I am not interested in hosting multiple different stores, but what I would like to do is have two seperate installations of cscart that use the same database. Essentially what I want is to have my main store, and then have an additional site that is kind of a deal-ofthe-day site. I realize that i could just run two completely different sites with the multi-store version, but I want all products and orders in the same place for easier maintenance. I also realize that I could have one site that directs customers to the other site for checkout, I don't want this either. Would two site using the same database cause problems? Has anyone implemented this?
Yes, it's called CS-Cart Ultimate. You can download the Release Candidate of Ultimate as a 30-day trial here and follow the Ultimate setup guide. I have been setting up Ultimate (with one backend, but 4 front-end stores) and have found it does everything you're looking for.
[*]No lets just do an Addon to get around that …
The Alt-Team has a multi-shop add on which believe can use one database for multiple stores. I have not seen a comparison between this add-on and the Ultimate edition from CS-Cart.
If all your products, categories, promotions, suppliers and all other details for each store are all exactly the same you would be okay. But if they are, then why not just utilize user-groups to get different behavior or to enable different blocks that would display the deal of the day?
But if your content info is different (products, categories, etc) then you'll have a very hard time managing what's to be displayed on which site.