Item Qualifiers and Product Database

May 28, 2009 at 7:14 PM

I have installed and am pleased with what I see in the NB_Store product so far. I have a client with a production site with an already-existing e-store that I'm rebuilding in DNN and (possibly) NB_Store. I have two questions about my requirements and how NB_Store might work for me (or not).

Can I have more than 2 levels of product qualifier for an individual product? For example, an item for sale might be tea and it could be loose or bagged, white or black, caffeinated or decaf, 6oz or 12oz... etc. I have many other examples in which I would need to be able to add many levels to describe the product.

I have an ASP-driven database that contains all the products at this time, and I other applications that share the use of these data. Can I get NB_Store to reference my product database so that I can keep my original apps working with the product data in one place, only? Do you have any documentation about the NB_Store database?

One other little question: for some reason many of the little thumbnail images do not appear on the interface, yet the files exist, and they appear in the store management module - ex: the shopping cart image in the mini-cart module renders as a box with 'X' in it.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,

DBS

Coordinator
May 29, 2009 at 1:07 AM

I don't know about the db bits, but yes, you can add any number of options to a product, and the cart also supports product models. The difference appears to be that models refer to actual product stock, whilst options can be used for things like accessories, or perhaps even options like gift-wrapping. Have a look on this page in the wiki for details. You can create copies of any product with a single click, and so to save time when adding new items, you can create a basic product template in advance for re-use.

In order to make everything appear in your product pages, you have to have the correct tokens in the templates. Check them here.

Take note in particular of how you can repeatedly add certain tokens by simply adding an increasing number onto the token:

[TAG:OPTIONNAME1]
[TAG:OPTION1]
[TAG:OPTIONNAME2]
[TAG:OPTION2]

and

[TAG:GALLERY1] , [TAG:GALLERY2] ...

and

[TAG:DOC1], [TAG:DOC2] ...

and the same goes for images as well - you can have any number of additional images and even format them differently within the product display - For example, create a large main image alongside a gallery of smaller thumbnails.

Also, the templates included are not complete. You can make copies of them to new templates and change and add tokens from there. Check out each teamplte and ensure that the paths point to the correct image locations. The way the module back-end work is flexible but it also means that some things need to be done by hand. Once you have the cart configured for your system, it can be saved as a page or portal template and re-used with your settings intact. That, plus the plentiful options, the template flexibility and the image resizing make this module a winner in my view.

Hope that helps!

Rob

May 29, 2009 at 3:35 AM

Yes, your reply is very helpful. I look forward to trying to add many options to a particular product.

I am, however, still very concerned about the ability to draw product information from my own database. I realize that trying to keep multiple product tables/databases will result in a maintenance nightmare - not to mention difficult, if not impossible, inventory control, for example (I have an inventory control system in place running off my product database already built). I am hesitant to move forward with this module without knowing for sure how/if I can get my product data into the store module from my database instead of by hand via the user interface. Any information or help on this will be very much appreciated.

Thank you! DBS

Coordinator
May 29, 2009 at 6:32 AM
Edited May 29, 2009 at 6:33 AM

Hi DBS,

Getting information from your old database can be difficult.  NB_Store has an XML import and export function that I used to move my e-commerce stores into NB_Store.  The only issue is that because of the complex nature of the product/model/option structure in NB_Store the XML structure tends to be complicated, but if your knowledge of XML is good, it shouldn't pose to much of a problem.  To look at the XML structure enter a few example products and use the export function to create an export.xml, the import is the same format.  I've also a bespoke VB program I used whcih I can gfive you a copy of, it won;t work in your situation but it may give you some ideas.  Contact me through conplex if you want a copy and I'll email it to you.

Regards,

Dave.

May 29, 2009 at 8:37 PM

Hi Dave,

It would really be a great help to see an example of your code to see how I can implement a similar program. Thank you so much, I would love a copy of your VB program to model my solution after.

Thanks a bunch and wish me luck!