What is PunchOut
Punchout is an e-procurement software application that makes it possible for a buyer to access a supplier’s Web site from within the buyer’s own procurement application. The buyer leaves their company’s system and goes to the supplier’s Web-based catalog to locate and order products, while their application transparently maintains connection with the Web site and gathers pertinent information. A vendor catalog that is enhanced for this process is known as a punchout catalog. Punchout enables communication between the software and the Web site so that relevant information about the transaction is delivered to the appropriate channels. The system based their product on commerce XML (cXML), which comprises a meta markup language and a protocol for data exchange between applications. Roundtrip, from Commerce One, and products based on Open Buying over the Internet (OBI) are similar to Punchout, and are sometimes referred to as punchout solutions.
The initiating session is based on a server-to-server communication that is first the initiating server starts a session on the target server (the marketplace). Then the target server returns a ticket to the initiating server. Then the initiating server redirects the user’s browser to the target server, and he can start his punch-out session.
When the user has completed his punch-out session, he completes his punch-out session by posting an XML document to the initiating server.
The initiating session is a simple post from the initiating server to the target server via the browser, there is not initiating session.
The posting of the shopping basket is the same as in cXML.
This means that it is possible in cXML to give the user a nice error while initiating the session – e.g. if the target server is not responding correct as. In contrast in OCI the user will just experience the error from the target server (that is not working correct) so it will most likely be a HTTP error like 500, 404 or similar. In addition, cXML support multiple types of authentication – OCI only supports shared secret.