Document Properties
KbidZ25911
Last Modified03-Jun-2020
Added to KB18-Aug-2014
Public AccessEveryone
StatusOnline
Doc TypeGuidelines, Concepts & Cookbooks
Product
  • ICM 7.6
  • ICM 7.7
  • ICM 7.8
  • ICM 7.9
  • ICM 7.10

Concept - Product and Category Links

1 Introduction

Product and Category links are objects that are intended to be explored by a customer when browsing product pages and / or category pages. The purpose is to show the customer related offers. Providing such information may tempt a customer to buy more. Actually a product link represents another product, while a category link represents another categories. Possible combinations for this type of data are the links between:

  • Products and products
  • Products and categories (or vice versa)
  • Categories and categories

If a custom project needs to add a new link type to respond to the business requirements, use the cookbook according to the appropriate version:

2 Link Types

The different types of links are represented by type codes. Type codes are integer numbers and one single number represents one link type.

The standard product provides following type codes and for what kind of link it is used:

LinkTypes_7.0

Type codes are initially created during dbinit. Each type code has to be defined globally by appropriate entries. See the according cookbook according to your desired version. All available cookbooks for this topic are listed in the Product and Category Links (7.0 until 7.3) - Link Types#References section.

Semantic of link types means the explanation of "what they can be used for" and how to decide what kind of link to be assigned to a product or to a category. As shown on the diagram above each link type has own ID and display name in order to be readable for the end user and thus addresses the different use cases applicable for the links. Each link type is self-describing for which use case it could be applied.

The following table contains basic description for each of the standard link types:

Link TypeDescription
Cross-Selling

Offer related products to incite buyers to purchase more than originally intended.

ReplacementOffer similar/substitute products to buyers.
Up-SellingOffer alternative, higher-value products to incite buyers to purchase higher-priced products.
AccessoryOffer complementary products to incite buyers to purchase more than originally intended. E.g., a case might be offered for a notebook. Not usable for ship-together items.
Follow-UpRefer to follow-up (newer) version(s) of the product.
Different Order UnitRefers to offer(s) of the same product sold in a different order unit.
Spare PartsOffer available spare parts for a product.
Other
Proxy ProductFrom the frontend perspective, a Proxy Product could be seen as a clone of a "real" product.
WarrantyA warranty relation between a product/category and a warranty product.
Gift WrapProducts representing gift wrapping for other product(s).
Gift MessageProducts representing a gift wrapping message for other product(s).

The table shows the link types that can be used with links between:

  • Products and products
  • Products and categories
  • Categories and products

For links between

  • Categories and categories

standard product provides additional (category) link types:

Type CodeLink TypeDescription
1Cross-Selling

Offer related 'category of' products to incite buyers to purchase more than originally intended.

2Up-SellingOffer alternative, higher-value products to incite buyers to purchase higher-priced products.
3AccessoryOffer complementary products to incite buyers to purchase more than originally intended. E.g., a case might be offered for a notebook. Not usable for ship-together items.
4Follow-UpRefer to follow-up (newer) version(s) of products within the category.
5Spare PartsOffer available spare parts for products of this category.
6Other

3 Behavior of Product and Category Links

Product links represent the relation between one product and another product which are linked together. The product link logically points from a source product to a target product. Each product link has a type code which is used to determine the type of the link. All the type codes are defined by type code definitions and these definitions must define a group with name equals to the constant ProductLink:TypeCodeDefinitionGroup, i.e., the type code definition group defined by the product link itself.

To ensure uniqueness of the TypeCodeDefinition:Name the following naming convention should be used: use the project name as a prefix for the type code name, followed by an underscore. Standard Intershop and Enfinity use "ES_" as prefix for its type code names.

The following diagram shows the ProductLink object with its relations:

ProductLink_6.6

The diagram above shows a ProductLink object with possible attributes and a constant that defines the type code group to filter applicable type code definitions. In our case we have a link of type "Follow-Up" which brings together both source (Product 2) and target (Product N) products. Thus we have both products linked and entering source product page (Product 2 - Links) will show the links to the other products (if any) with the link type. In our case entering Product 2 - Links page will show us Product N as a product link of type "Follow-Up", i.e., Product 2 has as a "Follow-Up" link Product N. In other words, Product 2 has outgoing link to Product N of type "Follow-Up". Entering Product N - Links page will show us that this is a "Follow-Up" link of Product 2. At the target product's side Product N has incoming link from Product 2 of type "Follow-Up".

Category links are used to establish cross-relations between catalog categories in opposite to the parent-child relations on which the catalog structure is based. The category link points from a so called source CatalogCategory to a target CatalogCategory. Each category link has a type code which is used to determine the type of the link. All the type codes are defined by type code definitions and these definitions must define a group with name equals to the constant CatalogCategoryLink:TypeCodeDefinitionGroup, i.e., the type code definition group defined by the category link itself.

To ensure uniqueness of the TypeCodeDefinition:Name the following naming convention should be used: use the project name as a prefix for the type code name, followed by an underscore. Standard Enfinity uses "ES_" as prefix for its type code names.

The following diagram shows the CatalogCategoryLink object with its relations:

CatalogCategoryLink_6.8

The diagram above shows a CatalogCategoryLink object with possible attributes and a constant that defines the type code group to filter applicable type code definitions. In our case we have a link of type "Spare Parts" which brings together both source (CC23@Catalog 1) and target (CC211@Catalog 2) categories. Thus we have both categories linked and entering source category page (CC23@Catalog 1 - Links) will show the links to the other categories (if any) with the link type. In our case entering CC23@Catalog 1 - Links page will show us CC211@Catalog 2 as a category link of type "Spare Parts", i.e., CC23@Catalog 1 has as a "Spare Parts" link CC211@Catalog 2. In other words, CC23@Catalog 1 has outgoing link to CC211@Catalog 2 of type "Spare Parts". Entering CC211@Catalog 2 - Links page will show us that this is a "Spare Parts" link of CC23@Catalog 1. At the target category's side CC211@Catalog 2 has incoming link from CC23@Catalog 1 of type "Spare Parts".

 A product-category assignment is used to bind a product to a catalog category.

Note

A product can have multiple product-category assignments. This means that a product can be bound to several catalog categories at the same time.

Note also that there are different types of product-category assignments. The plain product-category assignment is used to assign products to the category tree for catalog browsing, whereas other assignments (like typed product-category assignment) may be used for purposes like defining hot deal products of a category or cross sell products for a category or any other product-category relations which should (by default) not show up in the regular product list of a category when browsing the catalog tree.

Typed product-category assignments represent the relation between a catalog category and a product which are linked together. Each typed product-category assignment has a type code which is used to determine the type of the link (or the type of the assignment). All the type codes are defined by type code definitions and these definitions must define a group with name equals to the constant TypedProductCategoryAssignment:TypeCodeDefinitionGroup, i.e., the type code definition group defined by the assignment link itself.

Typed product-category assignments represent the links between:

  • Product and category
  • Category and product

To ensure uniqueness of the TypeCodeDefinition:Name the following naming convention should be used: use the project name as a prefix for the type code name, followed by an underscore. Standard Enfinity uses "ES_" as prefix for its type code names.

The following diagram shows the TypedProductCategoryAssignment object with its relations:

TypedProductCategoryAssignment_6.6

The diagram above shows a TypedProductCategoryAssignment object with possible attributes and a constant that defines the type code group to filter applicable type code definitions. In our case we have a link of type "Replacement" which brings together both category (CC32@Catalog 1) and product (Product 3). Thus we have category and product linked and entering category page (CC32@Catalog 1 - Links) will show us Product 3 as a product link of type "Replacement", i.e., CC32@Catalog 1 has as a "Replacement" link Product 3. In other words, CC32@Catalog 1 has outgoing link to Product 3 of type "Replacement". Entering Product 3 - Links page will show us that this is a "Replacement" link of CC32@Catalog 1. At the Product 3 side Product 3 has incoming link from CC32@Catalog 1 of type "Replacement".

4 Presentation of Product and Category Links

The following screenshot represents the assigned product and category links of a regular product:

The following screenshot represents the assigned product and category links of a category:

The following screenshot shows the assigned product and category links of a regular product page in storefront:

The following screenshot shows the assigned product and category links of a category page in storefront:

Disclaimer

The information provided in the Knowledge Base may not be applicable to all systems and situations. Intershop Communications will not be liable to any party for any direct or indirect damages resulting from the use of the Customer Support section of the Intershop Corporate Web site, including, without limitation, any lost profits, business interruption, loss of programs or other data on your information handling system.

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