IBM WebSphere Commerce v8 is here at last!


In case you missed the announcement, IBM just announced WebSphere Commerce v8!

There are going to be a lot of posts over the next month on the many new features in this release. I am most excited for two particularly interesting features, the first one is the new customer service representative features (CSR):

WebSphere Commerce V8.0 provides new customer service enhancements with Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce that enable a customer service representative (CSR) to resolve common issues and capture orders. These new capabilities are built into the WebSphere Commerce V8.0 storefront and enable a CSR to perform key tasks on behalf of a guest, registered customers, and for both B2B and B2C business models. Customer Service for WebSphere Commerce is offered for both Professional and Enterprise editions. – link

And of course the next is the long anticipated IBM Commerce Insights which:

IBM intends to deliver Commerce Insights in 2015, as a separately orderable, software as a service (SaaS) offering that can be used with your on premises or on cloud deployment of IBM WebSphere Commerce V8.0. – link

Now that all sounds great but some other important things to know is WebSphere Commerce now supports WAS ND 8.5, DB2 10.5 and of course RAD 9.5 for development.
But the developer in me is really excited because WebSphere Commerce Management Center now leverages dynamic HTML (DHTML) and the open source framework Spring. Which means extending the WebSphere Commerce tooling will be much easier going forward. Woo Hoo!
This really is a great release and I can’t wait to share all of the great features, stay tuned!

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2015 Lunar Eclipse with a blood moon pictures

Last night my son Nathan and I used the telescope and an iPhone 6 to take pictures of the eclipse and then the following blood moon. They came out pretty good but my brother Tom (who owns Balfe’s photography) took even better ones! Check out the pictures below:

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Visual Commerce: A Call-To-Action From Online Shoppers​


One of our Ready for IBM Commerce partners, Invodo, is hosting a Webinar on September 29th at 1pm EDT (10am PDT, 6pm BST):

Title: Visual Commerce: A Call-To-Action From Online Shoppers​
Visual content – like video, images, and spin photography – is becoming more relevant than ever in the online buying process. In this webinar, we’ll take an in-depth look at visual content and explore the results from our study of over 1,000 shoppers and 94 million e-commerce transactions. Join us Sept 29th at 12:00pm CDT/1:00 EDT to learn all about it!

When: September 29th at 1pm EDT (10am PDT, 6pm BST)

Register here!

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Video: IBM dmexco 2015 Impressions

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My impression of the DMEXCO conference in Cologne, Germany and my amazing artistic ability (NOT)

I was completely impressed with the size and quality of DMEXCO in Cologne Germany this past week. The conference only lasted two days and to be honest I think that is more than enough time. The place was jam packed with traffic both days and our booth was pretty active most of the time. This conference is comparable (if not larger) than NRF or with over 35,000 people in attendance. One of the things I found interesting was the attendees really understood Cloud and Commerce, the level of technical questioning was right on par with the other conferences and in some cases deeper.I did two sessions (twice, one each day); one session was IBM’s Commerce on Cloud introduction and the other was From Insight to Action with Commerce Insights.

The building was massive, I honestly could not believe how many vendors and sessions were there. There were even camp fires!



At the IBM booth we had a mini-theater area where our business partners, CPP Studios, designed a custom shoe interface on top of WebSphere Commerce. Customers could walk up, design/paint their shoe, have it published to a WebSphere Commerce online store for sale and then print a picture of their design.

You can watch the full video of me creating this shoe here:





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Homebase hits home run with WebSphere Commerce and Coremedia

Homebase in the United Kingdom went live at the end of last year with their new site built on WebSphere Commerce, Coremedia LiveContext, and the Bloomreach search plugin. In May, at the Amplify conference, Rachael Jones from Homebase spoke about the results their new site has brought in and the figures are outstanding:

• Average Order Amount vs. previous period last year: 8% increase
• Sales based on SEO increased vs. previous period last year:
17% increase
• Traffic to website vs. previous period last year:
36% increase
• Multi-channel sales (mobile optimization):
60% increase

If the sales numbers are not enough, Coremedia has transformed the way the different teams work on the site, offering a full collaboration suite centralized on Coremedia’s content management.. Barriers between business, creative, and IT teams were removed so all can now collaborate directly in CoreMedia. This also freed a lot of time for creative to undertake more strategic initiatives.

Search landing pages are managed in WebSphere Commerce and augmented by content from Coremedia. This is a prime example of which I spoke about in my previous post where Coremedia supports all three options for “owning the glass”. This enables the business users to get an optimum experience in the tools that make the most sense for the job. This also enables the site to promote specific content for search terms, for instance, if the shopper searches for “drills“, Homebase can now easily show promotions related to drills or specific brands of drills like Black & Decker.


Brand sites like Dulux Paint are now much easier to realize. This drives revenue for Homebase because partners pay for this sponsored content.





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Should Facebook and other social sites implement a “graphic content” warning before auto-playing videos?

smAfter the barrage of posts about the live shooting of the news anchor and her camera man and watching videos of the shooting it made me think of a feature Facebook and other social media should consider having. There is nothing worse than being around family, co-workers, or my kids and scrolling through my Facebook feed and see videos with questionable content just start playing.

As much as I hate a big brother attitude or punish everyone for something a small percentage of people do, the world we live in is changing rapidly and the content and videos being posted about the many tragedies happening in this world are becoming more and more prevalent.

I think when posting a URL or video on social media there should be a couple of options to flag the content as “graphic” or “not for work” – which then disables auto play with a banner ad warning. I know many people, including myself, simply do not watch many of these videos at work or when the kids are around and something like this might help out just a little.

What do you think, is this a crazy idea?

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Adobe, Coremedia, and WebSphere Commerce

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 1.37.32 PM

Ever since Adobe and IBM announced their partnership, many have been asking “well which CMS should I pick?”. I am not going to cover Portal or WebSphere Content Management in this post, I am just going to stick with the partner solutions Adobe and Coremedia, so that will have to be for another day.

Now of course this is just my opinion and others may have a different opinion but this is in the world according to Bob.

Continue reading

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Quickly minimize all other windows with this simple shake gesture

Windows7logoOk, so I was actually creating another video and I was trying to highlight a window by quickly dragging it around and all the other windows disappeared!

So then I did some searching around and its a feature of Windows 7! Check out the explanation here.

Check out this quick tip video to see this feature in action:

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My first reaction to the React JavaScript Library

ReactOk, I may be a little late to the game but recently I have been studying up on Facebooks/Instagrams React JavaScript library and I have to say I am fairly impressed with it. They say it is the V in MVC (model view controller). Outside of the fact that React applications can run both locally and on the server via Node (which I am sure you know I am a big fan of Node) it also comes with a React Native library!

React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about — learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native. – link

This means you can now truly “learn once and run everywhere”.  The great news is you can start coding now on BlueMix. Check out this article to see how React Native can be developed and deployed on BlueMix. If you are doing a cool project using React or React Native send me a link to your post, I would like to check it out.

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Every eCommerce site should have this one simple feature

I really don’t see this often and I have written here about being notified when inventory on a specific product is available for purchase. Well, today I saw an advertisement on Facebook (these guys are getting good) and decided to click on it. Unfortunately when I attempted to order the Marines Exclusive Under Armour MARINES Performance Tee it was not available. A side bar then popped up stating “Email When Available“, I clicked on it and got the dialog below. Well done MarineCorpsDirect, well done. Now let’s see how long it takes for me to get one…


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Will the “Buy It” button be the dominant shopping e-channel in the future?

I have posted about in the past and now with the introduction of Pinterest’s “Buy It” button we are seeing a huge movement into the this new digital shopping experience. Shoppers now have the ability to use different kinds of applications like Pinterest and Houzz to see products in a different way and then actually buy them.

Let’s look at these three different models and compare: gives a shopper with an iPad or mobile device to synchronize what they are watching on TV to buy products they are currently viewing in the show. This could be anything, a shirt or sweater someone is wearing to a table or a couch in the scene. This is of course driven by the television show and opens up new advertising opportunities for the show.

Houzz is another cool site I know many women like because they get to see household products in the context of a scene or picture. It even connects you with local designers, and construction companies:

Houzz - designers

The real beauty of the site is the ideas section. Once you fill out your profile of what you are looking for you can get categories of ideas for those selections.

Houzz - Ideas

These ideas are professional designers getting “their look” out to the public, a form of crowdsourcing. Houzz has a shoppers section but it also allows shopping and pricing from the different things right within the idea pictures. I am seeing more and more people using Houzz for their next great project and how cool is it to just click and buy. Their mobile application is actually addicting and you find yourself just flipping through some amazing ideas.

Buy it on Pinterest is the latest announcement where Pinterest users will be able to buy the items they see in the boards they subscribe to. I really love Pinterest and use it a lot for various reasons from fitness, cars, motorcycles, commerce, etc. Once eCommerce platforms support the Buy It button on Pinterest it makes me wonder how many people will be going to a company’s site versus their Pinterest board. Think of it as somewhat of a “free” eCommerce site where people pin and promote your products to the masses. I really think this could be a game changer in the eCommerce space and even allow smaller mom and pop shops to get a digital shopping experience for their products in a much cheaper and convenient way.
Buy it on Pinterest

Imagine the analytics around these solutions. With access to what boards you follow and what “pins” you like, the marketing teams for these companies can get a better idea of your tastes and who you are – essentially streamlining their ability to properly cross sell and up sell to you.

If you have any other “Buy It” now types of applications comment here and let me know, I am always interested in hearing about different ways to shop, especially in different countries. It would be great to learn what applications others across the world use in this context.

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WebSphere Commerce Support Tools now on BlueMix

This looks very promising indeed. The new WebSphere Commerce Support Tools are now available on BlueMix.

WebSphere Commerce Support Tools on BlueMix

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Base JavaScript versus jQuery example – Driving a DOM selector

One of the things a good web programmer should be able to do is write code using multiple libraries. In this case I have created two snippets that show how to select an HTML on a page using both bare-bones JavaScript and its corollary in jQuery.

The basic flow is:

MouseEnter Listener -> Modify border -> Click Listener -> Call Function

MouseOut Listener -> Restore border

This gives you an interface where you can then select a DOM element right from the web page. It would look like this:


Here are the two different implementations, you can see why I love jQuery, its brevity is breathtaking. The biggest difference is the selector API in jQuery that does the loop processing for you.

Base JavaScript

var all_1_Links = document.getElementsByTagName('div');
for (var i = 0; i < all_1_Links.length; i++) {
    var elm = all_1_Links[i];
    elm.addEventListener('mouseenter', function() {
        this.addEventListener('click', clickListener, true); =; = 'thin solid red';
    elm.addEventListener('mouseout', function() { =;


jQuery Version

$("div").mouseenter(function(e) { =;
    $("border", "thin solid red"); 
$("div").mouseout(function(e) { 


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Did you know about the Adobe Experience Manager to IBM WebSphere Commerce Connector?

Have you seen this cool new connector for Adobe Experience Manager and IBM WebSphere Commerce? Click the picture below to see more.1400693369262

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