International Solution Concepts

The Internet is a global marketplace. This means that your e-commerce business is international even if you have no intention of conducting business internationally. In order to make your Commerce Server 2002 Web site global, you must determine how to present your business to international users.

When users browse your site, the characters they enter in their browser are determined by the regional options they have set on their computer. These settings control the characters recorded by keyboard entries, as well as the representation of special symbols such as currency and decimal delimiters. For example, typing the ; key on a computer with an English keyboard with the input locale set to English (United States) will result in a semicolon. On the same computer with an English keyboard if you change the input locale setting to Spanish (Mexico), typing the ; key results in an ñ (eña).

Planning for your international users requires development of a system for reconciling the various locale settings. You need a way to present data and accept input using the locale settings that are appropriate to the user. In Commerce Server 2002, the Product Catalog System is designed to support multiple languages in a single catalog. For additional information about development techniques for international solutions, see Developing an International Site.

The process of internationalizing a site is described in this section through a fictional scenario. Although this scenario illustrates many of the principles for developing an international solution, it is by no means the only possible approach to international solution development.

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