Commerce Module Interface

Updated: December 16, 2022
Contents

    The Commerce module provides with functionality to define and manage batches with specific billing information that is associated with a specific marketplace, product, and your business partner on the CloudBlue Connect platform.

    Billing batches are organized and directed via billing streams. Namely, such streams are used to arrange transformations of all incorporated batches and also manage transitions of required billing information to your business partners. The system also allows regulate transition of each billing batch individually.

    Note

    The system requires to deploy and install your extensions for the Commerce module in order to successfully perform the described operations. For more information on how to create and manage your extensions on Connect, refer to the DevOps module documentation.

    Billing streams and billing batches management are presently not available for Resellers and syndication scenarios. Pricing management and the functionality to manage other data streams (e.g., cost estimates and inventory) will also be introduced with future updates of the platform

    Billing Streams

    The Commerce module allows creating billing streams that are used to quickly and easily initiate the billing flow in your supply chain. Such streams are also used to organize your created and incoming billing batches and configure associated products, marketplaces, and attributes for your billing flow.

    Streams that are created and configured by your organization a business partners are available via the Outbound tab. Consequently, streams that are generated by your business partners are listed within the Inbound tab. Note that Vendor accounts cannot access inbound streams since all data streams generally starts with Vendor operations.

    New Stream Creation

    Access the Outbound tab to start creating a new stream object. Specifically, click the Create Stream button at the top-right corner and use the following form:

    • Type: Select either simple or computed stream type. Simple streams allow uploading files for the subsequent input configuration, while computed streams require to select an existing stream object. For more information on simple and computed streams, refer to the Key Concepts & Terminology article.
    • Name: Enter a name for your new stream object.
    • Product: Specify a product that should associated with your new stream.
    • Partner: Select a business partner that should receive your billing batches.
    • Marketplace: Specify a marketplace that should be associated with your billing stream. The system allows specifying your own marketplace in case of working with your end-customers.
    • Currency: Your currency is defined by your selected marketplace. Currently, the system allows selecting only one currency per a stream.
    • Description: Provide a description for your stream if necessary.
    • Input Configuration: These options vary depending on your selected stream type.
      • If the simple type selected, the system allows uploading your spreadsheet with input data file to the corresponding field. Connect also provides a download example option that can be used to learn more about expected file structure.
      • In case the computed type is selected, it is required to specify an existing stream as a computation source. Once your source is specified, the system enables to choose a selector and assign a value.

    Once all required fields are filled out, click Create to successfully finalize your stream creation. Therefore, your stream will be available within the Outbound tab and will allow creating billing batches associated with this stream. The system also allows accessing details of your available stream objects as described below.

    Stream Details

    Click on a stream object name from inbound or outbound list to access the Stream Details screen.

    This screen provides various information on your selected stream, such as its type, identifier, associated marketplace, currency, and more. The also displays status of your stream that is switched in case your input file is uploaded, an error occurred, etc.

    Use the additional menu (the icon at the top-right corner of the screen) to edit your stream name, description or batch publishing settings, and also delete your billing stream.

    Access more information and various operations with your stream by using the following tabs and buttons:

    Stream Configuration

    The Configuration tab is used to upload/re-upload your input file and review general insights information on your selected stream.

    The General widget showcases your batch publishing configuration, stream description, upload and creation date.

    This Settings widget is used to manage your input data for your selected stream. In case an input file is not uploaded to Connect, use the Upload Sample button to provide your input spreadsheet file:

    Furthermore, note that the Settings widget allows reuploading your input file for your simple stream and modify your stream’s output by using the Reupload Sample button.

    Make sure to validate your stream

    In case your input data is changed or updated, make sure to validate your stream by using the Validate button at the top-right corner of the screen.

    Columns Management

    The Columns tab, as the name implies, allows accessing all data columns that are uploaded to your selected stream. This tab provides a data grid that displays detailed information on each column, such as origin, type, name, description, and more.

    The provided data grid allows including or excluding your defined columns. Included columns represent selectors that define output for computed streams. Such selectors can be managed by using their corresponding on the interface:

    In case your selectors are changed, ensure to validate your stream by using the Validate button at the top-right corner of the screen.

    Note that only columns that are stored in the output can be used as selectors. For more information on selectors and billing stream specifications, refer to the Key Concepts & Terminology article.

    Stream Activation

    Once your stream configuration is finished and corresponding settings are validated, your stream can be activated by using the Switch Mode button at the top-right corner of the screen.

    Consequently, the system allows selecting one of the following modes for your stream:

    • Configuring: This mode is used for adjusting your stream configuration. However, it does not allow creating billing batches that will be associated with your configuring stream, publishing your stream, and sharing associated billing information with your business partners.
    • Active: Switch to this mode for creating associated billing batches and preparing your stream for the subsequent publication. Note that this mode does not allow changing your stream.

    Confirm your mode selection by clicking the Apply button.

    Batches Management

    This Batches tab provides a data grid for all billing batches that are associated with your selected stream. Along with the batch identifier, description, and status the data grid also includes various insights, such as total price, total cost, and a number of subscriptions that are interconnected with each batch.

    Once your stream is switched to the Active mode, create a new billing batch for your selected stream by clicking the Create button within the Batches tab:

    This functionality redirects to the batch creation form that is described under corresponding heading on this page.

    Stream Publication

    Your stream remains in the Private state and cannot be shared until it is switched to the Active mode. Once your stream is switched to this mode, use the Manage Sharing button at the top-right corner of the screen to access the following options:

    • Private: In case your stream stays in this state, your provided billing information will not be available for your business partner.
    • Shared: Use this option to share your billing stream with your specified business partner. Note that once your stream is published, it cannot be switched back to the Private state.

    Confirm your mode selection by clicking the Apply button. Therefore, your stream will be shared with your specified business partner.

    Ensure that your product is listed

    Note that published billing streams that are generated by Vendors will be available for Distributors only in case the associated product is listed on the specified marketplace. Otherwise, published streams will not be visible to Distributors.

    Billing Batches

    Billing batches are created and managed via the corresponding Batches section. Billing batches that are created by your organization are available within the Outbound tab. Distributors and Resellers can access incoming batches by using the Inbound tab.

    Note that the Inbound tab is not available for Vendors since such accounts typically do not receive any billing batches from their business partners.

    New Batch Creation

    The system allows creating new billing batches by using the Outbound tab. Make sure to have at least one billing stream in the Active mode before starting to work with its associated batches. Note that creating billing batches is available for Simple streams only.

    Create a new billing batch via the Create Batch button at the top-right corner. Consequently, use the following form to configure your new batch:

    • Stream: Select a stream that is associated with your new billing batch. The system doesn’t allow creating billing batches that are not linked to your stream.
    • Period: Specify the start date and end date for your billing batch.
    • To: Select a business partner that should receive your new billing batch. Distributors and Resellers can also select their own account to provide billing batches to their customers.
    • Marketplace: Specify a marketplace that is associated with your new billing batch. The system allows specifying your own marketplace in case of working with your end-customers.
    • External ID by Vendor: Enter an external identifier for your new batch that will be associated with a specific Vendor organization (optional).
    • Description: Provide description for your new batch if necessary.
    • Input Configuration: These options also vary depending on your selected stream type.
      • In case a simple stream is selected, the system requires to upload a spreadsheet file with billing data to the corresponding field. The interface also provides the download example option that can be used to learn more about expected file structure.
      • If a computed stream is specified, Connect will automatically collect required billing information from the source stream.

    When the provided form is filled out, click Create to finalize your billing batch creation. Note that your billing batch will be automatically shared with your specified business partner in case the automatic batch publishing option is selected for your stream.

    Your created billing batch can also be reviewed and edited by using the Billing Batch Details screen and published manually as described below.

    Billing Batch Details

    Access the Batch Details screen by clicking on any available batch object from the Inbound or Outbound batches list.

    This screen is used to publish your batch by sending it to your business partner and access detailed information on your selected batch, such as its status, identifier, associated marketplace, interconnected stream, and other insights.

    Batch details also allows accessing additional information and performing more operations with your batch object by using the following tabs:

    Batches Processing

    The Processing tab is used to upload/re-upload input data and to access general information on your selected billing batch.

    The General widget is used to review your batch description and external identifier. It is also used to edit it such information for your created billing batches.

    The Processing widget allows accessing input and output data for your selected billing batch. In case your input file is not uploaded to Connect, click the Upload button to provide your input spreadsheet file:

    The system also allows downloading an example file to learn about the expected file structure. Note that the example file also inherits the structure of the input data of its associated billing stream.

    In case it is required change or update your input file use the Re-Upload button from the Settings widget.

    Reviewing Columns

    The Columns tab allows reviewing all data columns that are provided via the spreadsheet file for your billing batch. Specifically, this tab assigned identifiers, name, type, and description for each column:

    Note that provided columns for your billing batches can be managed by accessing its corresponding stream object and using the Columns tab.

    Publishing Batches

    The system allows publishing your defined billing batches in case its associated stream is assigned to the Active mode.

    Share your billing information with your specified business partner by clicking the Publish button at the top-right corner of the screen:

    As a result, the system will start processing your published batch. Once your billing batch is assigned to the Ready status, your business partner will receive your billing information. Review your output file by using the Processing tab of the Billing Details screen.

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