With its inaugural release in 2000, Commerce Server replaced Microsoft Site Server, expanding on the functionality of it and establishing a focus on e-commerce functionality (rather than concerning itself with document management or content metadata). It helps create e-commerce solutions and Web sites with high-performance, familiar tools that simplify setup, management, and administration tasks.
The latest release of the product is Commerce Server 2009. It was launched at the National Retail Federation (NRF) in New York in January 2009, with its official launch at the MIX09 event in Las Vegas in March 2009. Microsoft has passed future product development of Commerce Server to Ascentium. Microsoft will not release future versions of Commerce Server. Ascentium will take responsibility for future versions of the Commerce Server product. Microsoft will continue to honor mainstream and extended support of Commerce Server 2009 through 2014 and 2019, respectively.
Commerce Server 2009, which became available on Microsoft's price list on April 1, 2009, introduced multi-channel awareness into the product, a new default site (running in Microsoft's SharePoint product) - including 30 new web parts and controls, and WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editing experiences for business people and site designers.
These features were introduced through the new Commerce Foundation - a new abstraction layer which unifies calling patterns of the core systems (see below) and allows for different presentation and business logic to be easily added and represented as 'selling channels'; and SharePoint Commerce Services which includes integration with Microsoft SharePoint - a new default site with 30 new web parts and controls pre-assembled. The default site can be skinned through the new page templating technology, allowing for individual pages to be easily changed by selecting a different template.
The product still retains its core systems of Catalog, Inventory, Orders, Profiles, and Marketing (discussed below).
The server comes bundled with Data Warehouse Analytics, which offer sophisticated reporting functionality, dependent on the availability of Microsoft SQL Server Analytics module, in addition to the Commerce Server Staging (CSS) system. The Staging functionality automates the deployment of both dynamic and active content across a network infrastructure and can accommodate a wide variety of network configurations. (Some have remarked that the speed of CSS deployments is perhaps the most note-worthy aspect of this component.) Commerce Server also comes with BizTalk adaptors, which allow for integration with Microsoft BizTalk for enterprise data manipulation.
The product requires the presence of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or later. Commerce Server also can leverage a number of other Microsoft server products, including BizTalk Server 2006, R2 or 2009 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS).
.NET Framework 3.5 and Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) are also required, as the other components used by this product are dependent on these technologies. Recommended deployments are confined to Windows Server 2003 or higher.
Versions for Windows
- 2000 - Commerce Server 2000
- 2002 - Commerce Server 2002
- Service Pack 2 (2003)
- Service Pack 3 (2004)
- 2004 - Commerce Server 2002 FP1
- Service Pack 4 (2006)
- 2007 - Commerce Server 2007
- Service Pack 1 (2008)
- Service Pack 2 (2008)
- 2009 - Commerce Server 2009
- 2011 - Commerce Server 2009 R2
- Official Site
- TechNet Site
- Technical Overview
- MSDN Site
- Commerce Team Blog
- Microsoft Commerce Server Experts Group
- Commerce Server Developer Wiki