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The Official Oracle Commerce Cloud Blog

What's New in 17.3 Release of Oracle Commerce Cloud

Oracle Commerce Cloud has released its third release of the year! We've added a number of new features, including improvements to Multisite via One Admin Console, B2B Account Hierarchies, improvements to Audiences, including the ability to conduct A/B tests by Audience, and multiple extensibility enhancements, including Server-Side Extensions, and much more. 

Visit our online Help center for more in-depth documentation. All customers can now also access details on What's New with each Commerce Cloud release, as well as FAQs, how-tos, best practice guides, and more in our online community, Customer Connect (log-in required). 

17.3 Major New Features

Multisite via One Admin Console: Site-Specific Settings and Layouts
Create additional B2C sites and assign catalog and price groups to each site via API. Manage multiple B2C sites using a single administration interface, enabling merchants to run multiple websites on unique URLs that require a unique shopper experience per site, including different content, product assortments, and layouts. This would be particularly useful for cases where country stores are needed that have their own URLs, country-specific product catalogs, and/or prices.

In 17.3, multi-site improvements include:

  • Site-Specific Layouts: Assign a layout to one or more sites, present a different layout to shoppers by site, and send emails with site-specific layouts. 
  • Site-Specific Settings: Users can select the site context for updating site-specific settings: shipping methods/shipping country, setup, and email settings. Users can easily see which settings are site-specific or global.
  • Filter Promotions by Site: Business users can work more quickly and efficiently by being able to filter promotions by site. Filter options are now: All promotions, by site, and all sites. This site filter can be used in conjunction with other filters.  

The OCCS Admin UI provides a centralized location for business users to manage shared and site-specific promotions, and different product catalogs, pricing, content, and layouts for multiple sites per site. In addition to being able to assign a promotion to a single site and multiple sites, a promotion can also be set to apply to all sites. Also includes preview by site, site-specific SEO, site-aware endpoints, and Storefront, Agent, and Assisted Selling Application support for multiple sites, including separate shopping carts per site. 

Sites can now have different look and feels, layouts, email templates, and shipping methods, but continue to have shared payment gateways and payment methods. Shoppers have the same login and address book across sites, but order history is shown for the specific site a shopper is on. 

NOTE:  In 17.3, access control for Admin Console users cannot be restricted by site and wish lists are available on the default site only.

B2B Commerce: Account Hierarchies
An account can now contain sub-accounts that represent multiple hierarchies of an organization structure, allowing customers to manage by department, for example, and allowing buyer actions to be limited by the accounts and sub-accounts the buyer belongs to. Sub-accounts inherit most properties from the parent, but these can be overridden if desired. 

A user (contact) can also now be a member of multiple accounts. The Contact Login (for Managed Accounts) widget element now includes a picker that allows an account-based shopper to switch to any active accounts the shopper belongs to. A user will have multiple shopping carts that are maintained as the shopper switches account context. 
Account Hierarchies are supported in the Admin, Storefront, and Agent.

Due to the nature of this feature, layout changes must be made in order to add account hierarchy capability to the Storefront.    

Audiences: Rule-Building
Provides the ability to use numeric profile and account properties, such as age, to build audience rules that personalize site content and products for shoppers. For example, an audience rule can be created such as “age > 18 “ to only show products to shoppers over a specified age. This features supports out of the box shopper profile and account properties, as well as custom profile properties. It does not yet support account properties or rules against dates.

Also includes the ability to clone audiences, allowing business users to quickly copy complex audience rule sets to use as a basis for a new audience.

Audiences:  Experiments by Audience
Audiences are now directly integrated with Experiments, allowing A/B tests to be targeted towards specific audience segments. Both the control and variant groups are taken from the selected audience. Especially useful for instances where shopping behavior and presentation may differ, such as by age and/or gender.

Allows testing of content and experiences with a subset of shoppers before rolling them out more broadly. Also allows personalization of specific content to targeted audience segments based on the audience segments currently supported in OCCS.

Extensibility: Server-Side Extensions
Allows integration and customization code to be run alongside Oracle Commerce Cloud, co-located for security, reliability, and performance. Runs on Commerce Cloud’s PCI compliant, highly available infrastructure. Helps alleviate the need for having to find a PCI-compliant hosting provider and manage custom integration code separately.

Add REST APIs directly to the Oracle Commerce Cloud REST API. 

Intended for extensions and add-ons to the Commerce Cloud solution, not standalone applications or substantial replacements of key functionality.  

Leverage developers’ JavaScript experience by writing code for Node.js.

Extensibility: Single Sign-On for Storefront
Merchants with an existing SSO solution across properties can now seamlessly add Commerce Cloud. For example, if a merchant has a support site, the user can log into OCCS and seamlessly move across to the account on the support site (and vice versa). 

Shopper logins can use existing SAML2 SSO solution. OCCS user profiles will be auto-created and updated when a user logs in. Profile properties to share with OCCS can be customized. Allows for a seamless login experience across sites and users only need to register once. Works with industry-standard SAML2 SSO providers.

Extensibility: Custom Properties on Order Line Item
Provides merchants via REST API with the flexibility to create, retrieve, and update custom order properties at the order line item level, especially useful for instances when an item is customized or personalized (e.g. gift cards, monogramming). Storefront JavaScript API has been enhanced to support customizations using order line properties.

Supported in Admin, Agent, Storefront, Order Webhooks. 

NOTE: email templates do not yet have access to the line item custom data. 

Extensibility: Include Site ID in Webhook Payloads
The site ID property is now included in the webhook request payloads for the following webhooks, allowing systems that receive webhooks messages to identify the site that originated the message and process the message accordingly: 

Order Submit, Order Submit for Non PCI Compliant Target Systems,  Return Request Update, Return Request Update for Non PCI Compliant Target Systems, Cart Idle, Quote Request, Quote Update, External Price Validation, Shipping Calculator, External Tax Calculator, Shopper Registration, Shopper Account Update,  Credit Card Payment, Generic Payment

Allows for a service to be created that redirects webhook messages to the desired destination based on site. Useful for instances where a merchant has site-specific external systems, such as OMS or marketing systems.

Merchants can also set up a proxy service to redirect messages to different target URLs based on site. 

NOTE:  The following webhooks do not include the site ID because they are not triggered in the context of a site: Publish Complete, Import Complete, Export Complete, Account Create, Account Update. Also, the Shopper Profile Create and Shopper Profile Update webhooks may be triggered outside the context of a site, for example, if they are created or updated using Agent or the API. In this case, the site ID will be for the default site.

Additional New Features and Other Changes

Language and Currency Support

Languages: No new languages are supported in 17.3. Thirty-five languages are currently supported: Arabic (ar) (Storefront only), Bulgarian (bg), Chinese—Simplified (zh_CN), Chinese—Traditional (zh_TW), Croatian (hr), Czech (cs), Danish (da), Dutch (nl), English (en, Estonian (et), Finnish (fi), French (fr), French Canadian (fr_CA), German (de), Greek (el), Hungarian (hu), Italian (it), Japanese (ja), Korean (ko), Latvian (lv), Norwegian (no), Polish (pl), Portuguese—Brazil (pt_BR), Portuguese—Portugal (pt_PT), Romanian (ro), Russian (ru), Serbian - Cyrillic (sr), Serbian – Latin (sr_Latn), Slovenian (sl), Spanish (es), Swedish (sv), Thai (th), Turkish (tr), Ukrainian (uk).

Currencies: No new currencies have been added in 17.3. Sixty-one currencies are currently supported:  AED (UAE Dirham), ARS (Argentine Peso), AUD (Australian Dollar), BGN (Bulgarian Lev), BOB (Boliviano), BRL (Brazilian Real),  CAD (Canadian Dollar), CHF (Swiss Franc), CLP (Chilean Peso), CNY (Chinese Yuan Renminbi), COP (Colombian Peso), CRC (Costa Rican Colon), CZK (Czech Koruna), DKK (Danish Krone), DOP (Dominican Peso), DZD (Algerian Dinar), EGP (Egyptian Pound), EUR (Euro), GBP (British Pound Sterling), GTQ (Guatemalan Quetzal), HKD (Hong Kong Dollar), HNL (Lempira), HRK (Croatian Kuna), HUF (Hungarian Forint), IDR (Indonesian Rupiah), INR (Indian Rupee), JPY (Japanese Yen), KES (Kenyan Shilling), KRW (South Korean Won), KZT (Tenge), LBP (Lebanese Pound), MAD (Moroccan Dirham), MXN (Mexico Peso), MYR (Malaysian Ringgit), NGN (Naira), NIO (Cordoba Oro), NOK (Norwegian Krone), NZD (New Zealand Dollar), PAB (Panamanian Balboa), PEN (Peruvian Nuevo Sol), PHP (Philippine Peso), PKR (Pakistani Rupee), PLN (Polish Zloty), PYG (Paraguayan Guarani), QAR (Qatari Riyal), RON (Romanian Leu), RSD (Serbian Dinar), RUB (Russian Ruble), SAR (Saudi Riyal), SEK (Swedish Krona), SGD (Singapore Dollar), THB (Thai Baht), TJS (Somoni), TRY (Turkish Lira), TWD (New Taiwan Dollar), UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnia), USD (US Dollar), UYU (Uruguayan Peso), VND (Vietnamese Dong), XAF (CFA Franc BEAC), ZAR (South African Rand). 

Experience and Design: Cross-CX Consistency 
Distinctive Oracle Apps style has been applied to all CX Cloud Apps, including Oracle Commerce Cloud, so that they share a common navigation model. The standard application header is now consistent.

Admin users can use the new navigation drawer to access all areas in the Commerce Cloud application.  

Experience and Design: Context Configuration for Checkout Layouts 
Allows merchants to create checkout layouts that differ based on payment scenarios with designated target URLs or order statuses.  

Allows the user to choose from an enumerated list of order statuses that will determine when a particular checkout layout will be used. 

Allows a user to enter a stub that will be appended to the store URL. For example, the user may enter “[payment processor]” which would result in “/[payment processor]” using this particular checkout layout.

Experience and Design: Layout Manager Filter 
Design Studio “Layout” Manager now contains a quick search functionality, allowing merchants to quickly search by layout title name. The filter queries against “contains” in the layout title as the user enters characters. 

NOTE: Will not search by any field other than title.

Experience and Design: Design Code Utility 
Command-line tool that allows merchants to integrate Commerce Cloud with the IDE or code editor of choice. Makes it possible to transfer content between Commerce Cloud server instances.   

This is especially useful for front-end developers who want to work with Design Studio code outside of OCCS.

Storefront: Test Environment Storefront Authentication 
Restricted access model for origin and test storefront servers has been implemented, so that only certain applications are allowed direct access to those servers. Includes the ability to specify a whitelist of IPs, IP ranges, and/or headers that will not be required to provide the user name/password for access.

This prevents web crawlers and anonymous users from accessing test servers.

NOTE: Because of the way Edge, Internet Explorer, and Safari browsers handle authentication, there will be a conflict between the basic authentication model and the normal shopper authentication model on the storefront. To handle this, there is an alternative login (same credentials) that will be served to those browsers, circumventing the basic authentication conflict.

Storefront: Collection Navigation Widget 
New widget version for collections loads category data faster to improve rendering and overall widget performance. The widget loads only the data needed per viewport and also lazy loads category level data on demand as shoppers drill down the category tree.

Storefront: Improved Responsive Image Support 
ccResizeImage binding has been updated with HTML5 responsive support, using the srcset and sizes attributes. Hero, Product Listing, and Product Details widgets have been updated to use ccResizeImage instead of productImageSource.

Images can be configured to be more responsive using scrset and size attributes, so that HTML5 compliant browsers automatically download the correct image based on the available width, even on change of orientation between portrait and landscape, saving bandwidth.

Storefront: Points as a Currency (API Only)
Provides ability for merchants to create a new currency type called “points” using the API and set up a price list group using this new currency. This allows merchants to launch a separate site based entirely in points and enables shoppers to redeem points that have been accrued.

This is API only and requires the merchant bypass out of the box tax calls or set up own tax processing. Shipping must either be handled in points or via the external shipping calculator. The extensible payment framework can be leveraged to integrate with external loyalty engines. 

Catalog: SKU Bundles (Admin UI Support)
Allows merchants to combine multiple SKUs and create a new product/SKU bundle within the Admin UI, making it easy to set up and view the bundled SKUs. Includes ability to use the SKU Import/Export function to manage the bundled SKU setup. Allows merchants to repurposes existing SKUs and sell them in multiple configurations (e.g. gift bundles or baskets, pairing items to sell overstock or bundling items that shoppers already buy together often). 

This was previously available via API only.

NOTE: This feature does not support additional configurations by the shopper; only by the merchant.

Publishing: Selective Publishing Improvements
Merchants can now filter by user, see timestamped changes for all authors, and view selected assets and dependencies separately. This allows business users to filter and see only the assets they have modified, as well as opt to see all the users who have modified each item and when. Also allows users to easily differentiate between assets they have selected for publishing and the dependencies that also must be published, on the Final Review page.

Guided Search: Multi-Language Scalability
Guided Search capabilities have been improved to model data much more efficiently. The first feature to take advantage of this is multi-language applications which are now more easily manageable, with publish times for multi-language implemented reduced significantly.    

Integrations: External Commerce Item Data
Order items can now record attribute data that is not part of the commerce catalog and support item level attributes from external systems. This is especially useful for telco use cases, where a merchant may have a configured SKU with external item attributes, such as number of minutes or text allowances. 

While this feature is derived from telco requirements, it is a standalone generic feature that can be used by any OCCS customer. By leveraging this feature, merchants can defer as much or as little of the customization of products to an external system as they like.

Integrations: Handling Data in Bulk
Merchants can now import and export data in bulk using plug-ins, allowing for data to be brought in from an external system or data to be sent to an external system. Supports JSON and CSV formats. Objects supported: Accounts, Products, Collections, Catalogs, Profiles, and Inventory. 

Shows status of files uploaded and any errors. Triggers webhook on completion to notify any external systems. This process can support translations.

Tax: Tax Processor Configuration Enhancements  
Provides merchants with the ability to configure their tax processor settings directly from the OCCS Admin UI. Supports two out-of-the-box processors (Avatax and Vertex O-Series) and the customizable tax calc webhook option, as well as None where no tax processor has been configured.

The fields for configuration will change depending on which tax processor is selected. Only relevant fields are displayed when a particular processor is chosen, making it easier to do the setup.

Tax: External Tax Webhook  
Allows merchants to create their own tax calculation processing by allowing Commerce Cloud to make a call-out to retrieve the appropriate values. Gives merchants more flexibility in integrating with the tax calculation provider of choice. 

The UI includes a section where merchants can choose the tax provider, set warehouse location, and input the URL and credentials necessary to facilitate integration with an external system. Merchants are still required to build the intermediary integration between the tax processor and OCCS – the external tax webhook enables this to be done and will provide the data needed to facilitate a third party integration.

Tax: Tax Included/Excluded by Price Group
Merchants can now indicate if product prices include or exclude tax by specific price groups, especially useful for merchants selling in multiple countries and currencies. For example, merchants with products sold in USD may want tax listed as separate from the price, while products sold in EUR may want tax included in the price. 

Previously, this was a global setting. This must now be set at the price group level.

Assisted Selling Application: Split Shipping Support
Store associates can now provide assistance on orders with split shipping using ASA. Provides the ability to quickly and efficiently process orders that have items going to more than one location. 

NOTE: This doesn’t support use cases that mix fulfillment channels in the same order—for example, in-store with online. Customers must have all items shipped – they cannot have some shipped and walk out of the store with other items in the same order.

Assisted Selling Application: Opt-In/Out Email Settings Support
Allows in-store associates to opt shoppers into or out of marketing emails for a particular site and manage subscriptions using ASA. This feature is site-specific.

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