We like to say that challenges are simply opportunities awaiting a solution. And our latest solution, part of our ongoing Gorilla IP initiative, solves a long-standing challenge for our engineering team as well as our client’s using the SAP Commerce Cloud platform.
The Merchant Challenge
Out of the box, the SAP Commerce Cloud has no simple way to move fully-developed CMS pages between environments. The built-in import/export function, called ImpEx, can only move one object at a time, whereas a full CMS page can include dozens of objects, each with their own parameters and dependencies.
In practical terms, that means that any time a developer or marketer puts together a CMS page in a QA or Dev environment, when the page gets approved for publication on the website, someone has to essentially recreate the entire page in the live (production) environment. Not only is this a resource-intensive job that’s far from efficient, it also introduces an opportunity for human error.
This imperfect, complex process impacts all those that create and consume the digital experience. It limits a brand’s ability to quickly spin-up and publish new content and iterate their digital experiences. It adds costs due to the resources needed by either internal development teams or their agency partners. And when errors inevitably find their way onto the live site the cost in altered brand perception or even lost sales becomes very real.
We knew there had to be a better way.
The SAP Content Import-Export Solution
So, our engineering team worked to create a tool that would simplify the process of importing and exporting content between SAP Commerce Cloud environments.The result is the SAP Commerce Cloud Page Import-Export tool.
The extension serves as a tool in the SAP Commerce Cloud user’s toolbox, there when it’s needed, but out of the way when it’s not. Here’s how it works:
- The user chooses an object on the CMS page they want to export.
- Using the ImpEx utility as a backbone, the extension identifies and exports all objects that are related to the one selected using a set of predefined rules.
- The extension creates a conglomerate file that can be imported as normal by the ImpEx system.
In other words, using the extension reduces the time it takes to move CMS pages from one environment to another, making the process far less complex, and error-prone. The end result is higher quality, increased speed to execute on content strategies, and lower overall development costs and resource needs.
Again, the client and agency are both in a better position with the extension in place. By reducing the complexity and time it takes to move CMS pages between environments, it allows developers to debug issues more efficiently and will even open the door for many organizations to handle the mundane task on their own without needing to outsource. Additionally, the extension makes it possible for developers to use popular apps like Smart Edit or CMS Cockpit to create pages, then export them to the code base in ImpEx format.
We look forward to making the CMS Page Export Extension available to our existing SAP Commerce Cloud customers and showing other brands just how much they can benefit from this simple, but powerful tool.