Key tasks: Create retail product catalogs [AX 2012]

Updated: April 24, 2014

Applies To: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

In Retail, you can use product catalogs to identify the products that you want to offer in your stores. When you create a catalog, you add the stores that the catalog is being created for. The products in the catalog are selected from the product assortments that are assigned to the stores.

After you add the products to the catalog, you can enhance the product offerings by adding attribute data such as HTML rich text, images, and videos. After you complete the catalog, you validate it to verify the required data and then submit the catalog for review and approval. After the catalog is approved, it can be published.

When the catalog is published, the product listings are generated and the products are made available in the store.

You can use product catalogs for online stores. If Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is installed, you can also use catalogs to add product attributes for products that are offered in retail brick-and-mortar stores and call centers. For information about how to create a product catalog for call centers, see Create call center catalogs. For information about how to create a catalog for brick-and-mortar stores, complete the tasks in this topic.

Prerequisites

Before you create a catalog, you must set up the retail channel that the catalog is assigned to. For online stores, you must also publish the store to a Microsoft SharePoint site. For more information about how to set up a retail channel, see Set up a retail store or Set up an online store.

Click these links to find more information about the concepts that are discussed in this topic.

About retail product catalogs

Create a catalog for one or more online stores. Add the products that you want to include in the catalog, and then review and update the attributes for the products.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Action Pane, in the New group, click Catalog to create a new catalog.

    You can also create a new catalog by copying an existing catalog. To copy a catalog, on the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Copy.

  2. In the Create new catalog dialog box, enter a name and description for the catalog.

  3. In the Catalogs form, on the General FastTab, select the catalog owner and enter an effective date and expiration date for the catalog.

    When the catalog is published, the effective date and expiration date are used to determine when to make the products available in the online store. The Expiration date is optional. Leave this field blank if the catalog does not expire.

  4. On the Retail channels FastTab, click Add.

  5. In the Choose organization nodes form, select the online stores that the catalog applies to, and then click Add >>. In AX 2012 R3, for a brick-and-mortar store catalog, select the brick-and-mortar store.

    Close the form.

  6. On the Action Pane, in the Products group, click Add products.

    To add products to a specific category, select a category in the category navigation pane, and then, on the Products FastTab, click Add.

  7. In the Add products form, select the check box next to the products that you want to add, click Add, and then click OK. The product list is filtered by the assortments that are assigned to the online stores that you selected on the Retail channels FastTab.

    NoteNote

    If you add a product master to the catalog, any variants that are defined for the product master are also automatically added to the catalog. When the catalog is published, the product master and all of its variants are made available in the online store.

    Products that are assigned to a category are automatically added to that category in the catalog. Products that are not assigned to a category are added to the Uncategorized category in the catalog. Products in the Uncategorized category must be manually assigned to the appropriate category in the catalog.

  8. To assign any uncategorized products to the appropriate category in the catalog, follow these steps:

    1. In the category navigation pane, select the Uncategorized category.

    2. On the Products FastTab, select the products that you want to categorize.

    3. Click Categorize products.

    4. Select the categories to move the products to.

      You can select one or more products to move to single category at the same time. To move products to different categories, you must select them and move them one at a time.

  9. In the category navigation pane, select each category in the catalog and do one or more of the following:

    • On the Products FastTab, review the list of products.

    • Click Add to add products to the selected category.

    • Click Remove to remove any products from the selected category. If the catalog has not been published, you can delete the products from the catalog category. If the catalog has been published, you can remove products from the catalog category, but the catalog must be republished for the product listings to be removed from the online store.

      NoteNote

      To remove products from the whole catalog, on the Action Pane, click Remove products, and then in the Remove products dialog box, select the products that you want to remove.

    • Click Related products to open the Related products form and view the list of products that are associated with the product. You can select whether to include or exclude the related products in the catalog.

  10. Click Attributes to view the attributes that are assigned to the products and to add or modify attribute values. If HTML rich text attributes, image attributes, or video attributes are assigned to the product, in the Product attribute values form, click Edit to add the HTML rich text or the URLs for the images or video files.

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After you finish setting up the catalog, you must run the validation process to verify that the required data is complete and that the catalog can be published. This process verifies that required data for channel attributes and product attributes is complete and valid. The process also verifies that the online stores that are assigned to the catalog are complete and valid, and have a status of Published.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Edit.

  2. In the Catalogs form, on the Action Pane, in the Publish group, click Validate catalog.

  3. In the Validate catalog form, click Validate catalog. Then, in the Validate catalog dialog, leave the fields as they appear by default, or select the Batch processing check box to run the process as a batch job, and click OK to run the validation process.

    If the validation process has never been run for the catalog, the fields in the form are blank. If the validation process has previously been run for the catalog, the results from the last validation are displayed in the form. You can run the validation process as many times as you have to.

  4. In the Channel summary section, review any errors or warnings for the online store.

  5. In the Product summary section, in the Channel field, select the online stores that are assigned to the catalog, and then review any errors or warnings for the products.

  6. Correct any errors that are found by the validation process. Then, repeat steps 2 through 5 until the catalog is valid and ready to be submitted for review.

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After a catalog is validated, you can submit the catalog for review and approval. A catalog must be approved before it can be published. You can configure workflow so that catalogs are either automatically approved or require manual approval.

For information about how to configure workflow for retail product catalogs, see Set up workflow for retail catalogs.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Edit.

  2. In the Catalogs form, in the workflow message bar, click Submit.

    The catalog status is changed from Draft to Submitted for approval. When the catalog is approved, the catalog status is changed to Approved.

  3. If you are an approver, in the Catalogs form, in the workflow message bar, click Approve.

    When the catalog is approved, the catalog status is changed to Approved.

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Publishing a catalog makes products and product information available in a specific online store. You can publish your catalogs manually, or you can use a batch process to publish based on a schedule. Before you can publish a catalog, the catalog must be validated and approved. To change the catalog after it is published, you can retract the catalog, and then republish it to push those changes to the online store.

NoteNote

If you change a category in a navigation category hierarchy that is assigned to an online store or a retail product catalog, you must republish the channel or catalog as follows:

  • If you add or delete a category node, republish the channel and the catalog that use the category hierarchy.

  • If you activate or inactivate a category, assign any products to active categories, and then republish the channel and the catalog that use the category hierarchy.

  • If you change the name of a category, republish the channel that uses the category hierarchy.

  1. Click Retail > Common > Catalogs > Catalogs. On the Catalogs list page, select a catalog, and then, on the Action Pane, in the Maintain group, click Edit.

  2. In the Catalogs form, on the Action Pane, in the Publish group, click Publish.

  3. In the Publish catalog form, in the Publish field, select one of the following options:

    • Only products that have changed – Select this option to publish only the changes that were made to a catalog since it was last published.

    • All products – Select this option if this is the first time the catalog is being published, or if you want to republish the whole catalog.

  4. In the Product totals by channel grid, review the total number of product listings to be created, updated, or deleted when the publishing process is completed.

  5. Click OK to start the publishing process.

  6. In the Catalogs form, on the Retail channels FastTab, select an online store, and then click Listings.

    Alternatively, on the Products FastTab, click Listings to review the product listings for a specific category.

  7. In the Listings form, review the product listings that the publishing process is creating, updating, or deleting for the selected online store. You can also review the listing status that is updated by Microsoft Dynamics AX Commerce Runtime. The following statuses are displayed:

    • In progress – The catalog is being published, republished, or retracted.

    • Success – The publishing process is completed and the product listings have been updated in the online store.

    • Error – An error occurred, and the product listing could not be processed.

  8. In AX 2012 R3: For catalogs that are set up for brick-and-mortar stores, run the catalog scheduler job to send the updated data to the Retail stores.

    1. Click Retail > Periodic > Data distribution > Distribution schedule.

    2. In the Distribution schedule form, in the left pane, in the Name column, select the 1150 (Catalog) scheduler job.

    3. To run the job manually or in batch mode, do one of the following:

      • To manually run the scheduler job, on the menu bar at the top of the form, click Run now.

      • To run the scheduler job in batch mode, on the Scheduler jobs FastTab, verify that the Enabled check box is selected for the job, and then click Create batch job. In the form that is displayed, enter information about the batch job. For more information about the options in the form, see Submit a batch processing job from a form.

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