In order to use the rich product catalog support provided by Commerce Server, the relevant pages in the retail Web site need to contain a fair amount of code to invoke the Commerce Server catalog objects. See the next section, "Object Support for Product Catalogs" for more information.
The Commerce Server 2000 Retail Solution Site contains extensive support for product catalog usage. There are numerous pages dedicated to pulling information from the Commerce Server catalog objects and formatting it for display to the shopper. For example, the files template\menu.asp, search.asp, srchdept.asp, and stepsrch.asp are all used to support catalog searching, and the files template\menu.asp, default.asp, category.asp, and product.asp are all used to support catalog browsing and product display.
The ASP.NET-based International Retail Site, included in the Commerce Server 2002 SDK, defines both controls and classes that implement catalog functionality for use within the Web site. The controls CatalogBrowser, CatalogNavigationTabs, CatalogSearch, ProductList, and AdvancedSearch are defined. Each control is implemented in a pair of files of the same name, with HTML for the control defined in a .ascx file and the code for the control defined in a .ascx.vb file. Each control inherits from the class of the same name. For all of these controls except AdvancedSearch, an underscore character precedes the control file names.
The namespace Microsoft.CommerceServer.Site.Catalogs defines the five classes mentioned above, as well as a number of other supporting classes. These classes access the Commerce Server catalog objects through the Commerce Server Base Class Library (BCL) namespace Microsoft.CommerceServer.Runtime.Catalog, which defines more than a dozen classes and several enumerations.