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IBM WCS Interview Questions and Answers

Q1. What is the Purpose of Access Control Policy?

Ans: Components such as users, actions, relationships, and resources constitute access control in any Web Sphere Commerce application. Actions are the activities that users perform on the available resources. For controlling the purposes of access control, actions must be grouped into relevant groups.

E.g., the common action in any online store is a view, which is invoked to display a page to the customers. Views used in the store are declared as actions and should be assigned to an action group prior to allowing access.

Two types of access control, based on policy: resource-level and command-level access control are practiced. A resource-level access control policy is applied to establish if the user needs to access the resource. Command-level access control confirms whether the user should be allowed to execute the particular command within the specified store.

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Q2. Differentiate between Product & Item?

Ans: Merchandise that can be sold is known as item whereas such saleable items grouped is known as Product, which shares certain characteristics. For example - Cell phones are products whereas iPhone 7 is an item. Merchandises are always attached to Stock keeping units or items. The product has no relevance regarding quantity or stock.

Q3. What do we understand by purchase conditions followed by rewards in online promotions?

Ans: A purchase is a condition that has to be fulfilled before a promotion condition can be applied, whereas rewards are the benefit, which is forwarded to the customer. E.g., the Promotion is "Buy 2 Units (Quantity) of Item X, Get the Item Y is Free" Purchase condition, in this case, is the inclusion of 2 qty of Item X in the Cart. Reward, in this case, is one unit of Y.

Q4. What do you understand by Catalogue Subsystem?

Ans: Catalog Subsystem coQ. How many Types of Catalogue are there? Define them.nsists of all the logic and data applicable to an online store, exhibiting groups, entries, and any relationships amongst them. It helps in creating a personalized list and supports navigating within the online store too. It has certain restrictions and has a structure of a tree and not like a cycle.

There are two types of Catalogue- Master and Sales Catalogue. Master catalog entry cannot belong to several parent categories. E.g., if we need to place an item in both men’s and women’s category, we have to put them in the sales catalog.

Q5. What are the elements in the Promotion engine?

Ans: A series of configurable elements comprises a Promotional engine. These configurable elements are specified in an XML file, better known as WCSPromotionEngineConfig.xml. The configuration of a promotional engine is set as per the Web Sphere Commerce instance. It is impossible to have various configurations for the same online stores in the same instance.

The promotion engine estimates promotions for different customers while they purchase. The estimation process has many stages and involves various elements of the promotion engine like PromotionSequenceBuilder, PromotionAgendaBuilder, etc

Q6. What is PromotionSequenceBuilder?

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Ans: After the agenda is built in the promotional engine, it invokes the registered user to create a promotion context in PromotionContextFactory. Following this, the promotion engine invokes PromotionSequenceBuilder to classify the promotions in the Agenda and decide the sequence of evaluating the promotions. Once the sequence is finalized, the initialization phase of the promotion engine is completed.

Q7. What is PromotionAgendaBuilder?

Ans: PromotionAgendaBuilder is set with a promotion engine and is invoked to build an agenda, similar to the table that consists of a promotional list awaiting evaluation, & other applicable policies for every single promotion.

Q8. Describe the Marketing subsystem?

Ans: The marketing subsystem is an essential element of the WebSphere Commerce Server and offers various marketing tools for the online store. These tools are designed to promote brand awareness, attract, and retain existing customers. Elements of this subsystem provide the functionality to generate campaigns, including customer segments, advertising; & mail activities.

Q9. What do you understand by E-Marketing Spots?

Ans: Reserved space on any online store pages is known as E-Marketing Spots, which are used for displaying marketing information to customers. This information can be controlled in e-Marketing Spots without new development.

Following types of marketing information are displayed on E-Marketing Spots:

  • Advertisements for promotions
  • Recommended category
  • Catalog, including merchandising associations like affiliations.

Q10. What is Web Sphere Commerce Trading Subsystem?

Ans: This subsystem handles trading agreements, which are used to manage the business relationships between a buyer and seller organization. Three basic types of trading agreement available in Web Sphere commerce, which are:

  • Business Accounts
  • Request for Quotes(RFQ)
  • Contract

Q11. What is the process of creating a business account?

Ans: To create a corporate account, we need to use Business Relationship Management tools provided in WebSphere Commerce Accelerator. The seller administrator needs to create a buyer organization by using the Console, before creating a new business account.

The seller administrator needs to make sure that at least one person must be associated with the buyer organization as a registered customer. The Prerequisites for creating an Account are to ensure that the participant role is assigned to the organization for which the account has been created.

We should also ensure that the buyer organization that was created is a member of the registered customers. If required, we need to add the buyer organization.

Q12. Explain Hubs and Extended stores?

Ans: Products and services sold with the help of partners and affiliates feature themselves in Hub and Extended stores. Hub is the centralized site around which all extended stores are generated by the respective partner also known as an affiliate. Storeowner performs the administration for extended site whereas overall control of merchandises remains with the site.

Q13. Describe the benefits of Smart bean?

Ans: The lazy fetch method to retrieve its data is known as the Smart data bean. Data bean offers efficient performance in situations where an entire lot of data from the access bean is not required, and it retrieves the needed data accordingly.

Q14. What is a command data bean?

Ans: Command data bean functions after a command to pull its data and is a lightweight data bean. The command fetches all the characteristics of the data bean at once, irrespective of whether the JSP page requires them. As a result, JSP pages use a selection of attributes of command data bean that may be costly in terms of time.

Q15. What is an EJB copy helper?

Ans: Access bean uses a copy helper, which reduces the number of calls to the organizational bean when commands get the bean attributes. One single call to the organizational bean is needed when reading or writing various attributes of the organization. Copy helper object lies within the access bean. The getter and setter technique is allotted to the copy helper object instead of the remote bean object.

Q16. Explain Order Management flow in WCS?

Ans: Following is the flow in WCS

1) OrderCreate: Creation of the order, even if there are no items available in the cart.
2) OrderItemAdd: Adding an item into the cart after the customer selects it.
3) OrderItemUpdate: Updated in the shopping cart page, after the customer replaces the item. Order state will exhibit pending
4) OrderCalculate: Calculate the total items added to the cart.
5) OrderItemMove: Merges the current pending order to the previous order.
6) OrderPrepare: Calculates discounts, shipping charges, and taxes for the execution of the order.
7) OrderProfileUpdate: Update the billing & shipping address and mode of delivery to the customer.
8) OrderProcess: Final execution of the order.

Q17. What do we understand by Optimistic Locking?

Ans: Optimistic Locking is an approach where rows in the database are not normally accessed simultaneously and not locked with an intention to update. When the update is ultimately made, the row is checked to ensure that it has not been updated simultaneously. If it has been updated simultaneously, then the transaction is canceled and the command may be initiated in a new transaction if found appropriate.

Q18. What do you understand by Calmethods?

Ans: Methods of Calculation used for the information, which is part of the calculation, calculation codes, and scales to conclude the prices of the order items. Calculations are based on the task performed within the framework to which the calculation method belongs.

Q19. What Is Fulfilment Center?

Ans: Fulfillment centers are the stores, which are used as inventory warehouses & shipping and receiving centers. Any store can have one or many fulfillment centers.

Q20. What do we understand by Attribute Dictionary?

Ans: An attribute dictionary is a set of familiar attributes with their values, which can be recycled by many products. Management of Attribute tool in Management Center offers business users the capability to create, assign, update, and manage product attributes.

Q21. What do we understand by dynacache and its role of cachespec.xml in WCS?

Ans: Dynacache in Web Sphere Commerce Server is the main object cache. As an alternative in creating new objects, again and again, the same store objects are submitted on the basis of matching rules. Rules for caching are stored in a file called cachespec.xml.

Q22. We need to store a color attribute for some SKU. In which tables will the information be stored?

Ans: Color Attribute will be stored in tables ATTR & ATTRDESC. All the values for this aspect will be stored in ATTRVAL & ATTRVALDESC. All connections between Attribute, Attribute Value, and Catenary are stored in the CATENTRYATTR table.  
Explain ADDRESS & ADDRBOOK tables.
The Table ADDRBOOK contains the address of the member. ADDRESS_ID is the primary key of this member. Table ADDRESS contains the Member's own address, their friend’s address, etc. The Primary key is ADDRESS_ID; whereas ADDRESS TYPE can be Shipping denoted by S, Billing B, or a combination of Shipping and Billing as SB.
 Explain the similarity between CATENTRY & CATENTREL.
CATENTRY_ID is an unfamiliar key in ORDER ITEMS & OICOMPLIST tables. CATENTRY_ID is the primary key in the CATENTRY table. The association of the parent and child CATENTRY_ID can be described in the CENTRAL table. The CATENTRYTYPE_ID can be Product Bean, Package Bean, Item Bean, Bundle Bean, and CatalogEntryBean. CATENTDESC contains all the definite information for the CATENTRY_ID. The LIST PRICE consists of the prices of the CATENTRY_ID. OFFER table consists of the OFFER_ID of the CATENTRY_ID.

Q23. Explain the table ATTRIBUTE?

Ans: ATTRIBUTE table includes all the attribute information of the CATENTRY_ID. The primary key is ATTRIBUTE_ID. CATENTRY_ID may have many ATRRIBUTE_ID. E.g of ATTRIBUTE is color, FM Radio, Internet browser, Blue Tooth, Video Recorder, etc. ATTRIBUTE specifies all features that are available for CATENTRY_ID. THE ATTRTYPE table consists attribute type information. ATTRTYPE_ID can be STRING, FLOAT, INTEGER, DATETIME, FREEFROM, BIGINT, & ATTACHMENT. The ATTRVALUE table consists of the STRINGVALUE and the FLOATVALUE. Description of ATTRIBUTE_ID is specific to the store LANGUAGE_ID.
 Explain EMSPOT precisely.
Marketing spots that are generated in the application stores them in table EMSPOT. This table contains EMSPOT_ID, NAME, STORE_ID, USUAGETYPE & DESCRIPTION.

Q24. Explain all the exception types in WCS?

Ans: Command throws two types of exceptions:

ECApplicationException: This is thrown; if the error is connected to user input and will always fail. If the user enters an invalid parameter, this exception is thrown. When this exception is thrown, the resolution manager does not retry the command, even if the command might be specified as retriable.

ECSystemException: This exception is thrown if there is a runtime error in the Web Sphere setup. E.g. of this type of exception is known as Remote Exception or other EJB exceptions. When this type of exception is thrown, the resolution manager retries for the command, provided that the command is retriable and the error occurred by either a database rollback or database deadlock.

Q25. What is the purpose of Bootstrap files?

Ans: Bootstrap files are the XML files, which WebSphere Commerce Server uses during the creation of any instance to populate database tables with information after the schema has been generated. Once the data loads, we can see the preloaded information in the table. These files are generally used to retrieve information about the particular data, such as calculation codes & pricing policies.

Q26. What do we mean by cross-selling?

Ans: Selling of items across the stores. e.g. Store A sells the items of  Store B too, other than selling it own brands. Store A become the affiliate partner of Store B. it can be cross-selling at both the ends too, enhancing each other sales.