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    Attention SAP Commerce merchants: The time to go headless is now

    As SAP Commerce deprecates its Accelerator UI and OCC templates, there's never been a better time for merchants on the platform to adopt a headless architecture.

    SAP Commerce has long been one of the most popular enterprise-class eCommerce solutions. The platform is known for its scalability, flexibility, and ability to deploy an omnichannel commerce solution. Add in tight integration within the SAP ecosystem and a robust API that makes the platform highly extensible, and it's clear why so many businesses power their eCommerce solution with SAP Commerce.
    However, time marches on, and technology advances. It was inevitable that such a longstanding product would evolve. That moment is here now, as SAP announced the deprecation of SAP Commerce Accelerator UI and older OCC (Omni Commerce Connect) template extensions, effective in the second half of 2025. Affected customers must now decide whether to stick with their current setup, even if some components become unsupported, or upgrade to a more modern solution.
    Unless your company's SAP Commerce solution is fully in the cloud and headless, the deprecation announcements mean you must act soon. The smart thing to do is to go headless now. Not sure what that means for you and your organization? Here's what you need to know.

    What did SAP announce?

    In addition to the deprecation of the SAP Commerce Accelerator UI OCC v1 and v2 template extensions, SAP also recently announced that:
    SAP Commerce 2205 is the last on-premise release.
    Going forward, SAP Commerce is moving to a fully cloud-native solution.
    Mainstream maintenance for SAP Commerce 2205 will end on July 31, 2026.
    The immediate takeaway from these announcements is that if your SAP Commerce storefront is a template-based Accelerator UI implementation, now is the time to act. Although the Accelerator UI and OCC template extensions won't be deprecated until the second half of 2025, and SAP will maintain SAP Commerce 2205 until the end of July 2026, those dates will come quicker than you might think.
    The most pressing issue is that the compatibility of Accelerator UI templates with future SAP Commerce releases cannot be guaranteed. The only bulletproof solution is to embrace SAP Commerce in the cloud and completely decouple your storefront user interface (UI) from its underlying code.
    In other words, start planning how your SAP Commerce storefront will become a headless solution.

    What is headless? And why should you migrate to a headless solution?

    Technically speaking, a headless application operates without a front end. Instead of sporting an interface that users or administrators interact with, headless applications act strictly as a back end. A headless solution acts as the engine that powers a separate front end.
    So why is this important, or even preferred, in the world of application development and storefronts?
    To fully understand why application developers and sysadmins worldwide prefer the headless architecture, you need to know where things started.
    In the early days of the internet, there were web pages: static documents with text, images, and clickable links. Soon afterward, web developers figured out how to create dynamic websites that could accept user input, store data, and perform related actions. The early eCommerce storefronts are a perfect example of this.
    Over time, however, it became difficult to manage the early eCommerce sites. That's because the code for the front end—the graphics, text content, and user interface—and the back end—application logic, code libraries, and data storage—were intermingled. Updating either the front or back end required working with highly integrated code.
    Developers and admins realized that decoupling the front and back end provided a much more scalable, flexible, and workable solution: headless back ends and separated front ends. Today, headless is the preferred architecture, especially when combined with the powerful resources of the cloud. In fact, both B2C and B2B businesses are projected to invest more than $4 billion each in headless platforms by 2025.
    If your organization hasn't migrated to headless solutions for critical apps like eCommerce storefronts, you're likely spending time and money on an outdated approach.

    What are the benefits of headless?

    With a headless application, the decoupling of the front end and back end allows for faster development cycles. With fewer technical dependencies, you can implement innovations quicker and rapidly pivot as needed. Overall, it's more cost-effective in terms of the technology used and development time.
    Besides streamlining development, the headless architecture provides a lightning fast commerce experience. And most retailers are embracing this trend, as 60% of major North American retailers are projected to adopt a headless solution by 2025.
    In the case of SAP Commerce storefronts going headless, some other benefits include:
    Seamless storefront customizations through configuration, not through time-consuming code.
    Greater flexibility when it comes to storefronts, features, and integrations.
    The ability to upgrade to the latest SAP Commerce releases without affecting the front-end user experience.
    Lower costs, greater scalability, fewer technical complexities, or development workflow bottlenecks.
    On the other hand, as an SAP Commerce merchant, sticking with a monolithic (coupled) architecture has several drawbacks. Monolithic, self-integrated applications aren't composable and can't make the best use of integrations or other services on the market. You face slow pivots bogged down by costly features that likely never get used. Monolithic applications are too expensive to build and maintain in today's world.

    How to get started with the transition to headless

    It's important to remember that affected SAP Commerce merchants will retain access to their storefronts even after July 31, 2026. But they will lose access to security patches and enhancements after that date. Sticking with your current solution is only viable in the short term.
    So, how should you proceed? The initial steps involve a lot of preparation. First, you need to create an inventory of your store pages, company information, and other CMS content . Follow that up with a gap analysis of features that need to be replaced after OCC v1 and v2 deprecation. Eventually, you must choose a platform to help with your migration.
    One option is the SAP Commerce Cloud Composable Storefront. This native solution helps merchants decouple the front and back end. The tool directly integrates with SAP Commerce Cloud and is based on Angular and JavaScript.
    Another approach to headless migration is a third-party storefront framework. Multiple vendors will license their platforms for other SAP Cloud customers using your site information. However, this option can lead to significant costs in implementation and customization.

    Going headless with an experienced partner

    Whether you choose SAP's composable commerce solution or a third-party vendor's platform, much of the responsibility for a successful migration is on your shoulders. You will receive support from within the SAP help portal, or the third-party vendor, but that can't compare to working with a trusted partner experienced in headless migrations.
    For instance, look at the partnership between us here at Codal and GOREWEAR , the cutting-edge apparel manufacturer known for its Gore-Tex fabrics. GOREWEAR needed a modern eCommerce solution that brought multiple online retail operations in-house.
    The headless solution we delivered for GOREWEAR achieved that while also implementing an improved commerce experience with multi-language and multi-currency functionality.
    Or there is our work for Cosori , a manufacturer of sophisticated cooking appliances such as ovens, indoor grills, toasters, and their famous air fryer. Cosori had maintained multiple online stores for years. Inevitably, the maintenance on several international sites was no longer scalable or flexible enough.
    Codal's partnership with Cosori produced a modern headless architecture supported by an intelligent ecosystem of data-driven tools and workflows. The result is a streamlined, manageable digital commerce solution for all of Cosori's storefronts that has helped the company efficiently elevate its online sales presence and customer service.

    Set up a headless consultation with Codal

    Codal is a full-stack enterprise design and development consultancy specializing in headless deployments, digital transformation, and modernization. For an expert evaluation of your SAP Commerce architecture and recommendations on how to go headless, contact us today.

    Written by Gibson Toombs