For the latest version of Commerce Server 2007 Help, see the Microsoft Web site.

This topic defines terms relevant to Commerce Server.




.NET Framework

An integral Windows component that supports building, deploying, and running the next generation of applications and Web services. It provides a highly productive, standards-based, multilingual environment for integrating existing investments with next generation applications and services, and the agility to solve the challenges of deployment and operation of Internet-scale applications.

Active Server Page Extension (ASPX)

The file name extension used for ASP pages written with ASP.NET.


A piece of content to be delivered by Commerce Server based on a specific formula for delivery that is referred to as Need of Delivery (NOD).

ad click

A measurement of the user-initiated action of responding to an ad by clicking an element. This causes a redirect to another Web location, frame, or page in the advertisement.

ad click rate

The ratio of ad clicks to ad requests, used to quantify audience response to an advertisement.

ad click-through rate

The average number of click-throughs per hundred ad impressions, expressed as a percentage. For example, if an advertisement is shown 100 times on the site and customers click 25 of the ads, the click-through rate is 25 percent.

ad ID

An identification number that is generated for an ad that you create.

ad request

An opportunity to deliver an advertising element for example text or a graphic to a Web site visitor. Requests are generated by events on the site such as a request for a particular page or the purchase of a specific item. The ad used to fulfill the request is determined by the Need of Delivery (NOD).


A COM or .NET-based component that helps exchange messages between applications (for example, a line-of-business system) and BizTalk Server. The adapter consists of design-time components and run-time components for receive and send operations.

Administration database

The SQL Server database that stores the configuration data for the resources for all computers being run as part of the same (logical) installation of Commerce Server. Commerce Server Setup creates this database.


The company placing, and often paying for, a promotional message, or advertisement.

advertising asset

A piece of content provided by an advertiser that is used in one or more advertisements that run on your site, for example, text, a photograph, or a company logo. The content is owned and controlled by the originating advertiser.

advertising campaign goaling

See Other Term: campaign goaling


See Other Term: asymmetric encryption (AE)

aggregated catalog

A virtual catalog that displays content from two or more catalogs. For example, if you are selling content from multiple suppliers, each of which sends you one or more catalogs, you can combine the content into one aggregated catalog. To the user visiting your site, an aggregated catalog appears as if it is one catalog. An aggregated catalog differs from a catalog set in that you specify which users or organizations view a catalog set; an aggregated catalog is available to all users.


A table or structure that contains pre-calculated data for an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube. Aggregations support the rapid and efficient querying of a multidimensional database.

alternate currency

The currency unit used on a site to convert and format a second currency for dual display.

ancestor category

A category that is closer to the root category through one or more parent-child relationships. A parent category is an ancestor category, as is the parent of the parent, and so on.

anonymous user

A user who accesses content on a Web site without providing a user login name and password.


A Commerce Server application is a logical representation of an application in Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS); it appears in both the Commerce Server Manager and IIS console trees. In the IIS console tree an application is either at the root directory level of the Web site or at a subdirectory level of the Web site.


A component of the Microsoft .NET Framework for building, deploying, and running Web applications and distributed applications.


See Other Term: Active Server Page Extension (ASPX)


Anything owned or controlled by a business, tangible or intangible, that has monetary value and was acquired at a measurable cost.

asymmetric encryption (AE)

A method of encryption that uses a pair of mathematically related keys: a public key and a corresponding private key. Either key can be used to encrypt data, but the corresponding key must be used to decrypt it.


A characteristic of an object; for example, a network printer is an object and its attributes include its location, whether it can print in color, and its print job capacity.

authentication ticket

A ticket Commerce Server creates for registered users. Also named an MSCSAuth ticket.

back order

The ability to order an SKU that is currently sold out, but will be available in the future.

Back-Order Limit

This is the value lower than zero beyond which it is not prudent to take back orders. Back ordering cannot occur beyond this value. This is to restrict overselling and prevent failure to fulfill orders. If an item is pre-orderable and also back-orderable, the Pre-Order Limit is used first and then the Back Order Limit is used.


The value of the inventory that is available to back-order to satisfy the order-line item request. A situation may occur in which the order request exceeds the Back-Order Limit and so the order request cannot be fulfilled completely (even with back-ordering).

base catalog

A catalog that contain categories, products and product families, but does not contain any specific pricing rules. Base catalogs contain product data, which is stored in the catalog database and referenced by virtual catalogs.

base currency

The currency a business uses to record all transactions in their ledgers, or the primary currency in which they transact with their bank. The base currency is also frequently referred to as the billing currency, functional currency, or booking currency of a business. The Order Processing pipeline always processes orders using the base currency of the Web site. The base currency can be different from the buyer currency and the supplier currency. The base currency is stored in the billing_currency field in the orderform header.


A virtual representation of a shopping basket that contains the list of items a customer selects to purchase from a commerce Web site. The list is usually compiled into a file.


See Other Term: Bulk Copy Program (BCP)

BizTalk Server 2006

A Microsoft product that provides the tools and infrastructure that companies need to exchange business documents among various platforms and operating systems regardless of the application being used to process a business document.

Bulk Copy Program (BCP)

A command prompt bulk copy utility that copies SQL Server data to or from an operating system file in a user-specified format.

business analyst

A person who identifies the business needs of their customers to help determine solutions to business problems. This person has a strong knowledge of business activity monitoring and enterprise process management. This person analyzes multidimensional business information based on key performance indicators and is a liaison between senior management and the IT staff.

business manager

A person who is responsible for managing information and interacting with business processes, structured as well as ad hoc. This person manages business users or information workers who also create information and consume business process. This person acts as a liaison between information workers and the IT department where business analysts, developers, and IT staff work. This person is also responsible for automating, building, and deploying business processes.

business user

An information user, such as a business manager, marketing manager, or business analyst that uses information to make critical decisions.

business-to-business site

A Web site designed for the creation and transmission of purchase orders between businesses that have an established relationship. Also known as a supplier site or a B2B site.

business-to-consumer site

A Web site that provides retail shopping directly to the public. Also known as a retail site or a B2C site.

buyer currency

The currency in which the user chooses to view the prices displayed on the site. The buyer currency (when different from the base currency) is used for display purposes only. The Order Processing pipeline always processes orders in the base currency of the site. The buyer_currency field is stored in the orderform header.

Cache Loader

A component used by the CacheManager object to load data into a cache Dictionary object. Although this component is implemented as a pipeline component, it is not run in the context of a pipeline.

Cache Writer

A component used by the CacheManager object to write activity data from a cache Dictionary object. Although this component is implemented as a pipeline component, it is not run in the context of a pipeline.


A marketing program that uses many communication vehicles, for example, ads and direct mail, to accomplish a specific result, such as increasing marketing share, introducing new products, or retaining customers.

campaign goaling

Determining the number of ads to deliver in a specified period of time.

canonical path

The definitive path for navigating to a category or product that is a member of more than one category. The primary parent category determines the canonical path to a category or product. A category or product can have only one primary parent category.

capacity planning

Planning for application, hardware, and network requirements to support expected site traffic and to achieve site performance goals.


A collection of categories and products with a unique name.

catalog definition

A description of the characteristics of a catalog. The catalog definition consists of properties that define the catalog. Several catalogs can share one definition.

catalog expression

An expression that specifies which catalog products must be in the basket before a discount is applied.

Catalog Manager

The Commerce Server Business Management user interface that is used to import, create, and manage base and virtual catalogs.

catalog property

One of the basic properties that describe a catalog, such as name, start date, end date, currency, unit of weight measure, and product unique ID.

catalog set

A group of one or more catalogs that can be made available to different customers or organizations.


A container for products or sub-categories. Each category is an individual instance of a category definition. For example, a category based on the Department category definition (which has the properties Description and Manager) may be named Hardware, and have the properties Power Tools (Description) and Frank Lee (Manager).

category definition

The properties that are available in a particular type of category. One category definition may be used for many categories. For example, the Department category definition could contain Description and Manager properties.

category hierarchy

A hierarchy within a category where one category is specified as a parent and one (or more) category is a child. A category cannot be both a parent and a child (descendent) of the same category.

category property

One of the properties that form a category definition.

category relationship

A way of associating one product with another product or category. Category relationships have names, a description, and a target. A category can be related to another category (for example, a relationship from the Jeans category to the Belts category). A category can also be related to an individual product (for example, to a featured item in the category). A category can have multiple relationships with other categories and/or products.


The process of finishing a purchase on a Web site. For example, when customers shop on your Web site, they may select several items and save them in their shopping basket. When they have finished shopping, they click a checkout link or graphical button that takes them to an online form where they enter their name, billing address, payment type, and shipping information.

child category

An entity used in catalogs to group a set of products together in a hierarchy. A child category is a subordinate of a parent category. For example, Music is a parent category, and Rock, Jazz, and Classical are child categories. You create parent and child categories to organize the products displayed on your site.

class key

The subset of data members of a class whose values uniquely identify an instance of the class.

class key member

One of the members of a multi-valued class key.

class member relation

An association between specific data members of the two classes in a class relation.

class meta-data

A conceptual model that describes the attributes that must be specified to create a class in the Commerce Server Data Warehouse logical schema.

class relation

A connection between two classes in a parent-child relationship. The relation defines the number of instances of each class. In the Commerce Server Data Warehouse, almost all class relations are many-to-one. This means that a parent may not have any children, or may have one or more children.

click frequency

The number of clicks divided by the reach of clicks. The reach of clicks is the number of unique users who perform a specific action, such as clicking a specific ad.

comma-delimited file

A data file that consists of fields and records, stored as text, in which the fields are separated from each other by commas. Use of comma-delimited files allows communication between database systems that use different formats. If the data in a field contains a comma, the field is additionally surrounded with quotation marks.

comma-separated value file (CSV)

A data file that consists of fields and records, stored as text, in which the fields are separated from each other by commas. Use of comma-delimited files allows communication between database systems that use different formats. If the data in a field contains a comma, the field is additionally surrounded with quotation marks.

Commerce Module

An extension to the ASP.NET HTTP module framework. Commerce Modules are responsible for initializing run-time services specific to .NET-based Commerce Server applications. Commerce Modules are derived from the Microsoft.CommerceServer.Runtime.CommerceModule base class. A commerce module is an HTTP module.

Commerce Server application

See Other Term: application

Commerce Server Class Library

A collection of classes, interfaces, and value types that are included in the Commerce Server .NET Application Framework. This library provides access to run-time Commerce Server functionality and is designed to be the foundation on which .NET-based Commerce Server applications, components, and controls are built.

Commerce Server Configuration Wizard

The Commerce Server wizard used to configure Commerce Server security, such as assigning domain user accounts and their corresponding passwords for Commerce Server services, and for configuring the Administration and Direct Mailer databases.

Commerce Server Direct Mailer

A Commerce Server global resource that sends personalized e-mail messages from a Web page, or non-personalized mailings from a flat text file, to large groups of recipients. It processes lists of recipients, constructs personalized message bodies from either Web pages or static files, and sends the mail message to the recipients. Use Commerce Server Manager to configure and manage Direct Mailer, and to specify the database connection string to the Direct Mailer database.

Commerce Server Manager

A system administration tool that you use to manage and configure Commerce Server resources, sites, applications, and Web servers. Commerce Server Setup installs it automatically when you perform a Web Server or Complete installation, or when you select the Administration Tools feature during a Custom installation. Microsoft Management Console (MMC) hosts Commerce Server Manager.

Commerce Server Staging (CSS)

A feature in Commerce Server 2007 that updates Web site changes from one environment to another, for example, from a testing environment to a production environment. These changes can include Web site pages, configuration settings, and database resources.

configuration section handler

A class that implements the IConfigurationSectionHandler interface. Configuration section handlers contain information that Commerce Server .NET Framework applications read at run time to configure application settings.

content replication

A method of copying Web site content from one server node to another. You can copy files manually, or use replication software to copy content automatically. Replication is a necessary function of clustering to ensure fault tolerance.

Content Selection Framework (CSF)

A development framework for the targeted delivery of content. The Content Selection Framework (CSF) provides the components you use to build a business-specific messaging system. CSF provides a platform for making high-speed decisions to target content to users.

Content Selection Pipeline

The infrastructure that links the stages and pipeline components necessary to gather, filter, score, and select content.

content size

Height and width values (by pixel) for your content.

conversion time

The time at which the conversion rate is applied to a transaction. If the conversion type is a fixed rate, the conversion time should always be the time at which the order was accepted for fulfillment. If the conversion type is a spot rate, the conversion time is when the bank performs the conversion.

conversion type

The type of currency conversion used to convert the buyer currency to the base currency for the Web site, or to convert the supplier currency to the base currency in a multicurrency transaction. The conversion type can be either a fixed (static) rate, or a spot (dynamic) rate.


The content that is to be placed on an advertising schedule. In the advertising industry, creative denotes ownership of the content. You cannot change any aspect of the ad without approval from the company that owns the ad you are running.

cross sell

A specific type of related sell that suggests to users a product related to the product(s) they already have in their baskets.

CS Authentication resource

A Commerce Server resource with global-level properties, managed through Commerce Server Manager. Use CS Authentication to configure authentication options for a site.


See Other Term: Content Selection Framework (CSF)


See Other Term: comma-separated value file (CSV)

currency conversion rate

The multiplier used for converting the base currency of the Web site to the buyer currency or supplier currency.

custom price

The price calculated according to specific pricing rules that apply to products in a virtual catalog.

custom property

A single unit of metadata in the product catalog Inventory System. This entity defines the user-defined extensions to the Catalog System. You can include custom properties in a product definition, a category definition, a global property definition, or a catalog definition, as well as in an inventory catalog's SKU definition.


The entity with which a business unit conducts a business transaction.

Customer and Orders Manager

The Commerce Server Business Management user interface that you use to view customer and order status information and display all the associated details.

Data Warehouse

In Commerce Server, a combination of a SQL Server database, an online analytical processing (OLAP) database, and a set of processes that a system administrator uses to import and maintain large amounts of data from multiple data sources.

Data Warehouse Configuration Wizard

A configuration wizard, available from Commerce Server Setup that you use to configure a distributed installation of the Data Warehouse and your non-Commerce applications and Web servers.

Data Warehouse resource

A global-level Commerce Server resource that is managed through Commerce Server Manager. Use the Data Warehouse resource to specify the database connection string to the Data Warehouse database.

direct mail

A mail message that is targeted toward specific users who meets the specific requirements of a direct mail campaign.

direct mail campaign

A marketing campaign to distribute e-mail message ads to a targeted group of users. The objective is to achieve a high response rate from the mailings.

Direct Mailer

See Other Term: Commerce Server Direct Mailer

Direct Mailer database

A SQL Server database that contains e-mail message bodies, event data, and job data. Commerce Server Setup installs the Direct Mailer database. The database is installed on the same computer as Direct Mailer. Use Commerce Server Manager to specify the connection string from Direct Mailer to the Direct Mailer database.

Direct Mailer job file

A text file that specifies information about the Direct Mailer job, such as whether it delivers personalized message bodies, the format of mail message headers, and the location of the list of recipients. A Direct Mailer job file is used only for the stand-alone mode of Direct Mailer.

Direct Mailer Pipeline

The infrastructure that links stages and pipeline components that processes a list of recipients who receive direct mail.


A specific type of promotion in which customers are invited to save money on specific products or product groups if they meet certain specified conditions.

Effective Stock-out Threshold

The value of Stock-Out Threshold if Floor Is Stock-OutThreshold is True. Stock-Out Threshold may or may not apply based on the resource setting for the parameter Floor Is Stock-Out Threshold.


A Commerce Server Staging (CSS) server that receives data. An endpoint is a destination server that is defined in either a route or project.


A structured set of information that wraps and accompanies an instance message, frequently describing delivery and processing information. Envelopes can be nested.

exposure limit

The number of times a piece of content can be shown to a customer throughout a session. By default, the exposure limit is set to no exposure limit. It is recommended that the upper exposure limit is not set to more than 10 exposures per customer per session.


Any combination of mathematical or logical operators, constants, functions, and names of fields, controls, and properties that evaluates to a single value.

Expression Builder

A tool you use to create an expression. The Expression Builder includes a list of common expressions that you can select from to define the properties you want to target.

expression store

The tables in a Commerce Server database that store expression information.

fixed amount off

The exact amount subtracted from the list price to arrive at a custom price.

fixed markup

The exact amount added to the list price to arrive at a custom price.

fixed rate

A static conversion rate that allows each party (buyer, Web site, or supplier) to know exactly how much they will pay or be paid for items because the conversion rate is already set.

Floor Is Stock-Out Threshold

A site-level setting that overrides the Stock-Out Threshold value of each product.

free-text searchable

A Yes/No flag in a property definition that indicates whether the property can be found through a free-text search. To set this flag to Yes, the property type must be string or enumerated. A free-text search locates exact matches and words that are inflectionally generated from the one(s) you specified. For example, the word "drive" would return matches for drives, drove, driving, and driven.


The number of events divided by the reach of the events.

global resource

A resource that is available for use by all sites. Such global resources might also be referenced and used by other sites.

global resource pointer

A resource object exposed at the site level that serves to reference a global resource being used by that site.


See Other Term: campaign goaling


A single action (for example, a click on an advertisement) taken by a user at a Web site that causes one line of data being added to the Web server log file.

host header

A piece of information that enables IIS to resolve a request based on the domain name specified by the browser, instead of one based only on the IP address and port number. For example, the host header name for the URL is By using host headers, you can use the same IP address and port for multiple IIS Web sites.

house ad

A self-promotional ad a company runs when paid ads are ahead of their Need of Delivery (NOD) schedule. For example, a customer orders 1000 paid ads to be delivered over four months, but in the first two months the order has been served 850 times. To balance the NOD schedule, house ads are served. House ads are also served when there are no paid ads eligible for the request. For example, a house ad would be served because all paid ads missed a required target or hit an exclusion. A house ad is used to sell leftover inventory at discounted prices. They are also used if the ads on the site do not have specific delivery goals, but you want to have the ads run at specified weights.


The process of mapping an object onto the supported identification schemas or getting the unique user identifier (UID). The operating system, IIS, or Commerce Server usually provides this identification.


See Other Term: Internet Information Services (IIS)


The value of the inventory that is available to satisfy the order request. It is the lesser of the value of inventory available above the Stock-Out Threshold and the quantity that has been requested.

indirect price

A price that is associated with a pricing category. The price field in the product record is ignored.

industry code

A code used to identify different industries such as automotive, aviation, and beverage. You use industry codes to identify the associated industry of an advertisement. This prevents two ads from competing companies in the same industry from appearing on the same page.

Internet Information Services (IIS)

Software services that support Web site creation, configuration, and management, along with other Internet functions. Internet Information Services include Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP).

inventory catalog

Data storage that holds inventory data for the products and variants for single or multiple product catalogs.

Inventory Condition

The state of items in the inventory. Can be one of four values: Out of Stock, In Stock, Back-Ordered, or Pre-Ordered.


See Other Term: locale identifier (LCID)

locale identifier (LCID)

A 32-bit value that consists of a language identifier and a sort identifier. In code, a locale identifier (LCID) identifies the primary language and any secondary language of a specific locale.

logical schema

In the Data Warehouse, a conceptual model that maps to the data in the physical store, and provides an understandable view of the data. When a developer creates code to access or change data in the Data Warehouse, the developer interacts with the logical schema. Commerce Server processes data in the Data Warehouse through the logical schema.

mailing list

A list that is used by Direct Mailer to send pieces of mail to selected recipients. It can be either a static list of user e-mail (recipients) or it can be an expression that evaluates to a list of users.

Marketing Manager

A person who handles marketing programs for the products or product families that his or her company sells. This person assists and informs senior management about marketing needs. This person also works closely with vendors to obtain marketing materials prepared and campaigns run. This person facilitates co-marketing and branding efforts with partners.


To convert a snapshot of a virtual catalog to a base catalog. A virtual catalog that has been materialized has the performance of a base catalog for all search and browse operations, but is edited as a virtual catalog.


The metabase contains information about the files, virtual directory, and settings for a server that is running IIS.

Microsoft Distributed Transaction Services (MSDTC)

A service that coordinates transactions so that work can be committed as an atomic transaction even if it spans multiple resource managers on multiple computers, regardless of failures.

MSCSAuth ticket

See Other Term: authentication ticket

MSCSProfile ticket

See Other Term: profile ticket


See Other Term: Microsoft Distributed Transaction Services (MSDTC)

multicurrency order

An online purchase of items that are priced in different currencies.

multicurrency transaction

An exchange of money for goods or services between a buyer and a business or between a supplier and a business, in which the preferred currency of the buyer or supplier differs from the base currency specified for the site.

multiple-choice property

A property that contains a set of predefined values. For example, you could create a multiple-choice property named Shirt_Size, and define the following possible values: S, M, and L.

multiple-instance pattern

A design pattern that allows the creation of multiple instances for a single resource.


A logical naming scheme for grouping related types. For example, the .NET Framework uses a hierarchical naming scheme for grouping types into logical categories of related functionality, such as ASP.NET Page Framework, or remoting functionality. Design tools can use namespaces to make it easier for developers to browse and reference types in their code. The concept of a namespace is orthogonal to that of an assembly: a single assembly can contain types whose hierarchical names have different namespace roots, and a logical namespace root can span multiple assemblies. In the .NET Framework, a namespace is a logical design-time naming convenience, whereas an assembly establishes the name scope for types at run time.

Need of Delivery (NOD)

The formula that Commerce Server uses to determine the time and frequency with which it delivers a piece of content. This formula takes into account the total quantity of content to be delivered, and the length of time over which the quantity must be delivered. Need of Delivery is calculated for each ad request by the Content Selection Framework, after it has processed the ad request. Need of Delivery is applied to paid ads; it is not applied to house ads.


See Other Term: Need of Delivery (NOD)

non-transacted pipeline

A pipeline that does not support COM+ transactions. MtsPipeline and PooledPipeline are the only objects that support non-transacted pipelines.

object pooling

An automatic service provided by COM+ that enables you to configure a component to have instances of itself kept active in a pool, ready to be used by any client application that requests the component.

OnHand Quantity

The quantity of product in inventory that is available to be sold per SKU.

open visit

In reports, a visit still in progress when a log file stops collecting data.

opt in

To explicitly consent to participate. Typically used in marketing programs and offerings, whereby an action (such as the use of personal information beyond the original, primary purpose for which it was collected) is not done unless an individual explicitly consents. An element of choice.

opt out

To explicitly decline to participate. Typically used in marketing programs and offerings, whereby an action (such as the use of personal information beyond the original, primary purpose for which it was collected) is done unless an individual explicitly declines. An element of choice.

opt-out list

A list of individuals who have chosen to opt-out of a mailing list.


An online purchase submitted by a user to your Web site.

order form object

The object that stores state data about the current, and possibly historical, purchases of a particular customer.

Order Processing pipeline

The software infrastructure that links several components and runs them in sequence.

organization profile

A set of properties that describe a company, division, department, or other business unit in a company. For example, name, account number, spending limits, company discount, and so on, are all properties that can constitute an organization profile.


An object that contains the files and instructions for distributing software to a distribution point.

page group

A set of related Web pages that is tagged with a particular page group name and used for targeting ads.

paid ad

An advertisement that is served with specific delivery goals. The determination to serve an ad at a given time is based on a Need of Delivery calculation. This takes into account the total quantity of content (number of ads) to be delivered, and the length of the time period during which the ad must be served. You specify the criteria that is used to serve paid ads; that is you goal them at either the campaign level or at the advertising item level. For paid ads goaled at the campaign level, you specify a weight for each ad. For paid ads goaled at the advertising item level, you specify a quantity of ad requests or clicks to be delivered for each ad in the campaign.

parent category

An entity used in catalogs to group a set of products in a hierarchy. For example, Music is a parent category, and Rock, Jazz, and Classical are child categories.

percentage markup

The percentage amount that the list price is increased to arrive at a custom price. For example, a 20 percent increase means that the price is 120 percent of the list price.

percentage off

The percentage amount that the list price is decreased to arrive at a custom price. For example, a 20 percent discount means that the price is 80 percent of the list price.


A feature with which you can direct Web-based content or e-mail messages to customers based on their user profile data and their previous requests for content.

physical store

The physical databases that make up the Data Warehouse.


A software infrastructure that defines and links one or more stages of a business process, running them in sequence to complete a specific task. Each stage of a pipeline contains one or more pipeline components (COM objects) that can be configured to work with the unique requirements of the site.

pipeline component

The Component Object Model (COM) server object that implements the required pipeline component interfaces. Each component performs operations on some part of an OrderForm object or Dictionary object before it sends it to the next component or stage in the pipeline.

pipeline configuration file

A file that contains the configuration data for a pipeline. The pipeline specified in the file is created and run by a pipeline object. The file contains stages and components that can be customized using the Pipeline Editor.

pipeline configuration template

The template file that is used to create new pipelines. The pipelines created by using a pipeline configuration template are saved as pipeline configuration (.pct) files. The templates serve as the basis for creating custom pipelines. Stages and components can be added, deleted, or renamed in any template.

Pipeline Editor

An application that is used to create and edit Commerce Server pipeline configuration (.pcf) files. The Pipeline Editor displays a pipeline as a pipe graphic that shows the stages of the pipeline as segments of the pipe. The components used in a stage appear as valves.

pipeline object

An object that loads a pipeline configuration file and runs the pipeline components configured in it.

pooled pipeline

A pipeline object that takes advantage of COM+ object pooling to speed up pipeline loading and execution.


The ability to order an SKU that is currently not available for delivery.

Pre-Order Limit

The value lower than zero beyond which it is not prudent to take pre-orders. Pre-ordering cannot occur beyond this value. This is to restrict overselling and prevent failure to fulfill pre-orders.

pricing category

A category in which every product gets the price from the category. That is, the category overrules the price assigned at the product level.

primary parent category

The parent category of a product or category that is used to determine the canonical path of that product or category, or to apply category level pricing rules to the category or product. You specify the primary parent category when you assign a category or product to a parent category. A category or product can have only one primary parent category. When a product belongs to more than one category, the primary parent category determines the canonical path of the product.


An item for sale in a catalog. Each product is an individual instance of a product definition.

product catalog

A compilation of all products that are available for sale.

product catalog mapping

A link between a product catalog and an inventory catalog that determines which inventory catalog is used to hold SKU data for the product catalog.

Product Catalog resource

A Commerce Server resource with site-level properties, managed through Commerce Server Manager. Use the Product Catalog resource to configure the connection string to the database that contains catalog data.

product definition

The properties that are available in a particular product type. Each product is associated with a product definition. For example, the Book product definition could contain the following properties: Author, Title, and List Price. A product definition must have one product identifier, such as a stock-keeping unit (SKU), and always has a List Price property.

product family

A product that has product variants. For example, the product family "Women's Thermal Shirts" may include the following product variants: red shirt, blue shirt, and green shirt. A product family always has a unique identifier, such as the name of the product.

product identifier

A required property that uniquely identifies products in a catalog, such as a stock-keeping unit (SKU). A product identifier cannot be removed from the product definition.

product property

A property or properties that form a product definition. For example, the Book product definition may have the following product properties: Author, Title, and List Price.

product relationship

A relationship that associates one product in a catalog with another product or category. For example, printers may be related to printer ribbons or ink cartridges, but these products would be in different categories. A product relationship has a name that indicates the type of relationship (for example, "Accessory"), and it has a source product or category and a target product or category.

product variant

A specific item that is grouped with related variants that together form a product. Variants usually vary from each other in one or more properties. For example, a medium-sized, green shirt with a stock-keeping unit (SKU) of 14678 is one product variant of the Shirt product; together size, color, and SKU form one variant. A product variant always includes a unique identifier, such as an SKU, and a price. Each product variant is based on the same product definition.

product variant property

A property that varies among product variants. For example, the product variant medium-sized, green shirt, has two product variant properties: size and color.


A set of characteristics that define any business-related item, such as a customer, a company, or a business process. Each profile is an individual instance of a profile definition.

profile definition

The properties that are available in a particular profile type. Each profile is associated with a profile definition. For example, the New User profile definition could contain the following properties: name, age, gender, address, and so on.

profile property

Specifies which profile data is to be collected when a customer visits your Web site.

profile property attribute

Provides information about the profile property. Profile property attributes include information such as the data type of the profile property, for example, number, text, and decimal, whether the property is single-valued (for example, only one First Name is allowed) or multi-valued, and whether the data is imported into the Data Warehouse.

profile schema

Defines the structure of profiles. Profiles represent business objects (site users, customers, trading partners, and so on) and correspond to classes in the Commerce Server Data Warehouse.

profile ticket

A ticket created by Commerce Server for anonymous (guest) users. Also named MSCSProfile ticket.

Profiles Schema Manager

A user profiling component of Commerce Server 2007 and BizTalk Server 2006. This component lets you manage profile data by creating data sources, profile definitions, and site terms. You can export the profile data to a Data Warehouse for analysis, and/or expose the data to other applications through BizTalk Server 2006.


A staging project defines the properties of a staging deployment.


Provides run-time access to a profile object, which is a specific instantiation of a profile schema.

property definition

The specification of a property that is available for use in profile definitions, category definitions, or product definitions. For example, you might create a property definition named Description that is a string type. Or you might create a property definition named Gender that is an enumerated type, and accepts only two values: Male or Female.


A method of specifying the sorted order of sibling entities in the Catalog System with respect to their container, such as the order of products in a category or variants in a product family.


The number of unique customers who performed a specific action, such as clicking a specific ad.

reach of clicks

The number of unique customers who perform a specific action such as clicking a specific ad.

registered user

Someone who visits a Web site and purposefully supplies personal information, such as name, address, and phone number. This information is transmitted back to the server and can be used to tell how many of your customers are male and female, how many purchased specific items, which customers consistently order the same products, and other details.


An SKU that is neither back-orderable nor pre-orderable. This is a computed attribute of the SKU.

related sell

A class of promotions that help display additional merchandise to users by creating a relationship between the products that they are viewing or have in their basket, and other related products.

reorder point

A period in time when you do not have the amount of inventory you want to keep in stock based on customer buying patterns. If you determine that you need to keep 25 items of something in stock based on buying patterns, and your inventory falls to 24, then this is the reorder point (time to reorder from the vendor).

report definition

The blueprint for a report before the report is processed or rendered. A report definition contains information about the query and layout for the report.


An entity that provides functionality to the applications in a Commerce Server site and that contains properties that you can configure through the Commerce Server Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Resources are either site resources or global resources. You can share global resources across Commerce Server sites. You cannot share site resources across Commerce Server sites. The Data Warehouse resource is an example of a global resource, whereas the Product Catalog resource is an example of a site resource.


The ability to “reverse” a replication of Web content and restore the previous content.

root category

A category that is not a child of any other category. A root category may or may not have children, but it does not have a parent.

root product

A product that is contained in a catalog, but the product is not associated with any category.


Defines one or more destination servers to which data will be transmitted. Destination servers can be waypoints or endpoints.


The process of expanding the capacity of a Web server or server cluster to handle increased site traffic and improve site performance.

scaling out

The process of including additional hardware resources, such as CPU, memory, and hard disk space, to increase the capacity and performance of a given deployment.

scaling up

The process of upgrading the existing hardware resources to increase the capacity and performance of a given deployment.

Security Configuration Wizard (SCW)

A feature in Commerce Server 2007 that helps you configure various security settings, for example, communication ports and role permissions.


A collection of site resources and ASP or ASP.NET-connected applications that use these resources through the Commerce Server object model. With a Commerce Server site, you can administer the applications in the site as a group.

site resource

A resource that is available for use by a specific Web site.

Site Term Value

One value that a site term may take, for example, 0, 1.  This value is stored in a profile.

Site Term Value Name

The culture independent name given to a particular site term value, for example, Guest User or Registered User.

site terms

A list of specific values that are pertinent to your site. You use a site term to assign this list of values, called terms, to a profile property as the property type. For example, you can create a site term named Gender, and define the following possible terms: Female and Male. When you create a profile property named Gender, and assign the gender site term as the type reference, users will be able to select Female or Male from the drop-down list that is displayed for the gender property on your Web site. Users can select only one of the possible values for the property. By applying site terms to profile properties, you establish common words that can be used throughout Commerce Server, for example, to target advertising content to users.


See Other Term: stock-keeping unit (SKU)


An advertising customer who pays to run ads on specific sections or pages of a site, to the exclusion of all other ads. These ads are given priority over all other ads, even targeted ads. Frequently these ads are messages that are integrated with your content on an exclusive basis, for example, transition ads with 'brought to you by' messages. Both pages and targets can have sponsors.

Stock Handling

A site-level setting that overrides the back-orderable and pre-orderable flags (set on each product).

stock-keeping unit (SKU)

A unique identifier, usually alphanumeric, for a product. The SKU enables a product to be tracked for inventory purposes. An SKU can be associated with any item that can be purchased. For example, a shirt in style number 3726, size 8 might have a SKU of 3726-8.

Stock-Out Threshold

The stock-out quantity. A value that the SKU quantity must be above or equal to for the SKU item to be considered in-stock. For example, the value can be one or zero. Usually the value is low. This value is often kept at one so that the item appears to be in-stock, because if the inventory is one, then some systems will not show the item itself, thus losing potential back-order sales.

supplier currency

The base currency of the business supplying the goods to the Web site. The supplier currency can differ from the buyer currency and the base currency of the site. The supplier_currency field is stored in the orderform line item.


One or more expressions that identify where, when, and to whom content should be displayed. You can target demographics, sections of a Web site, or both.

target action

An option that specifies that a piece of content is to be shown when the target is met more frequently than when the target is not met. Use target action when it is difficult to deliver against the targeting goals of the campaign item (for example, there is not enough of the target available to require the content be shown). For example, if you are to deliver 1000 ad requests to users who are located in Alaska, and you only have 15 users in Alaska, you need to deliver that ad to users who are not located in Alaska.

target expression

For Commerce Server campaigns, an expression that identifies where, when, and to whom content should be displayed. For example, you can target content to users who have specific profile properties. You can also target content to specific sections of a Web site. For example, you can create a target expression that will display certain ads only on Sports pages.

target group

A collection of targets that content is to be shown to. When you form a target group, you combine two or more expressions. By combining expressions in a target group, you can create expressions that use OR statements, effectively targeting a wider audience.

Target Quantity

The amount of inventory you want to keep based on buying patterns. Also the point at which the system would order inventory when it reaches the reorder point.


Delivering specific content to specific users.


A string of property/value pairs used to store authentication and other information about a user. Ticket data can be stored in a cookie or a URL query string.


A form of debugging, using the Trace class, that tracks and presents execution details of a running application. Tracing is available to any ASP.NET class that implements a Trace property.

transacted pipeline

A pipeline that supports COM+ transactions. MtsTxPipeline and PooledTxPipeline are the only objects that support transactions. If any component in a transacted pipeline fails, the work of the previous components in the pipeline is undone, and the object ends the transaction.

Transaction Config resource

A Commerce Server resource with site-level properties, managed through Commerce Server Manager. Use the Transaction Config resource to configure the connection string to the database that contains transaction meta-data.

transaction data

The data that is generated when users purchase products from your site. Transaction data can include any user activity recorded from a product page, a basket page, or a checkout page. For example, it might include the name, shipping address, date and time, product purchased, and total order value.

Transactions resource

A Commerce Server resource with site-level properties, managed through Commerce Server Manager. Use the Transactions resource to configure the connection string to the database that contains transaction meta-data.

unit of measure

The quantities in which your business buys or sells an item. For example, your business might sell soda in three units of measure - cans, six-packs, and cases. One can of soda would equal the unit of measure Each or Can. Six cans would equal Pack and 24 cans would equal Case.

unregistered user

Someone who visits a Web site and purposefully does not provide the personal or identifying information that is required to register.

up sell

A specific type of related sell that suggests to users that they replace a product they are looking at or have in their basket with a better product.

usage profile

A set of properties that describe the traffic patterns on a site. For example, a usage profile shows how many people browse a certain page, the browse-to-buy ratio, and how many users add an item to their basket and then remove it. System administrators use the usage profile to determine how many Web servers are needed and to configure a site.


A person who visits a commerce site at least once. User refers to any person who clicks on the site, whether or not the user has registered.

user list

A list with an rcp_guid column that contains user IDs, and optionally, other user profile properties. You can use user lists from List Manager to perform bulk updates on properties for specific users.

user profile

A set of predefined properties that describe a user. For example, name, address, and gender properties can constitute a user profile.


A single combination of the attributes that are available for a product. For a given type of shirt, for example, each combination of color, size, and unique stock-keeping unit (SKU) is a variant. Each product variant always includes a unique identifier, such as a stock-keeping unit (SKU), and a price. Each product variant is based on the same product definition.

vignette ad

An ad composed of text that is displayed adjacent to the image where the ad is displayed. The text can be to the left, right, or top of the ad image.

virtual catalog

A catalog that references the product data in one or more base catalogs. If you add a product to a base catalog, the product may also appear in the associated virtual catalog, depending on the inclusion rules. Products are represented once in the database regardless of how many virtual catalogs they appear in. A virtual catalog inherits all the languages of the base catalogs. There are three primary uses for virtual catalogs: to aggregate multiple catalogs so that they appear as one catalog to users; to price products in multiple currencies; and to provide special pricing, or subsets of products, for specified groups of users.

Virtual Catalog View

A subset of items collected from a virtual catalog and displayed as a view. Views are offered to display a subset of products for which key properties can be customized for different types of shoppers. You can only create views from one virtual catalog. You cannot create a view using two or more virtual catalogs.


A series of requests by a user. Visits begin in one of two ways: users can be referred to the site through a link, or they can type the site URL into their browser. A visit ends when a specified period of time (the default is 30 minutes) has passed without any additional requests to the site.

visit duration

The time between the first and last request of a visit. This time does not include the time a user spends viewing the last request of a visit.


A CSS server in between a source staging server and endpoint in a route. No Commerce Server business data is imported at the waypoint. A waypoint server receives the data to be staged, stores it in the folder that is specified by the project definition on the waypoint server, and transmits it to the other waypoint or endpoint server(s) that are specified as its destination(s).


A way to determine when a campaign item is displayed, relative to all the campaign items for a given customer. In a campaign, weight only applies to ads that are goaled at the campaign-level. For house ads the weight is relative to all other house ads for all customers and all campaigns. For paid ads, the weight is relative to other paid ads in the same campaign. To determine when discount campaign items are displayed you use priority, not weight.

Windows Media Services ad

An ad that displays high quality audio and video advertisements.