Austin Websphere Commerce User Group Recap

I had the pleasure and honor of presenting and attending the last WC User Group Meeting that took place in Austin, TX. It was a great experience with WC customers and partners coming together with IBM and HCL to discuss how the company will move forward and some of the exciting new opportunities that are happening as a result of the IBM HCL transaction.

Since this is the last stop of the user group roadshow, most of the materials presented are the same as the one in Columbus, Ohio and the Virtual user group. So I won’t bore everyone with repeating the same material. But I thought this would be a good opportunity to post the Q&A that I had in my session on Mobiecom.

Q. What is Commerce Composer?
A. The Commerce Composer tool gives you the freedom to quickly create and assemble the contents of your store pages. This is a free tool as part of WC. By using a library of prebuilt layout templates and widgets, you can manage store page layouts directly in Management Center. Here is a video of a banner where we show how simple it is to modify the layout of a category page and add a banner and text.
https://youtu.be/RDDdJvVLIZg

Q. Could you explain how you provide the CC (Commerce Composer) Widgets in Mobiecom?
A. When we developed Mobiecom, we saw the Commerce Composer capabilities in Aurora and we want to provide the business users with the same capability of controlling the lay-out of the pages for business needs. So we add logic in Mobiecom to understand how to render the CC Widgets to provide a seamless user experience; the business users can use CC to author the pages and Mobiecom will handle the rendering of the widgets.

Q. What is Mobiecom?
A. Mobiecom is a mobile-first UI storefront designed for the WebSphere Commerce. Built in ReactJS as a SPA (Single Page Application), Mobiecom provides all the commerce capabilities of Aurora using Out-Of-The-Box REST APIs and is SEO-friendly. As a headless storefront, Mobiecom is lightweight and extremely fast. You can check out a speed comparison video here. This compares an online store running on Mobiecom, vs. a Multi-page application running Aurora.
https://youtu.be/RDDdJvVLIZg

Q. How do you cache Mobiecom?
A. Mobiecom has multiple levels of caching. It uses Nginx as a cachig proxy and Redid as in-memory caching. And Mobiecom of course supports WC Dynacache.

Q. How much customization does Mobiecom have already?
A. Mobiecom has all Out-Of-The-Box features of Aurora B2C. We are adding B2B support by the end of June. You can add customizations required by your specific needs but you can launch it with just basic styling and no customization required.

Q. Is it difficult to implement with a lot of customization?
A. Mobiecom is easy to implement if you can adopt OOTB features; you just need to load data into WC and style the store and you are done. It normally takes 10 weeks from start to finish.
But since nobody is truly OOTB, you can implement customizations in Mobiecom. You can use Mobiecom as an accelerator with commerce capabilites. It’s all Javascript and CSS. So developers can use a text editor to edit the code in JavaScript to implement any UI customization desired. For back-end customizations, we recommend creating and using custom APIs.

Q. Does Mobiecom work with V7 feature pack 8?
A. Yes, Mobiecom works with V7 FEP8 and up. This includes all current versions of WC, including V7 FEP8, V8, V9 and IDC (IBM Digital Commerce), the SaaS version.

Q. We have customized APIs – how would you manage that?
A. Mobiecom can call your custom APIs and we can also create APIs to call your custom code.

Q. Is Mobiecom only for front end operations?
A. Mobiecom is a storefront which integrates with a headless commerce backend (like WCS) to provide a full e-commerce solution.

Q. How do you go about taking an operation running on V7 and provide a solution decoupled from the back end on V9?

A. If I undestand this question correctly, you would like to know if Mobiecom can help in your migration from V7 to V9.
There are 2 steps in this scenario. Step One is to provide a storefront using Mobiecom and step Two is to migrate your V7 to V9.
For Step One, we load your catalog into Mobiecom and style it to reflect your look-and-feel and let you test drive it. Then working together, we identify the customizations you need from a UI and back-end perspectives. UI customizations can be done in Mobiecom in javascript. Back-end customizations will need to be enabled via REST APIs to leverage your existing investment.
For Step Two, we need to verify that you are at V7 FEP8 and have all of your features enabled. Then we would go thru a migration process to migrate your V7 FEP8 to V9. Again, we need to enable REST APIs for any existing customizations that you would like to leverage in Mobiecom.

With the benefits gained by Mobiecom such as performance, mobile-responsiveness, speed of development, we can help build the ROI for a V9 migration. The challenge with migration projects is the lack of support for the business case.

I am grateful to have been a part of these User Group discussions and look forward to more, especially as we move forward into the HCL acquisition. We look forward to positive trends on the horizon – you can read more about why we’re Bullish on Websphere Commerce here.

I would love to hear your feedback on the User Group! If you would like to send us a note on your thoughts, please reach us at sales@zobristinc.com or connect with me on LinkedIn.