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.
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.