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Salesforce’s developer conference, TrailheaDX, kicked off this week in San Francisco with a global community of attendees from over 43 countries, diving hands-on into the latest Salesforce product innovations. With over 150 technical sessions, trails for both developers and administrators, expert-led instruction, it was truly an amazing and immersive experience.

Commerce Cloud went big at TrailheaDX this year with five sessions led by our developer and engineering leads, an interactive booth providing an under-the-hood look at Commerce Cloud’s recent tools and advancements, and a developer meet up where developers in the retail sector had the opportunity to network and share best practices from across the Commerce Cloud community.

The overall reaction of Commerce Cloud’s presence at TrailheaDX was overwhelmingly consistent – that is, how Commerce Cloud is making big strides to align to the SalesforceDX development methodology.  Here are key learnings and top takeaways for ecommerce web developers, gleaned from topics covered at TrailheaDX:

Innovate Faster: Source Driven Development
Commerce Cloud is supporting merchants and SI developers with tools to innovate faster and achieve continuous integration through developing, testing, releasing and evolving new commerce experiences.

Demos of Commerce Cloud’s storefront reference architecture showed how developers can get to market faster by refining pre-built wireframes, rather than starting from scratch. These templates are underpinned by a Model-View-Controller architecture, and developers are empowered to leverage modern development tools like JavaScript, GIT, Jenkins, and GRUNT to build innovative, brand-rich ecommerce experiences.

Extend Commerce Journeys Everywhere: Open and Prescriptive Development
Commerce Cloud’s platform architecture is wrapped with a full set of APIs, called Open Commerce API’s (OCAPI), which expose core functionality such as cart, checkout and search; the APIs  also provide data object access to products or catalogs through a REST API layer,giving developers the ability to integrate with third party or customized applications – including Commerce Cloud’s ecosystem of LINK technology partners.

A session dedicated to OCAPI showcased Commerce Cloud’s new OCAPI Explorer and how it aligns with Salesforce DX and Swagger-based development frameworks, giving developers a single portal to engage with all API’s. Developers can connect their custom sandbox environments to the OCAPI Explorer to build and test new extensions that extend the Commerce Cloud digital engine into new commerce experiences.

Unify Commerce Journeys With Marketing and Service Cloud Connectors
Salesforce is providing merchants with tools to unify the customer experience across all channels. Since Commerce Cloud’s acquisition of Demandware, merchants have been asking for an integration of key commerce elements; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud. While Salesforce is currently working on a long term solution, at TrailheaDX Commerce Cloud showed how developers can leverage source code, available via a free community suite cartridge, to integrate common use cases.

The Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud Connector syncs customer and order data from Commerce Cloud to Service Cloud for three use-cases: case management, where customer cases initiated in Commerce Cloud through a self-service form on an ecommerce site flow into case records in Service Cloud. And second, “order on behalf of,” where call center agents are able to place orders on behalf of registered customers. Finally, all edits to profile data in Commerce Cloud will be pushed automatically to Service Cloud, ensuring agents have always up-to-date shopper information.

Similarly, the Commerce and Marketing Cloud connector provides integration between the most common commerce and marketing uses cases, including transactional emails which trigger emails in Marketing Cloud for shopper communications such as order confirmation, account creation, password reset, and behavioral emails such as abandon cart, abandon browse, and abandon search.

As always, TrailheaDX is always about learning.  For those developers who are new to Commerce Cloud, we encourage you to learn the basics with Commerce Cloud trails on Trailhead. Commerce Cloud veterans  can look to future releases and documentation for more developer enhancements.

In the meantime, check out our new report, produced in conjunction with Deloitte, which examines the role of customer data in the retail renaissance.