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Introduction to Organizations

Who didn't love building blocks as a kid? We all did. In pre-school building blocks are an introduction to spatial awareness, creativity, mathematics and much more. Building blocks are the clear starting point for any learning experience. In this introduction to EVA, let's start with the building blocks; Organization Units.

What are Organization Units?

An organization unit - more efficiently referred to as 'OU' - essentially represents a store, warehouse, country, region, brand name or any other division or subdivision of your company.

OU's are a way of specifying certain configuration in EVA for certain stores, countries or whatever distinction you want to make. If you want a certain setting to be set for all stores and warehouses within a specific country, create an OU for that country and set the setting on country level. The setting will inherit to all OU's that are its 'children' unless it is specifically overwritten on a child OU.

Using this parent-child relation, you essentially create a massive hierarchical company structure which is majorly useful or any form of configuration.

Forms of OU- specific configurations include defining what products are available for what OU's, how e-commerce orders should be handled, what opening hours are being used or what tax rates should apply. Just about anything is configured on OU level.

Basic OU structure example

The image below shows an extremely basic OU setup. This is just to give you an idea, all of our customers' configurations exceed this example setup exponentially.

First off, we start with our brand name. Our company is called Docs Incorporated, this will be our top-level OU. If we want anything to apply to our entire organization, we set in on the top-level OU.

Below that, we went on step further than countries, and set up world regions first. Our company operates in both Europe West and Asia. After world regions, we've set up the countries in which we exist.

Additionally, we have a web shop that covers all of Europe. This one can just live on the same level as the countries under the world region, it is just a different 'type' of OU; a web shop.

Lastly, we have set up all of our stores.

Organization unit sets

Even though this structure is super useful for configuration, it does come with some problems. Let's say we want to activate some setting for all stores, but not for the countries, regions or the web shop. We would be in a bit of a pickle there. Which is exactly why we introduced OU sets.

Basically, we can simply create an OU set called 'Global stores' - or whatever name you'd prefer - and throw in all of our store organization units. You can create any set you like, and stores can be part of multiple sets, but this would warrant some caution since this can cause some duplicate configuration issues.