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Dear Retail community,

Beyond powerful POS document management and superb planning and forecast capabilities, SAP Customer Activity Repository serves as the Omnichannel Commerce Hub, which runs best and in full harmony with SAP Hybris Commerce as the Omnichannel Commerce Platform.

Without surprise SAP Hybris Commerce a key element in the SAP Retail Omnichannel reference architecture, and is well integrated with SAP Retail to run the full set of omnichannel business scenarios.

However, switching from a 3rd party digital commerce platform to SAP Hybris Commerce is not an overnight task but a project of its own. Therefore the omnichannel innovations in SAP CAR are designed to integrate also with 3rd party non-SAP commerce platforms.

As a prerequisite the 3rd party commerce platform has to be integrated with the SAP backend (SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA 1709) for master data, sales area (SAP sales org, distribution channel, …), retail article master data specialties (generic articles, product sets), product hierarchy, …, and typically processes the orders of a commerce platform for logistical fulfillment, billing etc. But this has to be done anyway when a digital commerce platform is to be integrated with SAP systems. So this is typically in place when retailers think about the integration with SAP Retail omnichannel innovations.

The SAP CAR based Omnichannel Article Availability and Sourcing (aka OAA) innovation was developed to serve as a framework for calling applications. SAP Hybris Commerce is such a calling application, and is integrated with OAA by the SAP Hybris Commerce integration package for SAP for Retail, which is free of charge for SAP Hybris Commerce licensed customers.

The Hybris Commerce integration package not only provides the full retail master data, OAA and order integration, but also the integration with SAP CAR based Omnichannel Promotion Pricing, Hybris Marketing for product and offer recommendations. In addition it integrates the Hybris Assisted Service Mode with SAP CAR, SAP ERP and SAP Hybris Marketing for the comprehensive integration of physical store sales activities with digital commerce (no blog yet), making professional clienteling and endless aisle scenarios possible.

But coming back to the headline:

How can a 3rd party commerce platform integrate with the SAP CAR based Omnichannel Availability and Sourcing:

The integration of a commerce platform (here SAP Hybris Commerce “yCommerce”) with OAA is twofold:

  • Asynchronous integration (using iDocs)
    • Stores and DCs from SAP CAR to yCommerce
    • Aggregated stock qty + rough stock indicator from OAA to yCommerce and SOLR search engine (for the search index)
      • Periodically full and delta update from OAA into yCommerce and SOLR
      • This replication of stock inventory and RSI’s into yCommerce is required to “relieve” SAP CAR from the vast majority of synchronous calls for inventory checks (product lists, search results, customers browsing through categories, checking product details), leaving computing capacity for more relevant calls (shopping basket, checkout)
    • Periodical replication of web orders from yCommerce to SAP backend
  • Synchronous integration (real-time) using REST web services
    • Omnichannel availability check by yCommerce in SAP CAR
    • Omnichannel sourcing by yCommerce in CAR
    • Temporary reservation of sourcing results during checkout by yCommerce in CAR

 

Fig.1: Omnichannel Article Availability and Sourcing- Integration and simplified process diagram

The REST web services and iDocs used by OAA are described in my blog in the Omnichannel Customer Wiki > Helpful links for OAA developers.

In addition to the asynchronous and synchronous integration there is a failsafe mechanism in SAP Hybris Commerce and the integration package, to run the commerce platform offline in case SAP CAR is not responding in time. See my OAA blog in chapter “Offline scenario”.

I hope this blog helps you to understand what is required when integrating OAA with a 3rd party commerce platform.

 

Feel free to drop your comments and questions below.

Best regards,

Ingo

 

Dr. Ingo Woesner
Global Director, Outbound Product Management Retail Omni-Channel
SAP SE
ingo.woesner@sap.com
www.sap.com

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