Business Center item administration

You can use Sterling Business Center to efficiently set up and maintain your organization's catalog, and define the peripheral components of items, such as assets, classifications, and so on, after your organization has downloaded all the items' details into the database.

For each item or service, you can define and assign a set of characteristics, which are referred to as attributes, in Business Center. You can logically group the items that share a set of attributes, into categories. Business Center's task-based user interface enables you to seamlessly define a category, assign attributes to a category, and specify which item fits into which category. Each item that is assigned to a category inherits all the attributes assigned to that category.

For example, you can create an item, a flat panel television, and a provided service, the installation service, for that television. You can then create a category, Televisions, which defines the attributes of all televisions, including the display type, screen size, and so on. When the flat panel television item is added to the category, Televisions, the flat panel television item will automatically inherit all the attributes associated to the category, Televisions. If the attributes are used for item specifications, they will be displayed on the customer's Web site for customers to view when placing an order.

After you define items, you can define item classifications and classification hierarchies that can be used to control other processes in the application, such as sourcing, associating services, determining shipping preferences, and so on. By defining a classification, you identify an item field as having a specified use in IBM Sterling Order Management System Software.

You can authorize an organization other than the catalog organization, to maintain a portion of the master catalog if your business requires it. Although enterprises can share the master catalog, in some cases, a catalog organization may want to extend the master catalog to other enterprises, allowing them to manage categories within the catalog.

A catalog organization is an enterprise that maintains the master catalog and defines other enterprises as subcatalog organizations. A catalog organization authorizes subcatalog organizations to manage the categories within the master catalog, and defines seller entitlements that grant or restrict other organizations' access to categories within the master catalog. Depending on an organization's seller entitlements, the organization may be able to view or sell catalog items that are maintained by the catalog organization or other organizations. Let us assume that you are required to allow a supplier to manage a category, Brand-X, in the catalog, while ensuring that the details of Brand-X are not visible to competitors of Brand-X. In such a scenario, you can define seller entitlements that grants and restricts other organizations' access to the categories in the catalog. Similarly, you can define customer entitlements to allow an enterprise to define the items its customers can buy.

Subcatalog organizations are enterprises that refer to a catalog organization as their catalog organization. If a vendor or seller is an enterprise, you can set it as a subcatalog organization.

Using the catalog index building functionality, you can enable customers to search your organization's active selling catalog. From the Business Center UI, you can create a searchable index file for each locale from the data that is available in the Selling and Order Management Foundation database. This index file is used to ensure that item searches are accomplished with fast response time.

  • Your administrator may have set certain validation rules for the data that is entered in the user interface. As a result, you may not be able to enter few characters in the user interface. If the data entered by you does not pass the validation, a descriptive error message is displayed indicating the reason for the validation failure. Contact your administrator for more details on the validations defined.
  • To open a hyperlink, it is recommended that you do not use the Open in a new tab or Open in a new window option, which is available on right-click, as the screen that is displayed may not be the appropriate screen.