This page may include updates for Inventory Management (MSI) 1.1.2 Beta. Content is subject to change.

Source selection algorithms

The Source Selection Algorithm (SSA) recommends how to fulfill partial and full shipments. The merchant decides which business needs take precedence when deciding which shipping method to use:

  • Should the products be delivered from the sources designated as having the highest priority?
  • Should the total shipment cost be the primary factor in choosing a shipment method?
  • Should the shipments originate from the closest source?
  • Should the fastest shipping method with the shortest delivery time be used, even if it’s not the cheapest?

Magento provides the following algorithms:

  • Source priority
  • Distance priority

Third party developers can create additional algorithms to help merchants decide which shipping option best meets their needs.

Magento does not enforce or save the results of SSA recommendations. The recommendations reflect conditions at the moment when the algorithm runs, but conditions change over time. For example, the amount of in-stock products will always fluctuate, and shipping costs might change. The merchant can also modify the recommendations by adjusting quantities for deduction or even by re-assigning the shipment’s sources of origin.

Source Priority algorithm

Custom stocks include an assigned list of sources to sell and ship available product inventory through the storefront. This algorithm uses the order of assigned sources in your stock to make recommendations.

When run, the algorithm:

  • Works through the configured order of sources at the stock level starting at the top
  • Skips any disabled sources
  • Continues down the list until the order shipment is filled
  • Recommends a quantity to ship and source per product based on the order in the list, available quantity, and quantity ordered

Distance Priority algorithm

The Distance Priority algorithm compares the location of the shipping destination address with each source location to determine the closest source to fulfill shipments. The distance may be determined by physical distance or time spent traveling from one location to another, using imported database location data or Google directions (driving, walking, or bicycling).

You have two options for calculating distance:

Google MAP: Uses Google Maps Platform services to calculate the distance and time between the shipping destination address and source locations. This option uses the source’s Latitude and Longitude (GPS coordinates) and may use the street address depending on the computation mode. You must provide a Google API key with Geocoding API and Distance Matrix API enabled. This option requires a Google billing plan and may incur charges through Google.

Offline Calculation: Calculates the distance using downloaded and imported geocodes to determine the closest source to the shipping destination address. The geocodes are derived from the city, state, country, and postal code of both the shipping address and the source.

To support offline calculations, Magento provides a command that downloads country-specific geocode data from geonames.org and imports this information into the database.

We recommend entering full street address and GPS coordinate information in your sources if using the Distance Priority algorithm. Google MAP uses your GPS coordinates and your street address. Offline Calculation uses the city, state, country, and zip codes.

To import geocodes for offline calculation

Enter the following command with a space-separated list of ISO-3166 alpha2 country codes:

bin/magento inventory-geonames:import <country code> <country code> ...

For example:

bin/magento inventory-geonames:import us ca gb de

The system downloads and imports the geocodes data to your database, then displays the message Importing <country code>: OK.

SSA interfaces

The source priority algorithm recommends delivering products from sources having the highest priority. The SourceSelectionServiceInterface accepts an InventoryRequestInterface object, which in turn contains the stock ID and a list of items to be shipped. Each item contains only the SKU and quantity. Other potentially relevant data, such as shipping address, is not included, because the priority algorithm does not need it.

Additional input data might be needed for more sophisticated algorithms, such as the Distance Priority algorithm. In this case, the algorithm needs the shipping address and all data entered for the source (GPS or full address). That’s why InventoryRequestInterface implements ExtensibleDataInterface interfaces, which can be extended with custom input parameters.

Currently, Inventory Management deducts stock from the appropriate source after the merchant creates a shipment for an order. However, that’s not flexible enough–a developer might want to introduce customizations and launch the SSA when the customer proceeds to checkout. Running the SSA at this point could provide the customer more accurate shipping costs. Note in this case, the Order object has not created yet, and the system must instead rely on the Quote object.

Taking into account that there are at least two valid business cases when to launch the SSA, and the data source can be an Order or Quote object, Inventory Management introduces a new layer of abstraction. The algorithm must use an abstract data container instead of a specific Magento entity.

Use these interfaces to create your own SSA:

Develop a custom algorithm

As you develop your custom Source Selection Algorithm, keep these design considerations in mind:

  • Implement SourceSelectionInterface
  • If your module provides an SSA on quotes, introduce your own InventoryRequestFactory
  • Register your SSA within a di.xml file

Implement SourceSelectionInterface

Your SSA must implement SourceSelectionInterface, which is shown below:

/**
 * Returns source selection algorithm result for given Inventory Request 
 * Current interface should be implemented in order to add own Source Selection Method
 * 
 * @api
 */
interface SourceSelectionInterface
{
    /**
     * @param InventoryRequestInterface $inventoryRequest
     * @return SourceSelectionResultInterface
     */
    public function execute(
       InventoryRequestInterface $inventoryRequest
    ): SourceSelectionResultInterface;
}

For example, the following example defines the MinimalDeliveryCostAlgorithm class:

namespace Some\Vendor\Namespace\SourceSelection;

/**
 * Minimal Delivery Cost for Merchant algorithm
 *
 * @api
 */
class MinimalDeliveryCostAlgorithm implements SourceSelectionInterface
{
    public function execute(
       InventoryRequestInterface $inventoryRequest
    ): SourceSelectionResultInterface;
    {
        // TODO: Implement execute() method.
    }
}

Create a InventoryRequest factory for quotes (optional)

Magento provides the InventoryRequestFromOrderFactory, which determines the sources to use to fulfill the order at the time a shipment is created.

class InventoryRequestFromOrderFactory
{
      /**
     * @param OrderInterface $order
     * @return InventoryRequestInterface
     */
    public function create(OrderInterface $order) : InventoryRequestInterface
    {
        $requestItems = [];
        $websiteId = $order->getStore()->getWebsiteId();
        $stockId = (int)$this->stockByWebsiteIdResolver->execute((int)$websiteId)->getStockId();
        /** @var OrderItemInterface|OrderItem $orderItem */
        foreach ($order->getItems() as $orderItem) {
            $itemSku = $this->getSkuFromOrderItem->execute($orderItem);
            $qtyToDeliver = $orderItem->getQtyToShip();
            //check if order item is not delivered yet
            if ($orderItem->isDeleted()
                || $orderItem->getParentItemId()
                || $this->isZero((float)$qtyToDeliver)
                || $orderItem->getIsVirtual()
            ) {
                continue;
            }
            $requestItems[] = $this->itemRequestFactory->create([
                    'sku' => $itemSku,
                    'qty' => $qtyToDeliver
            ]);
        }
        return $this->inventoryRequestFactory->create([
            'stockId' => $stockId,
            'items' => $requestItems
        ]);
    }
}

To add an SSA at the time of checkout, introduce your own factory that produces an InventoryRequestInterface based on a Quote object, outlined as follows:

class InventoryRequestFactory
{
    /**
     * @param \Magento\Quote\Api\Data\CartInterface $quote
     * @return InventoryRequestInterface
     */
    public function create(\Magento\Quote\Api\Data\CartInterface $quote) : InventoryRequestInterface 
    {
        // TODO
    }
}

Configure di.xml

Configure your module’s etc/di.xml file to register your SSA with SourceSelectionServiceInterface and GetSourceSelectionAlgorithmList.

<type name="Magento\InventorySourceSelection\Model\SourceSelectionService">
    <arguments>
        <argument name="sourceSelectionMethods" xsi:type="array">
            <item name="minimalDeliveryCost" xsi:type="string">Some\Vendor\Namespace\SourceSelection\MinimalDeliveryCostAlgorithm</item>
        </argument>
    </arguments>
</type>
<type name="Magento\InventorySourceSelectionApi\Model\GetSourceSelectionAlgorithmList">
    <arguments>
        <argument name="availableAlgorithms" xsi:type="array">
            <item name="minimalDeliveryCost" xsi:type="array">
                <item xsi:type="string" name="code">minimalDeliveryCost</item>
                <item xsi:type="string" name="title" translatable="true">Minimal Delivery Cost</item>
                <item xsi:type="string" name="description" translatable="true">Algorithm that calculates the shipping option with the lowest shipping cost to the merchant.</item>
            </item>
        </argument>
    </arguments>
</type>