The Barnes & Noble Review
Microsoft's new Commerce Server 2000 is the most robust, powerful e-commerce solution Microsoft has yet delivered. A far cry from yesteryear's Site Server product family, Commerce Server 2000 doesn't just deliver shopping carts and catalogs; it offers comprehensive personalization, profiling, merchandising, and targeting capabilities.
Commerce Server ought to help companies bring powerful B2B, B2C and supply-chain e-business applications to market a whole lot faster. But by virtue of its sheer breadth and depth, it'll require an awful lot of planning and care. For instance, you wouldn't dare to deploy it without first carefully reviewing the Microsoft Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit.
This 600+ page kit covers the whole e-Business lifecycle: planning, custom application development, site testing, deployment, management, maintenance, optimization, and troubleshooting. Microsoft walks you through defining project vision and scope; planning for growth and availability; and preparing a complete project plan. (As you're reviewing this material, you might also want to refer to the complete sample sites on the Kit's CD-ROM.)
You'll find detailed techniques and best practices for working with the Commerce Server 2000 Profile System, which lets you build sophisticated dynamic profiles using data you already have, either within your site or in external systems -- and then customize content delivery "on the fly," based on those profiles.
Microsoft consultants then review every step of deployment, including customizing the Commerce Server Site Packager, which makes it easier to migrate sites among servers, for testing, staging, production, and distribution.
In addition to sample sites, the kit's CD-ROM contains population tools that help you generate profiles for large numbers of users at once; a Prediction Viewer that helps you make the most of Commerce Server's powerful business analytics; and a sample component illustrating the art of programming custom business process pipelines.
Commerce Server virtually defines mission-critical application. And the Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit defines essential resource.
Bill Camarda is a consultant and writer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.
Read an Excerpt
Chatper 1: Overview and Scenarios Welcome to the Microsoft Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit. This kit consists of one book and a single compact disc (CD) containing tools, additional reference materials, and an online version of the book. In addition, updates and information about deploying sites with Commerce Server 2000 are available at http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver on an ongoing basis.
The Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit supplements Microsoft Commerce Server 2000 product software and documentation in the same way that a good tour guide supplements a set of detailed street maps. Commerce Server 2000 Help contains step-by-step descriptions for using the software. It is procedural information-a guide to the features of the product and instructions for using them. The Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit expands on this information by providing real-world scenarios and guidelines for setting up e-commerce Web sites with Commerce Server.
Introduction to Commerce Server 2000
Commerce Server 2000 delivers a scalable e-commerce platform that provides ready-to-use features for developing, deploying, and upgrading effective e-commerce applications for the Web. This extensible platform enables customers, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to build solutions that scale with business needs and integrate with existing systems and data. Using Commerce Server scalable server architecture with Microsoft Windows 2000, you can meet the increasing performance demands of growing e-commerce infrastructures. Commerce Server is comprised of five systems: the Business Analytics System, the Product Catalog System, the TargetingSystem, the Profiling System, and the Business Process Pipelines System. Each system is designed so that you can easily customize it to meet your business needs.
Business managers use Commerce Server Business Desk to work with the five Commerce Server systems. For example, they can use Business Desk to update catalogs, target content to users, profile users and organizations, and analyze site usage and productivity. System administrators use Commerce Server Manager to configure system resources and manage the applications, databases, and Web servers.
Commerce Server and .NET Enterprise Servers
Although Commerce Server is a stand-alone product, it is designed to operate seamlessly with other Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers. The .NET Enterprise Servers are Microsoft's comprehensive family of server applications for building, deploying, and managing scalable, integrated Web solutions with fast time to market. You can use .NET Enterprise Servers to build systems that integrate Commerce Server sites with the rest of your management information system. If you need this level of integration, you can implement one or more of the other .NET technologies in conjunction with Commerce Server.
Some of the .NET technologies that typically are used with Commerce Server include:
- COM+ Services (an extension to the Component Object Model)
- Microsoft Application Center 2000
- Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000
- Microsoft Host Integration Server 2000
- Microsoft SQL Server 2000
COM+ Services (Component Services, including MTS) is a unified programming model that you can use to build component-based, three-tier distributed applications. COM+ builds on the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) by combining COM with the transactional features of Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). It extends the programming environment by adding a rich set of features to make it easier to develop, deploy, and administer highly scalable, distributed, component-based solutions.
Application Center is a high-availability deployment and management tool for Web applications built on Windows 2000. It extends the core set of Web application services found in Windows 2000 (Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0, Active Server Pages (ASP), COM+, Message Queuing), and provides a suite of monitoring, testing, and diagnostic tools not available in the core operating system. Application Center is designed for customers with high-end requirements for scalability and availability.
You can use Application Center with Commerce Server to deploy content and make incremental updates to your Web site. For more information about using Application Center with Commerce Server, see "Deploying Your Site" in Commerce Server 2000 Help and Chapter 15, "Deploying Content," in the Commerce Server 2000 Resource Kit...