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A Point To Share A journey through Microsoft Commerce Server and other .NET platforms

So blog posts from me are currently few and far between at the moment – but that is not from lack of want. I have been trying to keep my head down and catch up with the breadth of new tools gradually making themselves known in the web-dev community. Over the past few weeks I have been playing with Windows 7, and it multi-touch functionality (I realise it's not web, but I am not an IPhone owner yet so it's always nice to play) I have also been catching up on the ADO.NET entities framework, and migrating existing projects away from previous code gens and across to entities.

One of the biggest highlights for me however has been attending Remix 09 in Sydney. This is one of my first major Microsoft events (as back in the UK I was never aware of them being hosted locally), and certainly this one was a great learning experience. Aside from the presence of the almighty Microsoft Surface (http://www.pcauthority.com.au/News/147427,how-microsoft-surface-opens-up-a-new-world-of-travel.aspx) and it's social-interactive computing experience, one of the biggest underlying messages in multi-channel (if not for a better word) interactive experiences. This simply means being able to present an application as say an e-Commerce website built in AJAX technology, have that plugged into IE/Firefox through OpenSearch, and also available in store through a WPF or Silverlight 3 touch-based kiosk application, and targeting people on the move with Windows Mobile 6.5 apps and widgets. All of these technologies are merely different presentation layers of similar business logic which can be exposed via services to make the whole platform componentised and re-usable. Applying technology in this way brings a whole different user experience, and encourages greater interactivity on a social level – and more importantly in this instance will increase point-of-sale opportunities. The Amensia-Razorfish surface app above demonstrates this with next-generation technology not yet RTM, however if you take a look at their US counterparts using Windows 7 touch, as opposed to surface (http://emergingexperiences.com/2009/05/introducing-the-razorfashion-retail-experience/) and this is an experience that any .NET dev with a diverse and creative mind could proto-type and deliver with technology in today's marketing place.

One of my current architectural assignments at Orchard is the design and development of an e-Commerce system for a high-street chain. We will be delivering this using Commerce Server 2009 which is a Microsoft framework for developing multi-channel retail apps. The scope of my current project does not include a full multi-foundation deployment and will be focussing currently online only. However I really want to start exploring some of these vital concepts being delivered at Remix, so over the next few weeks I will start my own proof-of-concept for a multi channel commerce environment looking at Commerce Server 2009, and exposing it's ability through Silverlight (or possibly even WPF) as a kiosk app, and lastly a windows mobile app too. There is nothing new in what I am doing, and will be very similar the evolutionary DinnerNow application delivered with the release of .NET 3.0. However it is a bit of fun, and a way for me to explore the new Microsoft RIA space.

I will try and blog and summaries my successes and failures as there is very little documentation in the web at the moment around Commerce Server 2009, and if anyone has any question please feel free to ask!!

Posted on Saturday, June 13, 2009 8:07 PM | Back to top


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