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Anyway, I am in the design stage of an ASP.NET project for which I will have to code my own shopping cart solution. I am aware of the free IBuySpy solution. I'm just wondering if anyone here has used it or has created their own shopping cart system from scratch?
Also, I'd be interested to read any general comments about coding a shopping basket / customer registration system. Is it as difficult as what it sounds?
Many thanks :)
It's been a satisfying and educational experience, and I bet if I had used someone else's script I would have spent just as long fiddling with it as if I had written my own anyway.
With that being said, the control and flexibility that comes with creating your own cart makes it totally worthwhile.
I am developing the site for my MSc project using ASP.NET and SQL Server 2000.
I don't have a great deal of experience with the technologies, but I have built an application which involved having users with different status who could, for example, send messages to other users, compose/reply to/delete messages, view info relevant to them, upload documents, manage documents, edit their profile etc etc etc. There was also a admin panel for controlling everything.
I'll be starting development in a week or two. So the more reasurrance that I can do it, the better ;)
My advice would be to plan on spending the bulk of your budgeted time in the design area. If you nail your design you'll only invest about 20% of the project writing code. Once you have a model that your comfortable with then you can begin writing code and it putting it all together for testing.
Before you launch it, test it vigorsly for items such as math, state management, proper item aggregation, totaling, sub-totaling, updating, deleting, valid pricing etc... And here's a tip on item injection. When adding an item to a basket avoid passing the item price from a product page via a hidden form field to the basket injection mechanism and perform that price check and insert while inside of a stored procedure. Hidden form fields will leave you open to someone using code to post directly to your basket injection code with a price of their choosing.
In terms of what a customer sees, it can be very simple. What have you got... a category page and a product page! Oh, and a few registration/payment pages.
I think my advice is: keep it simple :)
What you don't realise is how many admin pages you'll need, but I added these on as I found a need for them.
Yes, you're gonna have some bugs in there. I had a few. But these soon come out in the wash.
You'll certainly learn a lot and you'll also have good fun in doing it!
If you don't have previous experience in carts-coding, I'd suggested to find a free cart implementation and start modifying it; after some time you'll have something that may be will not exactly what you want, but at least it will work :) Especially recommended for MSc seekers :)
I do actually have 2 weeks allocated to the design stage, and I have just got myself a copy of Visio for the creating storyboards etc.
I am very comfortable with developing everything from product pages to an admin panel, but the shopping cart does have me a little worried when I consider the lack of time I have. I can imagine I'll spend a lot of time finding answers and trying to make things secure.
For all those people that have your own shopping cart systems online, would you be so kind to give your URL in a post so that I can take a look?
Many thanks :)
The beauty of building your own solution is that you built it and it does exactly what told it to.
The down side is that you built it and it does exactly what you told it to, which may not always be right...
I've spent all day reading about bits and pieces to do with shopping carts etc, but I can't find much which tells you about the nity grity. I would like more information about how the ordering and payment process works and how this works with the database. Unfortunately, the info I've read on the web is a bit vague so far :( I'll keep looking though :)
I used a SQL server back-end. The SQL syntax was my biggest problem. Personal names and city names might contain puntuation, especially apostrophes. Make sure your SQL statements can handle them. No telling what kind of format you might see for international addresses. Military addresses are also non-standard.
Lots of testing is imperative. Try everything you can think of to break the cart.
I stored order details in my SQL server, but I did not keep credit card info. I was worried about security. There are other thread here that discuss the pro's and con's of keeping cc data on your server.
The hard part is identifying the checkout process, what kind of pricing/promotion/discounts you have.
Then what information you need for tracking purposes, to make sure that you have a record of what they purchased.
In addition, we encrypt all credit card numbers.
Testing is extremely vital.
Also if you have a development environment, make sure it does not go to a https:// for dev, as it will for production. It speeds up testing processes.
also there is the matter of how you will download, or process those orders.
How will you track shipping, and what shipping information you give to the customers.
But if i were you I'd get an opensource shopping cart in a language you are familiar with, and learn that, and tweak/customize as you go along.
To both have a good starting point, but to help you gradually learn over time...
I have 2 weeks allocated for testing, but thats just to make sure things work rather than testing security etc. It is for my MSc project so I don;t have to actually complete the website, but just need something that imitates the buying and payment process.
Also, this means that I really need to code this myself rather than tinker with an open source shopping cart. However, I have downloaded the IBuySpy .NET exampleas a reference :)
I'm going to enjoy builiding most of this, but I'm not looking forward to coding the checkout process at all :(
Thanks again :)