Microsoft has made significant strides in the development of its sell-side strategies, starting first with Site Server and progressing to Commerce Server 2001. Of these, the latter shows that Microsoft is learning what it takes to deliver a solid application for the sell-side.
First, the Pipeline
The biggest change between Site Server 3.0 and Commerce Server 2000 is the development of a process pipeline versus the Order Process Pipeline. With the process pipeline, tasks can be completed simultaneously, which makes it possible for Commerce Server to map more accurately to several types of transactions within a company. In Site Server implementations, typically only a single type of transaction would be implemented per Order Process Pipeline.
The Pipeline improvements are also driving greater potential for Commerce Server to be used in multichannel environments. Cleary Commerce Server will encounter competitors as Microsoft moves toward a multichannel commerce and order management strategy. These competitors include Comergent, Click Commerce, BroadVision, and others. The revamping of the process pipeline was much needed when Commerce Server was introduced.