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Last Modified20-Sep-2020
Added to KB04-Oct-2018
Public AccessEveryone
Doc TypeGuidelines, Concepts & Cookbooks
  • IOM 2.9
  • IOM 2.15
  • IOM 2.16
  • IOM 2.17
  • IOM 3.0

Concept - IOM RMA Business Process

1 Introduction

Return merchandise authorization (RMA) is an e-commerce term that describes an arrangement in which the seller of a good or product agrees to have a customer or client shipped that item back to them in exchange for a refund or credit. This agreement allows for a higher degree of guaranteed quality.

Intershop Order Management (IOM) has the ability to create return announcement (return request) using the IOM REST API. The RMA business process can be used to attach automated or manual approvals for the return requests using different state models. This document describes the basic concepts of the RMA business process and how to configure it to make use of the automated and manual approval. The target audience are partners and consultants.

1.1 Glossary

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APIThe abbreviation for Application Programming Interface


The abbreviation for Intershop Order Management

OMTThe abbreviation for Order Management Tool, the graphical management tool of the IOM
RESTThe abbreviation for Representational State Transfer
Return requestAlso return announcement, a request from a customer to the seller for sending back products of a previously delivered order
RMAThe abbreviation for Return Merchandise Authorization or Return Material Authorization

1.2 References

2 Business Process Customization

The RMA business process is a process that must be configured to be able to use a manual approval process. By default, after the initial setup of IOM, there is no configuration that uses a manual approval process.

The following model gives an overview of the RMA business process within the whole order life cycle, starting with the Order Business Process of IOM. After finalizing the order process, the Order-Dispatch Business Process can be started. Subsequently, the Order-Return Business Process or RMA Business Process can follow, depending on the shop configuration and workflow. For more details about the RMA business process, see the next section.

RMA Business Process

3 RMA Business Process

IOM has the ability to create, approve and export return requests. The following diagrams show the entire RMA business process as well as the various subprocesses in detail.

IOM BP - RMA  Business Process

3.1 Preconditional States

To call the sub-processes, different states are used so that each process has an input and an output. These are presented below:

  • INITIAL: indicates that the return request is initially stored in the database. This applies as input to the check process.

  • DO_APPROVE: indicates that the approval response is ready to process. This applies as input to the approve process.

  • ACCEPTED: indicates that the approval for the return request has been accepted. This applies as internal state within the approved process.

  • REJECTED: indicates that the approval for the return request has been rejected. This applies as internal state within the approved process.

  • DO_CLOSE: indicates that the approval for the return request has been accepted or rejected. This applies as input to the close process.

  • CLOSED: indicates that the RMA business process has been terminated. This applies as output to the close process.

3.2 Create a Return Request

Return requests could be created interactively within the OMT or directly via a Overview - IOM REST API. (Use data provided by SOAP Web Services if not supported by your version of REST API yet.)

Within the OMT:

  1. The business user selects the order with products to be returned.
  2. The business user selects products, quantities, return reasons and create the return request.
  3. The return request will be sent via REST API.
  4. The return request will be validated.
  5. After the successful validation, the return request will be stored and the state will be set to INITIAL.



When selecting the option PICKUP, the customer and delivery addresses have to be captured in the Order Validation & Capture Process. Please see Cookbook - IOM Return Request with Pickup for a description on how to configure.

3.2.1 RMA-Numbers

Using the IOM REST API to create a new return request, a return request with a given RMA number can be created. This field is optional, see Overview - IOM REST API.

Furthermore, the IOM can also generate an RMA number (if it is not given), using the configuration described in Cookbook - IOM Generation of Shop-specific RMA Numbers. This includes the customization of number ranges for the shop as well.

IOM BP - RMA - Create a return request

3.3 Approve a Return Request

  1. After the successful creation of a return request data object within the IOM REST API, the RMA business process starts with the check process.
  2. Having done some validations and checks for the precondition states, the process checks if the approval is required or not.
    1. In case there is no approval requirement, the state will be set to ACCEPTED. To call the close process, the state will be set to DO_CLOSE.
    2. If an approval is required, the approve process will be called and the state will be set to DO_APPROVE.
  3. In the approve process various checks and validations are carried out accordingly.
  4. When the 3rd party (in this case OMT) sends the approval response, the process can be terminated and the state is set either to ACCEPTED or REJECTED.

  5. This process sets the state to DO_CLOSE to call the close process, which also does various checks and validations, sets the state to CLOSED, starts the return announcement transmission (if the export of return announcement has been configured) and finally terminates the RMA business process.

IOM BP - RMA - Approve a return request

3.3.1 Configuration of the RMA Business Process

The Approve process is a process that must be configured to be able to use a manual process. By default, after the initial setup of IOM, there is no configuration that uses a manual approval process. Please refer to Cookbook - IOM RMA Business Process for more details about the major configuration steps to enable the RMA business process.

3.4 Transmit a Return Request


Please refer to Reference - IOM ImpEx Export RMA for more details about the structure and configuration for the new export of return announcement transmission.


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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