Demandware was acquired by Salesforce in the year 2015 and renamed Salesforce Commerce Cloud. This product is for B2C market and can be used to build amazing sites for your customers. This blog explains the architecture of Salesforce B2C Commerce cloud and common terminologies.
Salesforce B2C commerce is not a part of core Salesforce (but can be integrated). It's a product where you can create and manage your storefronts and maintain data for your customers, products, etc.
You will be building your storefronts in what is called Realm. A realm includes primary instance groups (PIG) and secondary instance groups (SIG). In Salesforce, the analogous to "realm" would be an Organization.
Primary Instance Group or PIG consists of a development instance, a staging instance, and production. Only 1 PIG per realm is possible.
Secondary Instance Group or SIG typically consists of 5 sandboxes that are used by developers to code and test. The minimum number of sandboxes is 3 and the maximum is 47.
The Staging instance is where merchandisers do all the configurations. This is an instance where data is moved from sandboxes.
The Development instance is analogous to Salesforce's QA. It simulates production and is only used for testing. Replication is done from staging to development.
The production instance is where the sites run. Data and code is replicated from staging.
A single realm can be used to build multiple sites with different branding or locales. Sites in same realm can share the master catalog.
Multiple realms should be considered if building sites for different lines of businesses or have different backend integration requirements and should be managed independently.
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