Does your business have a lot of customers and content to manage? It is the case for almost all medium- and big-sized online stores. In each eCommerce platform, you can store information about products and sometimes use them as a data source for external systems.
Sometimes, however, this may not be enough, and then PIM systems (such as Pimcore) come to the rescue.
PIM stands for Product Information Management. It is an extension of the eCommerce system that allows for more convenient and faster control over all product data. Read more about PIM >>.
See what you can gain by using the PIM system in your business.
When a PIM system can be a good solution for you?
- You have multiple product data sources. It is an interesting tool if, for example, five people in your team are responsible for various elements, e.g. one for providing photos, another for descriptions, another for SEO modifications, and another for assigning related products.
- You have multiple language versions, and you need to translate them.
- You have problems with product data quality – they are incomplete, have wrong attributes, photos, etc.
- You have multichannel solutions, and you need one consistent data source.
- Your names and descriptions are inappropriate for SEO, and you want a separate cell in your company or an external company to do it.
How does it look in practice?
The PIM system is an external product database that can connect to your online store, physical stores and also be used as a data source for catalogs and brochures. In the case of integration with such a system, you may import products, or if you are just starting – you enter them into the PIM system, from where, if they meet all the assumptions, they go to the store.
For example, you can assume that a product must have a name, short description, long description, size, color, and photo. If it does not have these elements – it will not be published.
Of course, you may set the PIM system to publish content at the right time, no matter if the data is filled. In this case, regardless of whether the product has all the fields filled in, it will be published at a specific time.
If you have separate content and order management teams and want to automate their work, we suggest a solution. Use Sylius for eCommerce (Product view, listing, Cart, Checkout, Reviews) and Pimcore for product information management (like name, description, position, images, and customer marketing management. It would give you the ability to split responsibilities in your team and allow its members to use great tools for their duties.
What is Sylius?
Sylius is a fantastic eCommerce framework for tailored eCommerce businesses. It is open-source, built on one of the top PHP framework called Symfony, and gains a lot of popularity around the world from the day it was released as stable one year ago.
It’s a great alternative to Magento or Spryker. In many cases, it could be more cost-efficient in implementation, scaling, and much more adjusted to the business due to its flexibility. It is oriented to medium- and big-sized businesses and solves around 70-80% of common eCommerce problems. The last 20-30% is left for the business specifics and integrations. Sylius works excellently with other software. It supports a nice API/Message Bus-driven architecture with clean code, which means a lot in terms of flexibility.
The biggest advantages of Sylius
- A great community behind it
- Modern architecture adjusted to eCommerce standards in 2018
- Way more cost-efficient compared to other PHP platforms in terms of implementation and maintenance
- Perfect testing environment
- Open Source
- Built with Symfony
We wrote a post about how to provide an awesome B2C experience on top of Sylius, where we described how easily specific features could be implemented in it. There is also a blog post called “Why it is high time to consider Sylius as the best eCommerce solution for PHP?“. You might also want to read it if you’re into extending some knowledge on what actually makes Sylius such a great tool.
What is Pimcore?
Pimcore is a platform for Product Information Management (PIM), Content Management System (CMS), and Digital Assets Management (DAM). We prefer to call it a centralized data management system. It enables the user to use a great UX interface to model the data structure easily and manage it rapidly. Like Sylius, it is Open Source, has a great community behind it, and it’s built on the Symfony framework.
The biggest Pimcore advantages
- Easy to use interface with nice UX
- Great documentation
- Easy to learn technology behind it
- Open Source
- Built with Symfony
What Sylius and Pimcore have in common?
Some of the similarities are obvious, some not. Both Pimcore and Sylius are:
- Open Source, free to use, community-driven
- Built with Symfony and require similar stack (PHP, MySQL, Apache)
- Flexible, which is extremally important where business requirements change every day
- Made to work as a puzzle inside a bigger infrastructure, because every business differs and uses other IT tools
- Great in what they were made for – it’s hard for one tool to cover all business needs
- Able to provide a nice dev experience that can be gained quickly because of known tools and patterns behind it
- Easy to host & scale
How could it work together?
You can use our SyliusCmsPlugin as a Sylius addition. Then, using the AMQP protocol with RabbitMQ, you can write a bidirectional connection between Sylius and Pimcore for Products (PIM), Pages & Blocks (CMS), and Media (DAM). With the CMS plugin, you can render pages dynamic block contents and media inside your Twig views (or expose them as an API) and manage them inside Pimcore. On the Pimcore side, you would just need to create the data structure which is used by Sylius & CMS plugin. It could be done in the admin panel within a few hours. That’s all!