I am not sure which API to use for developing a storefront website without SXA.

For example, there are 2 similar APIs in the Sitecore commerce documentations to manage customers.

Which API reference should I use in which scenarios?

2 Answers 2


Commerce Developer Reference focuses on the developer experience of using the XC plugin framework to extend or customize Commerce Engine functionality. It explains Commands, Actions, Pipelines etc. used under various plugins of Commerce Engine.

Commerce Connect Developer Reference is an integration layer between a front-end web shop solution and a back-end Commerce engine. It provides Service providers which are wrapper objects designed to make it easier to interact with Commerce engine pipelines.

Hence, while working with Commerce Engine (backend) you should refer Commerce Developer Reference, and from storefront website (SXA or Non-SXA) you should always use Commerce Connect services.


You will need both of these API as your storefront website need to communicate with your Sitecore Commerce Engine.

Sitecore Commerce Engine will expose the APIs that will be consumed by your Sitecore storefront website using Commerce Connect developer reference.

e.g. let's say you have added new commerce plugin for the payments, you need to write Controller, Commands and pipelines.

Now to expose this plugin you need to regenerate the proxy class which is nothing but the metadata of the services you are going to expose from your payments plugin.

This connectivity related integration code is done in Commerce Connect developer reference.

Hope this helps!

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