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Why you should upgrade SAP Hybris to SAP Commerce 1811?

While working on the new version of Leifheit’s online shop, we also updated its engine – SAP Commerce 6.0 – to a newer version. This was necessary because the new shop needed to meet the Lighthouse benchmark so it could be adapted to the PWA standard. At the same time, we wanted to take advantage of the valuable business functions that SAP Commerce Cloud 1811 brings to the table.

SAP Commerce Cloud 1811: new features for business

Version 1811 promises to maximize productivity and agility and reduce time to market.

But what does this actually mean?

  1. New promotion model: with more rules at their disposal, users can create more advanced marketing campaigns, which allows for more precise messaging and more accurate personalization.
  2. Better administration panel (e.g. Backoffice):the new Product Content Management dashboard presents product information in a clearer way. Business users can quickly identify poor product information or find the workflows they are involved in. This makes everyday work with the system easier.
  3. Customer support enhancements: the customer service module provides, among other things, a way to monitor pending payments and order processing (e.g. returns, cancellations).
  4. Ensuring GDPR compliance:the SAP Customer Data Cloud module for managing customer data and consent (formerly Gigya) guarantees that the workflows associated with data processing and storage meet GDPR standards.
  5. Better UX: the user experience in previous Hybris versions left a lot of room for improvement. The 1811 edition is more convenient and user friendly.

Version 1811 as PWA foundation

If your e-commerce is based on SAP Hybris and you are thinking about adopting the PWA standard, you need to upgrade to version 1811. Why? The Hybris’s API, Omnichannel Commerce (OCC), has been available since version 6.0. But only version 1811 makes it complete enough to support all e-commerce features. Only this version allows you to efficiently integrate the engine with another storefront. For the Leifheit case, this was our proprietary e2m storefront, which allows the creation of an online store in the PWA standard. The PWA standard is independent and compatible with every e-commerce system.

Does your platform need to be upgraded to the latest version?

Your platform should be updated if:

  1. you want to make sure your business and your clients’ data is secure,
  2. you need more promotion options or other new features,
  3. you want to use Hybris Backoffice as your customer service package,
  4. You operate in many markets or plan to do so. (Newer Hybris versions provide more out-of-the-box features supporting the introduction of multi-nationality).

The reality of upgrading to SAP Commerce Cloud 1811

Such an upgrade takes two to six months, depending on the specific project and the number of required changes. The upgrade process consists of seven phases:

 Gathering information about any non-standard functions implemented in a given solution (custom development).

 Analyzing and estimating the adaptation to the new version, including potential changes in external systems.

 Preparing changes related to the application logic and presentation layer.

Migrating data to the updated model.

 Performing user and integration tests in the test environment.

 Preparing data preparation for new modules (such as promotion) in the new engine.

 The rollout of the new version.

PWAs improved m-commerce experience
e2m storefront implementation
(formerly PWA Commerce Accelerator)
and mobile experience optimization

Read the Case Study

The benefits of e-commerce platform upgrades

The e-commerce platform upgrade process is a good opportunity to organize the entire ecosystem. We gather requirements again and examine how the existing system is used – chances are some platform functions aren’t needed. During this process, we learn what can be improved and/or simplified and what new features should be offered to make sure all business needs are satisfied completely.

When we upgrade part of a complex system (i.e. not a single application, but a group of applications), updates are also needed elsewhere. This is an opportunity to refresh more applications and improve the performance of the entire system.
Additionally, in larger releases, it often turns out that a tailor-made feature can be easily replaced by a new OOTB feature. This simplifies the existing system and allows the features to work together more efficiently. We also often get additional functionality.

Finally, security should be mentioned. SAP guarantees security patches only up to two years after a release. Just like any large piece of software, Hybris uses many external libraries, such as the ever-popular Spring. An upgrade of Hybris is also an update of the dependent libraries, which further increases the security of applications in areas not directly covered by the platform code.
Then there’s the developers’ perspective. For them, a platform upgrade is an opportunity to work with modern technologies. It provides new challenges and meets their need to delve into technological innovations: new libraries, frameworks, etc.

How often should you upgrade?

In an ideal situation, we would always upgrade to the latest version, according to the “one piece at a time” rule. An upgrade between two distant versions requires much more work and poses a higher risk of regression. Organizations that focus on system stability often prefer to upgrade their system to the second latest version, where most bugs (should) have already been fixed.

Two years after a product’s release, it’s almost a necessity to upgrade; this is when the previous version is no longer maintained by SAP. After two years, we will not get support when we discover platform errors or security vulnerabilities. This may also involve legal issues contained in the license agreement with SAP.