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SAP CRM 7.0: Ease collaboration with your partners with a set of runtime product catalog Web Services

With SAP CRM 7.0 a set of Web services is provided for the runtime product catalog of SAP CRM. The runtime catalog is the published product catalog, which is available on the SAP TREX for presentation in a SAP CRM Web shop of the CRM Product catalog JSP Web application.

Via the provided Web services you can enable your partners to request and get data from your published product catalog and make use of this data in their own Web shops or Web sites.

Example: Your company produces a wider range of hardware and software products. You have a partner that is specialised on selling only DTP software. They have built up an own Web shop in which they also want to sell your companies DTP software. However for the partner it is difficult to keep up to date with the range of DTP software products you provide, with the product descriptions, product images, characteristics and prices of your software that they want to present in their Web shop. For this you inform your partner about a few Web services you provide. via these Web services the partner can easily retrieve the list of your currently available DTP software products from your published product catalog and get all the latest information about them like images, descriptions, characteristics. The partner can integrate this information on the fly in their Web shop.   

The set of Web services contains the following Web services:

  • GetCatalogAreaHierarchy 
  • GetCatalogArea
  • SearchCatalogItem
  • GetItemDetails

Let’s have a look at the individual Web services in detail:

1. GetCatalogAreaHierarchy
Via this Web service it is possible to read the complete product catalog hierarchy of your published product catalog including all product catalog areas and hierarchical dependencies between the product catalog areas.
As the Web service is built on top of the CRM Product Catalog JSP Web application you need to provide a Shop ID and a XCM scenario ID when calling the Web service. If you also want to get only the hierarchy returned that is relevant for a specific business partner, you can pass the sold-to ID, a user and a password when calling the Web service. 

When calling the CRM Product Catalog Web Application the published product catalog hierarchy looks as shown on the left in the picture below. If the published product catalog hierarchy is requested by the GetCatalogAreaHierarchy Web service the result looks as shown on the right side in the picture below. As you can see the area descriptions and superordinated areas are provided for all areas as shown if the product catalog would be called in the Web shop and displayed via the Web browser.   



2. GetCatalogArea
The GetCatalogArea Web service returns all information available for a specific product catalog area such as area description, texts, images and a list of the area item including a small set of information about each area item. The Catalog Area is identified by the XCM configuration to be used and the Web Shop Configuration ID as well as the Catalog Area ID (GUID). If requested, a list of item characteristics can be included in the Web service result. These characteristics can later be used for the search of a particular item via the SearchCatalogItem Web service. It is also optional to include prices in the area item list since this causes an additional load on the IPC and is not always necessary. The area item list in the Web service result contains a set of item details for each area item like shown in the CRM Web shop when the area item list is called in the CRM Product Catalog Web Application and shown in the Web browser. This includes the item description, the item price and a link to the item Thumbnail picture.


3. SearchCatalogItem
This Web service allows to place simple and complex search requests against the published product catalog. Complex search requests can be assembled using the locData structure which can contain a list of criteria. To limit the size of the responses, only a set of the search results can be returned as identified by startIdx and endIdx. Further queries can retrieve additional pages from the search results. The search term accepts fuzzy search characters like ? and *. The result list of this Web service is the same as an identical search placed on the Web shop running on top of the CRM Product Catalog Web application would return.


4. GetItemDetails
The GetItemDetails Web service allows to get all details of a particular product catalog item that are available in the published product catalog for this catalog item. This includes information about the item such as the item description, texts, images, attributes, prices and item availability.


What are the prerequisites to run these Web services?

  • Full Web Channel Infrastructure available (CRM, J2EE, TREX)
  • Product catalog published from SAP CRM server to SAP TREX
  • crm~catalog (CRM Product Catalog) Web application deployed with proper XCM configuration to connect to the CRM backend system
  • At least one Web shop maintained in Web shop Management application. This Web shop needs to be used by the before mentioned XCM configuration
  • IPC available and configured if real-time pricing is required
  • User for the Web Service only required in a B2B XCM configuration with customer specific prices
  • Access from the Web Service client to the HTTP port of the J2EE

I hope this gave you a good idea of the Web services provided for the published product catalog.

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