The Commerce Server user interfaces, on the left side of the preceding figure, make it easier for the people who build and manage Commerce Server Web sites to do their jobs. The Commerce Server Manager is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, and provides a user interface for Web site administrators. From this interface, site administrators can manage and configure Commerce Server resources, sites, applications, and Web servers.
When launched to host the Commerce Server Manager, the MMC also hosts several other MMC snap-ins that are useful for Commerce Server administrators, including:
The following figure shows the Commerce Server Manager MMC application, with the Profiles global resource node expanded.
Commerce Server Manager
Commerce Server Business Desk, a Web application, is the other type of Commerce Server user interface. The Business Desk provides a user interface for business managers to perform Web site management. Using this interface, business managers can change the data that drives the Web site, without having to involve an administrator or site developer. For example, if a business manager decides to lower the price of slow-selling product, he or she can be the one to make the change.
The functionality available using Commerce Server Business Desk is presented in the form of different functional modules, grouped into logical categories. For example, the Catalogs category contains the Catalog Definition Designer, Catalog Editor, and Catalog Sets modules; the Orders category contains the Basket Manager, Data Codes, Order Status, Shipping Methods, Tax Rates, and Publish Transactions modules. The following figure shows the Commerce Server Business Desk application, with the Order Status Codes module selected. Callouts show the various parts of the Business Desk screen.
Commerce Server Business Desk
Different Commerce Server user interfaces are of interest to people in the different roles that constitute the shopkeepers. Commerce Server was designed so that business managers can perform their tasks in Commerce Server Business Desk, while site administrators can be more focused on the activities performed in Commerce Server Manager. Site developers, due to the nature of their role, spend some time using both of these interfaces, especially during the initial development of the retail Web site. Site developers may also extend these interfaces to provide additional functionality to site administrators and business managers. Note that some of the skills required in extending these interfaces, and particularly Commerce Server Manager, may exceed the scripting skills common in site developers, and require more advanced, compiled language skills normally associated with software engineers.