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fkelly
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Joined: Aug 30, 2005
Posts: 3312
Location: near Albany NY

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:55 am Reply with quote

I have written several versions of a "Purchase" system for web sites I support. I started with the NSNpaypal module but wound up just using that as a base for some of the IPN related code in Paypal. Basically you need to define the items to be sold on forms, validate the form entry, pass the results to Paypal and process the returned IPN transactions. You also need some form of reporting on the results ... keeping track of who registered, how much they paid or what they bought. I didn't deal with currencies, shipping or taxes.

Having real general purpose RN compatilbe module would be useful and the question of whether it is in the Core, part of addonfiles, or just available as a compatible module download is not something that needs to be settled up front.

However, I do have a suggestion. Take a look at Zencart. I have downloaded and installed this software on several sites and spent a few days setting up the prototypes for these sites. Like RN, Zencart is based on MYSQL and PHP. It has configuration files that are very similar to those in RN. It has an automated installation routine. Once you are installed you can customize the screens, either through administrative routines (similar to but more detailed that RN's ACP) or by editing CSS files. There is a rigorous and well-defined approach for overriding defaults.

The core of Zencart is that you categorize items to be sold, then define individual items and the data that goes with them (prices, taxes, shipping etc). Basically Zencart then build both the forms that people buy the items from, the validation and the resulting shopping cart. It also has a range of payment options (not just Paypal) and supports different currencies, taxes and shipping.

There is also a highly evolved help system including Wiki pages, forums and there is even a book that you can buy.

Obviously Zencart is not integrated into RN and I'm not sure the juice of doing so would be worth the squeeze. But integration is not an end in itself. If you wanted to sell something through your RN system you could just put a link to the Zencart main page right on the RN home page. Then customize Zencart to link back to your Nuke pages. The Zencart database tables use a prefixing system similar to RN's so you could easily install them in the same database that you have Nuke in. This would facilitate writing some additional reporting for the Zencart purchases that could be accessed directly from RN (a MYSQL table is a MYSQL table is a MYSQL table.)

I'm not saying for sure that I think this is the preferable route to go but I do think that anyone who is considering the herculean effort involved in writing a commerce module should at least check Zencart out for themselves.

You can see a prototype store I set up on a test site at:

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You can't buy anything there but recognize that if you are experienced in setting up Nuke sites it is about a half day's effort to download and install Zencart and maybe another half day's effort to read their documentation and customize it to the extent I did there.
 
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alien73
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:14 pm Reply with quote

I've used Zencart many times and it was on my list... I've already completed my Oscommerce / Nuke module called NOSCART so I already tested them waters..

I want this one to be unlike the rest........I'm still in the thinking stages..
 
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alien73
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:21 pm Reply with quote

it Would be great to see what everyone thinks. Maybe do a poll on what ecommerce solution everyone would you like to see with Raven Nuke.

1. Oscommerce
2. Zencart
3. Cubecart
4. Magento etc....
 
fkelly
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:08 pm Reply with quote

I'm all for democracy Alien but unless people know the ins and outs of each of those systems their response to such a poll is really meaningless. The "thinking stages" you mentioned in the post before is really important, this is also called the analysis stage and it is best done by one person or a small group really wading into the details and preparing a detailed list of technical features, strengths and weaknesses and pros and cons.

Going back to my previous post I just wanted to add that there are so many different priorities for improving and adding to RN that I would hate to see us reinventing the wheel when there is an open source platform such as Zencart that would meet people's needs. I don't see integration with RN as being an "end in itself" but rather a means to satisfy users' needs and if we can satisfy them without integrating or by building a few bridges (say importing and exporting user information) then all the better.

That said, I agree that having a commerce solution we can all get behind is very important.
 
alien73
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:28 pm Reply with quote

I will download Zencart again and rethink things... A poll would still be nice between at least between RN developers. I know your 100% for zencart? Anyone else?

Combining the login is the first and most important... Then the blocks.. The admin can stay just like phpbb has it's own admin away from nuke. Making Short Links is easy XHTML etc....
 
fkelly
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:12 pm Reply with quote

I didn't say that I'm 100% for Zencart, just that it should be evaluated. The way you set up items to be sold and associate form fields and values with them is a little bit (or even a big bit) awkward in Zencart. I'm not sure what various folks would think of that part. On the other hand it does build the forms and the validation. If you look at some of the Zencart based sites (you can find links in their help forums) people have done some very neat things starting with the package.

I'm far from a Zencart expert. I think the BEST solution would be an even easier to use Zencart type application that is fully integrated into RN. Zencart could profit from some of the JQUERY type interface that we are trying to build gradually into RN by the way. I just don't know, as I said in my initial posting, whether the juice is worth the squeeze in terms of integrating it.
 
alien73
PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:18 pm Reply with quote

Just picking on you with the zencart thing... I hear completely... Like I said before I've already done Oscommerce so really starting over is a ton of work. Oscommerce also has tons of mods/hacks and can be cleaned up nicely. JQUERY can be added to match what your doing to RN now.

Zencart is another Oscommerce fork...
 
kguske
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Joined: Jun 04, 2004
Posts: 6383

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:06 pm Reply with quote

I'm excited to see this discussion, and definitely appreciate your enthusiasm and positive attitude, alien73! It's great to have this level of interest in improving RN.

Obviously, there is interest (I know some people still using CCart Pro) in integrating e-commerce with RN, and it's good to solicit feedback here to get a feel for the kinds of functionality and improvements people are interested in (as you can see, many are happy to oblige).

Since you already have significant investment in integrating osCommerce with Nuke, maybe you could have a discussion about the specific functionality there (maybe look at a comparison of e-commerce systems to put a frame on the discussion), let people demo and give specific feedback for improvements.

Some examples: Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! General Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! CNBYA / RNYA Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! More RNYA Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login! News enhancements

I've found that to be very helpful...

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alien73
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:31 pm Reply with quote

Thanks Kguske,

I came up with a plan... I will be adding Noscart to the latest version of Raven Nuke. It will be overhauled, php 5.0 updated etc... It will now be called RN Ecommerce and will be fixed to work specifically for Raven Nuke.

Most oscommerce forks/bridges try to create new blocks and totally hack the core. I'm thinking on leaving the oscommerce blocks as they are for now but taking out the RN left blocks so it will look and act just like a real module. Just how PHPBB acts it has it own admin and takes up the whole page without left and right blocks.

I want to do 2 releases that will include the latest version of RN and RN ECommerce called RN Merchant and another just as a module for those who already have a site and don't want to start over. It will also come with Short links which I finished this morning.

No release date as of yet but it should be ready in about 2 months!


here's a snapshot

Image
 
kguske
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:12 pm Reply with quote

Interesting...keep up the good work!
 
jestrella
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Joined: Dec 01, 2005
Posts: 593
Location: Santiago, Dominican Republic

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:23 pm Reply with quote

Wonderful...

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Palbin
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Joined: Mar 30, 2006
Posts: 2583
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:26 pm Reply with quote

I don't even use ecommerce and I like it!

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alien73
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:14 pm Reply with quote

Thanks guys... I will put it up live soon to start testing
 
trunks
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Joined: Oct 05, 2007
Posts: 152
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:41 pm Reply with quote

Just want to add my bit Razz

I like the concept of adding it to the core, but my opinion is as an add-on. The main reason for my using and supporting RN is because of its clean approach, leaving me and many other users to add whatever we like to it. Without having masses of modules and add-ons like evo and platinum.
Its definatly a need mod for nuke, i would not personally use it as i use a premium paid for service for my builling and support side of things where i implement a secure layer.
But i completely understand thats its in diar need. But i personally do not feel as someone was saying will bring more revenue back to Raven and its team, simply because the majority of people love to remove link backs and copyright tags... as well as take things for free Very Happy

-Trunks
 
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trunks
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:44 pm Reply with quote

P.s i replied to the first page xD love the look of that there!
 
alien73
PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:28 pm Reply with quote

Thanks.. I'm hard at work on it much to do....
 
Raven
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Joined: Aug 27, 2002
Posts: 17086

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:29 am Reply with quote

I come very late to this party and I apologize!
Alien73 has already joined the Team but I haven't gotten him "formally" added Smack . Hopefully tomorrow ....

As to whether or not this is added to the core, we will have to see. I prefer the separate package but maintenance comes to mind immediately. That statement is not meant to belabor and bog down this thread. It's just the thought came into my mind as I read this.

This is really exciting especially in lieu of the success of CCart. Brian, if you/we build it, they will come Wink. If it's built and distributed as an addon or a separate distribution then there may have to be some entitlements also. Again, just thinking out loud Wink
 
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Guardian2003
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Joined: Aug 28, 2003
Posts: 6793
Location: Ha Noi, Viet Nam

PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:20 am Reply with quote

I don't want to be-little Alien73's work here, what he has done and what he plans for the future are remarkable achievements by anyones standards but.....
I have a clear image in my head regarding e-commerce and e-commerce users.
If I were undertaking something like this myself I would probably take the approach of building a bridge, perhaps with Classe(s) to tie RN to OSCommerce or a similar, quality, stand alone cart so that, in theory at least, both could be updated independently of each other.
I firmly believe that anyone who is going to want/need e-commerce functionality to the level that osCommerce and similar scripts provide should/would only use that software as their primary web presence is likely to be purely commerce based.

Those that just want to sell a few bits and pieces here and there should be using something similar but far less complex. The last time I looked at osCommerce it took me over two hours to set up including adding a couple of products which, for only needing to sell a few items periodically was way too much time wasted and maintenance was a nightmare.
 
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fkelly
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:05 am Reply with quote

Specifications:

General:
1. Entire "commerce" system needs to be capable of being administered from administration screens by an administrator with no PHP or MYSQL knowledge or access.
2. System must work like a standard RN module ... activated and access controlled by module administration ... any blocks controlled by blocks administration from the blocks ACP.

Specific:
1. Currency selections and options ... question, how many??
2. Language selection
3. Payment options ... just Paypal or more options ... see list of options in Zencart for instance. Is there ability to mail a check?
4. Shipping
5. Can we order and download software or other electronic "versions" (say artwork, books) off the web?
6. Tracking ... how is this done, does administrator have control over tracking tables for instance. Suppose you have memberships and subscriptions for different items ... are there configurable tables and reports for these. Can we see how many widget X's and Y's and Z's have been ordered and their payment status.
7. Returns? Support for this? Issue tracking, dispute tracking?
8. Ability to define items to be sold. Ability to categorize those. Ability to control and format the screens they are sold on. Validation is built into the screens and is this done via Javascript on the screen itself or via PHP on the "action" program.
9. Tax calculations? For which countries? Can the admin. define the logic? How?
10. Paypal interface. Setting up IPN is usually a P.I.T.A. especially in complex situations. Diagnosing problems especially. Are there clear setup screens and instructions? Do we built diagnostic tools in for the admin? Do we support both Sandbox and regular Paypal and can some items be in Sandbox while others are being sold normally.
11. other payment options than Paypal will probably have their own quirks.
12. Help and support systems?
 
alien73
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:59 pm Reply with quote

Just wait an see what I have up my sleeve Cheers
 
jestrella
PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:05 pm Reply with quote

alien73 wrote:
Just wait an see what I have up my sleeve Cheers


kind of eager now
 
draxx
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 6:47 pm Reply with quote

When is this downloadable? I'm confused by the main page?
 
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alien73
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:03 pm Reply with quote

You will see an announcement once it's ready.
 
spasticdonkey
RavenNuke(tm) Development Team


Joined: Dec 02, 2006
Posts: 1693
Location: Texas, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:07 pm Reply with quote

I believe I read somewhere that it was planned for a mid-year (2009) release. Just curious, what type of integration with payment gateways are planned? Just services such as Paypal, or will there be other integration choices?

FYI: Alot of the major payment gateways are listed here Only registered users can see links on this board! Get registered or login!
 
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Guardian2003
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:31 pm Reply with quote

I'm sure there will be a feature list once things are decided.
 
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