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  1. #1
    Coding for Jesus LavernGingerich's Avatar
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    Building a Playset Online

    Hello,

    One of my clients builds outdoor wooden playsets for children. They have a line of preconfigured playsets for their customers to choose from, but they also have a Create Your Own section where the customer can "build" his own playset choosing the components he wants.

    We need a solution that will allow the site visitor to go through and choose a tower, then one of the swing attachments that is compatible with the tower selection, then swings that are compatible with the attachment chosen, and so on until the user has an entire listing of products that make up the playset.

    It would be similar to a shopping cart. Each time the user makes a selection, it should add that selection to the growing list of selections. But it would not have a checkout, but once the user comes to the end of the building process, he should be able to view his "basket" and print the listing and take it to a dealer and get pricing, etc.

    We would also need some ability to modify the basket contents.

    What is the best way to set this up? Should I begin with an existing package and modify it to meet our needs? I have experience with PHP and MySQL databases, but not enough to confidently handle a project like this without getting some advice from experienced programmers first. I would appreciate any help you can give me!

    Thanks and have a great day!
    Yoder's Smoky Mountain Barbecue
    High quality barbeque smokers, pig roasters, and bbq pit grills.
    Pursuing Life Ministries - Jesus has saved me and given me hope.

  2. #2
    dooby dooby doo silver trophybronze trophy
    spikeZ's Avatar
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    Shouldn't be too difficult to do really.
    Set up a table to hold the different parts to the playset and one for orders.
    As the user selects something it is put into the orders table along with a unique order id.
    When they have finished you simply echo out the records from the orders table that match the order id and that will give you their summary.

    Orders stay in the database for a period of time eg: 21 days and then gets deleted.

    If you need more help let me know!

    Cheers

    Spike
    Mike Swiffin - Community Team Advisor
    Only a woman can read between the lines of a one word answer.....

  3. #3
    Coding for Jesus LavernGingerich's Avatar
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    Would you set up a page for each stage of the selection process? In other words, would you set up a page that shows the towers and allows the user to choose one, then another page that would show all the swing attachments that are compatible with that tower, etc? Or how would you keep the user from selecting swing attachments that don't go with the tower he selected?

    Also, wouldn't you have to have a table for the towers, a table for the swing attachments, etc, then a table that would say which atachments go with which towers?
    Yoder's Smoky Mountain Barbecue
    High quality barbeque smokers, pig roasters, and bbq pit grills.
    Pursuing Life Ministries - Jesus has saved me and given me hope.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I'd say this was tricky to do, ive searched for decision trees, expert system and rule-based PHP projects, but cannot find anything.

    You might say there need to be a lot of intelligence built into the pages, so they show the correct relationships, and therefore menu choices following the previous decision etc.

    That complexity can either be built into a databases of items (depends how many levels) or into an OOP-like web application. Its a really interesting problem but not one I have come across.

    The watch word here is going to be "extendability", you might get it working fine but the client can just up and add a new gizmo that hooks onto all pieces except the tower and a swing...

    When I first saw the posting I though, wow, youd need to assemble that with images, JS drag and drop images onto a canvas kinda thing? Might be an answer.
    Sorry to be so woolly, and good luck.
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