WebSphere Commerce V7 Social Commerce – Part I: Overview

Social commerce capabilities enable online stores to support product ratings and reviews via integration with BazaarVoice, blogs, photo galleries, and user profiles via integration with IBM Lotus® Connections and Pluck Sitelife. These integrations are provided in a vendor-agnostic manner using WebSphere sMash applications, provided with WebSphere Commerce.

Key features

  • Support for product-directed blogs, photo gallery, and user profiles
  • Vendor-agnostic integration via WebSphere sMash
  • Out-of-the-box WebSphere sMash applications for integration with IBM Lotus
  • Connections, BazaarVoice Ratings and Reviews, and Pluck Sitelife

Key benefits

  • Improves customer Web site experiences with brand engagement
  • Increased flexibility with vendor-agnostic integration

Ratings and Reviews

  • Blogs
  • Public user profiles
  • Photo and video gallery


  • Uses WebSphere sMash as the integration technology
  • Bazaarvoice for ratings and reviews

Social Commerce is built on sMash.

  • sMash is integration layer to external providers like Pluck and Bazaarvoice
  • sMash contains SPI layer for integrating external service providers
  • AJAX is used to access sMash resources directly for most up-to-date content
  • WC JSPs accesses sMash to cache a static version of the content for SEO (not as up-to-date)
  • Dojo 1.3 widgets used for Social Commerce
    • will make separate AJAX request to WC to send events to Marketing Engine
  • sMash is accessed through IHS proxy and managed by WAS application

WC Development

  • RAD 7.5
  • xml and properties folders moved into workspace
  • JET replaces Design Patterns Toolkit for services development
    • JET comes with RAD 7.5, whereas DPTK is a separate download

New Management Center Test Framework

  • Action based framework (procedural language)
  • Tests written in xml
  • 3g memory recommended
  • No EJB 3, JPA, or annotations in WC 7

WC Build & Deploy tool

  • Comes with V7, not separate download
  • Highly customizable set of Ant scripts
  • Deploys to toolkit as well as server (need to look into this, as it changes our current development practices)
  • SCM -> build server -> deployment server -> WAS / WC / DB / webserver
  • Build generates 2 deploy packages, one for server, one for toolkit
  • All target environment specific files contained in a single deploy package (ie. Can use same package for different target environments)
  • Best practice: backup prior to deploy!

Social Commerce Overview

  • What is Social Commerce?
    • Attempt to bring online network, drive people have, to contribute content, and bring it to product marketing
  • Investment (on our client’s part) in building community, will not happen by itself
    • Benefits of social commerce
    • Creates customer loyalty
    • Drives traffic to site (particularly product reviews)
    • Purchase Rates
  • Applying Web 2.0 to WC
    • v6 added Dojo Widgets and richer shopping experience
    • v7 adds active participation and community concepts, shoppers come back, share their stories
  • Social commerce features in V7 (added as custom Dojo Widgets)
    • Category Blogs
    • Photo Gallery
    • Social Profile – share minimal amount of non private info
    • Product Reviews and Ratings
    • Multi-Channel Precision Marketing – rewards for contributing to the community
  • Category Page with Social Commerce
    • Category Blogs
    • Photo Gallery
  • Product Page with Social Commerce
    • Share to Social Networks
    • Reviews
  • Creating Blog Entries
    • Blog Entry Title
    • Blog Entry Content
    • Create Button – sends to third party provider, WC does not implement blogging, photo gallery, etc.
  • Viewing Blog Entries
  • Blog Listing
    • Blog Entry Recommendation – where the interesting blogs are
    • Blog Entry Comments
  • Photo Gallery
    • Also have recommendations and comments
    • OOTB provided by Pluck or Lotus Connections
  • Viewing Ratings and Reviews
    • OOTB provided by Bazaarvoice
    • Can sort by: highest rating, lowest rating, newest post, etc.
  • Create New Review
    • Guest shoppers do not have right to contribute content, must register first
  • Social Profile Creation
    • Entirely optional
    • Option when they register (new option in registration)
    • New screen name
    • E-Mail address is not shown, but used to identify
    • Optional fields: hometown, birthday
    • Not stored in WC
    • Stored in Pluck or Lotus Connection
    • Will not share registration info with third party
  • My Account
    • Update social profile – can upload their photo
    • Can view: My Blogs, My Photos, My Reviews
  • Administrative Tasks
    • Initial Configurations – are blog comments allowed?
    • Evaluate Widgets, style changes
    • Ongoing Moderation
      • Reviewing content before it is publicly displayed – pre-moderation
      • Modifying / removing offensive content – post-moderation
      • Responding to content flagged as inappropriate – community, reactive
    • Varies by provider

Stay tuned for the next topic – Social Commerce Architecture and Programming Model

One thought on “WebSphere Commerce V7 Social Commerce – Part I: Overview”

  1. I thing WSC 7 is the feature…
    I am from Greece and I want to upgrade my eshop cart software to WSC 7.
    What do you thing about WSC7 stability? Because it’s rather new….

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