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There are a number of ways to create catalog data for display in Front Office: in addition to publishing a catalog via the Supplier Gateway, catalogs can be created via the user interface or the main fields can be created via CSV or Unicode text file import/export facility with either manual or scheduled import.

Before a catalog can be created or imported the Supplier must be setup with at least one supplier category level. Any Commodity Types included in the import must also exist. The file includes all the commonly used catalog fields but is not a full representation of fields available in the Supplier Gateway or the Front Office Catalog Maintenance screen.

The quick search option is a wildcard search on Part Number, Part Description(s), UPC, Supplier Code, Supplier Name and Manufacturer Name. Additionally, deactivated suppliers can be included in the search. This same set of parameters is available for (quick) searching in the end-user full catalog search.

By default, an end-user may enter a rating and product review for a product item, which may be deleted by an administrator. The review facility is controlled by a system setting.

Catalog name and description fields can be localized.

System Configuration Settings: Enable product reviews and ratings

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Creating a Catalog Item

To create a catalog item via the user interface, select Catalog > Add from within the Catalog, Supplier & Bundle Category.

Details tab

Each catalog item created requires an item/part number, which the system suggests but which can be overtyped and a name.

Optional fields:

Additional description data (unlimited length), either plain text or HTML; a default commodity type for the supplier; an option which ensures multiple quantities added to the cart will be added as individual rows, allowing different item fields data to be entered; an option which allows items to only be displayed in bundles and not in the catalog; the product’s web and manufacturer details; start and end dates (if not completed, indicates item is available for request).

App Store-specific features:

  • App Store Action: determines the process followed if the user proceeds from the Item Details popup; available options are create request, open Link in new window, open link in same window, immediate download or disable.
  • App Store Action button text: allows the button to be tailored appropriately from the default Request Now.
  • App Store Action help message: the default message which displayed on the Item Details popup. This can be overridden by text set by the on-load hook.
  • App Store Download URL: the download URL for immediately downloadable items. App Store usage: a count will be incremented every time a user selects an action from the Item popup; however, this figure can be overwritten here. Popularity is intended as a guide, not an absolute. Items can be filtered by popularity in the App Store.

All App Store features can be overridden by use of the App Store Product hook.

Note: if importing a supplier’s catalog, the ‘Action’ field values are ‘CreateRequest’, ‘Immediate Download’, ‘OpenNewWindow’, ‘OpenSameWindow’ and ‘None’.

Images and graphics

An icon can be set, which will be displayed at top level within an App Store, or as a thumbnail on page titles or lists. Ideally this should be square and will be displayed as 120 * 120 pixels. It will be resized if necessary, maintaining the aspect ratio. If no icon is present, the first product graphic will be used instead, if available.

Product Graphics allowed useful visual information related to the product to be included e.g., screen shots and will be displayed as a scrolling panel on the Product Details tab, with a maximum width of 500 pixels (height is optional and the page will stretch to accommodate). Multiple Product Graphics can be included, although the maintenance screen supports additions in multiples of three pickers. When importing or exporting multiple graphics, values should be separated by a pipe delimiter (|).

The URL of a selected icon or graphic is editable.

Note: image scaling can cause a performance hit so best practice is to load images of the correct size. Where icons and graphics are over twice the maximum size, a warning message will be displayed.

Note: if importing a supplier’s catalog, multiple graphics must be separated by a pipe (|).

Pricing tab

Unit price; sales tax percentage; an option to allow the price to be changed once requested, either by all users or depending on approval role; an option to hide the price from display to the end-user; up to five-volume price discounts.

Attributes tab

Product attributes can be created as name/value pairs, e.g., the name being ‘device type’ and the value being ‘Windows 7’. Multiple attributes can be created, and the same attribute can be created multiple times, e.g., another ‘device type’ entry could be ‘Windows 8’. Multiple attributes of the same name will be displayed to the user as a drop-list.

Attributes are displayed as a list for the end-user in the Product Details tab for all products. As part of a Service Catalog App Store, the (distinct) attribute (names) can be displayed as a list of top-level filters; the attributes to be displayed in this way are configurable. A chosen attribute can be displayed on the top-level item tile. All attributes are searchable.

New attribute names can be created, or existing attributes re-used. Ensure the spelling/abbreviation is consistent, to prevent inappropriate duplicate entries, as each distinct attribute name could be displayed to the end-user. If widespread changes are required, it is recommended that the catalog is exported and edited, before re-importing.

Other Information tab

Generally, information for display to end-user - Quantity available in stock; Unit of measure data: base unit, ordering unit and unit of measure quantity; equivalent or superseding product; product type (for mapping purposes).

Category tab
Categorization structure for catalog browsing (add, edit, and delete), item assignment to category.

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