WebSphere Commerce V7 Social Commerce – Part II: Architecture and Programming Model

In the last article is about overview of Social Commerce. In the entry, our goals is to share  the basic configuration steps to configure social commerce.

Architecture Diagram

  • Social commerce not part of WC EAR, provided separately by sMash
  • Rendered Store Page with Catalog Content – provided by WC as HTML
  • Static Social Content for Search Engines – viewable in <noscript>, ie: with Javascript turned off
    • WC JSPs will access content directly from sMash
    • gets cached with JSP
  • Social Content Widget – provided by sMash, talk to sMash using HTTP + JSON
  • Separated widgets from service providers

In sMash

  • REST API – front door for widgets
  • Service Adapter API – Java API
  • Service Adapter Implementations –
    • Pluck – HTTP + JSON
    • Lotus Connections – HTTP + ATOM
    • Bazaarvoice – HTTP + XML

Store Page Components

  • Social Content Widgets
  • Static Social Content (SEO)
  • Precision Marketing Integration

Social Content Widgets

  • Built with Dojo 1.3 – IBM Strategic Javascript library
  • Dynamically render most recent social content
  • Highly interactive with no page transitions

Sample Blog Widget




title=”My Sample Blog”

resourceId = “SampleResourceId”>


  • Resourced – must identify a unique item in store.

ie, subcategory:


  • product resourceId might be:


CSS for Widget Customization

Static Social Content

  • Cached social content data that is rendered using <noscript> tag
  • Slightly stale content
  • Can be indexed by search engines
  • Same look as the dynamic widget view


Precision Marketing Integration

  • Social content widgets publish activity events whenever shoppers create social content
    • Guest shoppers not tracked
  • Two AJAX requests, one to promotions engine, and the other to sMash


WebSphere sMash Application

  • Overview
    • Standalone web server that provides Dojo widgets, REST API, and SEO content for Social Commerce
    • Runs in a different process from Commerce WAS process
    • Requires IHS reverse proxy config to maintain same hostname:port for store pages and social commerce services
  • sMash is stateless, no session

User Authentication

  • uses LTPA
    • sMash and WC share key file
    • token store in cookie and passed between sMash and WC



  • CLI not required
  • Sample Adapter Configuration
  • Isolates widgets from service providers
  • service types:
    • Blogs, photo galleries, ratings and reviews, user profiles
    • HTTP + JSON:
      • stateless server, readable URLs, allows caching of social content
      • Service Adapter API
      • Java API
        • clearn interface between REST API and individual service providers
        • allows developers to plugin adapter implementations without modifying widgets or REST APIs

Adapter Implementations

  • Pluck
    • Blogs, Gallery, Profile
    • Third party
  • Bazaarvoice
    • Reivews
    • Third party
  • Lotus Connections 2.5
    • Blog, Photo Gallery, Profile
    • Hosted and maintained by merchant


  • Social Commerce application is mnaged and updated using WAS, includes MBean
    • Start and stop
    • Query status
    • Generate and manage proxy configuration
  • MBean invokes with wsadmin
  • MBean uses sMash CLI under covers

Development Environment

  • Social Commerce customization and development is done with Commerce Toolkit
  • WCIntegrationWizard tool used to enable and configure SC development environment
  • SocCore – sMash CLI
  • SocApp – sMash application
  • soccom – Social Commerce EAR
  • SocDevProxy – development only proxy
  • SocMgmtProxy – MBean

Runtime Environment

  • WCIntergrationWizard – enable/config in runtime as well

Enabling and Configuring Social Commerce

  • Configuring WC Developer
    • Customize external adapter config – planning step
    • Import projects
    • Update adapter config in project
    • Publish social commerce add-on sar file
    • Verify
  • Configuring WC Server
  • Customize external provider adapter config file
  • Enable social commerce EAR file
    • Run WCIntegrationWizard (runs config_ant under covers) or config_ant -DfeatureName=social-commerce
  • Modify IHS config
  • Publish social commerce add-on SAR file
  • Verify service providers with social content
  • User profiles, photo galleries, category blogs:
    • Pluck: SiteLife service
    • Lotus Connections V2.5
  • Product reviews:
    • Bazaarvoice: Ratings & Reviews service

Adapter config file location

  • Starts empty, so if forget to edit, nothing happens
  • Developer


adapter.config (empty)


  • After importing: socapp project – config directory
  • Server


Customizing adapter config file

  • Provider selection

/config/soccom/adapter/blog = “pluck” (or “lc”)

/config/soccom/adapter/photoGallery = “pluck” (or “lc”)

/config/soccom/adapter/profile = “pluck” (or “lc”)

/config/soccom/adapter/review = “bv”

  • Pluck

/config/soccom/pluck/server = “”

/config/soccom/pluck/sharedSecret= “”

/config/soccom/pluck/adminUser = “adminuser”

  • Bazaarvoice

/config/soccom/bv/serverURL = “http://72.2.xx.yy/bvstaging/nnnn

/config/soccom/bv/clientCode = “zzzzzzz”

/config/soccom/bv/sharedKey = “key”

  • Lotus Connections

/config/soccom/lc/server = “LC SERVER HOSTNAME”

/config/soccom/lc/tdiServer = “TDI SERVER HOSTNAME”

/config/soccom/lc/scopeHandle = “LC SCOPE HANDLE”

/config/soccom/lc/adminUser = “LC ADMIN ID”

/config/soccom/lc/adminPassword = “LC ADMIN PASSWORD”

/config/soccom/lc/restAdminUser =  “LC REST ADMIN ID”

/config /soccom/lc/restAdminPassword = “LC REST ADMIN PASSWORD”

Integration Wizard enablement

  • WCIntegrationWizard



instance name

database password

user registry – database or LDAP


Installed soccom EAR

IHS rpoxy rules fragment file: <WCINSTANCE>/temp/proxy.config



** Only IHS works with social commerce

Social Commerce Problem Determination

  • Trace*
  • Starting and stopping the soccom_<instance> application in WAS will start/stop sMash runtime
  • sMash runtime uses about 57 MB of memory (very lightweight)
  • sMash logs: <SocAppProject>/logs  (refresh project to see logs)
    • Access – looks like IHS access logs
    • Error – summary of errors
    • Trace – without trace enabled, looks identical to error log.
  • Troubleshooting basic configuration checklist:
    • Enabled social commerce application
    • Configured adapters
    • Published madisons store add-on
    • Configured ihs proxy
  • Troubleshooting
    • has sMash runtime started?  verify java.exe (<100MB) exists
    • start sMash manually

set JAVA_HOME=<>

cd <SocCore>

zero update

cd <SocApp>

<SocCore>/zero update

<SocCore>/zero resolve

<SocCore>/zero start

  • Make sure JSP cache is cleared
  • Cannot view any social content, but pages show correct tabs
    • Verify external provider: accessible, operational,
    • Check parameters in adapter.config
  • Store users can view, but cannot post (make sure user is logged in)

Stay tuned for the next topic – Data Load Tools

New data load tools allow for efficient loading of catalog, pricing and inventory information into WebSphere Commerce database.