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Olof

Member Since 25 Jun 2011
Offline Last Active Jul 22 2019 02:06 PM
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#273021 4.3.1: Options And Combinations. Details Please

Posted by Olof on 15 March 2017 - 03:37 PM

Hi Imac,

 

´to replace current combinations with new combinations´....

What does that mean exactly?

 

To me it certainly means we will not get the 1-table-product data structure-like-many-others as requested in User Voice of which many have voted for:

https://cscart.userv...y-amazon-and-go

 

To be honest, I feel a bit cheated that you have changed the status of that User Voice to ´started´ (great!!) but that the actual solution is not likely to be even close to what was requested & voted for (bad!).

 

I hope I´m wrong....




#256367 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 04 August 2016 - 06:35 AM

....

 

The only possibility we will include this into v5.

 

Hi Imac,

Are you able to confirm that you will include it V5?

 

It is really an important feature!




#256017 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 29 July 2016 - 05:23 PM

Hi Olof,

 

I'm sorry to say, but recently we decided to freeze this project.

The main problem is that we can not integrate this feature into CS-Cart 4.4.1.

This improvement requires a lot of refactoring in core files which will brake backward compatibility.

We did try to implement these changes into current codebase but there appears to be too many dirty hacks which will lead to product bugs and instability.

 

The only possibility we will include this into v5.

 

Hi Imac,

That is indeed bad news! :-( :-(

It does not come as a complete surprise, however. Combining such a major architectural change with backward compatibility was always going to be very, very tough.

 

And it makes me worried that you will never be able to implement this important change.

:-(

 

And for me, I don´t care about backward compatibility. This feature is so important that starting again from scratch would be well worth it.




#254483 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 08 July 2016 - 07:07 AM

Can not share any news right now, except that this task is in progress.
Right now we are working on technical aspect of this task, i.e. if it possible to implement this without refactoring CS-Cart completly and is there a chance we can have a backward compatibility.

 

Hi Imac,

It's now 3 months later, are you able to share any news on this development?

Thanks in advance




#237479 Will Version 5 Have A Better Options Architecture?

Posted by Olof on 12 December 2015 - 07:05 AM

eComLabs,

Thanks, your module does look interesting and I will discuss with my team. But it does not fix the problem mentioned in this thread.




#235776 Will Version 5 Have A Better Options Architecture?

Posted by Olof on 25 November 2015 - 07:24 AM

Simtech,

Thanks for your offer, but my concern & this architecture problem is much deeper than an add-on can fix.

Please read :

http://forum.cs-cart...se-vote-for-it/

 

Imac, oh Imac, "Where art thou?"




#234613 Will Version 5 Have A Better Options Architecture?

Posted by Olof on 12 November 2015 - 10:03 AM

@ El Nucli, Johnbol1 and P-Pharma,

Thanks for the support!

 

As it now has been 10 days and no response from Imac or other CSC people, I'm beginning to worry what the answer to my question might be...




#234002 Replace Options With Grouped & Child Items

Posted by Olof on 02 November 2015 - 01:39 PM

I have just had a chat with Google and each combination MUST be submitted as a separate product with accurate availability for each. This needs fixing ASAP as the account is suspended and sales have dropped off!

 

Sigh, another good reason why CSC should change their underlying architecture regarding Options / Option Combinations...




#231911 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 05 October 2015 - 03:58 PM

Now that 4.3.4 has been released, I'm 'bumping' this topic.  In the hope that CSC-team will give this issue its highest development priority... :grin:

 

CSC data architecture w.r.t. Option/Option Combinations is not good as compared to its major competitors (Magento, Volusion, Woocommerce, etc...) and as compared with the major sites for which data sync is needed (amazon, ebay, etc...).

 

Please vote for this improvement if you agree

http://cscart.uservo...y-amazon-and-go

 

thanks in advance!

 

Olof




#229067 Cart-Power Add-On: Live Search

Posted by Olof on 07 September 2015 - 09:37 AM

I agree with P-Pharma, a great product, one of the most useful add-ons we have. But also I agree that the current log could be improved, especially the duplicate searches

 

 

The logs show many duplicate searches, obviously by the same user. Often with the same date/time. These duplicate searches can be exact duplicates or obviously the same search but a new character added to it for each instance. i.e. ja, jac, jack, jack d, jack da, jack dan, jack dani, jack danie, jack daniel, jack daniels
This pollutes the log greatly and its hardly usable when most searches have a dozen of duplicates.

 

Given the fast speed in which Live Search presents results, I can see why the log entries are as they are. But it unfortunately renders the log as a management statistics tool (almost) useless. Please consider improving this aspect in a future version

Thanks in advance




#227069 Guided Selling Functionality, Where To Start?

Posted by Olof on 18 August 2015 - 10:29 AM

Hi Anthony,

Thank you for the info. I remember looking at that plug-in some time ago, but didn't think of it as potential Guided Selling. More as a conditional filter.
After 4.3.4 comes out, we are going to migrate to it. After which I will definitely try this add-on.
Thanks
Olof


#219780 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 21 June 2015 - 02:31 PM

Part II of my response...

I would like to describe the options architecture in v4.x.x so when you advise to change something please keep in mind that CS-Cart users can use any of the described cases.
In common CS-Cart options functionality has 3 levels of possible usage.
1) When your product is tracked without options. In this case option can be a gift wrap checkbox, or a input - where customer can place some greetings.
In this case you just create options and maybe add price modifiers.

2) Commonly used. When you have several options that affect product inventory and probably have different SKU. e.g. t-shirt in different color and size, glasses in different size etc. - Thats is what this topic about.
In this case you should generate option combinations in order to change SKU, amount and image for each of the separate product.

3) When you use options to configure your product. Common examples here is furniture or car parts. In most cases sequential options are used. E.g. I sell car engines and most probably I will configure the product the following way
option 1: Brand
option 2: Year
option 3: Model
Option exceptions widely used here to enable/disable some of the combinations.


I have made a table in an attempt to show how the market leaders handle the different type of products you can have in a webshop. I believe (and hope) that it can help to clear up what we are all talking about.

For example, Magento defines 6 different types of products, but ALL 6 types are based on the same building block, type 1. Here below the first 2 types:
Simple - A simple product in Magento is just that: simple physical product that you ship. There are no options like size or color that the end user can pick during the order.
Configurable product - A t-shirt that comes in three colors (red, white and blue) and three sizes (small, medium, large) is a configurable product. A configurable product is made up of other simple products

A very good article about the 6 types of Products: http://www.customerp...-product-types/
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Imac, with regards to your comment:

2) Commonly used. When you have several options that affect product inventory and probably have different SKU. e.g. t-shirt in different color and size, glasses in different size etc. - Thats is what this topic about.
In this case you should generate option combinations in order to change SKU, amount and image for each of the separate product.


Yes, this is the type of product we are talking about. And no, no, no (sorry..) the optimal solution is NOT to generate option combinations!

How it should be done (in a future release of CSC) is exactly the other way around as how it is done today. The data-creation in CSC starts (not ends) with the physical end products (like Tshirt - yellow -large)

step 1: set up each individual 'option combination' (CSC current term for unique SKU products) as a Simple product. In the normal Product table. It is here where each 'Option Combination'/'Simple product' get its unique SKU code, bar code, inventory, pricing, images, discounts, etc...
It then becomes MUCH easier to interface this product data with outside parties & systems.

step 2: then create a Configurable product (Magento term) or call it Parent product (Amazon term) or call it Variable Product (WooCommerce term) or call it Group Id (Google term) or Product-with-variations (Ebay term) or whatever. This Configurable/Parent/... thing can be thought of as a non-buyable "umbrella" which connects the different Simple products. This " umbrella" is a product page in the webshop

step 3: give the end-user the choice when he lands on that Configurable/Parent/Umbrella page which options he can choice form. Usually from a drop-down menu which displays all the Simple products which fall under that particular Umbrella.

CONCLUSION
The main points I'm trying to make:
1. All variations of a product ('Option Combinations' in current language) should reside in the Product table. For a variety of reasons I've mentioned elsewhere (better data management and all market leaders do it)

2. I agree 100% that webshop visitors have a need to have drop-down menu's/tables in order to select the correct option (Imac's usage level 2) or going through some type of configuration steps (Imac's usage level 3). BUT, this is search & select functionality which should not be intertwined with the data structure!

3. Get rid of this current thinking & structure w.r.t. Options & Option Combinations. It is not working. Primary reason is that the current functionality is combining data structure with search & select functionality, and failing at both. Separate the data structure from the search & select functionality

thanks
Olof

Attached Files




#219777 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 21 June 2015 - 01:55 PM

yes, P-Pharma looks like the "option" word is the source of the misunderstanding.
In CS-Cart "option" term is used in the same meaning as product property like "color" or "size". Whereas "combination" is used in the meaning of a separate product with its own inventory and SKU - just like you said about the option.

I'm just trying to stick to CS-Cart terms.

So I have questions for you guys, can you give me your thoughts about terms currently used in CS-Cart:
"option" - as I mentioned earlier some kind of product property, each product can have many options like "Color" "Size" "Material" "Gift wrap" etc (http://note.io/1BsigYw)- do you think that we should rename this to something more clear like attribute?

"combination" - this is a set of product options that in fact appears as a single product. (http://note.io/1BsioaE) e.g. if we have a hat in two sizes "big" and "small" and in two colors for each size "black" and "white" than there will be 4 combinations of the hat.
"black & small" hat
"white & small" hat
"black & big" hat
"white & big" hat
same question here - do you think "combination" term is ok here?


Hi Imac, also many thanks from me that you are opening yourself up for feedback & input. I wish all software companies would behave like that!

Your Label questions are valid, but are frustratingly difficult to answer. Allow me to respond at 2 levels

Level 1. Naming conventions.
Their appears no standard naming convention, I went back and read up on it at Magento, Amazon, Ebay, Google and Woocommerce. However, the words 'Options' and 'Variations' are the 2 words that are used the most to describe physical differences of the same product:

Magento: "A simple product in Magento is just that: simple physical product that you ship. There are no options like size or color that the end user can pick during the order."

WooCommerce: "Simple products have one SKU, are shipped, and have no variations/options."

Amazon: "Similar products that vary according to defined variation theme, such as color or size, share a parent/child relationship"

Ebay: " ...For these categories, eBay allows up to 5 variation options to be specified with a maximum of 30 values each, for a maximum of 120 combinations..."

Level 2: Architecture
To be honest, I really don't care if you rename the current CSC labels 'Options' and/or 'Option Combinations' to something else. It's the wrong subject to discuss. You / CS team needs to let go of trying to find a solution within the current architecture of Option/Option Combinations.


#219501 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 19 June 2015 - 09:06 AM

I don't think Options need a SKU, but combinations do need it. And actually combinations have it's SKU: http://note.io/1JWzP69

Combinations have


Hi Imac, my assumptions is that you posted this info as a friendly support help on what is possible now. And that it is not your solution to my posted Options-problem. I assume this because I know you have read and replied on my Options-problem & Uservoice elsewhere. But this reply of yours could potentially cause misunderstanding with other readers of this discussion thread.

Olof, I like your activity. Keep on! And thank you for all your efforts.

We do follow all the discussions. Right now we focused primary on upgrade center & bug fixes, but in the near feature we will come back to the new features.


Thanks. When you and your development team get around to it, please have them take a long & hard look at how Product Variants (= Options/Option Combinations) are structured at Ebay, Amazon, Google, Magento, Woocommerce and Volusion. They are all very, very similar in the underlying architecture.

And then get rid of Options/Option Combinations and follow the leaders.

I'm sure it's a major undertaking for you guys but at the end it would fix a large number of current issues and makes future feature-development w.r.t. product variants soooo much easier


#219182 Options Improvements, Please Vote For It

Posted by Olof on 17 June 2015 - 02:11 PM

Hello,

This is a blatant attempt ( :-) ) to raise awareness of a critical shortcoming w.r.t. Options & Option Combinations.

Problem:
The current architecture of Options / Option Combinations makes it (nearly) impossible:
1. to have robust interfaces with other systems when you have Option/Option Combinations. Interfaces with Ebay, Amazon, Google, but also your POS and ERP systems.
2. for CS people to develop the same webshop functionalities for Option products as for 'normal' products.

Solution:
Replace Options with Group/Child structure, same as what Ebay, Amazon, Google, Magento, Woocommerce and Volusion do.

Please vote if you agree: http://cscart.uservo...y-amazon-and-go

More information on cause & solution:
http://forum.cs-cart...__fromsearch__1

thanks in advance
Olof