Catalog Publishing Architecture
Viewed from a high level, the architecture of catalog publishing in AFS consists of getting the product data into a catalog in the Commerce Server Product Catalog System, using BizTalk Server to transform that data into a format that can be interpreted by the trading partner, and then sending the transformed data to the trading partner using a previously agreed upon method.
The following figure illustrates the steps involved at the next level of detail. The numbered arrows in the figure correspond to an explanation of the steps following the figure.
Catalog publishing architecture
The steps involved in publishing a catalog, as shown in the previous figure, are:
- The source of the catalog data is used to populate the Commerce Server Product Catalog System. Hopefully, the catalog data is available in an electronic format that can be manipulated into a format that is compatible with the catalog system's import process. If not, the catalog data can always be entered manually using the Catalog Editor module in Business Desk.
- When a catalog publication is selected and the Publish button is clicked in the Catalog Publisher module, the catalog data is exported from the Commerce Server Product Catalog System in the Commerce Server Catalog XML v1.5 format.
- After the catalog data export is complete, the Catalog Publisher module wraps the catalog data and a few other items of information in a BizTalk Server envelope and writes the resulting XML to a directory on the BizTalk Server.
- A file receive function in BizTalk Server retrieves the envelope-wrapped catalog data from the directory where the catalog data was written in step 3.
- Based on the name of the file containing the envelope-wrapped catalog data, the file receive function invokes the correct BizTalk Server channel, messaging port, and AIC to transform the catalog data to the appropriate destination format.
- After the AIC strips the envelope from the transformed catalog data, it invokes the transport channel that was passed in the envelope.
- The transport channel and messaging port send the transformed catalog data to the configured location. Although the default transport messaging ports included in AFS specify that the transformed data should be written to a local file, many trading partners will provide the supplier with a URL with which to create a new messaging port that will post the catalog data to the trading partner using HTTP.