Supporting superior navigation features of various types can obviously contribute to the success of a retail Web site. If shoppers can more easily find the products for sale, other information about those products, and shopping on the site in general, more sales are likely to result. Commerce Server provides a variety of features that support building advanced navigation features into a retail Web site. In addition to some generic routines for generating the URLs that are used when constructing links on Web pages, Commerce Server includes a rich catalog management system that plays a central role in defining a complex set of products that are related to each other in a variety of ways. The Commerce Server Product Catalog System is discussed in more detail in the next section.

By the time it is rendered in the shopper's browser, each page on a retail Web site is just a normal HTML Web page with some content, and some links to other pages. It is useful to categorize these links according to the type of support that Commerce Server provides to the Web site developer for creating different types of links.

  • Product navigation. This navigation category includes finding products using categories, links to related products, and by a couple of different kinds of searching. This type of navigation is discussed separately in the next section about Product Catalogs.
  • Standardized page navigation. This navigation category includes the vertical and horizontal navigation bars that are common on most Web pages. By having these navigation bars and their standardized links appear uniformly throughout a Web site, shoppers can quickly learn how to navigate to the pages that present the main set of features on the site.
  • Page sequence navigation. This navigation category includes those pages that occur in a natural sequence. For example, a checkout process might first present a page that asks the shopper to provide their shipping information. The next page might ask the shopper to provide billing and credit card information. Next, a summary page might show all of the information provided on previous pages, and show a total cost including, tax, shipping, and handling charges. These pages are typically linked using a particularly prominent button labeled "Continue" or something similar.

The next three sub-sections discuss the support provided by Commerce Server for Web site navigation in each of the three types of functionality: user interfaces, Web sites, and objects.

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Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft. Net Server Solutions for the Enterprise
Microsoft .NET Server Solutions for the Enterprise
ISBN: 0735615691
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 483 © 2008-2017.
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