| May 07, 2013
Sitefinity 6.0 Ecommerce has many new architectural improvements that aligns nicely with Sitefinity DNA. Sitefinity Ecommerce now has support for Multisite, Product Lifecycle, Product Workflow, Site Sync, Top Selling report and many improvements to the usability of Sitefinity Ecommerce. To go along with these new features we made some improvements to our API and fixed some of the most requested PITS items.
Let’s go into a short detail about each of the new features –
You can now manage multiple Ecommerce sites within one Sitefinity instance giving you a powerful multisite environment. There are three Ecommerce providers: Catalog, Shipping and Orders and you can share providers across sites or they can be independent. This allows for the greatest flexibility when configuring your multisite environment.
Below are three scenarios for using multisite:
1) If you were a clothing retailer that sells sports jerseys to different teams, you could create a site for each team where they could purchase jerseys. This would allow you to have a different theme for each team. Each store could have their own catalog provider but all of the orders could go in the same order provider. This would allow the fulfillment warehouse to view and process all of the orders from the Sitefinity administration portal. Also, another advantage is you can define taxes, payments and discount once for all of the sites.
2) If you owned a bike shop then all of your bikes could be in one catalog provider however, you want the orders to go into separate order providers based on the bike manufacturer allowing each manufacturer to fulfill their orders accordingly.
3) You could have multiple sites based on locations and assign each location their own providers. Each site would be completely independent but managed from one Sitefinity instance. In this case there would be different catalogs, shipping and orders.
Store Settings Shipping Methods
Store settings are now inherited from the Global settings including General store settings, Display for taxes, Measurement Units and Currencies. For multisite implementations you can break the inheritance and have all of the ecommerce settings for each site that you create in your multisite environment.
Shipping methods have moved from the Advanced settings to Ecommerce->Shipping Methods and you can define shipping providers per site. You can access Shipping Carriers and Custom methods easily through the menu now. We’ve updated the shipping provider model to work with the updated API. There is logging for the real-time shipping messages returned from the shipping carriers to help troubleshoot connection, authentication or general issues. Products have Life Cycle and Workflow
Products now have life cycle similar to Sitefinity content items. Modes are draft, published and unpublished. A product can be created in draft mode and changed to published mode. Once they are published a product can be changed to unpublished and the best of all is a product can now be published and unpublished on a specific date and time.
Workflows can be created for Editors to approve a product before being published to the live site. This will allow a product writer to create the products and move them to “ready for approve”. Another person can be selected as an approver. Approvers can be created to a granular level allowing different product types to be approved by different people. Permissions can be defined for access to the ecommerce module allowing for selected roles, users, and backend users. For example a specific person can be assigned to create products and “Send for approval”. By doing and then another person can approve the products so the product can be published.
Site Synchronization Implementation
Do you want to have a staging site and publish product data to a live site? The new Ecommerce site sync feature will allow you to synchronize product data from one site to another including products, attributes/values, product variations, images, downloadable files and content files as well as language versions for product titles and descriptions. The schema must be on the target machine for the data to sync including the product type schema.
Additional Multilingual Support
In Sitefinity 6.0, we have now added multilingual support for Shipping methods, Payment methods, Discounts, Product Types, Custom fields for product types, Discounts, Taxes and Tax classes.
Order Status History & Shipping Tracking Number
More order statuses have been added and a comment can be added when each order status is changed. The order history is saved along with who changed the status and the date it was changed. The Shipped status allows for a tracking number, ship date and a comment to be entered. You can use the EcommerceOrderStatusChanged event to send customers an email with the date their order was shipped, the tracking number and a link to the carrier if you want to notify your customers.
New Business Service Layer
We introduced a business services that allows you to hook into the logic of different areas of calculation or business logic and easily make any modifications to it. Two services were added for this release: 1) Available payments and 2) Shipping methods. This lays the groundwork of core calculations or logical components being architected in a very flexible way through a business service layer, so that people can extend just the logic, and the UI will adapt
Top Selling Report
A new report shows the Top Selling products and can be filtered by a date range or sorted in various ways. The data can be exported to excel.
Enhancements to Usability
The countries have been moved from Ecommerce to Sitefinity. We moved the “Send Order Placed Email to Shipping Address “ to the checkout widget->advanced properties. And, we’ve added a new checkbox to the checkout widget for Checkout Requires Login labeled “Allow anonymous users to place orders” so that it is more prominent.
On the backend product grid we added sorting, filters, variations count and sale price as well as a batch publish/unpublish, simple publish/unpublish and batch delete.
On the product type grid we now show the product type. You can find a customer to see the orders they’ve placed and now click on an order to see the order detail. We also have some order status icons for easy viewing.
Make sure you read our upgrade documentation for issues you may come across during upgrades.
Have fun with all of these new features.