Category: Best Practices
Four51 OrderCloud – our API-first, headless eCommerce platform, powers over 25 million transactions and over $5 billion in revenue annually. We continuously release features and functionality to the platform that support the evolving needs of the enterprise development teams using the OrderCloud API to power their eCommerce, order management, and B2B marketplace solutions.
Here are the Top 5 OrderCloud Platform Milestones released in Q2 of 2020:
1. New endpoints related to integration events
This release introduces several new endpoints that will support order checkout integration events, particularly those associated with complex shipping requirements. The order checkout integration service was designed to make shipping calculations and estimations easier while the buyer is interacting with the shopping cart.
The order checkout integration event gives OrderCloud developers two ways to calculate an order: (1) Configuring the Default Option, and (2) Custom Implementation. If the developer wants to use the default (and opinionated) OrderCloud platform version, it involves some simple configuration. In this scenario, the developer needs only supply account information to Avalara Tax and Freight Pop shipping. The OrderCloud platform will do the rest. The second method involves custom implementation. The source code for the default implementation is available on GitHub which acts as a good starting point. It’s a c# asp.net core web api project. If your team is not a .net shop, it’s simply a matter of hosting 3 endpoints and providing the base URL to the OrderCloud platform via the portal.
Whichever method is taken, understanding the associated endpoints and actions is important:
- Triggering: Each step of the order checkout integration process is explicitly triggered by the front end application by calling an endpoint in the OrderCloud API. Instead of trying to assume when the front-end application would like a shipping calculation performed, the integration service is now explicitly triggered using these new endpoints.
- Order Worksheet: Now, data that goes into calculating an order’s tax, shipping, and any other data returned from the integration endpoints is captured in the Order Worksheet endpoint. This can be used later for things like remitting taxes or calculating refunds.
- EstimateShipping: This endpoint can be used to call the shipping options integration service to get possible ship methods (Fedex next day, ups ground, usps priority, etc.)
- ShipMethods: This endpoint stores ship method selections by the end user.
- ShippingRates: This endpoint receives all order data and is responsible for returning a list of potential shipments. Each shipment contains a list of line items and a list of potential shipping methods and each shipping method has a price. The shipping options are presented to the end user for their selection.
- OrderCalculate: In addition to all of the order data, the results from ShippingRates and the shipping option(s) selected by the user (assuming the shipping step was triggered) are passed to CalculateOrder. This endpoint is responsible for returning shipping total, tax total, and any unit price overrides beyond the default price schedules. There’s also an optional space to return arbitrary json data that can be used to track, for example, how the tax and shipping totals are calculated.
2. New DateCreated Property on Buyer and Supplier Models
The addition of the DateCreated property on buyers and suppliers delivers another commonly requested attribute. This should aid in things like searching for, filtering on, or creating rules based on the DateCreated property.
3. Tighter limitations on access controls by user type
This release enforces some limitations on route access based on user type. Currently accessing these routes as the wrong user type can lead to unexpected or unintended results.
We know there are specific limitations needed across the various users (buyers, suppliers, and administrators or sellers) in any particular commerce scenario. For example:
- Supplier users will be able to read Buyer orgs, users, addresses or groups with the proper role(s).
- Supplier users will NOT be able to admin Buyer orgs, users, addresses, or groups regardless of role(s).
- Supplier users will NOT be able to read or admin other Supplier orgs, users, addresses, or groups regardless of role(s).
- Supplier users will be able to read and admin their OWN Supplier (deletion will be prohibited as outlined above) with the proper role(s).
For a full list of these limitations, review the release notes.
4. Line Item-level Promotions
Promotions have become one of OrderCloud’s more popular features, largely due to flexibility of rules-based expressions in determining both the eligibility and value of a promotion relative to an order. With this release, we’re taking the promotions capability a step farther by introducing the ability to associate a promotion directly with one or more line items on an order. This should make it easier to manage things like supplier-specific promotions on a particular product, and to calculate item-level tax and partial returns.
5. Rules engine enhancements
OrderCloud’s rules engine is what powers rules-based expressions on the platform. Enhances made in this release offer new enhancements to the engine’s capabilities. Keywords, identifiers, and functions are no longer case-sensitive. You can now also include multiple IDs in the incategory function, enabling you to create broader reaching rules.
Learn more about the OrderCloud platform and dive into our developer resources at OrderCloud.io.