What's New in Sitecore Commerce 8.2 powered by Commerce Server and Commerce Server 11.4

Current version: 8.2

The following features and enhancements are part of Sitecore Commerce 8.2 powered by Commerce Server and Commerce Server 11.4.

Azure PaaS

  • Commerce Server can now run entirely in Azure SQL (v12) and in Azure Cloud Services. Previous releases allowed you to run Commerce Server with a IaaS deployment in Azure, you can now setup a full PaaS deployment and take full advantage of additional Azure scaling services including high availability. Azure WebApps are not supported currently, but look out for them in a later release.

    • In order to support a full Azure PaaS deployment there are a couple of notable changes that had to be made:

      • The MSCS_CatalogScratch database, which was used to cache catalog queries, is no longer a separate database and has been merged in with the Product Catalog database. This was necessary because Azure SQL does not allow cross-database calls, and cross-database calls were heavily leveraged by the Product Catalog and MSCS_CatalogScratch databases.

      • Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) is used by the Orders pipeline infrastructure to allow rollback when you are performing database actions across multiple databases, most notably updating counts in the Inventory database when placing an order. MSDTC is not supported in Azure, so a new switch has been provided that allows you to turn off the use of MSDTC by Commerce Server when you are in Azure.

Site setup and Management via PowerShell

  • Up until this point, the only way to create Commerce Server sites and add resources was via PuP, and the only way to manage those resources once they have been created was with Commerce Server Manager. You can now perform all of these tasks via a new suite of PowerShell CmdLets. The CmdLets mean you are no longer reliant on PuP packages, and instead can create and delete resources and import and export data by using PowerShell. The CmdLets will also perform some additional tasks that were not possible before. For example, when you delete a resource you can also delete its associated databases.

Web Service and Web Deploy packages

  • Web Services are no longer dependent on PuP packages for their setup. You can now setup Commerce Server web services at any point using the new CmdLets or via a set of Visual Studio Web Deploy packages that can be found in the WebServices folder in the Commerce Server install.

NuGet Packages

  • Inside the Commerce Server install folder there is a new NuGet folder that contains a number of NuGet packages. To use these packages, set up a local repository in Visual Studio, or add the packages to a central NuGet repository that you have in your organization. This folder contains NuGet packages such as:

    • A package for each of the Commerce Server web services, so they can be customized if needed.

    • A package that automatically imports the Commerce Server CmdLets into the Package Manage Console.

    • A package that contains the default files for working with the Orders system.

    • Packages for each of the Commerce Server subsystems: Common, Catalog, Orders, Profiles, and Marketing. Using these packages enables a developer to create a web application that is built on Commerce Server using registration free COM, so that the target environment does not need Commerce Server to be installed to run. All dependencies are added to the web application bin directory. Each package contains a manifest that lists all runtime dependencies. By installing the Common NuGet package, the the modules in your web.config will be updated to include the RegFreeComHelperModule, which loads the manifests and merges them to generate a webapp.manifest in the web application root directory. This final manifest is used by the .NET runtime and COM to locate dependencies.

Fallback Language

  • A new catalog pipeline, called getCommerceCatalogFallbackLanguage, allows you to set the Fallback Language on catalog items when they are exposed as items in Sitecore.

Commerce Server configuration outside of the web.config

  • One of the difficulties with deploying a Sitecore site is adding entries into the web.config. To simplify the this processes we have added the ability to store the Commerce Server configuration section outside of the web.config in a separate .config file. The default lookup location for this file is \App_Config\CommerceServer.Core.config .

  • We have created Sitecore pipeline processor versions of the Commerce Server http modules, which means you no longer need to add the http modules to the web.config. These pipeline processors are registered in the \App_Config\Include\CommerceServer\CommerceServer.config file, and you can patch out processors you do not need. For example, if you do not need the Commerce Server Order sub system, you can patch out those processors.

Windows 10

  • Commerce Server has been successfully tested against Windows 10. We recommend that Windows 10 is only used as a developer environment, not as a runtime environment for production sites.

Index Configuration Files

  • Index Config Files. All search indexes have been broken out into separate configuration files, so it is easier to enable and disable the indexes that you need based on your environment. If you are installing into an existing SCpbCS environment, then you should delete all existing \Website\App_Config\Include\CommerceServer\CommerceServer.ContentSearch.*.config files before installing the Sitecore Commerce Server Connect package.

Commerce Connect

  • A new pipeline processor called UpdateVisitorInEAPlan has been added to a number of the cart pipelines and updates a user’s status in the appropriate EAP based on their action.

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