Sitecore Commerce: Before My Wondrous Adventure Begins, A Little Nostalgia

Not to brag, but I have some knowledge about everything Sitecore 🙄🤣. I’m not saying the knowledge is substantial by any means, but it’s something more or less😆.  For example, today, July 28th 2017, I know very little about the Sitecore Print Experience Manager and the Email Experience Manager.  However, I know how to install it! That little piece of knowledge is going to eventually grow 🤣. There might be some other products or modules that I have neglected, but the largest area is Sitecore Commerce.

Trust me, I am not proud to admit that. My only excuse is that Sitecore Commerce seemed to be changing so rapidly, it was tough to find great blog posts explaining it to Commerce Newbies like myself. The last time I heard a lot regarding the topic was at the last Vegas Symposium and forgot about it until the middle of 2016.

Sitecore Commerce is a large and exciting area to learn. While I am not entirely sure what knowledge waits me, I am sure it’s features are better, everything is easier to implement and the product is better in every way than what I used long ago in the olden days.

My E-Commerce Experience: The Olden Days

Developing E-Commerce sites isn’t new to me. In the past, I have worked with commerce software such as AbleCommerce and AspDotNetStorefront on a few occasions. In 2013, I developed a pretty sweet Sitecore/AspDotNetStorefront integration. The integration was made easier than it should have been all because the “Powers that Be” chose to keep both the Commerce software and Sitecore CMS on the same server and the same with the databases. That meant I could avoid using AspDotNetStorefront’s web services which weren’t that great.

2013 has long past as has my memory regarding the finer details of the functionality I implemented. What I can recall is the site had a single customer sign on between systems. The customer also had a profile in Sitecore which had some custom attributes and their customer profile also existed in the commerce DBs which contained other information such as billing, shipping and other commerce related data.

The products and variants were editable in either system, but we decided to limit the client to Sitecore for the editing unless the client happened to be tech savvy. If learning both systems didn’t cause the client to curl up in the fetal position under a desk sobbing, then the client was free to choose which system they preferred to use to edit products.

I remember the integration being awesome and at the time I was proud of myself. However, if I still had the code and dared to look it over after all these years, I am sure my memories would sour, my pride would disappear and I wouldn’t blog about the project, lol.

Why XSLT AspDotNetStorefront? Why?

I disliked AspDotNetStorefront for one reason and in my opinion it’s a valid… XSLT! I will never understand why developers use it other than to irritate other developers. I don’t dislike it because I can’t learn it, I dislike it because it’s hideous and I just don’t see the point wasting my time messing with it. I also don’t understand why someone would write numerous extensions in C# just to use in the XSLT? I’m sure there is a valid reason I’ll never accept. The world’s tough enough to live in, stop adding to the misery, pick a language (C#) and stick with it😆!

To validate my utter disdain for XSLT, I will recount an event from a Symposium. I remember an anti-XSLT rant by the famous, retired legend, John West while attending a lecture at the 2012 or 2014 Vegas Sitecore Symposium. I am almost certain he ranted about his dislike for XSL and its transforms. Unfortunately, I can’t find proof of that rant or proof he may have disliked XSLT. It’s not helping my story that my memories from the two Vegas Symposiums are merging into a one. I am certain the lecture was held in the first large room on the right from the main hallway. I am also “certain” the topic might have been Item Buckets and someone from Sitecore said it. In summary, someone from Sitecore didn’t like XSLT, announced it during a lecture about something related to Sitecore in 2012 or 2014 in Vegas 😖. Sherlock Holmes would be jealous of my recollection of the event.

Looking Onward to Sitecore Commerce 💰

I am excited to finally start my adventure learning Sitecore Commerce and eventually becoming an expert on the subject. I won’t lie, a Sitecore Commerce MVP trophy would look nice on my shelf alongside the only other award I’ve ever received, a 2nd Place Sparring Taekwondo trophy from 1989.

In the next post, I will blog while attempting to install the Sitecore Commerce and hilarity is guaranteed to ensue. I hope to get that posted sometime tomorrow or early next week.

Sitecore Commerce and Sitecore 9

The rumor around the Sitecore watercooler is that EVERYTHING is changing in Sitecore 9. That probably includes Sitecore Commerce. Regardless, I hope to blog a lot about this version before its eventual rebirth. Hopefully they don’t literally change everything, haha… sigh.

Once again, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this, if not, that’s too bad 😥. If you made it this far you get a🏅! Congrats.

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