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lizp
09-30-2008, 10:01 PM
Hi, I am wanting to sign up with vodahost but I just need to know the following first as it is crucial to my website / shopping cart:

1) Can I easily create a search function within soholaunch that works as follows;
a. customer selects printer brand from drop down box, e.g. HP, Canon, Lexmark.
b. customer then selects printer model from 2nd drop down box, i.e. if customer selected HP in 1st box then all HP models should appear in second box.
(No models should appear in 2nd box until customer has selected brand in first box)
c. Search results return all ink cartridges & associated products for that particular printer only.
d. Some ink cartridges can be used in multiple printers and so these products will need to appear in multiple search results.
5. If soholaunch can't do this, is their a product I can use within soholaunch that will do this?

In my current shopping cart I have found a way around this but it involves massive amounts of data entry & code writing and will not be easily editable in the future, this is the main reason I am looking at switching hosting.

2) Can data be uploaded into soholaunch back-end product section from an excel spreadsheet, if all the data fields are named with the same codes as the product attributes &/or fields I set up in soholaunch?

Many Thanks, I look forward to hearing from some of you soon.

Vasili
10-01-2008, 12:26 AM
1. Soholaunch can do this with a plug-in (which may or may not cost you anything), but it is an included "default" feature of both osCommerce (http://www.oscommerce.org) and ZEN (http://www.zen-cart.com) (which you can install with one mouse-click via Fantastico! with your VodaHost account) and Magento (http://www.magentocommerce.com), (which unless you wish to purchase it professionally pre-installed on a Specially configured server (http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/magento.html), you will need to install it manually, as it is not offered via Fantastico!).

2. For Soholaunch, osCommerce, and ZEN you need merely re-save your excel files as CSL file. Professional loading utilities are available for OSC and Magento to go straight Excel.

lizp
10-01-2008, 04:57 AM
Thank you so much, It is a relief to know that I have a found a system that will work for me and I am looking forward to getting started with vodahost.

lizp
11-27-2008, 03:39 AM
Vasili,

Wondering if you could be so kind as to further assist me in regards to my previous enquiries:

1) Uploading product data from excel;
a) I can't find CSL option for saving my excel file, there is a CSV(comma delimited), is this the format I need?
b) In my OsCommerce admin area I can't see any codes attached to the various product fields such as "price" "product name" "category" etc so should I just use these names in my excel spreadsheet?
c) Finally in my OsCommerce admin area I can't figure out how to actually import the excel spreadsheet into my products section once I have resolved the above issues.

2) Search Function
I have watched all the OsCommerce tutorials provided on vodahost site which have been most helpful but I have been unable to establish how I can edit the 'search function' in order to achieve the search results described in my original query.

Any assistance you can give me or if you can point me in the right direction to get more information to achive the above, I would be most grateful.

Many Thanks in Advance
Liz

Vasili
11-27-2008, 08:28 AM
1) Uploading product data from excel;
a) I can't find CSL option for saving my excel file, there is a CSV(comma delimited), is this the format I need?
b) In my OsCommerce admin area I can't see any codes attached to the various product fields such as "price" "product name" "category" etc so should I just use these names in my excel spreadsheet?
c) Finally in my OsCommerce admin area I can't figure out how to actually import the excel spreadsheet into my products section once I have resolved the above issues.

2) Search Function
I have watched all the OsCommerce tutorials provided on vodahost site which have been most helpful but I have been unable to establish how I can edit the 'search function' in order to achieve the search results described in my original query.Hi, Liz! http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/images/icons/icon7.gif

1a. Excel, yes. If I cannot use Excel, it's a waste of my time. Use CSV, since it is impossible to import/transfer with the conditioning of "field" remaining.
1b. Yes. You have to "anticipate" that your columns will magically become the inherited heirarchy of item attributes (that word again), and which will also prove essential to setting up your "Search" logic.
1c. It's there, in the ADD PRODUCTS panel, but is clumsy and unforgiving. To make things easier (and more "naturally" logical) consider using the Plug-in that will allow you to automate the process that is free, found here (http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/500). You will note, however, that this plug-in is based on the CSV model, which to me personally is harder for me to jet through the process: it makes me convert, shuffle, and hold my breath! LOL
Now ... if you want to spend a few $ and get a professional 3rd party product loader and manager tool that is self-formatting and allows you to do everything in straight Excel, you'll find that tool here (http://www.oscommerce-manager.com/PAGE-20-oscommerce-manager-order.html) (it's what I use for all my OSC builds). This tool actually walks you through the setup of your Excel, so all-around it seems easier to load easily but definitely pre-configure Search, if you will. http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/images/icons/icon12.gif

2. Search is not "editable" per se, but based on the individual attributes of the items loaded according to the heirarchy that is followed and supported by your Navigation (Page/Category/Sub-Category structures). This is why so much emphasis is placed on how your Products are "loaded" upon the pre-conceived Navigation (via Category and Sub-Category tree in your Admin of OSC). Make sense?

It took me 3 'do-overs' before I discovered where my tight logic did not gel with the computer: I was too precise, and did not realize that a single product, for example, needed to be added to multiple 'lists' if it was to be searched 'site-wide' if you know what I mean. For example, I could not simply have W a t c h e s > mens or ladies > Q u a r t z or automatic or dress or sport > metal or bracelet > etc ..... I had to break it down into base selections like Mens W a t c h e s > Metal or Strap > Sport or Dress ... there was no room for all the different "lines" or "families" of styles across all those parameters (you could have a Silhouette family of Citizen W a t c h e s that included mens or ladies, metal and strap, dress and sport, etc. See?) I had to drop the "styles" and go back to basics like Mens/Ladies, Metal/Strap just so I did not have 11,000 entries in 500 categories for a 275 item watch line.

osCommerce does do a superlative job with Search, site-wide and especially for inventory, but it is also quite rigid on being formatted the way it was written.

Have you done a bunch of reading in the osC Forums? Not just the common questions and problems, although they DO help to avoid the more common pratfalls. I mean specifically about finer aspects of loading and site Search? You should .... build a good workable overview of the whole thing, and then stroll through the plug-in's (contributions) to see if you can pro-actively implement a "shortcut" without having to run into a wall and then look for a solution.

I hope this helps .... and is not just more of my typical long-winded "brain leak." http://www.vodahost.com/vodatalk/images/icons/icon11.gif
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