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Creating an App Store

On selecting ‘Service Catalog’, three types of category (container) are available: Add Category, Add App Store, and Add Panel.

An App Store category is a single-level repository of product items, presented as tiles, with support for multiple filters and search options, enabling easy discovery. Products can be configured for a range of ‘on selection’ actions and a product level hook can also be utilized to extend options for delivery action even further. An App Store category allows product items to be presented in a similar manner to an App Store, so good quality images are important. A default image is displayed if no image is found.

An App will be displayed with up to four lines of text beneath the image. This will typically be name, chosen attribute, rating and price. If app names are typically long and require more space, the attribute field can be left empty.

Once an App Store is created, the actions available from the drop-list against the category name (available by use of ‘mouse-over’ when in the home page carousel) are View, Edit, Move, Copy and Delete.

This article covers the following topics: 

Details Tab

A category-level image can be included, selected either via the image picker or a URL entered; the image height has no restriction, and the category height will be scaled accordingly; the image width will always be scaled, and the aspect ratio maintained, to a maximum width of 140 pixels. Background images can also be included but are never scaled. The height of the category will expand, assuming a modern browser is used. A background image position can also be selected.
Tip: image scaling can cause a performance hit so the 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.

The App Store can be linked to a specific request type, with the option to override the default request type from the App Store Product hook. If no request type is associated, the shipped miscellaneous
request type will be used.

The action associated with an app can be set to either immediately download from a specified product URL, open a link in a new window or request in the usual way. The button text can also be changed for a product as well as some help text added. These properties can also be overridden by an external hook triggered when the requester views the app details. An item being routed via a request will always be a single cart entry only and will therefore utilize the simplified request process.

Content Tab

One or more Front Office ‘suppliers’ can be associated to the App Store. If no supplier is associated, all active product items across all supplier catalogs will be displayed.

Filter Tab

Product attributes (e.g., device type) can be displayed as a list of top-level filters; these are rolled up from individual items within the App Store, to create a distinct list. However, when configuring filters to be displayed, attributes across all supplier products are presented for selection, and Category name will always be included. 

Only attributes applicable to the specific App Store content will be available for selection by the end-user. The associated filters will not always be displayed when ‘viewing’ the App Store within the Admin area, as asynchronous processing needs to occur to generate the filters.

Access Tab

It is possible to restrict who can access a specific App Store by utilizing user groups. An App Store can be open to all or have one or more user groups assigned, to hide or show.

Tip: Create required user groups prior to configuring the Service Catalog.

What the End-User Sees

An unpaged list of items, displayed as tiles, will be displayed to the end-user. Where content is extensive, data will be returned in chunks, however, unless the user scrolls down the page very fast, this should be transparent to the viewing user. A chosen attribute can be displayed on the top-level item tile for the App Store.

A ‘sort’ option allows the returned search results to be displayed by either relevance (displays apps closest to the search parameters first - default sort), rating, popularity, newest (Created Date), price (low to high), price (high to low) or alphabetical (by name). Any additional filters are the App Store are those specified within the App Store definition: only attribute names applicable to the specific App Store content will be available for selection, although Category name will always be included.

The search facility within the App Store searches the Name and additional description fields, as well as part numbers, supplier, and manufacturer. All attributes will be searched, regardless of whether they are configured as top-level filters or not. The search engine delivers a rapid, high-performance text search, which uses a daily fully re-compiled index; product additions or deletions are dealt with as they happen during the day, although this may cause the count to be incorrect until a full index job has run.

The Configuration Check page, available in the Support sub-menu, shows details of the latest index and allows a new re-index to be run.

An individual item can be rated (once only) in the Product Details tab by the end-user, using a star system, and optionally, a review published. The aggregate rating will be displayed with the tile at App Store level. A supervisor can delete an individual review if necessary. A usage (popularity) figure, indicating the number of times the action button has been clicked for the item, is displayed in the Product Details tab. The usage figure can be manually adjusted via the Catalog Maintenance screen.

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