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Spartacus – The Latest Storefront Clou in the World of SAP

What was first announced at the SAP CX in October 2018 in Barcelona has now become reality. After a long periode of patience in form of a limited beta-testing version, Spartacus 1.0 is officially released with the new SAP Commerce 1905 release. But what exactly is behind it and what are its advantages? See for yourself!

Spartacus «in a Nutshell»

Spartacus is the latest clou of the SAP world. For those who are now wondering what the Roman sounding word is all about, here are a few facts for a first overview right at the beginning:

Spartacus:

  • is the basis for creating an exemplary storefront
  • consists of a set of libraries
  • is a Single-Page-Application (SPA)
  • can use Microservices thanks to the REST APIs
  • can be used together with SmartEdit
  • uses among others Angular
  • is a Progressive Web App (PWA)

Of course, this short list does not show everything yet – but a first good insight is given. If you take a closer look at Spartacus, you might notice a few points, which will be highlighted in the following. The primarily following questions stand in the focus, which will be interesting also from a technical view in the future.

1. How Do Spartacus and SAP Commerce Cloud Belong Together?

Without SAP Commerce Cloud there would be no Spartacus: It is a headless implementation, but Spartacus needs SAP Commerce Cloud APIs & CMS content to work because it is 100% API driven. The advantage is obvious. Due to the decoupling of Frontend and Backend it will be possible to choose independent update cycles in the future. Thus, Spartacus for example can be released independently and as often as needed without releasing the backend. Thus, a very good scalability is pre-programmed!

2. What is the Difference between Spartacus and the Classic Accelerator?

Even when the platform was still called Hybris, the first Accelerator templates were released in version c4.4, with the aim of giving the customer a quick and easy way via an exemplary storefront. This first sentence also contains the first differences between the classic Accelerator and Spartacus. Accelerators are based on templates that are extensible, but difficult to upgrade and strongly linked to the platform. Independent releases therefore do not come to bear. Spartacus, on the other hand, is based on so-called libraries, which, as already mentioned a few times, can be easily extended and are disconnected from SAP Commerce Cloud. Spartacus also paid attention to an implementation in JavaScript, more precisely an implementation in Angular, in order to be optimally prepared for the future.

3. Accelerator or Spartacus?

When it comes to the question whether one of the various Accelerators or Spartacus should be used for a new project, the answer is a bit more complex. Basically, Spartacus should completely replace the Accelerator in the future, but this does not mean that Spartacus remains the only option. In fact, many of our customers are already using a Custom Frontend to design their platform to meet their needs. Ultimately, the decision will be between "Spartacus or Custom Frontend" in the future. It is all too recommendable to get an experienced partner at your side to find the best decision for your company and your platform.

4. What are the Current Benefits of Spartacus?

Spartacus is available in version 1.0 and 1.04 since release 1905. We are currently working on version 1.1. With the release 1.04 the following functionalities are among other things available:

Customer-Facing

  • Home
  • Categories
  • Search
  • Product details
  • Storefinder
  • Registration
  • Checkout
  • Orders
  • Account

Architectural

  • Responsive design
  • CMS-driven
  • SmartEdit-editable
  • SSR
  • SEO
  • Routing
  • Site context
  • Localization

5. Where will Spartacus Go in the Future?

The attentive reader will have noticed that essential functionalities are not yet available today. These include product variants, express checkout and B2B storefront features such as replenishment, B2B Checkout and Commerce Org. However, if you look at the roadmap for 3rd and 4th quarter in 2019 and to 2020, it becomes clear that these and other features are even planned for 2019 and early 2020. Above all in the B2B area essential features are still missing, which hopefully will be available soon.

In addition to the discussion points mentioned above, there are, of course, many more technical questions and various topics to be answered and tested. For everyone who is willing to have more information, especially on technical issues, the following contributions are highly recommended:

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