Catalog Publishing Solution
Product catalogs change over time: new products are added, old products are removed, prices change, and so on. This means that catalog publication is very rarely a one-time operation. Almost always, product catalogs will need to be published and then published again on some periodic basis. Any reasonable catalog publishing solution must take this into account.
The catalog publishing solution provided by AFS can be divided into the following areas, each of which is discussed in its own sub-section:
- Supported document formats. Whenever documents are exchanged electronically between two parties, the format of the documents is obviously something upon which both parties must agree. This section discusses the product catalog document formats supported by AFS.
- Tasks. Publishing catalog data involves a number of different tasks, some of which are performed once, or at least only occasionally, and some of which are performed routinely. This section discusses both types of tasks.
- Architecture. The catalog publishing architecture of AFS uses BizTalk Server and Commerce Server and, as is frequently the case with the .NET Enterprise Servers, SQL Server behind the scenes. This section provides a high-level look at this architecture and how catalog data flows through the architecture and eventually to the trading partner.