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Chapter 7. Application design guidelines
Applications running in the Marketplace Edition are Java-based applications
that run under the WebSphere Application Server. Accordingly, many of the
considerations involved in the design of these applications are similar to
those for conventional e-commerce sites developed with WebSphere
Commerce Suite 41.
In this chapter, we present these considerations in the context of the
components, technologies and techniques available to you within the
Marketplace Edition application environment. Beginning with an introduction
to the features and core technologies offered in the Marketplace Edition, we
progress to discussing the core components of the Marketplace Edition
environment by looking at both the application elements it contains as well as
the general structure of an e-Marketplace application. Following this, we look
more closely at the technical details of how some of these technologies work
and interact with the other components inside the e-Marketplace. Finally, we
cover a number of topics including session management, security, and
performance to assist you in identifying potential areas of weakness in your
application design.
7.1 High-level feature summary of the Marketplace Edition
It is important that you have an understanding of the components and
features available in the Marketplace Edition in order to design the best
possible application for your problem domain.
While this is covered thoroughly in Chapter 10, Marketplace Edition
overview on page 195, some of the primary components and features in
Marketplace Edition are presented in this section as they may have an impact
on how you approach the design your applications.
7.1.1 Features
At a high level, the components available in the Marketplace Edition span the
areas of:
Ordering
Membership and registration
Access control
Catalog and catalog aggregation
Approval flow
90 e-Marketplace Pattern using WebSphere Commerce Suite, Marketplace Edition
Negotiation subsystem - exchange, RFQ and auction
Pricing and contracts
Reporting
Management of the hub business
As you can see, there is a great variety of application components offered in
the Marketplace Edition product. The result of this is that your applications
and customizations are likely to be far more complex than traditional online
buying applications.
7.1.2 Modifications to WCS 4.1
While the basis of the Marketplace Edition is WebSphere Commerce Suite
4.1, there are a number of significant enhancements to this foundation.
Some of the areas of change are:
Database schema
Aggregate catalog (comprising of data from multiple supplier catalogs)
C++ programming model
The addition of user roles
Approval flows
7.1.3 Processes
Modifications have been made to the traditional process of online buying. No
longer are we limited to simply adding an item to our shopping cart. We now
have new buying metaphors such as RFQ and Exchange in addition to the
Auction facility. We also have changes to how pricing is determined - base
prices, contractual prices agreed via RFQ or bids via the auction system.
In addition to this, we have to think about the integration of suppliers and
buyers. We can choose to integrate these entities via Web clients or via more
sophisticated methods such as real-time integration using message broking
technologies.
7.1.4 Players
The players that we have in a typical e-Marketplace are significantly different
from a conventional, e-commerce implementation. We are no longer limited to
the simple many-to-one buyer and supplier model typical of e-commerce
sites.

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