SharePoint Commerce Services Overview
Commerce Server 2009 is designed to allow you to create Web sites that support full e-commerce applications by leveraging the Commerce Server engine with Microsoft SharePoint as a presentation front end. A SharePoint-based e-commerce site is a collection of Web Parts, each with a specific purpose, which can be combined on a SharePoint site to provide e-commerce based functionality. You can create site pages for displaying customer profile information, showing catalog items, summarizing orders, and many other purposes, all composed of Web Parts interconnected together and communicating through Microsoft Multi-Channel Commerce Foundation to Commerce Server 2009. By coupling Commerce Server 2009 with these Web Parts, a single developer or knowledgeable user can create, deploy, and manage an e-commerce site quickly and easily.
Important When using Commerce Server 2009 web parts, applying changes directly on the production site might have non-expected effects. The best practice is to build a staging version of the site and changes can be made on that site. Once approved, the changes can be pushed to production using SharePoint Content Deployment. For more details see How to use Content Deployment to stage a SharePoint implementation with Commerce Server.
The available Web Parts fall into six categories:
Catalog Web Parts display available products or services
Marketing Web Parts manage advertisements, special offers, and other marketing programs
Orders Web Parts handle ordering of products or services
Profile Administration System Web Parts contain information about customers
Management Web Parts add management capabilities
Search Web Parts handle the search feature
For each category there are separate Web Parts for specific functions. For example, the Orders category has Web Parts for creating a shopping cart, adding new items to the shopping cart, retrieving shipping information, processing credit card numbers, and so on. By interconnecting the Web Parts, you can create a logic work flow for many different scenarios. Because you are using Web Parts, site creation with Commerce Server 2009 is faster and simpler than ever before.