SAP Hybris development: tips and tricks

SAP Hybris development: tips and tricks

In December 2017 SAP Hybris Commerce has announced its 6.6 release with an in-depth focus on General Data Protection (GDPR) compliance. With technological benefits for all tastes, the premier provider gained the trust of Volkswagen, Carlsberg, Henkel, Indesit, Firelli, Deutsche Post and many other enterprise-level companies spurring Hybris market demand among businesses of smaller scale. Implementation of Hybris is usually going on both ways — from scratch and migrating from the e-Commerce platforms which was used at the time.

Today we’re going to get a closer look at SAP Hybris features which magnetize retailers, at advantages, it has over similar competing services and gives some development tips and tricks for proud owners of it. And sure, we won’t bypass the SAP Hybris development cost.

Hybris features for e-Commerce

Hybris is a well-thought-out e-Commerce platform which unleashes the power of selling for B2B and B2C markets simultaneously. Let’s discover the most gainful SAP Hybris features.

Both B2C and B2B platforms in one place

Business-to-consumer (B2С) approach is a process of selling goods or services directly to end customers for their later use.

Business-to-business (B2B) way of commercial activity is considered as trade between different businesses.

A while ago it was heaven for B2B companies to have and avail of features which were firing on all cylinders in B2C. Nowadays, Hybris convert B2B commerce into B2C. Wondering how exactly that happens? Responsiveness, omnichannel possibilities, individual price lists and many more aspects which mark out Hybris and raise its market demand. That is when B2B client logs on the website then prices, discounts, order history, wish lists, and other perks relating specifically to him are displayed without superfluous data of a general nature. He doesn’t need to call back asking for prices to be sent, wait for hours and then set out to order. With Hybris, a B2B consumer can make even bulk purchases on the go with a familiar check out process.

Over the past decade, it’s fair to say that no other online retail solution for both markets has succeeded so much as Hybris did. Its advantage as primary functionality stems from the backend and a number of administrative tools to cover needs both B2B and B2C sites.

Earlier we’ve mentioned about six administrative tools of SAP Hybris development which help to align business processes. Officially, they comprise 12 tools and 20 for administering the Hybris modules. We have to aware you that some modules enable functionality not covered by the individual license. At Aimprosoft we always emphasize our clients to this point before implementing preferred software. Cockpits, for example, are available out of the box, but some modules inside may require a subscription. Now let’s clear up what possibilities await you in administering Hybris.

  • HAC — Hybris Administration Console is a set of tools for logging, monitoring, ImpEx manipulations, performing flexible search queries and other admin actions. It is used by developers and maintainers of the e-store.
  • HMC — Hybris Management Console is a full set of administrative tools for all aspects of website management (WCMS, users, roles, products, facet search, prices, orders, etc.). The distressing disadvantage is its obsolescence with poor UI and non-user-friendly UX, no mobile responsiveness, and lots of pop-ups.
  • Backoffice (also referred to as Next Generation Cockpit Framework) is the same as HMC having same functions but with a fewer amount of glitches, with a present-day UI/UX design, ongoing support, and development. First, it has appeared in 5.0 version as an alternative for HMC. It is expected the Hybris Backoffice to replace HMC in 7.0 once and for all.
  • Product Cockpit is an advanced administration toolbar for in-store product display management, category management, stock and discount management, and others.
  • CMS Cockpit is an up-to-date administration toolbar for website management per se (web pages, layouts, components, etc.) and their settings.
  • Administration Cockpit is used to manage data validation constraints and instances of types.

It now remains only to design a store because Hybris commerce suite offers only backend options. Nevertheless, it’s for the best, because you can create your own unique look and feel for a storefront. Any user of Hybris has a superb backend engine with ready-to-act features to exploit it and move beyond standard code accelerators which are flexibly adjustable. And that it is important, one instance can run as many storefronts as you need. No additional SAP Hybris development is required.

Backend means not only a set of endpoints and administrative panels but also tools for developers (SDK) including code generators. They build fully working software and allow creating websites from a template without writing thousands of lines of boilerplate code, e.g., B2B/B2C accelerator. In this article we won’t dwell on types of accelerators, Hybris offers, just will give a short explanation. So, the Accelerator is a boilerplate storefront generated with Hybris SDK to avoid time-consuming modules coding from scratch. In 6.6 version it is widened with User Consent Management, Account Closure Self-Service, and Interactive API Documentation to protect sensitive data.

SAP ECC Integration

Earlier that was impossible to show prices for B2B clients in real time on a website because all prices and business processes were operated in the enterprise resource planning software. One of the most recognized global ERP today is SAP ERP. SAP abbreviation means Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing.

In 2013 SAP acquired Hybris to migrate all its clients from outdated WCEM to technologically progressive commerce software. Hybris was favored for its perfect match with ERP used by businesses far and wide and in Europe especially. They have developed a number of connectors for SAP ERP for the German market and beyond. With the acquisition, a fresh bout of evolution began between Hybris and SAP ECC which triggered a strong Hybris market demand. The core product of integration is Data Hub which is a mediator for scalable data integration between multiple sources and SAP ECC. The most frequently occurred case except accelerator customization is a demand for Hybris developers able to adjust and customize Data Hub.

SAP Hybris Data Hub

SAP Hybris Data Hub. Source: SAP Hybris

If you exploit SAP ECC, then all control of your e-store (users, products, prices, orders, etc.) will be outsourced to SAP and synced with Hybris via Data Hub seamlessly. If you are not a lucky owner of it still, then you can manage the operation of e-store with standard administrative tools described above.

Multi- channel, vendor, catalogue, stock

There can be located several e-stores on one Hybris instance. On the other hand, one e-store may have multiple catalogs by types of users or geographical difference. For example, if you sell clothes to US market and Germany with a different assortment but in one store. Hybris doesn’t limit business owners to have:

1. One e-store and different catalogs;

2. Two e-stores and one catalog;

3. Multiple e-stores and multiple catalogs.

All these can exist on one instance integrated with one ERP. This is achieved due to flexible stock and product management system in Hybris. Third, you should bring into focus specialists who can tie up technologies in SAP Hybris development.

Third-party integrations

Three cornerstones of must-have integrations:

  • Payment provider.
  • Shipping provider.
  • Tax provider.

Any checkout process in Hybris is a four-step route:

Сheckout process in Hybris

Сheckout process in Hybris

Each step is displayed on the new web page. A buyer may reconsider his decision and change the entered data or abandon the cart. Consequently, there are a lot of scenarios which prescribe something could go wrong with integrations.

For example, the integration with a payment provider typically works in the following way. After encoding/encrypting, a message is sent to the payment provider; then it returns with a confirmation that the buyer is solvent and the payment is made. The automatic acknowledgment is sent by Hybris once the buyer wants to make a payment. Typically, it is charged on order confirmation by request to withdraw funds from user’s account. A server accepts the payment and makes changes to the database. Payment is made.

To integrate any of mentioned integration, a qualified Senior Hybris Developer will take 1-2 weeks. Assuming that integrations are created from scratch, then all issues like those can be solved by developers internally. The implementation may double overtime. Possible floating bugs can put obstacles in the way of charging users.

The same situation happens with shipping and tax systems. Hybris has add-ons for quick integrations of payment, shipping and tax systems available for download in its marketplace. Using external integrations allows focusing on internal business processes rather than auxiliary software.

Extreme security

SAP Hybris leadership is always moving ahead of time. One of their last improvements puts data security in the spotlight with GDPR. We have released a lot of projects abiding by the regulations of security standards. Strictly following SAP Hybris Technical Design Guide, we ensure reliability and data transfer security for Aimprosoft clients with proven solutions. Announced upgrades in SAP Hybris Commerce 6.6 cover consent management, reporting, and data management along with security and encryption enhancements. Let’s explore in detail.

To care about capturing and processing personal data of users in a more explicit way Consent Management system is offered. Personal Data Reporting is designed to generate private customer data reports based on Data Annotation Framework configured easily. With Customer Account, Closure customers can desist from having their website accounts without assistance. Retention/Erasure Framework ensures retention of customer personal data in time. And solution named Generic Audit engages in storing all changes made by customers.

Of course, we can’t fail to mention that Hybris is in the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities compliance range. Thus, the e-Commerce platform protects its technical core and customer personal data securely.

SAP Hybris development

1. Use maximum code generators (accelerators) to escape writing boilerplate code and unnecessary bugs. It’s a right way to save development time and consequently time for detecting bugs.

2. Use recipes published on the official website, don’t reinvent the wheel. It’s better to take over Hybris original problem-solving.

3. Try to keep your Hybris instances updated. In this case, new extras are available out of the box along with security package. It requires less time for upgrading when the difference in functionality between two versions is huge.

4. While trying to modify the standard functionality of Hybris commerce platform, always create a module. It allows rolling back custom functionality easier if necessary.

5. Set up/launch daily backups beyond the rush hours to ensure continuous website running.

6. Use third-party solutions for tax calculation, order payments, shipping systems. If any of these integrations are going to be built in-house from scratch, then it will take a great deal of time for development and support (in case of pre-arranged updates take effect or services alter in shipping companies). Besides, they decrease engaged people and as a result a human factor.

7. Deny access to the cockpits from outside, permit within intranet only. That will make matters for potential hackers a bit more complicated.

Advantages of Hybris over other platforms

For sure, Hybris is worth complimenting for its diversity of features. We’re going to touch upon only five the most considerable pros instead of letting our thoughts flow over the tree. The rest advantages are listed in our previous article with a comparison of leading e-Commerce platform.

1. An out-of-the-box diversity of opportunities is offered to get valuable insights about consumers due to omnichannel possibilities of Hybris.

2. Niche developers those who know their way around a large e-Commerce. They are not high and low to find, SAP Hybris developers suit best as Hybris-focused dedicated teams or staffed. An average SAP Hybris developer is hardly not up to large-scale projects.

3. WYSIWYG editor — the richest text editor among e-Commerce platforms of modernity allowing excellent content segmentation, targeting, personalization by users and many more.

4. Connectors to transfer the data. Available native and custom ones according to the distinct market demands.

5. Mobile presence with Hybris Mobile App SDK to create brandable apps for B2B and B2C companies for both Android and iOS platforms.

How much do Hybris developers cost?

The main problem of Hybris is its license cost but not the price you have to pay for SAP Hybris development. Given the cost of Hybris, it is not worth saving on developers. For example, proof of concept can be accomplished only within three working days. Hybris will hardly attract the interest of small and, middle business. Moreover, the primary niche of Hybris to be applied is the B2B market.

Hence, allowing for the difficulty of solutions needed to form up business processes, the development period will take 2-3 months for 2-3 Hybris developers of senior level. The image below shows in hours a minimum set of implementations.

Estimate for a basic Hybris feature set development

Estimate for a basic Hybris feature set development

Setting up Hybris 8 hours
Generating B2B/B2C accelerator 16 hours
Customizing accelerator 24 hours
Filling with basic items (products, goods, etc.) 20 hours
Integrating payment provider 40 hours
Integrating shipping provider 32 hours
Integrating tax provider 32 hours
Data Hub configuration (optionally) 32 hours

Development testing and deployment

QA engagement

PM engagement

+ 25%

+ 30%

+ 10%

Total development time 308 hours

Well, the table reflects how much SAP Hybris development of a simple website in hours provided that it takes 4 weeks with a team of 2 Backend developers, 1 Frontend developer, 1 QA, 1 PM on part-time and 1 Team Lead on part-time. For example, with the average SAP Hybris developer rate, the project will cost you €18 500-24 500 in Germany, $24 500 – 37 000 in the US, £17 000 – 21 500 in the UK, and $9 000-10 000 at Aimprosoft. Otherwise, you may stop guessing and ask for a rough estimate at Aimprosoft write now and get a free consultation.