[SIZE=“4”]We are glad to introduce the beta release of CS-Cart 2.1.3 Professional[/SIZE], which is available for download from [url]http://2tl.dev.cs-cart.com/releases/index.php?action=beta[/url]
We believe that only CS-Cart users can estimate how convenient it is to use the shopping cart and the new improvements.
I would like to tell you about the most significant improvement introduced in this release - multi-box shipment.
This functionality is described in detail in the topic [url]http://forum.cs-cart.com/showthread.php?t=19736[/url]
[SIZE=“3”]Here I’ll briefly describe what’s been added and how you can configure this.[/SIZE]
1. The product details page in the admin area now features a new tab Shipping Properties that contains the following elements:
- a few options moved from the General tab (like Weight, Free shipping, Shipping freight);
- 4 brand new options “Items in a box”, “Box length”, “Box width” and “Box height”.
The “Items in a box” option is used to determine how products are distrubuted among box (see the example below). For better understanding, please read the following post: [url]http://forum.cs-cart.com/showpost.php?p=96113&postcount=35[/url] . It reveals the details of how this feature works.
The options “Box length”, “Box width” and “Box height” are used to determine box-specific dimensions. These settings are required for a more accurate shipping cost estimation based on separate packages.
2. Shipping methods
Options for real-time shipping methods are no longer global and was moved to a separate tab (Configure) in the shipping method configuration page. This makes it possible to configure 2 UPS shipping methods with different accounts, for example.
We added 4 new options to configure each real-time shipping method: “Max box weight”, “Width”, “Height” and “Length”. These settings are similar to the ones on the product details page and are used to assign products to different packages (see the example below).
We also upgraded the following real-time shipping methods: UPS, USPS, FedEx and DHL.
Requests for shipping cost estimation now include packages that will be used when calculationg the cart total. It is also possible to enable negotiated rates.
We upgraded the API from version 3 to 4. This new version will be officially used starting from January 2, 2011 (but it works perfectly well right now). The old version will work till March 2011 and will be deprecated after that.
The fourth version of API offers more flexible settings to configure USPS. We added new parameters to the shipping method configuration page. One of the most important parameters is “Extra services” that enables a number of extra services provided by USPS.
Like UPS, DHL now allows for packages when calculating the shipping cost.
According to [url]FedEx | System Down, in 2010 FedEx stops supporting FedEx Ship ManagerÂ® Direct, which is used in CS-Cart. That’s why we integrated FedEx Web Services instead.
If you use FedEx, please get you “User key” и “User key password” in addition to your “Account number” and “Meter number”. Note, the FedEx shipping method won’t work without these new parameters.
FedEx will use packages to calculate the shipping cost.
Another vital improvement is the ability to send concurrent requests. If your server supports cURL, you won’t have to wait 10-20 seconds to calculate 5 real-time shipping methods that would previously be sent to the shipping provider one after another. Now all requests are sent simultaneously, which takes less time.
Here is an example of how packages are calculated.
- We create a shipping method and define the maximum weight equal to 2 and the default box dimensions:
- Imagine we have product A. We specify the following parameters:
Items in a box: from 2 to 2 (there can be only two products in a box)
Then we order three products.
So, we get 2 packages:
Package 1. Size: 5 x 2 x 4
Product A x 2 (maximum 2 products in a box as defined by the product shipping properties).
Package 2. Size: 6 x 6 x 5 (depends on the realtime shipping settings)
Product A x 1 (1 product goes to a separate package).
Then we add product B without the option “Items in a box” that weights 1. And then we order 2 items of product B.
Now we have the following packages:
Package 1. Size: 5 x 2 x 4
Product A x 2
Package 2. Size: 6 x 6 x 5 (depends on the realtime shipping method settings). Weight 2 (maximum for the selected shipping)
Product A x 1
Product B x 1
Package 3. Size: 6 x 6 x 5 (depends on the realtime shipping settings). Weight 1
Product B x 1
So, the shipping cost will be calculated based on the info about these three packages.
If you do not want to allow for packages while calculating the shipping cost, simply leave the fields “Items in a box” and “max weight” blank.
You can install the beta version and test how shipping cost is calculated with this new functionality.
[COLOR=“Red”]Warning: Please do not use this version for live stores.[/COLOR]
[SIZE=“4”]Merry Christmas and Happy New Year![/SIZE]