Elastic Path Commerce Development

API and Core Terminology Differences

API and Core Terminology Differences

Cortex and the core platform (Core engine, Web Applications, and Commerce Manager) use different terminology to describe similar e-commerce concepts. This document is a partial list of some of these differing terminologies.

Why use different terminology?

Cortex is designed to live not just on top of our e-commerce platform, but also on top of other e-commerce platforms and even other applications. So the terminology used to describe Cortex's concepts is chosen to be in line with our API's multipurpose software model. For example, SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a term usually reserved for describing physical products in a store, but Cortex may be placed in front of a platform where the store doesn't have physical goods, it has entitlements, so the term SKU doesn't quite fit here. Instead, Cortex uses the term Item to describe SKUs and products.

Note: Terminologies

The terminologies used by Cortex, don't always map one to one with core platform terminologies. They usually share similar concepts, but are not always exact match.

The table below lists some of the key e-commerce terms that are different in Cortex and the core platform.

API Term Similar Core Term Notes
Item SKU, product An item is basically an I.D. that is used to track your purchases. This I.D. is unique to a specific configuration of a product.
Item Definition Options SKU option A variant of the item/sku. For example, an red iPod and an green iPod would each have a different Item Definition Option and a SKU option.
Orders Cart-Order An order tracks the information required from the customer to make a purchase, like the customer's payment details, shipping address, and items to purchase.
purchases Order Record of your completed transaction.
Shipping Options Shipping Service Level The shipping service to use for the shippable good the customer is purchasing.
Navigations Catalog Categories Navigations are directly mapped to catalog categories.
components bundle -
profiles Accounts These are basically the same thing.