Posted by Sathya Raghavendran
With any new release, users must consider whether an upgrade will provide tangible benefits for the organization. The new Oracle Commerce 11.3 release features many notable improvements, including a shift towards amore industry standard architecture, as well as significant improvements in performance, ease-of-use, and flexibility. It also adds out of the box functionality, improves speed, and offers better cloud support. This new version solves a number of development challenges and streamlines the burden on already overextended IT teams. Here are some of the highlights of this new version:
Improvements to the platform & commerce engine: The 11.3 release moves to the REST architecture to incorporate best practices, align with industry shifts, and provide users with increased flexibility. This release is level three compliant with the Richardson Maturity Model and enables interested users to move towards a micro-services architecture. Furthermore, it also includes HATEOAS design concepts that facilitate simpler commerce. If a user queries a category, the responses have data and a link to the REST endpoints that access that product.
Stateless option: Oracle 11.3 also moves towards providing stateless capabilities that facilitate a micro-services architecture. Organizations can have certain services on one application and different services on another, but still connect these applications. This marks a shift from past ATG-centric types of resources like foreign handlers, droplets, etc., and moves to generic objects and resources such as prices, SKUs and profiles. This simplifies programming and enables developers with different backgrounds to use Oracle 11.3 without a steep learning curve.
Out of the box services: Oracle has simplified development and sped up implementation with new ‘out of the box’ services for core functions. Using http verbs, it offers generic resources for core components such as cart, order, categories, prices, products, payment groups and more. These resources simplify programming and speed time to development.
Improved utilities: Oracle has optimized the purge and repository functions. Users will find a significant increase in purging speed. This improvement enables efficient nightly or weekly purges that do not impact business users. This release also offers more efficient memory usage. It features multiple threads that enable users to export larger catalogs at greater speed. This will be a welcome relief for customers with larger catalogs since these users struggled with version 11.2.
Enhanced Content Administration: The 11.3 release removes most uses of the secondary asset in the version repository. This improves the stability in content administration deployment and operations and simplifies SQL queries to provide additional performance gains.
Guided Search Improvements: Instead of the old individual language indicies, this version offers new multi-language indexing. It also adds support for wildcards and type-ahead functionality for a number of previously unsupported languages while offering fully dynamic language processing to improve the flexibility and accuracy of type-ahead results. In today’s global e-commerce environment, support for additional languages and their intricacies provides an enormous boost in the quality of relevancy. This additional language support really sets Endeca apart from a lot of other technologies on the market which tend to have an English, Latin or Romance language focus.
The 11.3 release also includes dedicated REST APIs for core guided search application modification. This simplifies configuration and enables automation and integration with additional systems. Furthermore, users will see enhanced controls for exporting content between environments, simplified control of customized search, and easier configuration management and back-up.
New business user tools: The new version makes it easier to extend and customize UIs. Oracle has updated 11.3 to provide a clean and consistent user experience by re-writing the site admin as well as the targeting and segmentation areas. Moving from Flex to JET makes the business control center easier to access and edit. It includes a new tree on the left side of the screen to easily see what sites are in which group, and enables easy, immediate edits with no hidden states.
New JET experience manager cartridges: Experience Manager cartridges move from Flex to JET to make these tools more flexible and easy to use. By standardizing the design, it simplifies the experience across the UI. In addition, Oracle re-wrote the rule list, increasing accessibility with JSON input and output formats that are easier to use and utilize memory more efficiently. The new UI for experience templates will also relieve the performance problems experienced by 11.2 customers that use a large quantity of rules. This version enables quicker loading, sorting, and searching.
Improved cloud flexibility: Oracle incorporates more flexibility around how users run software and move to the cloud. It leverages Oracle’s cloud structure stability and expandability and is now verified to run on Oracle Public Cloud and Cloud Machine.
Pros: With the release of Oracle Commerce 11.3, Oracle makes some substantial improvements to its commerce engine’s design and function. The 11.3 release incorporates a more industry standard architecture that is easier and more intuitive for programmers.
Cons: Our observation, based on market feedback, is that the 11.3 release still has a few kinks to be worked out, so consider waiting for a few of the service packs to be released.
For more information on Oracle Commerce 11.3 and whether it can solve your e-commerce challenges, contact us or call us at 866-966-9985.