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Commerce Server 2000: Creating the Store Foundation

Gopal Sreeraman shows you how to create a B2C site using the Commerce Server solution site Retail, and how to create a Business Desk site to manage this commerce site. He also explores the changes made by Site Packager due to the unpacking process.
This chapter is from the book


  • Creating IIS Web sites

  • Unpack with Site Packager

One of the strengths of Commerce Server as a platform is faster time to market. Imagine having to build from scratch all the ASP files starting with the home page, the associated database elements for storing and retrieving information such as products, prices, and orders, and the middle-tier business logic components. Add to this the reporting capability that is essential for any e-commerce site, and it could be quite an effort! Commerce Server provides a set of pre-built sites called the Solution Sites that can be used to jump-start the development of your site. When you generate a site that is based on one of the solution sites, the site will contain the basic functionality of catalogs, shopping baskets, order processing, and user profile management. However, it will most probably be the initial site and not the final e-commerce site that was planned for. This is because the solution sites are designed to provide basic functionality and therefore will not satisfy the unique requirements of very many sites. Therefore, many customizations will be needed, starting with look and feel, before the site can be rolled over into production.

The Commerce Server installation provides for the solution site Blank. Blank just provides a couple of files such as global.asa and a default.asp home page to an application built using it. Blank is ideal if you want to use Commerce Server functionality but want to build all the other pages for your e-commerce site from scratch. Even in that case, it will be highly educational to know how the typical pages are built using other solution sites. The other solution sites are Retail and SupplierActiveDirectory. Retail provides the capability to build a B2C retail site, whereas SupplierActiveDirectory is meant to start B2B sites. In this chapter, we will create a site based on the Retail solution site. I suggest that you follow the example in a step-by-step manner and create the basic site on your server. This way, not only will you get a working knowledge of the basics of commerce server, but you will also be able to build on this (site) as we discuss advanced topics later in the book.

On the Microsoft Web Site

The solution sites Retail and SupplierActiveDirectory are also available as separate installations from the Microsoft Web site http://www.microsoft.com/commerceserver/solutionsites.

We have seen that Commerce Server provides a Business Desk application to manage an _e-commerce site. This application is also a part of the solution sites. Therefore, the Site Packager can be used to unpack both the applications so that we can create an e-commerce site as well as a business desk application for that site. The two essential steps in creating a commerce site using the Retail solution site are as follows:

  • Creating Web sites to host the e-commerce and business desk applications.

  • Unpacking the Retail site applications, using Site Packager, into the corresponding Web sites.

Creating IIS Web sites

In this chapter, you will learn how to create a Commerce Server e-commerce site and a Business Desk (BizDesk) site that manages the e-commerce application. We'll call the _e-commerce site Estore and the Web-based application to manage that site EstoreBizDesk. It is good to have both these applications as separate Internet Information Server (IIS) sites because of security, scalability, and reliability requirements. The first step in creating a Web site would be to set up the folder in which we want to install the application files for the site. Perform the following steps:

  1. Create two folders using the Windows Explorer, and name them Estore and EstoreBizDesk, respectively.

  2. Launch the Commerce Server Manager by clicking Start, Programs, Microsoft Commerce Server 2000, Commerce Server Manager.

  3. NOTE

    The Commerce Server Manager is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) application that provides centralized access to many servers and applications including IIS and SQL Server.

  4. Navigate to the Internet Information Services snap-in and choose the server that will host the site. Right-click to create a new Web site, as shown in Figure 3.1.

  5. Click the Next button on the Web Site Creation Wizard screen. Type Estore as the description in the Web Site Description screen, as shown in Figure 3.2.

  6. Click the Next button to configure your IP address and port settings. On the Web Site Home Directory screen, type in the pathname for the Web site's home directory or browse to the directory created for Estore (see Figure 3.3).

  7. Figure 3.1 Creating a new IIS Web site.

    Figure 3.2 Name the IIS web site.

    Figure 3.3 Physical directory of the IIS web site.

  8. Then click the Next button and accept the default access permissions. Finally click the Finish button to let the wizard create the Web site.


If you had accepted the default TCP Port(80), you might have needed to change the TCP Port of the Default Web Site to some other port. Then only the Web site Estore can be started.

Repeat the preceding steps to create a Web site for EstoreBizDesk that will be on a different port, say 81. After they are created, both sites will appear under the Internet Information Services node in the MMC as shown in Figure 3.4 in detailed view.

If you click both the Estore and EstoreBizDesk sites, you will observe that they are empty. These sites are just placeholders for the commerce application files that will be unpacked in to them soon. You are now ready to create a B2C application and its managing BizDesk site.

Figure 3.4 After creating the IIS Web sites.

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