Understanding Commerce Server Support Options

With the Ascentium-branded versions of Commerce Server 2009 and 2009 R2 now in the market, we felt it was time to shed some light on how our actual technical support process works and what options are now available to customers.

Who Qualifies for Support

To start, it is probably helpful to be clear on who is actually eligible to receive technical support from us:

  • License-holders of Ascentium Commerce Server
  • Ascentium Commerce Server partners

In both cases, an executed license subscription agreement or partner agreement must be in place and on-file.

In all cases (unless contracted separately), the scope of our support is limited to the Commerce Server product itself (based upon its publicly documented functionality and its support lifecycle, which will be the topic of another blog post) and does not extend to other products, custom solution/application code, or any other aspects of a customer’s environment such as hardware or network configuration.

When to Contact Microsoft

If you acquired Commerce Server from Microsoft and are licensed users of:

  • Microsoft Commerce Server 2002 (in extended support at time of writing)
  • Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 (in extended support at time of writing)
  • Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 (in mainstream support at time of writing)
  • Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 R2 (in mainstream support at time of writing)

please contact Microsoft at http://support.microsoft.com/ for options. Ascentium cannot provide support for versions of Commerce Server provided by Microsoft while they are still in their mainstream or extended support lifecycles.

However, we can and will explore custom support contracts on an individual basis for versions outside of mainstream or extended support. Please contact us for details on your specific requirements.

What Comes With Your License Subscription

With your license subscription you get:

  • Upgrades – all major (e.g. 10.0) or minor (e.g. 10.1) updates to the Commerce Server product, which will deliver new functionality over and above your current build
  • Patches – Targeted fixes to specific problems with a given major or minor release (e.g. 10.0.002 or 10.1.452).
  • Access to Standard Support and eligibility to purchase a Premium Support contract (or custom support contract, if desired)
  • Online knowledge-base and community access
    • Please note that right now this is shared with Microsoft for the 2009 and R2 releases at http://kb.microsoft.com/ and http://msdn.microsoft.com/. This will transition to an Ascentium-site with the launch of the next version of Commerce Server, which is not shared with Microsoft

The Standard Support Offering

With our default offering, customers get the following support services:

  • Web or e-mail contact
  • One (1) business day response time (exclusive of US and Canadian statutory holidays)
  • Support cases are worked during business hours Eastern Time
  • Customers will pay by the hour for support, with monthly invoicing
  • Break/fix troubleshooting and debugging
  • In the event that a bug is discovered in publicly documented Commerce Server functionality, the entire support case and resultant Patch will be at no charge to the customer

Please refer to our Terms of Service for additional details and current pricing.

The Premium Support Offering

With our premium offering, customers will get the following enhanced level of services:

  • Phone, Web, or e-mail contact
  • Four (4) hour 7x24x365 response time (and yes, we do leap years too)
  • Support cases are worked continuously less time spent awaiting customer follow-up
  • Services include:
    • Break/fix troubleshooting and debugging
    • Proactive notification of Patches and Upgrades
    • Advice/guidance to resolve “how-to”-type questions
    • Supportability reviews of end-customer solutions
    • Proactive planning around major customer events such as site launches, major campaigns, etc.
  • In the event that a bug is discovered in publicly documented Commerce Server functionality, the entire support case and resultant Patch will not decrement the pool of support hours
  • Customers purchase a pool of support hours on an annual basis and then consume those as-needed, with overages billed hourly (if customer-authorized)
  • Access to Premium Support services is governed to individuals as designated by the customer contract-holder


The terms of these agreements will be negotiated on a per-customer contract basis. Please contact us for a quotation.

One Size Does Not Necessarily Fit All

Don’t see what you’re looking for? No problem! One of the benefits of being an agile organization is that we can tailor support to customer-specific requirements. We can offer such additional capabilities as:

  • Support for Microsoft Commerce Server products outside of their mainstream and extended support lifecycles going back to Commerce Server 2000
  • Maintenance and support of customer application/solution code
  • Hosting and/or data center management
  • Enhanced service level agreements

Simply contact us for further details and we’ll be glad to accommodate to the best of our abilities.

Hope this helps!