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The Shopping Suite

This page is full of technical details, that may be of interest about the shopping suite, but have no bearing on the normal use of the suite.

Language and Programs

The suite consists of about 30 perl programs (and growing) and another 15 modules (code which is common to several of these programs). At the time of writing this amounts to about 7K lines.

There is limited use of 3rd party modules. Only where they are doing something complicated, that I don't need to know about do I use other modules. This means that I understand how everything works (I hope).

Linked Operation

The suite is designed to work alone or across a set of linked sites, the shopping suite can run on any site and allow items to be listed on any of the linked sites be bought as one order.

Under linked operation, most of processing is performed by the site you first accessed, that is where your customer and other details are stored.

Your customer information, name, address and preferences is handled by which ever site you started with. ie if you start with Knightwriter press and look at Waveney, the details used when ordering will be those you give Knightwriter press, if you start with Waveney and look at Knightwriter press then the details at Waveney will be used.

Multi Currency / Multi Regional

This suite takes a world view, it can deal in many currencies and work out costs for anywhere in the world.

If you change currency / region it will re-calculate the cost of everything already in the shopping basket.

By simple data changes the currencies and regions can be enhanced.

Design Principles

  • Many small simple programs rather than one large one - easier to maintain
  • Should work with any browser.
  • Should work with/without cookies
  • Should work with/without SSL
  • HTML 3.2 only
  • Most per site customisation should be in only two files, one is for the main site data, and another details about linked sites. They could all be in one file, but the first file is relatively small and used for every access, the second much larger and rarely used.

The Basic Shopping Data

The majority of the data used are simple html pages, there is no complex data base, each page can be formatted in a way that makes sense for the product being sold.

The Programs and Parameters

(Well some of them)

Start1The entry point for the suite
Start2A second stage to the initial entry, used sometimes
Search11st stage search (What do you want to search for)
Search22nd stage search (Main search)
Search33rd stage search (Following up a searched for item)
ShopMain shopping program to display goodies
Add1Add One Item to Shopping Basket
Add2Add Many Items to Shopping Basket
Add3Handle "Buy Me" buttons around the site
ViewView a Basket, update basket
CustDataUpdate Customer Data
BuyL1Handles Credit Card Purchases via Knightwriter Press
BuyL2Handles Non Credit Card Purchases for Knightwriter Press
BuyWPHandles Credit Card Purchases for Waveney through WorldPay
BuyWAVHandles Non Credit Card Purchases for Waveney
BuyWAV2Handles Offline Credit Card Purchases for Waveney
RScriptHandle complex cases of linked sites
MerchHandle Merchandise (Not currently in use on this site)
RViewHandle simple cases of linked sites
Option1Handle Options
HelpHelp System
CommentHandle Comments
NewZinesSpecial "What's New page"
NewZ2Handle clicking on the "What's New Page"
LeaveHandle leaving the site, but still have things in the basket
CommonGeneral utilities not particular to the shop
ShopComGeneral Shop utilities
GlobalDataData common to all applications of the suite
LocalDataData that is site specific
BasketManage shopping basket
CustomerCustomer information management
BasketViewViewing Baskets
SearchCommon code across Search programs
CustDDisplay Customer Data
FilterFileGeneral Page Processing
Remote_OpsCommon remote code (RShop/Rscript/RView)
LinkedDataData about linked sites (used by RScript only)
AddItCommon Add type code (Add1/Add2/RScript)
BuyComCommon Code across the various Buy Programs

Would You To Use The Same Suite?

If you would like me to run a web site for you and to provide e-commerce on the site, then let me know. With a small amount of customisation it should work on any site, it is capable of being remotely hosted from your site, if your ISP does not support full cgi.

Email : Richard Proctor .

Last changed 25th of March 2000


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