SAP Hybris Version 6.0: A Sneak Preview
Last October, SAP Hybris announced its plans for SAP Hybris version 6 at its Customer Days Americas event and demoed its features live earlier this year at the SAP Hybris Summit. We were fortunate enough to attend both events and see firsthand the exciting, new capabilities on the SAP Hybris horizon.
With so many exciting new features, it was difficult to choose a select few to include in our SAP Hybris 6 highlight reel. But we’ve done just that, and those features are:
- SAP Hybris Customer Experience (CX)
- SAP Hybris Merchandising
- SAP Hybris Commerce B2B: enhanced features and capabilities
- SAP Hybris Commerce Data Hub enhancements
- SAP Hybris as a Service (YaaS)
A quick note: this sneak preview is based on demonstrations and road maps, which means the features we cover here are subject to change prior to the general release.
1. SAP Hybris Customer Experience (CX)
SAP Hybris Customer Experience (CX) is one step in the evolution of the SAP Hybris Commerce Content Management System into a standalone product.
Why is this good news? Because it gives users a completely new content management experience, most notably with the SmartEdit tool, a slick application developed using Angular. SmartEdit replaces the features in the current CMS cockpit, including Live Edit.
SmartEdit provides a wrapper around the online (or stage) responsive eCommerce storefront to provide:
- Contextual editing
- Drag-and-drop for content creation and updates
- Preview of responsive inflection points
Best of all, the SmartEdit tool is implemented on top of the existing CMS. It interacts with the CMS through a newly exposed set of web services and integrates into the storefront via a defined set of JavaServer Pages (JSP) markup added to the pages.
2. SAP Hybris Merchandising
SAP Hybris Merchandising is a fascinating new mechanism that optimizes product merchandising on the storefront. It leverages SeeWhy technology, a Boston-based software company acquired by SAP Hybris in 2014. SeeWhy has been deeply integrated with SAP Hybris Commerce 6.0 as well as other components in the SAP CEC suite, e.g., SAP Hybris Marketing.
The merchandising solution consists of four key components:
- A set of instrumentation added to the SAP Hybris Commerce storefront that records real-time data on product views, orders, and other shopper behaviors.
- A cloud-based SAP Hybris Merchandise Service that provides the storage and power to process the product and shopper data that streams from the storefront.
- A new merchandising workbench in SAP Hybris Commerce that enables building product mixes and recommendations via an intuitive user interface. The workbench features sliders that control the selection and weighting of products to be displayed on the storefront. The sliders are based on the shopper data captured by the storefront and retrieved from the merchandise service.
- A new set of CMS components integrated with the storefront that display contextually-relevant product mixes and recommendations to the shopper.
Merchandisers now have the power to adjust product mixes dynamically based on shopper behavior to drive significant increases in conversion on the storefront.
3. SAP Hybris Commerce B2B: Enhanced Features and Capabilities
Building on the consolidation of the B2B and B2C accelerators in version 5.7, SAP Hybris Commerce 6.0 includes an integrated responsive web design Accelerator storefront for B2C and B2B. The new storefront leverages the SAP Hybris add-on concept to mix B2C and B2B features into a single storefront.
B2B capabilities will only expand as the SAP Hybris 6.x road map continues to roll out in Q3 and Q4 of this year as SAP Hybris resumes its standard quarterly release cycle. Additional B2B features slated for release include:
- Configurable products and bundles
- Enhanced data model that maps your sales team to the B2B customer organization already modeled in SAP Hybris
- Saved carts and saved quotes
- Enhanced support for back-office quoting, including quote templates
4. SAP Hybris Commerce Data Hub
The SAP Hybris Commerce Data Hub has clearly become the nucleus of the integration strategy in SAP Hybris 6.0 and will only continue to evolve. The Data Hub is at the center of a number of new features, including:
- Hybris-to-Hybris sync, which lets you synchronize data between separate SAP Hybris environments
- Integration to Hybris as a Service (YaaS)
- Enhanced integrations to ECC, Marketing, C4C, CPQ, and other components of the CEC portfolio
In SAP Hybris 6.0, the Data Hub will have a number of key enhancements, including:
- In-memory processing
- Increased concurrency
- Single node with failover
- Automated resume on restart
Additional enhanced features, such as high scalability, clustering, and elasticity, are on the road map for SAP Hybris 6.1 and beyond.
5. SAP Hybris as a Service (YaaS)
What is SAP Hybris as a Service? In the words of SAP Hybris’s Chief Strategy Officer Brian Walker,
“A public cloud platform that allows everyone to easily develop, extend, and sell packages and applications.”
Originally a public beta, YaaS is a language-agnostic cloud platform that allows developers to create, package, and market microservices and mashup applications. Business users can subscribe to and consume these services directly or via integration to their on-premise SAP Hybris Commerce implementation.
The YaaS marketplace today offers 19 microservices developed by SAP Hybris, with more on the way from the software giant and its partners.
SAP Hybris 6.0 includes an easy-to-configure mechanism that integrates SAP Hybris Commerce with YaaS microservices as well as other YaaS solutions such as SAP Hybris Profile. SAP Hybris Profile is an intriguing new cloud service that captures customer interactions and behaviors from the storefront and builds real-time customer profiles that drive personalized marketing on the storefront.
There’s More to Come
In addition to the features discussed here, SAP Hybris 6 includes many more new, exciting performance improvements that we’ll be watching closely, so be sure to check back on the LYONSCG blog. Before we go, let’s address two frequently asked questions:
What is the SAP Hybris 6.0 Release Schedule for 2016?
- Q2: SAP Hybris 6.0 release
- Q3: Version 6.1 planned for release
- Q4: Version 6.2 planned for release
Based on the road map we saw at Customer Days Americas, later versions will include significant, new functionalities as well as enhancements to features that debuted in the SAP Hybris 6.0 release.
What does upgrading to SAP Hybris 6.0 involve?
While the migration guide isn’t available yet, we have some general ideas about requirements, based on past experience:
- The upgrade effort partly depends on what version of SAP Hybris you’re currently running
- The platform-level upgrade is mostly straightforward but will require some code changes because of changes to SAP Hybris’s APIs
- The storefront upgrade effort depends on whether you want to incorporate new SAP Hybris features into your existing storefront and how much customization you want
- A couple of storefront-related items we have identified for Version 6 upgrades:
- If you want to add support for the new SmartEdit features in your existing storefront, you’ll need to update each JSP to add new attributes in the markup for the CMS components
- If you have developed custom CMS components, you might need to update the code in order to integrate them with SmartEdit
- If you’ve created custom promotions, you’ll have to re-implement them to get them working with the new promotions engine
Wayne Brazille, chief Hybris technical architect, has specialized in eCommerce for over 10 years and focused exclusively on Hybris for the past four. He’s developed eCommerce solutions for companies such as Tumi, Stock Building Supply, Target, Marks and Spencer, Phillips Electronics NV, and Michelin NA.