Commerce Connect framework components
Sitecore Commerce Connect is the Sitecore commerce API for storefront developers and is an integration layer between a front-end webshop solution and a back-end external commerce system. The back-end system can be any e-commerce system for which Commerce Connect connectors have been created by Sitecore or a third-party vendor.
A Commerce Connect solution includes the following components:
Commerce Connect core framework – this contains the abstract service layers (APIs), page events, goals and outcomes, conditional rendering rules, marketing automation campaigns, actions and conditions, and reports.
Commerce Connect connectors – these hook into Commerce Connect pipelines, customize domain models, and input and output parameters, and integrate with external commerce systems.
Commerce reports – these display data gathered by Commerce Connect.
The Commerce Connect core framework
The following diagram shows the Commerce Connect framework components, how they are connected, and how they integrate with the Sitecore Experience platform, the front-end webshop, and the external commerce systems:
The diagram illustrates the relationships between the components:
The visitor accesses the webshop.
The webshop uses the integration service layers that in turn use the connectors to integrate with and access the external commerce server. Because the integration to the external commerce system goes through the Commerce Connect service layers, the customer engagement functionality is triggered indirectly.
The Sitecore Experience Platform runs in the background to ensure that both content management functionalities and engagement functionalities are executed.
The product data model is a separate layer and may or may not be used. If you use product synchronization, the data model is based on items in Sitecore.
The connectors ensure that e-commerce functionality is available from external commerce systems.
Commerce Connect connectors
Commerce Connect cannot run as a standalone system because every external commerce system requires a unique connector. Therefore, the connectors are not a part of the core framework – connectors are provided as individual installation packages.
Developers can use Commerce Connect connectors to integrate Sitecore with one or more commerce systems. Connecters for Sitecore Commerce Server and Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail are provided by Sitecore. Connectors for other commerce systems are provided by Sitecore technology partners. For connectors developed by Sitecore, see the Sitecore Downloads page.
If data and functionality are managed by different external commerce systems, developers can use one or more connectors in a single solution. For example, you can have product data residing in one system while prices are handled in another system.
Both the Sitecore Experience Profile and Sitecore Experience Analytics applications contain a Commerce tab with reports that display some of the data gathered by Commerce Connect. Sitecore Experience Profile contains reports showing information about individual contacts, whereas Experience Analytics contains reports showing aggregated data across all contacts.