Time flies when you are having fun. It is hard to believe, but this month marks exactly one year since Commerce Server 2009 became commercially available.

One of the things been long overdue is an in-depth, guided tour of Commerce Server 2009. Especially one that provides some behind-the-scenes insight into the functionality provided – and “why” things were implemented in the way that they are. So, without further adieu – here it is…

As a software product release, Commerce Server 2009 was approached with three principles in mind:

·         Deliver more capabilities to end-users

·         Modernize the technology within Commerce Server

·         Minimize migration pain from Commerce Server 2007

The challenge in that is that these principles – especially the latter two – are somewhat diametrically opposed to one another. Each of these points shall be spoken to over this and the subsequent two postings in this series, the second and third of which shall provide more specific in-depth looks at:

·         SharePoint Commerce Services

·         Multi-Channel Commerce Foundation

For the balance of this post, a quick look at the usually boring component of Setup and Configuration is warranted. Commerce Server upgrades have traditionally been a painful and destructive process. You could never just install it and have things work. With CS2009, we elected to change that – as part of delivering upon the tenet of minimizing migration pain.

Functionality delivered in Commerce Server 2009 is a super-set of Commerce Server 2007. The release was exhaustively backward compatibility tested to ensure that Commerce Server 2007 applications would run without any tweaking or modification – by purpose of very strict design. Hence, CS2007 customers can be assured that their stuff “will just work” without modification. All new capabilities can be leveraged a la carte on top of an existing installation.

A la carte deployments are probably one of the most overlooked virtues of Commerce Server 2009. Imagine having a large investment in CS2007 that is not in a place to be changed – and then leveraging CS2009’s new capabilities to add, say, Mobility or a promotion/event-specific site – all without touching the original site. Imagine the possibilities…

Hence, to deliver as friction-free a setup experience as possible, CS2009 is easily installable over an existing Commerce Server 2007 installation. It can simply configure the latest and greatest bug fixes (including those post-Commerce Server 2007 Service Pack 2) and the new functionality – all without breaking anything in CS2007.

Hopefully this helps provide some context. Next up - a look at SharePoint Commerce Services.