Integrating a Third-Party Product Catalog
There are two general strategies for using existing product catalog data in Commerce Server 2002. You can migrate the data into the Commerce Server Product Catalog System, or you can integrate your existing or third-party catalog system with Commerce Server 2002 through its application programming interface (API), replacing the Product Catalog System. Choosing between these two approaches depends on a number of factors.
Integrating an existing catalog system with Commerce Server 2002 requires a programming effort to modify or replace components of Commerce Server and possibly components of your existing catalog system.
The most straightforward approach to data migration requires conversion of the existing data to Extensible Markup Language (XML) or comma-separated value (CSV) format. The difficulty of this conversion depends on the format and integrity of your existing data. The size and complexity of your product catalog data has a direct effect on the length of time needed to process the conversion. There are other approaches to migrating your existing product catalog data. You might decide to pursue a Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 or Data Transformation Services (DTS) integration solution, or you might decide to transmit your product catalog data by using other protocols. The option you choose depends on your available resources and expertise. For more information about importing catalog data, see Importing an XML Catalog File and Importing a CSV Catalog File.
Integrating a third-party catalog with Commerce Server 2002 involves providing a pipeline component that does the work of the Commerce Server QueryCatalogInfo pipeline component for your existing catalog, and integration with the following Commerce Server components:
- Integrating Third-Party Catalogs with Campaigns. Describes how to provide product data from your external product catalog to the Marketing component for evaluation.
- Integrating Third-Party Catalogs with the Data Warehouse. Describes the Data Warehouse, and how to modify the Data Warehouse schema to match your catalog schema.
- Integrating Third-Party Catalogs with Baskets. Describes how the Basket component receives detailed product information from the product catalog through the QueryCatalogInfo component, and how you replace this component with a pipeline component that will provide information from your existing catalog.
- Integrating Third-Party Catalog Applications. Describes how to replace Commerce Server 2002 Catalog API calls in the Solution Sites in order to use them with your existing catalog system.
- Integrating Third-Party Catalogs with Business Desk Catalog Modules. Describes how to modify Commerce Server Business Desk, which is a Web-based management system for the Product Catalog System, in order to use it to manage your existing catalog system.