Key Terminology

The terms used within the Silhouette ecosystem are centered around the concept of manufacturing tangible products from an unlimited set of virtually merchandised product configurations (Starting Points). One of the most significant parts of understanding this concept is understanding the language used to describe it.

Silhouette Configurator Interface – The core configuration experience is served as a hosted interface. This embedded self-contained UI runs in a client’s eCommerce environment and handles all aspects of the core product configuration process: option selection, product model rendering, price management, add-to-cart.

Customization Template – A collection of template objects—Components, Options and Perspectives that define a Customizable Product. Customization Templates are composed in the Silhouette Admin Tool, synced with Customizable Products, exposed through the Silhouette Configurator Interface, and rendered by the browser in a Customization Template Layout. The Customization Template contains:

  • Components – A component is a collection of Elements used to customize a product. A Component is presented as a tab in the Customization Template Layout.
  • Elements – An Element is a configurable item such as a monogram, imprint, color, or size. Each Element has a distinct set of properties that both define its function and dictate how it is displayed in the Customization Template.
  • Options – An Option is a choice associated with an Element. In the case of Elements that have choices, an Option is a single value (e.g. color: red).
  • Perspectives – A Perspective is an angled view of a Product Configuration. Each Perspective contains its own Image Chain which defines how Option values are rendered in it. A Perspective can be thought of as a digital representation of a Product Configuration from a particular angle.
  • Perspective File – Perspective files can be anything  from a color mask to a font file. These are used within the Image Chain to render Options on a given Perspective. Common Perspective Files Include:
    • Color Mask – A black and white PNG file that defines the boundaries of a component to be colorized. White areas of the mask accept a color. Think of a masks as a window pane that allows color to show through.
    • Grid File – Contains a grid mesh drawn to the contours of a Perspective that drapes (warps) Elements placed on it (e.g. Logo, Texture, Pattern)
  • Product Model – A Product Model is the group of Perspectives that digitally represent a Product Configuration in its entirety.

Asset – A common file used as an Option (e.g. logo, font, texture).

Production File – A file associated with an asset that is used, not for Perspective rendering, but for production and fulfillment of a Customizable Product. (e.g. Embroidery DST, Print-Ready Artwork).

Customization Template Layout – refers to the arrangement of text, images, and other objects within a Customization Template displayed on a page. At this time Silhouette offers one standard, responsive layout that can be styled per client.

Customizable Product – The base product, created and published in the client’s eCommerce catalog. The Customizable Product serves as the integration point between the Silhouette Configurator Interface and the eCommerce Checkout Page. The Customizable Product supplies the Add-To-Cart event with key data—SKU, Base Price, ProductID that makes checkout possible. During the Add-To-Cart event, the Silhouette Configurator Interface supplements this data with a snapshot (Recipe) of the Product Configuration at moment the event is triggered.

Product Configuration – The state of an exposed Customization Template.

Recipe – A recipe is a snapshot of a Product Configuration at the time the Add-To-Cart event is triggered. It is a record of all options, and any information stored with those options, selected by a customer as a Customizable Product is added to his/her cart. Each time a customer adds a Customizable Product to cart, Silhouette stores the recipe data in JSON format and assigns a unique RecipeID.

RecipeID – A RecipeID is used to retrieve any and all data stored in a given Recipe including upcharges, option selections, data stored with option Assets, Rendered Product Image, and paths to Production Files. The RecipeID is passed into the cart and Order Export File for consumption by Silhouette’s OMS application.

A RecipeID can be passed to the Silhouette Configurator Interface to load an attached Recipe into the exposed Customization Template. Loading a Recipe reproduces the Product Configuration defined by the Recipe. This allows customers to go back and modify their choices directly from the cart. It also provides clients with a mechanism to merchandise Customizable Products in many different Product Configurations simply by changing the Recipe that is passed into the Silhouette Configurator Interface.

Starting Point – A Recipe created through the Silhouette Configurator Admin Tool and merchandised on a client’s eCommerce Storefront. Creation of Recipes is not strictly and end-user function. With Starting Points, Recipes can be defined directly in the Silhouette Configurator Admin Tool  and published to galleries (much like a traditional product collection grid) for merchandising on eCommerce pages. A virtually unlimited number of Starting Points can be created from a Customization Template and merchandised for a single Customizable Product.


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