A customer is an individual or business that purchases or receives or consumes products (goods or services) and has the ability to choose between different products and suppliers.
You create customers so that you can properly record and account for sales transactions, as well as all other attributes of your selling relationships. Recording a sales transaction requires that a customer, stored as a party in Oracle Trading Community Architecture, has an account as well as an account site. Consequently, to understand the role of a customer in the context of your trading community, you should also understand other concepts such as party, customer account, and account site.
Party: An entity that can enter into a business relationship, such as buying and selling, and can be of the type Organization or Person. A party exists separately from any business relationship that it enters into with another party. For example, Vision Distribution could be a party within your trading community.
Customer: A party, either an organization or person, with whom you have a selling relationship. This selling relationship can result from the purchase of products and services or from the negotiation of terms and conditions that provide the basis for future purchases. For example, a division of Vision Distribution could become one of your customers.
Customer Account: A customer account represents the attributes of the business relationship that a party can enter into with another party. The account has information about the terms and conditions of doing business with the party. For example, you could open a commercial account for purchases made by Vision Distribution for its internal use and a reseller account for purchases made by Vision Distribution for sales of your products to end-users.