Oracle Commerce is a leading provider of ecommerce software that delivers a comprehensive online customer experience with sophisticated merchandising, marketing, content personalization, search and automated recommendations. The Oracle Commerce suite is composed of: the Oracle Commerce Platform; Merchandising; Service Center; Experience Manager, and Guided Search. With its newest release of Oracle Commerce 11.3, the bar has been raised even higher.
What’s New in Oracle Commerce 11.3?
As with the previous Commerce 11.2 released in late 2015, this release continues to deliver improved performance, functionality and further consistency across management tools. In addition, Oracle Commerce 11.3 includes a completely new Representational State Transfer (REST) web services (API) framework. With this mature and flexible framework, it is now easier to integrate the platform with other systems. This is significant because it helps merchants maximize their Oracle Commerce investment by moving from a monolithic architecture to one that’s more service-oriented. The summary below further describes other key Oracle Commerce 11.3 improvements.
Oracle Commerce 11.3 continues to deliver new functionality for end-users such as the enhanced type-ahead capability and a language-specific search field. These improvements make the buying process easier for shoppers and also helps merchants better support global markets.
Enhanced Business Tools
One of the core themes for this and previous version 11 upgrades has been the focus on Business Tools. Business Tools are used by those responsible for site administration. With this upgrade, business users will find a cleaner User Interface (UI) and more consistency between the Business Control Center (BCC) and Experience Manager (XM). One such example is with Experience Manager – similar to the way BCC works, you can now isolate user projects to only deploy changes related to them.
There is a new tree of site groups and sites in the left-hand pane of BCC providing better visibility for business users to now organize sites into folder structures, make edit inline via right clicks and quickly delete multiple products. There are also improvements in XM that enable the loading of large rule sets in the right-hand pane with increased performance.
Customer agents will benefit from a new TextSearch module since they can search orders and profiles using standard full-text searching (FTS) SQL queries within the Service Center. This lets agents mirror search actions as if they were end-users shopping on the site. With these advancements, business users and service agents will find it easier to manage content, orders, and profiles – making them more productive and less reliant on IT.
The new REST web services framework now gives developers a mature, flexible set of interfaces that are in-line with industry standards. The framework is JAXRS 2.0 compliant and uses standard HTTP verbs and key design concepts such as HATEOAS (Hypertext as the Engine of Application State). And, it promises easier adoption for developers unfamiliar with Oracle Commerce and tasked with building new cartridges.
Mobile developers will also prefer working with the new Commerce 11.3 web services since it’s easier and faster to roll out independent front-end applications.
Performance and Stability
Content Administration (CA) improvements have been made with database query handling, memory efficiency, and multi-threading. This means merchants with large catalogs will now have the option to update their production site during the day without affecting their online buyers. However, the ability for merchants to leverage Commerce 11.3’s new web services framework is sure to provide the biggest improvement in performance and stability. As Oracle Commerce users evolve their ecommerce sites into a service-oriented architecture (SOA), they can decouple the front and back ends, permitting a “scale out” instead of a “scale up” approach. Combining a scale-out approach with a cloud architecture opens up the possibility of near-infinite burst scalability.
Before you begin the migration process ensure you check the Supported Environments information matrix. Notable changes include:
• Only JDK 1.8 is supported
• For those running JBoss, you will have to upgrade it to version 7
Minor “Point Release” or a Major Upgrade?
Although Commerce 11.3 has been labeled as a minor point release, it should be thought of as a fairly major upgrade although Oracle claims the upgrade is not very complex compared to moving from 10.x to 11.x. One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t simply port over your existing REST integrated applications that may be powering your current mobile apps to this new version.
As with all major upgrades, you should follow change management best practices. Tenzing recommends conducting Proof-of-Concept (PoC) of your Commerce 11.3 upgrade in order to ensure a smooth transition and we offer an innovative ‘pay as you go’ cost model for such a PoC on the AWS cloud platform.
If you are not sure if Oracle Commerce 11.3 is the right move for your company, we can help you learn more and assist with migration advice or management. Use the contact form or call 1.800.767.5577.
Latest posts by Ron Gelinas (see all)
- Oracle Commerce 11.3 – At Least 7 Great Reasons to Upgrade! - September 10, 2017