Sitecore Demo Portal

If you’ve been involved recently with Sitecore on any client pitches for OrderCloud or CDP & Personalize then you would have seen Sitecore Sales engineers demonstrate the power of these applications running on the demo portal using the PLAY Summit. It has been made available to all Sitecore MVPs this week and allows you to quickly and easily spin up an environment and instance to easily demonstrate Sitecore products. For Partners you need to be onboarded via the partner team, you can contact your partner manager to get access.

If you’ve ever been involved in pre-sales then you know how much effort can go into standing up a demo Sitecore Solution to provide your Sales and Marketing teams with something that can be shown to potential new or existing clients.

The goal of the Portal and what the Sitecore Demo team have continually been striving towards – to simplify the process of spinning up a working Sitecore solution, allowing you to quickly demonstrate the main features with each new Sitecore release. It has to be said they’ve had their work cut out recently with all the recent acquisitions and new Products being added to Sitecore. But it has to be said this most recent incarnation of their demo solution and portal is their best work yet! It demonstrates how to spin up a ComposableDXP with Sitecore with a few clicks and some simple configuration. The portal will do its thing and you can review the progress or go make yourself a cuppa coffee and wait until you receive an email indicating your demo instance is ready in around 10-15mins. Awesome!

Taking it for a spin

I was fortunate to get early access to take it for a spin. If you’ve not already accessed the demo portal you’ll want to head over and sign in with your Sitecore Partner account. Once signed in you’ll be presented with the portal home screen which will list any current demo instances you’ve created:

As you can see here I have several demo instances available one for each of the demo templates that are currently available.

To spin up and new demo instance Select the Get a Demo menu option or click Quick Demo for a faster wizard-like experience.

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Using Postman with OrderCloud

The OrderCloud API Console is a pretty awesome tool and an excellent feature to have within the OrderCloud platform. However, I like to utilize Postman when developing against APIs. As I’ve previously demonstrated by utilizing Postman with Sitecore CDP & Personalize and Sitecore Send, in this post I’ll look at using Postman with the OrderCloud API.

Importing the OrderCloud API into Postman

OrderCloud provides an OpenAPI spec and is available at OrderCloud Developer Tools. You can use this definition to import into Postman and create a collection. To import follow these steps:

1. In Postman create a new Workspace -> New Workspace let’s call it OrderCloud API

2. Now copy the OrderCloud OpenApi URL documentation endpoint and click on the Link tab and enter the copied URL and click Continue.

3. Use the default setting and click Import.

4. The OrderCloud API definition is imported and a collection of APIs are created and divided into the various functional areas as described by OrderCloud API definition as described in the API Reference guide.

Using the Collection

Once the collection has been created there are a few things you’ll need to set up:

  • Register for an account on the OrderCloud Portal.
  • Create or have an existing Marketplace.
  • Create or have existing API clients: Seller Client, Buyer Client.
  • Create or have an existing Admin User account and security profile with full access.

All of these details are covered in the OrderCloud Establishing API Access guide.

Note: If you have used the Vercel Commerce template and added the OrderCloud Integration or the headstart-nextjs application then these would have been created during the setup of the integration.

Authentication and Access Tokens

OrderCloud uses OAuth 2.0 for token-based authentication. This means that each API request to OrderCloud requires a valid access token which can be acquired through a variety of OAuth workflows.

Encrypted in the token are the identity of the user as well as the roles that the user has access to. Once validated, the OrderCloud API has enough information from this token to determine which endpoints and data a user can read and/or write.

Tokens are valid for 8hrs and you can renew or create a new token. Generated tokens can then be stored in a variable and reused.

OrderCloud API Exercises

While the APIs are well documented in the Reference guide there is a great OrderCloud Postman Tutorial. These postman exercises will guide you through the steps, data and api requests involved in setting up a fictitious Coffee Shop. This is a really good starting place to learn the various APIs and data structures and how they interact with your OrderCloud data.

To import the exercises into your own local or web postman instance simply click on the simply click on the Run In Postman button located at the top of the exercises to import into with your web or desktop postman instance.

You will also want to import the variables used in the exercises and update them accordingly to your OrderCloud environment instance as you progress through the exercises.

Have Fun!

How to Integrate OrderCloud with Vercel Next.js Commerce

In my previous post, I demonstrated how to get the Sitecore OrderCloud headstart-nextjs running and deployed to Vercel. In this post, I will show you how to create a Vercel project using the Commerce template and steps to add Sitecore OrderCloud integration. How to then set up the project for local dev, make some basic changes and deploy those changes to Vercel.

Next.js Commerce Template

Vercel gives you the ability to create new projects, deploy existing projects or you can choose from one of their Templates. These templates are a great starting point to wrap your head around some of the Vercel concepts without having to start from scratch. I recommend checking them out.

The Commerce project template uses Next.js Commerce an all-in-one starter kit for high-performance e-commerce sites. It already boasts integrations out-of-the-box with the following commerce platforms: BigCommerce, Shopify, Swell, Saleor,Vendure and OrderCloud. With plans to support other platforms. Features include:

  • Performant by default
  • SEO Ready
  • Internationalization
  • Responsive
  • UI Components
  • Theming
  • Standardized Data Hooks
  • Integrations – seamless with the most common ecommerce platforms (Shopify, BigCommerce, Swell, Vendure, Saleor and OrderCloud).
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Spin up Sitecore OrderCloud Next.js app on Vercel

In this post, I will introduce you to some of the handy developers tools provided by Sitecore OrderCloud to help you get up and running quickly with OrderCloud and Next.js. We will look at how to seed OrderCloud with some sample data, use the Console API to query the data, spin up an instance of the headstart-nextjs application and finally deploy the application to Vercel.

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