This chapter covers the following topics:
Fully integrated with the Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle iStore is a powerful tool that allows businesses to create and manage online e-commerce sites. A highly configurable Java application, Oracle iStore employs Oracle foundation and back-end applications along with its own comprehensive Java and PL/SQL programming and logic to deliver a high-end application that responds to the growing need for online commerce in business-to-business (B2B), business partner, and business-to-consumer (B2C) electronic scenarios.
Oracle iStore lets businesses create, manage, and personalize powerful Internet storefronts in a secure and scalable environment.
Oracle iStore contains two user interfaces:
The Site Administration Application:
The Site Administration Application allows site administrators to create and maintain multiple sites, catalogs, and related business rules, as well as access business and operational reports.
Site Administration features and functionality are covered in Chapter 2, Site Administration User Interface.
The Customer Application:
This is the customer-facing application which features shopping carts and lists, cart sharing, a full range of order taking and tracking capabilities, e-mail notifications of user events, quote retrieval and updates, marketing, guided selling, and more.
The Customer Application features and functionality are covered in Chapter 3, Customer User Interface.
Together, the Site Administration and Customer user interfaces provide a compelling e-commerce package.
Integration with other Oracle applications provides support and additional functionality, including:
Oracle Forms and HTML technology stacks
Quotes and sales representative assistance
Credit card authorization
Configured items, including telecommunications items
Human resource management
Reporting and visit tracking
Financials and procurement
Oracle iStore allows businesses from all industries to establish business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) electronic commerce (e-commerce). Oracle iStore provides merchants with an easy-to-use interface for setting up specialty sites that capture and process customer orders. In addition, integration with other Oracle applications provides a broad range of e-commerce capabilities.
Implementing Oracle iStore lets you:
Build, test, and launch sophisticated online stores in multiple languages and currencies
Provide a full range of online purchasing capabilities, including flexible pricing, sales assistance, storage of customer data, shared carts, shopping lists, warranties, order tracking and returns, and more
Deploy sites in business partner, business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) scenarios
Target different customer segments and/or organizations
Capture and track customer information and activities
View reports about the activities in the online stores
In addition, organizations can build integrated sites which support users of Oracle iSupport and Oracle Partner Management applications. Integration with Oracle Web Analytics allows tracking of site visits and provides a wide range of site tracking reports.
Key features and benefits of Oracle iStore are discussed in this section.
The friendly interface of the Site Administration Application allows you to configure sites which are then presented as specialty sites in the Internet-enabled, customer-facing application known as the Customer Application.
The Site Administration Application allows you to perform the following main functions:
Create and maintain of any number of sites
Easily duplicate sites, catalogs, and content
In Preview mode, immediately preview the sites
Configure the display order of site names as they are presented in the Customer UI
Utilize powerful search utilities built into each main page
Target different customer segments with different sites and catalogs
Support globalization features, such as multiple languages and currencies
Brand each site differently
Provide different content for the same product on different sites
Enable different payment and shipping methods for each site
Set different price lists on each site for each user type (guest, B2C, B2B, partners)
Set attributes at the site level (such as allowing guest users, allowing ATP checks, etc.)
Restrict sites via user responsibilities
Set organization-level access controls
Enable tracking and metrics reporting sites, if integrating with Oracle Web Analytics.
Leveraging a unified, central application and repository of products and content, each site can have its own:
Payment type thresholds
Product and section exclusion rules
Visits reporting status (applicable if integrating with Oracle Web Analytics)
A full catalog management application is provided in the Site Administration Application, giving you a highly configurable Internet product presentation. Leveraging the powerful Oracle Inventory on the back-end and Oracle iStore's section building tool in the Site Administration Application, the Catalog is a flexible tool which supports multiple languages and currencies. Highlights include:
A section (catalog) hierarchy that can be as simple or complex as your business requirements necessitate. Sections are created in parent-child relationships. Products "hang" on nodes of the section hierarchy.
Ability to control the browsing experience of the customer through section and subsection presentation.
Cross-sell capabilities using the seeded Related items relationship, as well as support for a variety of other relationships between products, sections, and Inventory categories.
A built-in search utility which allows you to locate a product by entering several criteria, including product name, number, category, description, as well as searching by sites that contain the product.
Product search can support both Section Search and Category Search.
Optional integration with Oracle interMedia allows you to set up a powerful product search in the specialty sites.
A Display Template gallery which lets you quickly pick, in WYSIWYG fashion, the layout of individual or groups of sections and products.
Configurable bins to which you can map your own JSPs and position along the sides, tops, and bottoms of catalog, shopping cart, and user registration pages. Several of the bins are pre-seeded with content.
The ability to construct targeted catalogs accessible to segments of customers.
The ability to exclude catalog portions from specific sites.
Product autoplacement feature which allows the populating of sections with products through a single concurrent program.
Support for several product types, including serviceable items, configured items, and model bundles.
Flexible pricing support, including promotional goods modifiers and sites as pricing qualifiers.
Optional integration with Oracle Marketing allows you to create and maintain Inventory products, product templates, and several other product parameters.
Hundreds of configurable Display Templates present the Customer UI. This rich catalog display environment presents a multitude of possibilities for mapping content files to alter the look and feel of the specialty sites.
Concurrent programs that allow you to copy sections with 1000-plus children and to cascade layout mappings to child sections.
Re-usable content components and media objects.
Easy-to-use interface for mapping source files to the media objects.
Components and objects that are organized by type of display they effect.
Framework for reusing a single source file in any number of site catalog pages.
Ability to map content to specific sites and languages combinations.
Easily update files which display in the specialty sites.
Easily integrate with third-party catalogs to facilitate a Procurement Punchout implementation.
Complete integration with Oracle Content Manager to provide content item creation, versioning, approvals, and a translation interface.
Oracle iStore supplies a variety of data that feeds the metrics in several e-commerce business intelligence and operational reports. The operational reports are presented in Oracle Discoverer Viewer and the e-commerce intelligence reports in Oracle E-Commerce Intelligence, which leverages both the former Oracle iStore DBI framework and Oracle Web Analytics reporting. Together these reports provide a rich collection of valuable data about your sites, your customers, and their ordering activity.
Orders placed or cancelled
Forgotten passwords and login assistance
Sales assistance requests
In addition, e-mail messages can be configured by organization, store, and user type, giving you immense flexibility in communicating with your customers.
This functionality is provided through Oracle iStore's integration with Oracle Workflow.
The Lead Import concurrent program pulls customer data from orders and expired carts into database tables for use in other Oracle applications
The Product Search concurrent program automatically populates necessary tables with product updates for use in the Customer Application product search
Reports Fact Tables Refresh supplies automatic updates of transactional and operational data about the sites
Concurrent programs exists that duplicate large sections and cascade section layout mappings to child sections.
The Express Checkout concurrent program converts Express Checkout shopping carts into orders.
Two concurrent programs export or import Display Template mappings using XML files.
The iStore Autoplacement concurrent program can be used to populate leaf sections with products from Oracle Inventory categories.
Oracle iStore offers a full user management and registration framework in the Customer Application. For B2B users, seeded roles and permissions offer personalized features for different customer segments and business partners. Automatic user registration enables self-service access to the sites. Highlights include:
Business-to-Business (B2B) functionality allows management of complex relationships with corporate customers in a self-service environment, including the ability to restrict access by organization. The seeded Primary User role allows organizational users to set up and manage a community of business users.
Ability to prevent primary users from creating other users by setting a profile option.
Online Access to Existing Account functionality provides quick online access for users who have placed orders through channels other than Oracle iStore.
Support for customers integrated with Oracle iSupport and Oracle Partner Management.
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) functionality allows you to quickly launch an online presence to the buying public.
Supplied integration with the Oracle customer data storage model, Oracle Trading Community Architecture (TCA), provides the ability to maintain customer information and complex party relationships.
Address Book and Payment Book functionality in the Customer Application allows users to maintain their own data.
Ability to mandate the entry of B2B user contact information.
Optional integration with Oracle Quoting allows interactive selling and online user assistance.
Global accounting through Oracle General Ledger allows you to set up multiple sets of books and business calendars.
Oracle Multiple Organization Architecture gives you the ability to create and manage multiple organizations, inventory units, and warehouses internationally.
Multiple currency support allows you to deploy sites --- with targeted products and prices --- in any country.
The globally-oriented Site Selection Page is the default landing page for the Customer UI. It displays all sites in your implementation, with separate links for each supported language.
Seeded media objects for specific languages, allowing you to display country-specific images for each language.
Templates which can show taxes, payment and shipping methods, and address formats which are particular to a country for which the site has been set up.
E-mail notification messages leveraging Oracle Workflow can be provided in all languages, and configured by organization, user type, and site.
Oracle iStore provides numerous options for interactive selling, user assistance, and ordering options for customers in the Customer Application. Highlight include:
Online contract negotiation (terms and conditions)
Shared shopping carts
Guided selling and product configuration online
Product model bundles
Ability to capture end customer data during checkout
Opt in/opt out capabilities
Real-time inventory checks and reservations
Shipping priority, instructions, and ship to multiple locations
Billing to multiple locations
Automatic e-mail notifications
Supplied integration with the Oracle Order Management Suite's powerful combination of order processing tools provide a complete range of order management and fulfillment functions. Highlights include:
Instant order transmission and fulfillment through Oracle Order Management
Shipping and shipment tracking capabilities through Oracle Shipping
Online automated payment processing through integration with Oracle Order Capture
Order cancellation abilities
Optional integration with Oracle Financial applications can provide accounting support
Order tracking, including the ability to view invoice, shipping, and payment details
Published quotes, sales assistance and Terms and Conditions fully integrated with Oracle Quoting
Lead import functionality which allows the capture of valuable customer information from Oracle iStore shopping carts. Oracle Sales applications then can use the data in marketing efforts.
Ability to post advertisements into Oracle iStore Customer Application bins, an option which leverages integration with Oracle Marketing.
Customer event tracking and real time personalized recommendations through Oracle Marketing's integration with Oracle Personalization.
Ability to create deep link advertisements to the Oracle iStore Customer Application in other web pages.
Oracle iStore includes the following business objects, components and processes, which allow it to store data, process information, and communicate with the Oracle database and other Oracle applications:
Business Objects: The schema for representing and storing customers, orders, product catalog and presentation elements. These entities are persistent, shared across all Oracle applications, and manipulated by Java Application Programming Interfaces (API) provided within Oracle iStore's runtime services.
Runtime Services and APIs: The coupling of certain common services available within all e-commerce applications (Oracle Foundation) and Java-based APIs (includes some PL/SQL APIs). This combination queries Oracle iStore's persistent storage of objects and relationships and enables update operations.
Support for Internet technologies: Oracle iStore offers specific support for implementing the caching of Web pages, secure socket layer connections, de-militarized zone environments, and search engine indexing.
Configurable Customer Application templates: All Customer Application menus and pages are customizable using logical template names.
Processing and routing templates: Working in combination with the Display Templates, the processing and routing templates contain the logic and appropriate business flows through the specialty sites.
Oracle BLAF: Both the Site Administration and Customer user interfaces offer the Oracle BLAF (browser look and feel) compliant user interfaces (UI). The Oracle BLAF UI provides consistent look and feel and similar task flows across the Oracle E-Business Suite applications. All section and item runtime templates are BLAF compliant.
The Oracle Technology Stack provides the fundamental technology stack for Oracle Application Object Library, Oracle Forms and Oracle E-Business Suite applications. The modules within the technology stack allow user creation and maintenance, application setups, and ways to customize the applications.
Oracle Receivables calculates taxes and generates invoices. Bundled with the install of Oracle Receivables is the Oracle centralized data repository for customer information -- the Trading Community Architecture (TCA) model. Customer registration information is maintained in the TCA/Oracle Receivables schema.
Oracle E-Business Tax provides tax rate information for Oracle iStore.
Oracle General Ledger (GL) provides business unit information to Oracle iStore. In it, you can define your accounting structure, business calendars, define and enable currencies, and manage your business units.
Oracle Human Resources Management System (HRMS) stores information related to your organization. Use HRMS to set up employees and bill-to and ship-to countries.
Oracle Inventory serves as the repository of products that can be sold through Oracle iStore.
The Oracle Order Management suite of applications processes, records, and tracks customer orders and shipping details; allows you to set up basic pricing; allows setup of payment and shipping options; and can facilitate returned orders. Oracle Order Management integrates with Oracle iStore via Oracle Order Capture APIs and schema.
For more information, see the Oracle iStore Implementation and Administration Guide and the respective product documentation.
Oracle Advanced Pricing: Use Oracle Advanced Pricing to set up customer discounts, sourcing rules, pricing qualifiers, and pricing modifiers.
Oracle Advanced Supply Chain: Use Oracle Advanced Supply Chain (Global ATP Server) to provide product availability information.
Oracle Application Server Web Cache: Use Oracle Application Server Web Cache to serve the non-transactional Oracle iStore content.
Oracle Bills of Material: Use Oracle Bills of Material to set up configurable items, model bundles, and items with standard warranties for sale in your sites.
Oracle Call Center Technology: Use the Oracle Call Center Technology (CCT) suite of applications to process call-me-back requests.
Oracle Configurator: Use Oracle Configurator to enable customer configured products, provide guided selling, and perform some of the shopping cart validations.
Oracle Content Management: Oracle Content Manager is an integrated content management system for Oracle's E-Business Suite. OCM provides content management building blocks and manages unstructured data through create, approval, publish, and release lifecycles. OCM has a central repository that manages folders, versions, and translations, and enables an organization to collaboratively work on content with associated workflows.
Oracle Customer Care: The Oracle Customer Care suite of applications provides a complete view of the customer by displaying relevant customer information. Customer Care allows agents to alter customer data and create interactions with the customer.
Oracle iSupport: Use Oracle iSupport to provide self-service service request submission, order details views, return for credit authorizations, knowledge management, Installed Base access, and user forums. You also can integrate Oracle iStore specialty sites with Oracle iSupport to provide support for users of both applications.
Oracle Installed Base: Use Oracle Installed Base to maintain -- and allow customers to maintain -- a repository of purchase information, including purchase date, product attributes, and applicable service agreements. Oracle Installed Base maintains information about purchased products in a tree structure showing all of the parent and child assemblies.
Oracle Marketing: Use Oracle Marketing to define, execute, and manage marketing campaigns, budgets, and segments across all channels, and to define promotions and discounts. You also can use Oracle Marketing to allow the creation and management of Oracle Inventory products.
Oracle Payments: Oracle iStore uses the Oracle Payments integration with third-party applications to authorize credit card transactions.
Oracle Partner Management: You can integrate Oracle iStore specialty sites with Oracle Partner Management to provide support for users of both applications.
Oracle Procurement: Use Oracle Procurement to provide Direct Punchout Catalog functionality from within the Oracle iStore Customer Application.
Oracle Quoting: Use Oracle Quoting to create quotes that can be published to Oracle iStore web specialty sites and to capture carts as quotes when users request Sales Assistance.
Oracle Sales Applications: Use Oracle Sales Online and Oracle TeleSales to import sales leads from Oracle iStore orders and expired shopping carts.
Oracle Sales Contracts: Use Oracle Sales Contracts for Terms and Conditions, Contract Expert, and Unstructured Contract Terms functionality.
Oracle Service Contracts: Oracle Service Contracts can assist in providing support for selling serviceable items and their related services in the Customer Application.
Oracle Single Sign-On Server: Use Oracle Single Sign-On Server to provide single-authentication architecture.
Oracle Web Analytics: Use Oracle Web Analytics to track Oracle iStore Customer Application Web site visits and to report on these visits.
Oracle Workflow: Use Oracle Workflow to send e-mail notifications and confirmations to customers and sales representatives.
For more information, see the Oracle iStore Implementation and Administration Guide and the respective product documentation.