When launching a new commerce site, many people focus on the commerce platform and maybe the content management tools being used. However, our experience with deploying commerce sites for many years is that those tools only make up a portion of the overall solution, and a number of other key pieces are needed to be integrated to form the full customer experience. A commerce platform will typically need to be integrated to fulfillment systems, payment gateways, ratings and reviews, product master/ERP, pricing master, inventory master, and more.
In fact, depending on the complexity required for the site, the number of integrations for a commerce platform implementation can grow to be very large, and can be the largest cost component to deploy on a new platform.
Given that integrations can make up a significant portion of the cost and effort for deployments, Oracle has invested in a number of ways to simplify and reduce the effort to complete integrations. In addition to providing productized integrations between many Oracle products, such as integrations from Commerce Cloud to Marketing Cloud and CPQ Cloud, the key tool in fighting that battle is the Integration Cloud Service.
Integration Cloud Service (ICS) is part of Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offering, and provides a simple and quick way to integrate applications such as Oracle Commerce Cloud with a range of other applications, including those from Oracle as well as from other vendors.
ICS gives the user a UI based approach to creating and maintaining integrations that allows a non-programmer to do the implementation. Creating an integration can be reduced to just a few steps in ICS.
Configure the connections
Connections are the starting point and identify the systems and instances that you want to integrate. For example, if you want to create an integration to send order data from Commerce Cloud to Marketing Cloud, you would select a Connection for Commerce Cloud and a Connection for Marketing Cloud. Using the UI tools, you would add the details of the system, such as the URLs to access the system and appropriate security information.
After configuring the Connections, ICS gives you access to all the exposed APIs and webhooks that the application provides. Flows connect one application’s API to another application’s API. Using the above Commerce Cloud to Marketing Example, you might connect the Commerce Submitted Order webhook and connect that to the Marketing update contact API to store the order data on the customer contact. This simple connection is done through a simple graphical UI.
Map the data
There’s little chance the two APIs you want to connect will have exactly the same format and payload, and this is where mapping of data becomes critical. Within the UI of ICS, simply select the flow and choose how you want the data mapped. In this area, you can define which fields of the source system would map to which fields on the target system. Data can also be transformed in this process, or complex logic can be applied where the data is not a simple mapping.
Activate and monitor
Once you have configured the Connections, created the Flows and mapped your data, you are ready to go. Simply activate the flows and then use ICS tools to monitor usage and traffic using the ICS tools and UI.
Using Oracle’s Integration Cloud Service can greatly simplify and speed up the necessary integrations that often make up a significant amount of the effort for deploying an ecommerce solution such as Oracle Commerce Cloud. Simple graphical tools provided by ICS allow a non-programmer to connect systems, define complex data mapping and set up complex integrations quickly. Updates to integrations can be accomplished just as quickly allowing you to take advantage of the latest application features as soon as they’re released. ICS significantly reduces the effort and therefore the cost and time to launch an Oracle Commerce Cloud deployment.
For more information, see Oracle Integration Cloud Service.
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