controller takes inputs from shoppers in the form of filter selection, field entry, button clicks, etc, and converts them into actionable items or data that can be processed by model.
- Model is the portion where rules and logic are applied on data to populate the new data for the view.
SFRA: developers’ guiding light in the dark sea
The Commerce Cloud Storefront Reference Architecture is a storefront site that can be viewed as a code base by the developers. SFRA greatly increases the speed of development as it makes it easy for developers to build, maintain, and constantly update the storefront. Developers can extend the website’s capabilities by integrating third party technologies with ease allowing them a lot of flexibility when it comes to customization.
One of the ways to deliver a world-class ecommerce experience is to enhance your existing ecommerce platform with third-party technologies. Developers can explore and integrate third-party software without much difficulty on the marketplace of LINK, a technology partner program by Salesforce. Once the website and its functionalities are in place, the developers need to create objects that will hold data about the merchant’s products and listings.
Business objects are actually just objects
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is an object-oriented system. An object is an entity that can hold data. For instance, a shoe object will contain data called attributes that describe the shoe, such as Size, Colour, Material, Occasion, Heel Height, Cushioning, Inner Lining, etc.
Similarly, a business object defines the structure of storefront data. Business objects can be default objects already existing in the system or custom objects with custom code.
Commerce Cloud Developer Center
When a developer first starts working with Salesforce Cloud Commerce, they need to have a good understanding of the Commerce Cloud Developer Center, which functions as a one-stop shop for extensive resources, references, and learning materials.
When retailers or merchants buy software licenses to use Salesforce B2C commerce, Aspire Systems helps them kickoff their online business journey by handling the implementation part of the transition with all the specific features and specifications.
We are also a LINK technology partner. PRIOS, Aspire Systems’ homegrown mobile application, is integrated with LINK, leading to a mobile-first architecture approach during implementation, which allows for more room for personalization. Another example for third-party technology integration is Turnto, a reviews and ratings application. Reviews and ratings left by a customer who has purchased a product from the website will be sent to Turnto, and Turnto will calculate an average score for the ratings and assess bad reviews before publishing on the storefront.
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