Integrating a Third-Party Product Catalog

There are two general strategies for using existing product catalog data in Commerce Server 2000. 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 2000 through its Application Program 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 2000 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 will have 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 may decide to pursue a Microsoft BizTalk Server or Data Transformation Services (DTS) integration solution, or you may decide to transmit your product catalog data via other protocols. The option you choose depends on your available resources and expertise. For more information about importing catalog data, see Importing a Catalog.

Integrating a third-party catalog with Commerce Server 2000 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 with Campaigns. Describes how to provide product data from your external product catalog to the Marketing component for evaluation.

  • Integrating with the Data Warehouse. Describes the Data Warehouse, and how to modify the Data Warehouse schema to match your catalog schema.

  • Integrating 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 Applications. Describes how to replace Commerce Server 2000 Catalog API calls in the Solution Sites in order to use them with your existing catalog system.

  • Integrating 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.

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