Programmer needed to customize the oscommerce e-shop of a Start Up company in Portugal.
OsCommerce MS 2.2, Loaded Version CRE 6, Update Patches 1, 2 and 3 included.
Purpose of the e-shop:
To sell books: Mainly as downloadable ebooks, but also printed.
The customization need to be done only for the language English. However, the text fields must be added to all language files / fields of the other 3 languages too, but only in English!
1. To include analogue to the existing attribute “weight” the product specific other attributes (The osCommerce attribute manager is not suitable) and to modify the existing osCommerce Product description manager.
2. To include these new attributes into the oscommerce advance search (we do have the module to modify it, it just need to be implemented).
3. To customize the software for our 3 affiliate groups: Authors, Partner at Sales, Partner at Purchase. The starting point is the module “affiliates”. The module is included 3 times and needs to be modified as following described.
4. To customize the customer module.
Note: We want to pay you for your work in a fair way. Please consider that this company is a 2 man university start up. Most of our customer will be universities that get our products for free. If you are looking for long term ties, or feel that you could benefit from working with us, feel free to make a proposal. We most likely will need your knowledge also in the future on a regular base !!! (May even more than by now). Though we set up the page like it is now, we don’t have the time to maintain and improve it in the future, like it would needed to be. For more information about the project just feel free to ask.
Yours Andreas Meiszner
The following attributes need to be included:
a. Language; as a dropdown list, where the author can choose the language of his work (includes: Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, French and Other).
b. The kind of work; as a dropdown list (includes: Project & Course Work, Paper, Bachelor Thesis, Diploma Thesis, Master Thesis, MBA Thesis, Post Degree Work, Dissertation, Post Doctorate Work and Other). The works need to be ranked. So that the Project & Course Work has the lowest ranking and the Post Doctorate Work (and Other) the highest. This is needed for the advanced search (e.g. find works that are at a minimum a MBA Thesis => Result: all MBA works and higher).
c. The Mark that the work received; as a drop down list (No Grade, A+, A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C- ). This need to be ranked too. So at the advance search on could search e.g. for works that are at least a A-. No Grade needs to be the highest value (not A+).
d. Institute where the work has been conducted. As a dropdown list in 2 steps: First to choose the Country (the drop down country list that already exist at the database could here be used ?!?). Once the country will be chosen the Institutes in this country are shown in a second drop down list. By now there are about 70 Institutes for Portugal and 60 for Spain. For each country there should be the option “Other” (To be every time the last at the dropdown list!). Remember: This list need to be updated frequently, as more Institutes will follow.
Note: Once the Institute becomes a member of us, the author will only receive a commission on the sales of each work of 40%, instead of 50%. The other 10% will go to the Institute. Take this into consideration, by creating this table, for point 3!!!!
e. Year and Month the work has been finished. As a field to fill in MM/YYYY. To be searchable at the advanced search (e.g. show me all works not older than 08/1999).
f. Number of pages, to be searchable by minimum number of pages
g. The Price, as a drop down list where to choose from (Currency is €: 24.50, 49.50, 68.00, 98.00, 118.00, 148.00, 198.00, 298.00). The price is the gross price (inclusive VAT) and must be automatically transferred to the sales price field of the osC SQL data field (products_price).
These attributes will be filled in at point 3. Affiliate Module, Partner 1: the Authors and must there be transferred to the attributes of each work (product).
These attributes must appear at the catalog below the description of the work
(In the case of doubts go to our homepage, look for the work “elearning”, it is there were now are the “options” below the description.)
2. Advanced Search; the attributes at 1. need to be included into the advanced search. There is a contribution available at the osC forum that is supposed to do this, so it could serve as a base (we do have it, if required).
3. The Affiliate Module served as the base to manage our three partner groups: Our Authors (that are by the same time our “manufacturers”), our partner at sales (mainly non profit organizations and associations) and our “purchase” partner. The “purchase partner” are universities and institutes that promote our service to their students (in general: student = author). So what we need is as follows:
Authors are supposed to create an account, insert the data of their works, modify the data and use the other features the affiliate module offers.
Create account process:
- The field “homepage” can’t be mandatory.
- After clicking the button to create the account, the author is lead to the confirmation page. When clicking the button continue at the confirmation page he must be guided to a new page, where to fill in the data of his work.
- This new page with the data of his work need to be created by you. The Title should be “Please fill in the data of your work”. This page must have the following fields:
- The field manufacturer, that need to be created automatically. The data must be taken from the Authors Last name and First name. The system than must generate automatically a “manufacturers_id” (from database). The name must be shown as follows “Last name, first name”. The author will not be able to modify this field.
- Below there need to be the following fields:
“Short Title of the work” (to be saved at database: products_name)
“Long Title of the work” (to be saved at database: products_head_title_tag)
“Short description of the work (to be saved at database: products_head_desc_tag)
“Keywords of the work” (to be saved at database: products_head_keywords_tag)
“Executive Summary” (to be saved at database: products description) => at the administration panel there is the option to change the styles for this point. The author should not have this option. The same style (size, kind of letter), like at the other points should be used to have a unique apperance.
=> These data must be copied/saved automatically to/in all 4 language files (see the admin panel “create new product” in the case of doubts).
Further on the attribute fields, as created at 1.:
“Language of the work”
“Kind of work”
“Mark of the work”
“The work was finished at”
“Number of pages”
“Price of work”
These are all data required. Now there need to be the button to continue to proceed.
By proceeding the data must be transmitted to the database. The system than has to generate a “product_id” for the work and transfer the price to “products_price”. The quantity must still be zero. The author will be guided to a new page.
- 3rd page, that also need to be created. Title of this page “One further step to publish your work”. Below only an empty text field (will be filled in by us) and the button continue.
- 4th new page. The Title should be “Print, Send, Publish”. The data to be shown at this page must be the data inserted at pages 1 and 2, followed by the terms and conditions ([url removed, login to view]). At the top of the page there should be a button “print”, that will start the print process of this page. At the bottom of the page should be the usual button “continue”, which leads you to the main page (like at all other pages).
=> For your understanding: the author prints out the personalized terms form and sends it to us together with his work. We than ad the work to our downloads and set the quantity to >0, so the work could be purchased.
- Now there is the need, that the author can edit the data of his work, or even add a second work to it. So we need a new category (page) at the box “authors program”. The box should be below “Edit Authors Account”. The name of the category at the box (and also the title of the page) is “Edit and add your works”. The content of this: Product_id, products_name, button “edit” (by pressing the button the author can modify the data of his work). The works should appear one below the other. Between title and the first work there should be a button “insert new work”. This button must lead the author to the 2nd page, like just mentioned shortly above. So he could insert an other work and proceed till page 4 again.
- Field “Authors Summary” (and relating ones) at the box “Authors Program”. Delete the fields “conversion” and “average” (only for the catalog, not for the admin area!).
- Field “Transactions” (and related) at “Authors Summary”. The commission must be calculated as a percentage of each sale (field: transactions) of a work of the author (“products_id” belongs to “manufacturers_id” belongs to “autores_id”). They should be displayed at the Transactions field.
- The author will receive a commission of 50%, if his Institute does not belong to our partner, and 40%, if it does. If the author signed up, before the Institute belonged to our partner, the commission will remain 50%. All authors signed in, once the Institute belonged to our partner will receive 40%. The commission rate should be set as a default automatically to 40% or 50%, depending on the case, but be adjustable manually by the admin. => Solution required, feel free to be creative!!!!!!
b. Sales Partner
As said the sales partner are mainly non profit organizations and associations. The sales partner have a high number of own member. By becoming our partner they are allowed to offer their member a 10% discount rate on each work. The organization or association itself will get an equal 10% as a commission on all works that were purchased by their member.
- The banner they can create at the menu should not refer to a single product and should not ask for a “product_id”. Instead the created banner should only refer to the mainpage.
- There is a general bug with the banner image created at the affiliate module. Just lock in and try to create a banner and you see what I mean. The image is missing. The banner image should every time be the logo of our company, as we do not have product images (This need to be fixed for authors, partner sales and partner purchase !!!)
- Each sales partner need to have a discount number. Like that they can tell their member the discount number, so once this member becomes our customer it can insert it and gets the 10% discount.
=> Discount numbers may could be handled by the already existing module “gift voucher”?!?
- The discount number for each sales partner must be unique (e.g. sales partner 1 has a different discount number than sales partner 2!)
- This discount number must serve to calculate the commission for the sales partner. All purchases done by the members sales partner must be tracked by the discount number. As a result the sales and commission should be shown at the “sales partner summary” and relating pages.
- The purchases of the member of our sales partner should be shown at the transaction field. All fields at the box “Sales partner” should show the right and appropriate values.
- Every time a sales partner creates an account there should be a confirmation mail to us too (e.g. [url removed, login to view]).
c. Partner Purchase (please read carefully!)
The “purchase” partner are universities and institutes that promote our service to their students. As our partner they will earn a 10% commission on all sold works that were conducted on their institute. The commission will be granted for all authors that signed up on our page, once the purchase partner became a member. Authors who signed up before the institute became a partner, or once the institute stopped to be a partner are included. For all authors, that signed up meanwhile the institute was our partner, the authors commission will remain 40%, even if the institutes stops to be our partner. On the other hand the institute will receive their 10% commission for all authors of their institute, even after they stopped to be our partner. (e.g. Author a, b and c are from institute 1. A joins us in 04/2003, b in 05/2003 and c in 06/2003. Institute 1 was our partner only in 05/2003. So authors a and c will every time receive a sales commission of 50%. Author b will every time receive a commission of 40% and the institute a commission of 10% on all sales of this work of b. Even if b sells the work (the one he submitted to us in 05/2003) in 05/2005 he would get 40% and the institute 50%. If b should hand in a second work in 06/2003, so once institute 1 stopped being our partner, he would get 50% commission on sales of the second work and institute 1 nothing. The reason for this rule is to play it fair for the institute and author).
- The commission for the purchase partner need to be calculated by the number of sales of the works that were conducted at their institute. But only for the sales were the author signed up with us, meanwhile the purchase partner (institute) was our active partner.
- Each purchase partner need to be linked to the products added to our catalog meanwhile he is our partner. This number must be unique (e.g. purchase partner 1 has a different number than sales partner 2!)
=> To remember point 1. Purchase partners are may even listed before and certainly after they were our partner, as the author every time has to indicate the institute where he conducted his work. This is independently from the fact whether the institute is our partner or not.
- The sold works conducted at the institute of our purchase partner – that count for commission - should be shown at the transaction field. All fields at the box “Purchase partner” should show the right and appropriate values.
- Every time a purchase partner creates an account there should be a confirmation mail to us too (e.g. [url removed, login to view]).
4. Customize the customer module
There are 6 groups of customer: private persons, companies, companies purchasing net (as they are from a different country), companies that get a 10% discount (as they are a member of one of our sales partner), students, that every time get a discount of 50% and purchase partner (the institutes) who get a discount of 100% (means download for free – only handling cost for printed works or works on cd they would have to pay.
=> Here you are allowed to be creative. How the create account process should be best is up to you. The only thing to be determined are the different group requirements:
- Private person – regular create account
- Companies – Regular, but field for company name and tax number (not mandatory, could be at the page for private person)
- Companies purchasing net, could also be at the same page than private person. Once the country is other than Portugal and they filled in Company name and Tax number, it is net.
- Companies that get a 10% discount. It is like the 2 before, only that they get the 10% discount, once they filled in the right “discount number”
- Students, could also be at the same page than private person. Once they filled in the field for Institute and Student number they would get the discount of 50%.
=> Finally the most challenging one !!!
Purchase Partner (the institutes). As there will be xxx different user at a institute, each user should have an own account. This user account must include the special conditions (100% discount). Once the user creates the account, he must choose his institute from a given range. The range includes all purchase partner institutes we have listed. As 1st he has to choose the country, and than choose the purchase partner institute – both from a drop down list. Once the user created his account an e-mail must be send to his institute. The Institute (our purchase partner) need to send back this e-mail to confirm that the user is allowed to use this special conditions (100% discount). This could be done by just clicking on a link within the received mail. Once the users account has been validated to use the conditions (100% discount), he should be informed by an automatic e-mail too.
=> Last point: osC demands from the admin to allow a download, even if it is for free. For the convenience of our customer that get a 100% discount, the download should be possible immediately – without an admin confirmation. The downloads for free should also be shown to the authors account at “Authors Summary” at the number of sales. For the free downloads of institutes the author should se the name of the institute downloading his work for free (though he will receive no money for it, it will be interesting for him which other institute demanded his work. Like that he could track how they use his findings).
Well, that’s it by now. But tomorrow I will certainly come up with a new task, to be discussed and negotiated with you !
!!! To make things clear: we do not talk about setting up an entire store. The store already exist and is highly customized. No design needed. It’s purely programming. If you are a php programmer who is used to work with loaded OsCommerce versions, the job will take no longer than 2 to 3 days.
If you want to see it check it out at Iberscience.com!!!