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Payment Integration for Salesforce Commerce Cloud: LINK cartridges

Even though Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC) is a powerful platform for digital commerce, many things like payments or tax calculations can't be performed without specific integrations. The integrations enhance SFCC functionality and provide those services to end customers. Integrating payment services with SFCC is enabled using Salesforce LINK Cartridges. This blog will tell you how to build a LINK cartridge for a payment integration and offer your product to enterprise-level companies.

Let’s imagine (or confirm) that you’re a payment gateway provider, and you decided to extend the availability of your product on the market. You researched and realized that many enterprise retailers run their stores on SFCC. So, the path is clear. You need to build a LINK Cartridge for your payment integration and find highly-skilled developers to give you a hand with this. What are the next steps? 

But first, a little bit of helpful info 🤓

LINK Marketplace — an official Salesforce Commerce Cloud partner marketplace with a great collection of certified LINK cartridges, which developers and merchants can download and install into ecommerce stores to provide a better customer experience.

LINK Cartridge — is a container consisting of code, configurations, and technical documentation to install it into the site/app. LINK Cartridge significantly simplifies the connection of your business with external services and allows you to deliver high-caliber ecommerce solutions to customers. This cartridge integrates the SFCC platform with payment partners and service providers, such as credit card processing, product discovery, and tax software.

Now, let's see the process behind developing a custom payment integration for SFCC.

1. Business Requirements gathering

Before starting the project and searching for an ecommerce developer, it's essential to list all the requirements to describe your challenge: the more detail — the better. If you have a fixed budget, mention it early to find a suitable vendor.

Here is a basic example of the requirements for cartridge development for the BNPL service provider:

1) The plugin must be presented on the site's checkout page as one of the payment options.

2) The plugin is to redirect the cardholder info to the payment system for 'authorization' of the order and then redirected back to the site.

3) The plugin should save the user's payment credentials for further interactions with the payment system/gateway.

2. Search for Salesforce Commerce Cloud developers / agency

If you are going to develop an app for Salesforce, it’s required to meet strict Salesforce standards, including architecture, code structure, syntax, etc. The best option is to find a trusted Salesforce consultant that will take all the software development and documentation processes over.

3. Kickoff and discovery

Each project development starts with the kickoff call. During this call, parties discuss the aspects of future workflow and the architecture design to divide the development process into clear stages and steps.

After the call, the development team extends the initial requirements, supplementing them with the necessary technical details, such as date flow diagrams or mockups of communication interfaces. As a result of the discovery stage, you get a more detailed specification of the future LINK cartridge.

4. Salesforce Commerce Cloud cartridge development

Implementation of the cartridge begins with creating the logic of the application. One of the first steps is identifying API calls and the events that would trigger them (proceeding to checkout, adding a credit card, etc.). Then the provider's payment form is integrated into the checkout process, along with adding payment processing on the backend. After that, additional features may be added - like functionality for invoices, refunds, gift cards, etc.

5. Integrations with Commerce Cloud

For the end-user, the LINK cartridge allows integrating with the payment provider with no development from their side. As for the provider's side, it's vital to consider and think through all the nuances so that this can be done easily.  One of the crucial things is to thoroughly think over and describe for developers the checkout flow from both the side of user experience and the backend side. Note that there may be a few scenarios when the payment is made either by a registered user or a guest user.

When a user appears on the checkout page, he will see your payment option in the list. After choosing it and filling in all the card details, the information will be transferred to the payment system through API, and the transaction will be processed. The system will display a payment confirmation or an error message to the user. See how the payment gateway works.

6. How to get Salesforce Commerce Cloud certification

To publish your app on Salesforce Marketplaces and get it officially certified, it's required to become a Salesforce Technology Partner, and this process requires preparing a bunch of technical documentation.

Steps to becoming the Salesforce Technology Partner

  1. Apply for the Partnership program here.
  2. Get in the Link Technology Program.
  3. Get your app integrated with Salesforce and apply for its validation.
  4. Submit a request for the official Salesforce certification for your cartridge.
  5. Once the app is validated and accepted by Salesforce, you can start promotion activities among merchants and consumers.
How to develop and publish Salesforce Cartridge on the LINK marketplace

7. Technical support during cartridge submission

To pass the official Salesforce certification, it’s required to provide the cartridge package for technical review. The source code must meet the standards and best development practices implied by Salesforce for its successful pass, such as having sufficient coverage by unit tests. Having an experienced Salesforce developer in the team will simplify the process. They support the review, provide necessary technical documentation about the cartridge package, and take further assistance if the first submission doesn't succeed (yes, it’s ok, sometimes this happens!). 

Summary

Many of those who work with the SFCC platform choose service providers that offer LINK cartridges that are fast and easy to be integrated to a web store. Though only about 300 tech partners offer their apps on the LINK Marketplace, they all passed an official Salesforce verification, which signifies a good reputation and trust in the market. 

Suppose you decide to build your own payment integration for SFCC. In that case, we recommend going with experienced Salesforce developers that will assist you in making a high-quality plug-and-play solution and going through the complex process of its launch seamlessly.

Daria Maksimenko

Daria Maksimenko

Content Manager at Grinteq, the company that builds topflight LINK cartridges for ecommerce.