Microsoft Dynamics Commerce delivers a robust suite of features tailored for both B2B and commerce platforms, enhancing the efficiency of B2B workflows while delivering a seamless, personalized experience. This powerful platform empowers customers, allowing them to make purchase decisions on their terms—when, how, and where they prefer.
Enabling businesses to harness the sophisticated, intelligent, and user-friendly capabilities typically associated with B2C commerce, Dynamics Commerce brings a new level of sophistication to B2B digital selling. Here, we delve into some key features that come standard with this platform.
- Streamlined SKU-based ordering.
- Matrix ordering view for a comprehensive product overview.
- Reusable order templates for efficient, repetitive ordering processes.
- Simplified re-orders to save time and effort.
- On-behalf ordering, facilitating seamless procurement on behalf of others.
- Smooth account onboarding processes for new partners.
- Robust user management capabilities to ensure secure access.
- Access to detailed order history and statements for comprehensive tracking.
- Convenient invoice payment features for seamless financial transactions.
- Management of credit limits and adjustments for financial control.
Catalogs and Pricing:
- Tailored customer-specific catalogs to cater to unique needs.
- Effective promotion and discount management for strategic marketing.
- Contract pricing for negotiated agreements, ensuring transparency and consistency.
With these out-of-the-box features, businesses can navigate the complex landscape of digital commerce with ease, providing a foundation for growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
In the realm of Dynamics 365, a pivotal component known as the Headless Commerce Engine, or Commerce Scale Unit, stands as the linchpin for all commerce channels, encompassing both in-store and e-commerce platforms.
This centralized engine extends its capabilities to serve as the nexus for third-party channels, harmonizing the entire spectrum of commerce business logic and fostering a unified omnichannel solution that seamlessly integrates physical and digital stores.
Key Features are:
Central Integration Hub:
- Serves as a central point for all commerce channels, including in-store, e-commerce, and third-party channels.
- Unifies commerce business logic, creating a cohesive ecosystem for omnichannel operations.
- Empowers a comprehensive omnichannel solution across both physical and digital storefronts.
Dynamics 365 Integration:
- Shared among various Dynamics 365 applications, such as Dynamics 365 Commerce, Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, and Substance 365 Finance.
- Facilitates a unified approach to commerce, connecting seamlessly with different facets of business operations.
Seamless Business Processes:
- Provides an interconnected suite of business processes, ensuring a fluid and seamless flow across various functions within the organization.
- Enables users to immediately benefit from these interconnected processes, enhancing operational efficiency and collaboration.
- Features a dynamic Site Builder—an intuitive web authoring interface designed for content management and storefront website rendering.
- Highly customizable to meet unique business needs.
- Regular maintenance under service payable components ensures sustained reliability and performance.
At a high level, the deployment encompasses three pivotal steps, each contributing to the seamless integration of the Commerce Scale Unit (CSU) and the subsequent deployment of an e-commerce site.
1. CSU Deployment from LCS:
- Initiate the deployment process by first deploying a Commerce Scale Unit (CSU) from the Lifecycle Services (LCS) platform.
- The CSU, often regarded as the backbone for all commerce channels, lays the groundwork for a unified and scalable e-commerce infrastructure.
2. Azure Active Directory Setup:
- Following the CSU deployment, proceed with configuring Azure Active Directory to establish a secure and integrated environment.
- This step ensures that the authentication and authorization processes align seamlessly with the overall B2B e-commerce framework.
3. eCommerce Site Deployment from LCS:
- The final step involves deploying the e-commerce site from LCS, building upon the foundation laid by the CSU.
- This step completes the holistic setup, enabling businesses to leverage the full potential of B2B e-commerce across various channels.
Deployment Process in Detail:
- Access LCS to deploy the Commerce Scale Unit, mirroring the approach taken for deploying other apps from Finance and Operations.
- Project owners’ permissions in LCS are essential for initializing a CSU deployment.
- Ensure the presence of a retail license configuration key in the environment, a prerequisite for the successful CSU deployment.
CSU Configuration and Version Selection:
- Add the CSU through LCS, selecting the desired region for deployment based on business requirements.
- Choose the appropriate version of the CSU, with a recommendation to opt for the latest version for optimal performance.
- Flexibility is provided to self-deploy up to 2 CSUs per environment; for additional deployments, a support ticket can be created.
- The region selection is crucial, impacting connectivity and coverage for business operations.
- Version selection is guided by testing outcomes, ensuring compatibility with the established environment.
Azure Active Directory Set Up
This is a one-time setup that you need to do to deploy your eCommerce. It may seem a little bit overwhelming but there is a step by step guidance.
1. Azure Security Group Creation:
- The initial step involves creating an Azure Security Group, a foundational element utilized during the creation of your eCommerce site, specifically as an ecommerce system admin.
- This group plays a pivotal role in managing and securing access to the various functionalities of your e-commerce system.
2. Azure B2C Tenant Configuration:
- Establish an Azure B2C tenant, a critical component for site authentication.
- This tenant supports user credentials and facilitates authentication flows such as sign up, sign in, and password reset.
- User records within the B2C tenant store either B2C local account records or B2C social identity provider records, forming a linkage to customer records in the commerce environment.
- Sensitive user authentication information, including usernames and passwords, is securely stored within Azure B2C.
3. B2C Application Creation:
- Within your Azure Active Directory tenant, create a B2C application to facilitate interaction with the commerce environment.
- This application acts as a bridge, enabling seamless communication between your e-commerce system and Azure Active Directory.
4. User Flows Configuration:
- User flows are policies designed to ensure secure sign-in, sign-up, profile editing, and password recovery for users.
- Dynamics 365 leverages these user flows to engage in policy interactions with the Azure B2C tenant.
- Azure provides default user flows for convenience, but customization options are available, allowing businesses to control the visual aspects of the user flow experience.
So far we have done the CSU and Azure active directory. Now we are deploying the eCommerce from LCS.
E-commerce is initialized from LCS, the system provisions several components that are required for e-commerce and associate them with the environment:
- Sign in to LCS
- Select environment
- Commerce Manage
- Select the e-commerce tab and setup.