PunchOut is an adaptable gateway solution to integrate PunchOut and B2B commerce catalog functionality. The PunchOut gateway is a cloud-based integration platform (IaaS), sitting between Elastic Path and a B2B purchaser backend purchasing system. Using a PunchOut-enabled eProcurement system avoids the buyer organization from having to manage a catalog internally within their eProcurement system. Instead, they use the vendor’s online catalog. The storefront is modified for the PunchOut experience.
B2B purchaser initiate a PunchOut shopping experience by arriving on the supplier’s site. The purchaser is already authenticated without entering any credentials. The supplier trusts that the PunchOut gateway has authenticated the purchaser. The PunchOut gateway passes a signed JWT token to the serverless lambda, which passes the token to Cortex. Cortex authenticates the signature of the JWT token, and it is accepted. The JWT token contains encoded details about the retailer and purchaser.
The purchaser browses the online catalog on the storefront, builds a cart and brings the item list back into the eProcurement system. Purchaser often have to follow internal purchasing protocols. For example, a purchaser might have to create a request for certain goods and route that for approval as part of internal controls, through the eProcurement system. After the cart is approved in the eProcurement system, the purchase order is sent to the vendor. This is as a live integration that pushes the approved purchase order into Elastic Path as an order.
PunchOut Integration Workflows
The eProcurement system initiates requests to the PunchOut gateway. The gateway makes requests to the supplier’s website through a proprietary protocol that is supported by the supplier’s e-Commerce software. The PunchOut gateway calls Elastic Path Commerce endpoints through serverless lambdas. The lambdas have no local storage and delegate most of the work to the Cortex API.
Create a Cart
A B2B purchaser initiates the process to purchase items. The following diagram illustrates the workflow between Elastic Path Commerce and PunchOut:
Create a cart workflow
A B2B purchaser browses the eProcurement system to make a purchase on behalf of their buying organization.
The eProcurement system presents the B2B purchaser with a list of vendor sites. Each site is a direct link to the PunchOut supported e-commerce site for the PunchOut portal.
The eProcurement system forwards a PunchOut setup request to the PunchOut site.
The PunchOut gateway identifies the PunchOut customer and routes the request, accordingly.
It sends the new payload to the agreed upon endpoint to the vendor site. The Elastic Path lambda endpoint receives the PunchOut setup request including the following details:
JWT token, including the organization and user details.
PunchOut gateway, including the cart transfer initiation URL.
Cart details, is optional and only specified if you want to edit the cart.
The PunchOut gateway cart return URL is where the PunchOut session’s cart and item transfer data is posted.
The lambda makes a request to Cortex to create the purchaser’s cart.
Cortex returns the success or failure response.
The storefront URL is returned to the PunchOut gateway.
The PunchOut gateway redirects the user’s browser to the storefront URL.
The B2B purchaser arrives at the storefront identified as the user/buyer.
Cart Building and Cart Transfer
Cart transfer is the process after a B2B purchaser’s cart is created and returns to the eProcurement application. The following workflow process illustrates the process when a B2B purchaser has options to review the cart, save it for later use or delete it.
Cart building and transfer workflow
This workflow starts where the Create a cart workflow ended.
The B2B purchaser adds products to the cart.
The B2B purchaser is shown the cart page.
The B2B purchaser clicks Transfer Cart.
The Transfer Cart button redirects the purchasers browser to the PunchOut gateway.
The PunchOut gateway requests the cart contents from the Elastic Path-PunchOut lambda.
The lambda requests the cart contents from Cortex.
Elastic Path Cortex sends the cart contents back to the lambda.
The lambda sends the cart contents back to the PunchOut gateway.
The PunchOut gateway translates the cart contents into a
PunchOutOrderMessageand sends the information back to the eProcurement system.
B2B purchaser reviews the cart.
B2B purchaser saves the requisition.
B2B purchaser has the option to delete or approve the requisition. If the B2B purchaser approves the requisition, a purchase order is created.
Edit a Cart
A B2B purchaser can edit an existing cart by either restarting an existing session or a previous session where items are already populated in the cart.
Edit a cart workflow
The browser redirects the B2B purchaser to the PunchOut site.
The B2B purchaser selects an existing cart.
The B2B purchaser edits the cart, creates a re-PunchOut using
PunchOutSetUpRequestedit to items in payload.
The PunchOut gateway requests the setup request from the Elastic Path-PunchOut lambda.
Elastic Path Cortex sends the cart contents back to the PunchOut gateway.
The PunchOut gateway translates the cart contents into a
PunchOutOrderMessageand sends the storefront URL back to the eProcurement system.
The browser redirects to the storefront.
The following workflow illustrates the process when the procurement application sends an approved Purchase Order (PO) to Elastic Path and then creates the order.
Order create workflow
The purchaser clicks Create PO.
This initiates a request from the eProcurement system to the PunchOut gateway.
The PunchOut gateway requests the Elastic Path PunchOut lambda to create the sales order.
PunchOut lambda calls Cortex to create the sales order. Elastic Path Cortex replies with success or failure status and the order number back to the Elastic Path PunchOut lambda.
The lambda responds to the PunchOut gateway with the order number.
The PunchOut gateway responds to the eProcurement system with the order number.
The eProcurement system sends the purchaser the success status of the purchase order.
To configure PunchOut, Elastic Path Commerce, and the Elastic Path Web Storefront, perform the following steps in order: