Concepts and Terminology

B2C Commerce provides the resources and processing for your ecommerce sites, called a storefront in the B2C Commerce documentation. You create and build your sites in your realm.

A customer realm includes a primary instance group and a secondary instance group.


Typically, you have a single realm. The realm contains instances on which to develop, test, and deploy your online storefront. A B2C Commerce instance is an application infrastructure. It includes web servers, application servers, and database servers. You usually have six B2C Commerce instances: three or more sandbox instances for code development, and three instances for site staging, testing, and deployment.
  • Development instance: used for site configuration, data enrichment, and data import.
  • Staging instance: used to test your site before deployment.
  • Production instance: hosts the live site that is used by customers.
A Merchant can control their storefront online merchandising, configuration, and customization options. The instance administrator for the merchant has direct control over password management, user permissions, and stopping or starting instances within their realm.

Single and Multiple-Realm Configurations

In most cases, you have a single realm in which you can develop, stage, and deploy multiple sites with different branding or locales. The people managing the storefront site don't have to be in the same location. Sites can share product catalogs or have different catalogs.

If you have different lines of business or global teams that each have their own processes or business policies, consider maintaining multiple realms. You can also have separate realms if you have distinct organizations with separate back-end integrations, schedules, or other concerns that make it advantageous to let each team manage their sites independently. Sites in the same realm can share the product catalog for product data. Sites in different realms can't share data through the catalog structure. However, you can share data by importing it into different realms.
Example: Let's say that you have sites with separate brands in Europe and the Pacific Rim. You can have a realm for the team managing the Pacific Rim sites and another realm for Europe.

Primary Instance Group

The primary instance group has three instances, which merchants use to add data, test code, and run live sites. A realm can have only one PIG per realm.

Secondary Instance Group

The secondary instance group (SIG) contains your sandbox instances. The minimum number of sandboxes in a SIG is 3, and the maximum is 47.

Commerce Cloud

The Commerce Cloud is the underlying resources used to run your instances and live sites that are managed by Salesforce. You never interact directly with the cloud, but it is the foundation that supports your site.

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