Automate Install with Site Templates

Jun 5, 2013 at 8:55 PM
If at all possible, and I think it might be, could you please develop the Install & Setup for a Domain Storefront Bookstore, so that all of these 'very techie' tasks discussed in your endless documentation are done for me?

By simply selecting items, making decisions about certain aspects, and entering information requested, all of these techie tasks could create a 'basic bookstore' for me ... all I need do afterwards is begin creating pages and entering data ... and with more that 35,000 books to enter, my task is already huge.

I really like the idea of using your Store Module, but you've made the Install and Setup so complicated, I feel like giving up and looking elsewhere. I am a web site creator and a Book Store Owner and I am not a Software Engineer ... or in DNN terms, I am not a Skinner ... therefore I do not have the skills required to manipulate your coding and prep for the Install and Setup ... this is frustrating.

Creating a Template Store Structure for a Book Store (or any online catalog) along with an Install & Setup Wizard would be wonderful for us "Non-Techie" web site creators and online business owners ... leaving the "techies" to do their magic ... after all, you don't expect the business owner to build the structural building by him/her self before putting their books on the shelf to open their business to the public, but instead, the building engineers and construction workers build the building for the business owner ...

.... and I would pay for your Storefront Bookstore Software if you could do this for me ... I just won't pay a month's salary for it.
Editor
Jun 5, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Chinookie
Because NB_Store is very flexible this can create complexity however looking through the installation guides on this site it is quite easy (IMO) to create a basic storefront. Many of the setup is not of a technical nature but more of a "how you want the store to operate" type decisions.

This flexibility is one of the strengths of NB_Store compared to other storefronts.

While other members may respond to your request, this community is always helpful to guide other members through the installation and configuration of NB_Store.

To establish a basic storefront, there is no requirement to "manipulate your coding", it will only require you to place pages within DNN and configure the settings as to how you want to operate the store such as categories, shipping etc. These are all aspects that this community can help you through.

From my experience the basic installation and setup is not unlike other solutions, however the range of options to make NB_Store be suitable for a wide range of business requirements.
Craig
Jun 5, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Thank you for responding Craig.

I have as of yet to locate a Step-by-step simple guide to Install and Setup the Store. What I have found is an extreme flow of technical talk and problem solving with language only you techies can comprehend (you may as well talk Martian).

If no 'techie' here wants to create an Install Wizard or Bookstore Template to assist me, that's fine, and same goes if there is nobody who wishes to create it in simple language by writing a 'How To' Install Directional ... I'll look elsewhere, at the many other DNN Skin Developers for the install and creation of my storefront. I just thought if these things were mentioned, that someone would take an interest in further development and create an income from sales with this product.
Editor
Jun 5, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Excuse my short reply.. the sun has just come up in this part of the wprld and I am mobile

Give your post a little time for others to respond, we are willing to help
Many of us are like you. Business owners operating nbstore.
There is a setup guide.on the documentation tab.
Coordinator
Jun 6, 2013 at 1:13 AM
This store has a certain target audience and this is spelled out clearly in the installation and skill requirements.

There are also technical system requirements to consider.

And last but not least is the Step by step guide to a working store, complete with a video for people who can't read the very few steps required.

All of these are listed on the Documentation tab on this page, and again on the homepage in the Getting Started section. If you have the minimum skill requirements then the rest is as easy as it can be.

I know it's frustrating working with DNN and modules (I used to say "Always wear a helmet when working with DNN"), but if you're going to use free software and do it all yourself then that's the cost. This is not specific to NB_store.

A 35k product catalogue is a massive amount of work and time investment and you should not be skimping on things early on. Do it right and do it once.

Note also that the store has cost some people here a heck of a lot more than a month of their time to create. Deciding whether to turn it into a profit making project is a always a consideration, but that has to take the huge increase in time spent on documentation and customer service into account, and so far it has been decided against... because no one has that amount of time spare and the money isn't in the market. There are several paid DNN store modules, and from our feedback we know the product and the support provided here is already a step up.

Regards
Rob
Coordinator
Jun 6, 2013 at 4:03 AM
@Chinookie,

The idea about an install template is a nice idea, the problem is that the way you setup the structure of the store depends on how you want you store to function. Getting a simple template solution is an option, but the problem is that it would be extra work for people to keep this updated, plus would lead people into a way of setup which could be restrictive.

I suppose if it was simple to get good results quickly then there would be no need for any IT professionals.......and the catch 22 would be that therefore there would be no IT professionals to create software to build technical systems that can get results quickly!!

E-Commerce systems are more complex that most people realize, in fact I think you'll find NB_Store (And most other e-commerce system) do a hell of a lot for you already....but as ever, the holy grail of IT is to get the computer to do everything and all we do is push a button, just like Homer Simpson....but it's not going to happen soon!

Have a read of the documentation, you'll find once you get into it you can have a store up and running within a few hours.

Also, I think if you have 35k of products to enter then you should look at using a csv file to import. But this is not a simple task and you'll need to spend time to learn how it works. Start simple with just a couple of product and then move forward from that.

Regards,
Dave.
Editor
Jun 6, 2013 at 5:38 AM
Edited Jun 6, 2013 at 5:39 AM
HI Chinookie,

As Rob has said, there are skill requirements to use this module. You might have found it to complicated to use, this is the problem that most users have when first starting to use something new, but if you don't give up on the first on the first hurdle you will get there.

The first thing you should be looking at is the step by step video Rob has made.

Basically if you follow that you will have a working storefront, then you just need to tweak it a bit to your needs.

If the developer were to create an install for books, other people would ask the same question .. "could you create an install for selling clothes", could you create an install for selling cakes", and so on and so on, everybody would get lazy and the developer would be running around creating installs for everyone and wouldn't have time to develop updates and new functionality to make it easier to user etc etc etc.

Then the module would not be open source and not for free to use.

The starting point is the step by step video, follow that and you are 70% there. The documentation isn't easy to find I know but search the discussions, ask questions and you will get answers that you need.

There are many other storefront modules and solutions out there but you'll have the same problem there, how do I change the style, how to I set up delivery so I would really think about what you really want.

When you start to use this module it does get easier so don't give up! Keep it standard, keep it simple

Regards,

Geoff
Editor
Jun 6, 2013 at 7:53 AM
A good idea is always to chk out the market before making any decision on which e-commerce software to use, because they all differ and some have their strengths in areas where others don't.

My suggestion to u Chinookie would be, to visit the dotnetnuke store and download the trial versions of different stores, install and test them locally one by one, that way u will make sure that u get the store that best suit ur needs.

U mention the idea that someone could build an installer and profit from that, its not a bad idea and therefore, that idea has been thru the heads of many ppl here and a more agile solution was found; Instead of building several different installers, which will fit only a few ppls need, some offer the service of installing and setting up NB Store for those customers who cannot be bothered with it or simply lack the required skill.


Regards
Jake
Coordinator
Jun 6, 2013 at 8:43 AM
In any case.. installing and setting up the store is going to be 0.1% of the work involved in a 35k product website.
Editor
Jun 6, 2013 at 8:50 AM
Correct Rob ;-),

the problem Chinookie has that it doesn't matter what software he uses for his store, he will always have the same problem : 35K of products to input.

Regards,

Geoff
Editor
Jun 6, 2013 at 9:03 AM
In a small business you must wear many hats, if you can not and need to handover certain tasks then this will cost you, if you can afford the time and effort then that task becomes easy.

NB_Store has removed all the development costs from the solution, yet it has one of the highest community support bases of any eCommerce solution I have reviewed and many people at all levels of knowledge contribute.

As Jake mentions, we downloaded and installed many offerings both commercial and open source, this allowed us to determine both suitability and support responsiveness. Based on the documentation provided here for NB_Store that task on installing a test environment is trivial and in my opinion critical to a successful production implementation.

Some areas are complex such as importing products into your store, however if you compare this to keying 35K products then this also is trivial.

As Dave mentions, It would be great to have a wizard based install based on various templates, however effort to develop would be (in Project management terms) complex. And complexity equals effort and effort equals cost.

The first post in this discussion scares me somewhat...
If you are a bricks and mortar business adding value to your business by selling online then perhaps the value of the eCommerce is not fully realised.

If you are purely an online business or see that you will be shifting a majority of your business online then this process will be critical to your success.

As mentioned in the first line of this reply, you will have to wear many hats including some IT Knowledge to maintain and understand your eCommerce site.

I hope that you understand that there is a wealth of knowledge wrapped around this project at all levels and comments made in response to your original post as designed to be constructive and supportive if not meeting your original expectations.

While I do fully understand that as a business owner we just want to get on and do business, I have never found a plug and play solution that works for all, even when they target a certain business type.

Having said that, spend a couple of days going through NB_Store and you will find it easier than you may currently think.
Jun 7, 2013 at 3:18 AM
First I would like to thank all of you for your responses and input into this. It's greatly appreciated.

As a busy storefront owner, I'm afraid my time to learn these new skills myself is a faulty idea, but, hiring a local DNN web developer may prove to be the right avenue for me ... once the IT or 'techie' stuff is completed, I can spend my evenings logging books into the system. I was just hoping that maybe I missed something that would save a bit of time, not necessarily cost, and as a business owner, I do understand that you have to spend money to make money, and the only way to take my business to the next level and implement ebooks into my bookstore is to do it this way, and soon.

Thank you all for your input.
Sincerely,
Chinookie
Editor
Jun 7, 2013 at 3:39 AM
Chinookie

I understand the pressures, and I think that a local IT Resource is probably the right move. I do hope that you evaluate NB_Store as a potential solution and you know that help is always on hand.

I wish you well for this venture and look forward to some good news as you progress.

Craig
Editor
Jun 7, 2013 at 6:43 AM
I have a couple of clients running NBS and their tech skills within the field are very different from one another, so they pay me to carry out different tasks for them when they hit the limit of their own IT abilities.

So I think that you're on the right track in considering hiring a local expert, also because he wont be spending that much time on learning NBS and set it up properly, so cost wise it doesn't even have to be that expensive after all.

Good luck with it Chinookie.


Cheers
Jake
Jun 7, 2013 at 5:41 PM
Again, thanks so much ... :)
Jul 12, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Edited Jul 12, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Sorry to chime in so late (and literally being late to the DNN party - getting my feet wet with 7). I suspect, because I was looking for something like this too, that Chinookie was literally looking for "How to install [x] module", in this case x = NBStore. I know the docs say you should already be proficient in doing so (I wouldn't say I was, but I know I've saved some bookmarks on how to). And I haven't had a look at the video yet (so I don't know if it's there).

I only mention this because I'm sure somebody can spare a few minutes to walk through installing the module. I myself have to look at that bookmark I mentioned to start thinking about how to do it with NBStore. Here's my stab at it - please feel free to change or just to copy it onto the docs:
  1. Download the module's installation zip file to you hard drive.
  2. Log in to your DNN site as the host account.
  3. From the Host menu, select Module Definitions.
  4. On the Module Definitions' module menu, select Install New Module.
  5. On the Install New Module page, click the Browse button.
  6. Select the new module's install zip file, then click Open.
  7. Click on Install New Module.
  8. If all goes well, you will get a a success message (and some other messages about the install). If there are any error messages when installing you'll have to jot them down (Google is your friend here, and of course the forums, when it comes to finding a way to solve any such erros).
  9. You can now add the module to a page in your site using the DNN control panel - this is where Step by Step guide to a working store picks up.
Kudo's to all involved, looks to be like a very polished product.