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Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL

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Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL
 
I'm very interested to manage a site using LinkSQL for e-commerce purposes. I started to create a 'commerce.pm' add -on but I decided to stop and wait the new version Alex. Also I found a very interestant project: http://www.opensales.org this is a really cool opensource project.

My question is... does anybody work at the same project? I'm very interested to start a discussion and share comments for this purpose.


Cheers


lepo


Lepo - lepo@comune.carpi.mo.it
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
I've been working on a shopping cart system for links.

You can find other projects on development sites such as:

http://sourceforge.net/

And of course the basics of open source at:

http://opensource.org/

Most of these projects are still in pre-beta or worse shape. Even MiniVend, which is on the 4.0 release has problems. I can't get it to run on my server. It compiles, but then it refuses to load and read the configuration files. I've gotten no help at all on the minivend list. I gave up.

I'm interested in an all perl solution, since it's easier to maintain, and the speed difference starts to become meaningless for something such as links or shopping. Speed may make a difference for games or communications, or even operating systems, but applicatations that interact with humans, and have to go out over the web (phone lines, modems, cable, etc) "speed" starts to become a pretty meaningless concept. <G>



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Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
PugDog, I'm very interested in exchanging comments and ideas on this purpose. What I started is a module that interact with LinkSQL and their subs. This is for some way easy but also turn all the work very complex and very long. The matter is: build it from zero as I'm doing right now or just adapt an existing one?

Here how I've directed my current efforts. I created a parser for a very simple variable=value; "sheet"... so...
an article should appear into the administration area something like this:
Code:
art : ZB12CV3456;
prz : 1.5;
um : S | M | L;
mag-Var1 : 5 | 10 | 5;
mag-Var2 : 4 | 10 | 7;
mag-Var3 : 3 | 10 | 4;
descr : descrizione del prodotto;
note : note varie;
img : <img src="immagine.gif" border=3>;
In other words a Product IS a very, very special link in LinkSQL, when some user clicks on it, its opens a very particular 'detailed' page.

I know this is a very semplicistic way but what I'm looking for is a very-easy-to-mantain site, either as pugdog, I dont' care too much about speed. Also, with this king of module I should implement links, documents, products and wherever I want around the category tree. I love it!


Well, what to say... I'm very confused on the way I'm proceding concerning this matter.
I know this kind of routines make very easy some parts but a hell some others (like stock situation).


hmmm.

that's it.



lepo


Lepo - lepo@comune.carpi.mo.it
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Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
BTW... did you know there is a PHP implementation of OpenSales Manager? I found the link the April message archives for om-php, and the author is very excited, and may have some funding coming. But, he's also looking for help from PHP people who might be intereted. I know there are a bunch here. I also think the PHP verson of OM is somewhat better than the perl version -- at least in set up <G> I was able to set it up fairly quickly.

My implementation at this point has set up a whole new table structure for products. I was using the product as a "link" (a photo) and if the item was available, there was a clickable link that said so on the bottom of the "link". It was a field added to the Links table "available" (I also added a few extra "OnHold" and some others). This set up a relationship with the catalog table, that held the "LinkID" of the link in the main database. This was the main relationship. The catalog was then "built" and using the "LinkID" the fields in the link were set to be "available" "onhold" etc.

I created separate scipts to deal with the catalog. It was _very_ simplistic.

I was hoping to find an open source package I could modify, or use code from. Especially code for credit card, check and order processing. I know the software for this is in development. ANd there is no way I could do any better than all the people working on it. SO patience is what is needed.

But, what I can do, and have been working on, is a way to use Links SQL as a catalog manager, and tie the catalog tables in to the Links tables. But, for flexibility, I have also been working on a way to let the catalog run _as_ the entire Links site.

so, I have been working on two things:

1) a catalog that runs along with Links so that any Link in the Links table can be an item (or category) in the Catalog.

2) turning Links SQL _INTO_ a catalog, and using the Links as catalog items, rather than URL's.

I've put this on hold for a few weeks once Alex reported the new release was coming, because I think some of the new features and changes will solve some of the problems.

My style of programming is to THINK 10x and then code 1x.

Example: I've watched the development of the various banner rotation programs, and what I've seen is very, very poor database design. If they had spent all the time designing the database, then the "features" would have made themselves available based on that. But, trying to add features to a bad database design is just more bad work.

So, I've spent a lot of time trying to work on the database structure for the catalog. Granted, it's mostly what I would need, but lets open this up, since I'm sure I can make the changes to incorporate anything.

What do you _Need_ a shopping system to do? What fields do you need in the database?

Certain fields are _MANDATORY_ other firlds are not. It's the mandatory fields that are the most concern. There should be no problem adding extra fields, as long as the mandatory ones are coded properly.

For example:

What tables does a shopping system need?

users --- user information, session data, order information, etc.
items --- items in the catalog
shipping -- states, countries, tables, rates, etc.
categories -- layout of the store or catalog
check-out -- a way to total orders, take payment, send confirmations, etc.

THere are many others. Each of these needs to be an "object" as well as a database entry, or set of joined database entries.

Mainly, because "users" are so central to all this, I've been waiting to see what the new links has so that I can get all the "user" information centralized in one set of access routines for my site. Once that happens, then a major portion of the catalog/shopping/ecommerce system has a design.

What's left is the "catalog/items" (Links has all the display code already, all that needs to be done is develop the table/data relations).

Then, the check-out. -- hopefully this will be a 3rd party module we can use.

Very complex situation, _BUT_ the first step is not writing code, it's designing the database. If the databse is designed properly, the code almost writes itself.

Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
absolutely correct pugdog!
I agree 100%!
Just to make things more complex I want to create a shopping site that handles sizes/coloros and this make the situation more complex.

I agree your point of view. The way I did my first commerce.pm is really, maybe too much easy and eating resources. Too much simplicistic. Sounds like a trick and not too much a real implementation. Your approach is for shure more deep but really complex to manage. Well, also is 'the way' to start a project of such importance.

Managing sizes/colors using a well structured database for shure turns everithing more simple.

Sounds like this would be the more cool and complex LinkSQL implementation ever made. ehehe
Well, let's see the new release and start to think where to start. :-)

I'll take a look to the opensales table structure and see how they are operating.


Have a nice day!


lepo


Lepo - lepo@comune.carpi.mo.it
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Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Where can I find more info on this PHP Open Sales Manager? Thanks!

Michael Bray
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Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
I *KNEW* you would chime in <G> PHP-MAN! <G>

Go to OpenSales.org, and select the mailing list option. Then, select the ARCHIVES, and then the APRIL set. It's all the way at the bottom, you can search your screen for om-php.

He has a link to the downloadable tarball, not to his site or anything. It's just a file link in his message.

He wrote me that he'll have a newer version with a better install in a few days, so you might want to write him, and see if you can be of any help :)

Here's a link to the message so you have all his info:

http://lists.opensales.org/...00-April/000321.html




Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Just need to finish the rest of my site (webhostarea.com) so I can switch the domain. Got a fair bit of the admin side of it to do...

Just had a look at the script and it looks good. Gonna muck around with the script before offering to help :)

Michael Bray
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Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Its very easy to reach your goal if implementing just a script of your choice with some extra fields in links and linkssql.
Two examples: If having a script that needs a form for every product, you make a form in links.htm around the needed fields; if you need a form around all products do it in category.htm.
I have this in use; unfortunately in a closed area; my extra fields are Currency, price, Shop(Yes,No - only with Yes the form is generated), value, and so on. The script i use is a shopsystem in perl with an affiliate too (with this i could do different sellers). The secret is to give all the hidden or non hidden fields for the shop-system with vars from links; with the if, ifnot you could do really everything.

I have sent part of my link.htm to see it:

Code:
<%if PopUp eq 'neu'%>
<a href="<█_cgi_url%>/jump.cgi?ID=<%ID%>" target="_blank">
<%endif%>
<%if PopUp eq 'top'%>
<a href="<█_cgi_url%>/jump.cgi?ID=<%ID%>">
<%endif%>
<%if PopUp eq 'pop'%>
<a href="#" onclick="window.open('<█_cgi_url%>/jump.cgi?ID=<%ID%>', 'Info','width=500,height=500,scrollbars=yes,left=0,top=0,screenX=0,screenY=0')">
<%endif%>
<b><%Title%></b><%if PopUp%></a>
<%endif%>
<%if Shop%>
- <%Gebinde%> - <%Preis%>
<%endif%>
<%if Hits >'0'%>
(<%Hits%>)
<%endif%>
</p>
</td>
<td nowrap valign=top>
<p class=blb> <b><┌te%></b></p>
</td>
<%if Description%>
<tr>
<td colspan=2>
<p class=blb><Ůscription%></p>
<%endif%>
<%if Name%>
</td></tr>
<tr>
<td colspan=2>
<p class=blb><b>
<%Name%>, <%Strasse%>, <%PLZ%> <%Ort%></b>

Tel: <%Telefon%> - Fax: <%Telefax%> - Mail: <a href="mailto:<%Email%>"><%Email%></a> - Homepage: <a href="<%Homepage%>" target="_new"><%Homepage%></a></p>
<%endif%>
<%if Shop%>
</td></tr>
<td colspan=2>
<p class=blb>

<form action="...../cgi-bin/cart2/comcartp.pl" method="get">
<p>
<input type="hidden" name="VN" value="<%Contact Name%>">
<input type="hidden" name="VE" value="<%Contact Email%>">
<input type="hidden" name="id" value="<%ID%>">
<input type="hidden" name="name" value="<%Title%> - <%Gebinde%> - <%Preis%>">
<span class="ser2">Menge</span>
<input type="text" name="quantity" size="3" value="1">
<INPUT TYPE="SUBMIT" VALUE="Go">
</p>
</form>
<%endif%>
</td></tr></table>
</td>
<td width=104 valign=top bgcolor=#E3E3E3>
<%if Graphic%>

<%if PopUp eq 'neu'%>
<a href="<█_cgi_url%>/jump.cgi?ID=<%ID%>" target="_blank">
<%endif%>
<%if PopUp eq 'top'%>
<a href="<█_cgi_url%>/jump.cgi?ID=<%ID%>">
<%endif%>
<%if PopUp eq 'pop'%>
<a href="#" onclick="window.open('<█_cgi_url%>/jump.cgi?ID=<%ID%>', 'Info','width=500,height=500,scrollbars=yes,left=0,top=0,screenX=0,screenY=0')">
<%endif%>
<img src="<%build_root_url%>/images/<%Graphic%>" width="<%Gwidth%>" height="<%Gheight%>" vspace="3" hspace="2" border=0>

<%if PopUp%>
</a>
<%endif%>
<%endif%>
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Hi Robert,

did you write comcartp.pl? Or did you get it elsewhere.
I am just starting to write a shopping-cart cgi myself.

regards, alexander

Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
No, its a script from elitehost; i think you could use every script that needs fields and an url, cause you could do that all with link.htm and the db. Im really now programmer, in fact i cant write more than print "";
:-)
Im really too stupid to remember the things though i have read more rows in links than every book i have read before (ok, without Lord of the rings :-) (and i read very, very often)

Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Reviving an old thread, but continued interest, in ecommerce.

Is anyone using the OpenMarket 1.0.1 perl commerce program? It looks slick, and probably easier to install than MiniVend, but I haven't had the time to do anything with it.

Also, re: the PHP version -- OM-PHP
The url for this site has changed, you need to go to opensales.org and search the archives in April for "Php" to find the link. It seems the archive was updated last on 6/00, which is a month or two newer than when I first posted the link.


http://www.postcards.com
FAQ: http://www.postcards.com/FAQ/LinkSQL/

Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Hi,

I just finished converting LinksSQL to a shopping system. It is using the Links Table for the products, the User table for users :) and a new session table for the articles in the shopping basket. It mainly uses only one new script. I called it wk.cgi (Warenkorb) to handle the shopping cart.

The site is not open, but you can have a look at it on

http://www.ac-furniture.com/shop/3/4/

It is in german and not many articles are added jet.

regards, alexander



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Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Pretty cool :)

I have a script that adds a database and some fields, and uses Links to make a catalog/shopping system, but the missing pieces are the transaction gateway (collection of money).

Since it's not designed to be a general purpose -one-size-fits-all- system, and my shipping options and range of products is limited (not in scope, but in size/type) I've sort of been able to work within that.

I've tied catalog sales to Links items, and for 'unique' one-of-a-kind items, use a field to mark 'available' or 'pending' for sales.

Links is very adaptable to almost anything - the big problem is the order-handling (taking money, filling orders, printing invoices, tracking shipments, etc). This is why I was wondering if anyone had used any of the products in development that link to the shipping sites (fed ex, ups, etc) and can use the variety of transaction gateways to process orders so people can take MC/Visa/AmEx/Checks/etc on-line.

I'm trying to develop or find something that will be easy to set up for catalogs of 5 items of unlimited quantities, as it is for catalogs of 20,000 items each of quantity 1.

This means image management, stock management, etc.

With the holiday season upon us already, at least in the States, this is a prime consideration.

http://www.postcards.com
FAQ: http://www.postcards.com/FAQ/LinkSQL/

Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Hi Pugdog,

I think you and the rest of the guys are doing a great job managing a e-commerce addin/on for links SQL, and im sure it would be mush easier to do in the new Links SQL.

I have worked with many shopping carts, and designed many sites around them, although i cannot really say i have designed an actual shopping cart in perl / php etc.

What i am saying is that there are thousands of shopping carts available and none of them actually do EVERYTHING.

I meet customers every week wanting to enable e-commerce on their site and finding the best product for them is a mamouth task.

I will be more than happy to help you guys impliment ideas and needs / features for a cart.

I have listed what i can think of below.

Main Cart:
The ability to add items (obvious). Each item should be able to have the following.
1, Name.
2, Picture/s.
3, Description.
4, Price,
5, as many custom tags as possible, ie. colour, size, weight, height, dimensions, all these should be able to carry price overides. ie small = 1.99 medium = 2.99 and so on.
6, how many items in stock.
7, how long to get stock if out of stock.
8, SKU number (barcode).
9, Product ID.
10, Customisable Display area for each product "html code" ie. for giving a list of sizes and relevent dimensions in a table.
11, Option for customised image buttons for ordering, more info etc.
12, Ability to run Customer & Merchant catalogue side by side with % discount given for merchants / Wholesalers.

If i think of any more for this area i will let you know.

Ordering:

1, Taxation: Ability to have cart display tax for states(US), export, Country, etc.
2, Multiple Shipping options and price include for each ie local, express, world. A Table for administrator to add shipping to areas to be calculated automatically (This is majorly overlooked in a lot of carts).
3, Ability to have secure section of cart on a different server/URL.
4. Shipping by item, multiple items, weight, dimensions.
5, payment by own secure server, cheque, telephone order.
6, I've listed as many payment companies as i can think of. I have a lot of the hooks for these somewhere if you would like them.

Anacom

Authorize.Net, E-Commerce Exchange and QuickCommerce

Bank of America eStores

Cambist

Cardservice International and Clear Commerce

CubeCard

eft.com

eProcessingNetwork (Controlled Devices)

eWAY

gochargeit.com

GORealtime E-Commerce Transaction Processing

InternetSecure

iTransact

PaymentProcessor.net

PayPal

SECPay

signio.com

WorldPay

Order Retrieval:
It,s nice to have a windows interface for management aswell as web based, and i know someone who may be willing to help create something for admin manangement in windows that will upload, download order and product information, and include options for printing address labels, receipts etc.

Other handy features are, coupon / gift certificate, and affiliate modules.

I'm tired now and going to bed It's 6AM, I will post more if you like? Like someone said earlier it's better to include everything you need form the start than adding it later as this makes things messy.

I hope I havn't wandered of the path with this, plesae kick me into line if i am.

Hope this is of help.

Regards

MDJ1
http://www.isee-multimedia.co.uk
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
I agree with a lot of this. What ever hooks/modules/sites you have for payment options would be good to catalog.

I would have a problem with an ecommerce system that said it could do everything for everyone. The reason is that too many types of businesses exist, with too many differing needs.

Some can get by with, and prefer, the simple one page order.

Others need flexible options, custom configuration, and individual pricing.

Both of these are beyond the scope of this project :) (well, the first one is beneath it).

But, customized fields -- ALTER TABLE ADD COLUMN... -- would not be a difficult option, and with yanking the values from the tables by hash-ref, all fields become immediately available, and are passed as tags to the templates.

Pretty much, I need to figure out what is essential for a database, then let the users add whatever extra fields they need.

What table relations betweeen products, categories, divisions, stores, departments, etc.

Things like that.

Then, also, how to tie it to a "link" or an item, or to a site.

THe more input the better. The time to find out all the details is BEFORE anything is set in stone, while the data layout is being determined.

Right now I see it being product-driven and user-driven. Meaning a user has to exist before an order can be placed, and orders, categories, and departments all consist of products or items.

A user knows all about themselves, and an item knows all about itself.

Now, the trick becomes... do we make the product related to a category, or do we set up relations in separate tables? The more tables there are, the more complicated management becomes, but the more flexibility is built in.

Any ideas about structure, setup, groupings, etc.??

PUGDOG«
PUGDOG« Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ


Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
What about the implementation of PHP for this, there are some great open source projects available at http://php.resourceindex.com/...ipts/Shopping_Carts/



Regards

MDJ1
http://www.isee-multimedia.co.uk
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
I have a lot of problems with PHP.

I don't like mixing output and code in the same files, which is why I went template based. PHP is all mixed up.

PHP parses all files, just like SSI, so with a site that is mostly statically generated, you sill have a performance penalty for just using PHP.

I don't like putting any "code" files in the document tree, no matter how well protected. It's still bypassing the main source of security of putting the files outside the reach of the server.

None of the PHP products, projects, or code groups are mature.

Perl is time-tested, and it seems the logic is reasonably quickly ported to PHP, if the programmer desires. The reverse does not seem quite true.

Besides, Links is running in perl, and this is going to borrow as much from the existing routines as it can. No reason to duplicate efforts, or have two development tracks for the same end.

PUGDOG«
PUGDOG« Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ


Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Fair comment.

Did you get the email i sent you?



Regards

MDJ1
http://www.isee-multimedia.co.uk
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
I can't say I have.... or did.



PUGDOG«
PUGDOG« Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ


Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
i posted it to the address in your profile!

if you email me another address i will re-send it to you, it contained a readme file with info on all the secure payment info from another shopping cart.



Regards

MDJ1
http://www.isee-multimedia.co.uk
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
That's a valid email address.... believe me!!! <G>

If it was recently, the mail server has recurring problems this time of night, and usually straightens out in an hour or so.

PUGDOG«
PUGDOG« Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ


Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
Hi pugdog,

Did you get the email?



Regards

MDJ1
http://www.isee-multimedia.co.uk
Quote Reply
Re: Ecommerce implementations with LinksSQL In reply to
No, I didn't.

And , it seems some mail may not have been delivered.

I can't explain it... I still get 1000's of pieces each day, but some
people from here said they have sent has not arrived.

PUGDOG«
PUGDOG« Enterprises, Inc.
FAQ: http://postcards.com/FAQ