Oracle has been hard at work on the commerce portion of its customer experience portfolio. Today it releases updates to two of its Commerce products and offers a chance to dig into the details at Oracle OpenWorld in San Fransisco the end of this month.

Oracle's Commerce strategy focuses not only on helping deliver great customer experiences, but also ensuring that the business user can easily create and manage these experiences across channels without needing to hold IT's hand. It has also ensured that the commerce platform is the best it can be to support a wide range of scalability and performance requirements.

So what's new and improved?

Oracle ATG Web Commerce

Oracle ATG Web Commerce sat at the top of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for e-commerce last fall after Oracle acquired it in November of 2010. Now at release number 10.1, ATG Web Commerce has a number of updates that support merchants. These include:

  • Visual Merchandising: Merchants can now edit content with visual tools that show the shopper's perspective. Tools such as Layout View, Light Table (drag and drop ordering of products) and a contextual menu are new and are meant to reduce the amount of work required to design the shopping experience.
  • Editing Multiple Items: Get things done faster by changing a number of items at once.
  • Time Based Preview: Want to see what your site looks like at a time in the future? Now you can.
  • Mobile and Cross Channel Selling: You can build mobile web sites or iOS web apps using the Commerce Reference Store (a customizable pre-built storefront). Also included are starter applications, best practices examples, and more.
  • Global Scalability: There are new business model, performance and international commerce features including a merged B2B and B2C set of capabilities and localized UIs for the business tools. Web Commerce is now integrated with Oracle Coherence (an in-memory data grid solution), and it is certified run on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle Exadata Database Machine.

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Oracle Commerce Reference Store

According to Oracle, recent benchmarking tests showed ATG Web Commerce improved response times by 50% and delivered 3x more page views per second when it was run on Oracle Exalogic compared to a traditional blade system of similar size and configuration.

Oracle Endeca Commerce

Oracle acquired Endeca back in October of 2011. It has worked hard to integrate Endeca Commerce into the overall Oracle platform. The Endeca product line has been combined into two offerings: Oracle Endeca Guided Search and Oracle Endeca Experience Manager, both elements of Oracle Endeca Commerce.

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Endeca Commerce 3.1 has updated capabilities focused on better web-based tools for business users:

  • No More Manual: Automated delivery of targeted, cross-channel experience with no limit on how many to create. You can also manually optimize certain parts of the experience.
  • Stronger Platform: An updated MDEX Engine 6.3 which includes performance improvements and architectural enhancements that enable you to extend the platform to scale with your business.
  • Better Experience Builder: A new version of Endeca Experience Manager (formerly called Endeca Page Builder). It's a platform that allows you to create and manage the entire customer experience across channels (including the offline experience). With the new version you can mix static and dynamic content to create the optimal experience.
  • A Reference App: There's also a new Java-based reference application for building multi-channel experiences. It includes a front-end reference for desktop and mobile web.

To learn more about both commerce platforms Oracle plans to deliver 15 sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco at the end of this month. There you will learn more about how the two platforms will be unfified. As we were told when we spoke with Anthony Lye, Oracle Senior VP for Oracle CRM, Oracle does plan to standardize all of its CXM solutions on its middleware, and those are the details we would expect to hear about.