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Commerce Documents/Artefacts

The Problem

The Commerce domain has a number of common documents that are used to record specific classes of interactions or value exchanges - see wikipedia's accounting source documents.

The problem is that much of the accounting and business administration activities are based upon capturing, recording and managing these records - often by exporting and importing this data, or even worse by re-entering it into disparate systems. And these common artefacts are used with different names around the world and to meet different accounting requirements for each region, or even just in different industries or organisations.

This page aims to gather together at a high level a list of all the common artefacts found in the online commerce or e-commerce domain. This list should aim to identify which of these artefacts are currently covered (or can be covered) by existing microformats. The examples of the remaining artefacts may then help identify possible candidates for extensions to existing microformats or even potentially new microformats.

If nothing else this page aims to aid communication amongst people interested in microformats within the commerce domain.


  • Rob Manson

Common scenario to be explored

  1. Customer sees a product review online (hReview)
  2. Customer follows a link to a product listing (hListing containing hProduct, currency, measure and rel-payment)
  3. Customer may add one or more products to a shopping cart to build a purchase order (offer)
  4. Customer may then commit to paying for this purchase order (acceptance)
  5. Merchant may then send the customer an invoice for an amount to be paid
  6. Or a Merchant may issue a receipt/bill for a payment that has been made
  7. If the payment is incorrect in some way then a credit note or memo may be issued to the Customer

Real-World Example Pages

Product/Service review

See hReview.

Product/Service listing

See hListing.

Purchase order

Examples yet to be collected.


Examples yet to be collected.


See receipt-examples.

Credit Memo/Note

Examples yet to be collected.


Analysis of Type 1

Existing Practices

Summary of common patterns discovered

Other attempts to solve The Problem


See Also