CS2007 Starter Site CTP Now Available

[Note: Revised instructions posted 8/29/2006]

I am pleased to announce that the CS2007 Starter Site CTP is now available for download from http://connect.microsoft.com/.

To get the bits:

The Commerce Server Connect Site is the main source for product pre-release activity, and has been updated with the release of the CS2007 Starter Site Community Tech Preview (CTP). With this release we have created a newsgroup specifically for discussions regarding the starter site CTP. To download the code, provide feedback to the product team and get access to the newsgroup, please follow the instructions below.


  1. Go to http://connect.microsoft.com and sign-in using your Passport Account. If you don’t have a Passport Account, there will be a link on that page to create one.
  2. Existing CS2007 Connect site customers:
    1. After sign-in, if you are an existing beta tester from the CS2007 beta program, you can click on “My Participation” link in the menu on the left side of the page.
    2. The next page will display a list of programs and you can click on the link marked “CS2007 Starter Site CTP” to access the CS2007 Starter Site CTP home page. You can then click on the “Downloads” link on the left side of the page, which will load a page showing all downloads currently available on the site for Commerce Server.
    3. You will already have access to the newsgroup for discussions at: microsoft.beta.cs2007.startersite
  3. New CS2007 Connect site customers:
    1. If you have not participated in the Commerce Server beta program, you will need to choose CS2007Starter Site CTP from the list of available programs by clicking the link for “Available Connections” in the menu on the left side of the page. From the list of available programs, click on the link to “Apply” next to the CS2007 Starter Site CTP.
    2. After completing registration, you will be automatically given access to the Connect site to download the starter site. From the CS2007 Starter Site CTP home page you can click on the “Downloads” link on the left side of the page, which will load a page showing all downloads currently available on the site for Commerce Server.
    3. To access the newsgroup, please visit the “Newsgroup” link on the left side of the page, which will provide you with an opportunity to create a newsgroup password, and will display your auto-generated Newsgroup ID. You will need to write down both your Newsgroup ID and password so that you have them ready when accessing the Microsoft beta newsgroup server.
    4. You will be able to access the newsgroup for starter site discussions at: microsoft.beta.cs2007.startersite

The Starter Site installation guide can be downloaded from http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=72136.

We hope you enjoy this release and provide plenty of feedback through the Connect site. Just remember – this is NOT for production usage and there will not be an upgrade path to the final Starter Site when it is released.

Products No Longer Offered – Best Practice

I was asked this morning how to handle the situation when you no longer offer a product for sale – but want to retain it’s details.

The answer is fortunately simple. Add a custom boolean attribute to the catalog – such as IsAvailable. Set it to True for products that are available and False for products that are not. Then on the site, modify the catalog display code to filter products by this attribute.

Customers will only see products that are available and business users can see everything – including historical products.

CS2007 Documentation Updates – August Edition

The good folks on our product documentation team have been hard at work producing many reams of good reading in several key documentation updates, including:

In addition, the Commerce Server TechNet Page has been completely refreshed at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/comm/default.mspx.

It is definitely worth checking all of these out. Happy Friday and good reading!

CS2007 Starter Site Update & Coming Site Releases

Progress is coming along nicely on the Commerce Server Starter Site. It will be released in two waves, with the first wave coming next week:

  • Community Technology Preview – Available at the end of next week (~August 25th), this build is code/feature complete with full functional testing. A partial/preliminary documentation-set will be included to get the site up and running.

    This build is not for production usage, as it has not undergone a complete set of exhaustive performance tuning and optimization. It is for sample and preview purposes only to serve as a guideline for building end-to-end Web sites with Commerce Server 2007 – there will not be a supported in-place upgrade path to the official release-to-web version.

  • Official Release to Web – Available in October 2006, this will be the final build of the Starter Site. It will include a complete set of documentation and be fully performance/stress tested and optimized for the most demanding of commercial e-commerce sites.

    This build will be supported for production usage.

The CTP build will be made available through Microsoft Connect. I will be posting specific download/access information as soon as it is live and available.

As an aside, this is my first post using the new Windows Live Writer Beta – which is a very cool blogging utility.

CS2007 Generally Available & Web Sites Updated

It’s August 1st. Commerce Server 2007 is now generally available worldwide through normal Microsoft licensing channels – which means everyone can buy and get product support just like any other. To coincide with this, our Web presence on Microsoft.com has been updated: