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I have a website that sells custom cabinet doors. I need to…

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I have a website that...
I have a website that sells custom cabinet doors. I need to know how to create an interactive form that can calculate the users dimensions and quantities that they enter, calculate them into sq feet and provide them a price online. Each door has its own price per sq ft in various wood options. Im sure this will require a data base. Ive built the site and have some decent knowledge of web design, but not databases, and i have seen browser based programs that you can enter data into. Is there a program that could do what I need?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Programming
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Answered in 3 hours by:
6/28/2010
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
John The Geek
John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer
Category: Programming
Satisfied Customers: 65
Experience: 30 years of professional software and web development experience
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Hi,

Does your web host provide one or more MySQL databases for your site? Does the site run PHP?

There may be something available that does what you want, or something close enough that could be modified.

John
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
im using yahoo web hosting im not sure of its requirements. If i have to move hosting service i can
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
According to their website Yahoo does provide both PHP and MySQL, although hopefully they are later versions than what they have listed. :-) What you're wanting to do isn't terribly complex, so the earlier versions will work.

How quickly do you need this? I can put something together for you, but it will take a few days.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Soon, but a few days is fine. I appreceiate your help.
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
Okay, I'll need a list of the doors, the options for each and the price per sq. ft. for each option. Also, if there are minimum and maximum sizes that can be entered, I'd need to know that. I assume we're talking length and width in inches? Do you allow fractions of an inch?

Any other related info you can think of would be good, too.

I'll also need the URL of your site and which page (if it's an existing page) you want it to appear on.

Thanks,

John
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I Just need to know what software to use or how to go about it. This is something I would have to be able to maintence as there are literally hundreds of doors, pricing, and wood options.
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
I'm sure the number of possible combinations is pretty high. If you have X number of doors and each has Y number of options then your total is X times Y. I'm sure there are options that are available for some doors, but not others, as well. You're right, you need a way to maintain all those products and options as well as a way for customers to order them.

Let's back up a bit: how are you doing it now?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Well now i have all the square foot prices listed per door. I thought this would help people figure the pricing on thier own, but i think all the numbers scares them. What would be nice is to have a form where they enter the dimensions pick the style and wood and hit submit and have it give them a real time calculation. It would be even better if they can change the wood type to see what thier project would cost in several options. It would also clean up my site and not have all the tables with numbers on it. As with most things online potential customers have very little to no patience so the easier I make it the better. I tried a product call "Form Maker Pro" which I uploaded to my server but I think yahoo couldnt handle it. I may revisit that if i have to. Let me know what you have in mind.
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
You're right, customers don't like to have to think. :-) The idea of a form where they plug in the size, the door and the option is a good one. We just need to determine how to do that as easily as possible and keep it maintainable.

The advantage to a database is that you can store huge amounts of data and retrieve it fairly quickly. The disadvantage is that you have to have a separate form for maintaining it. It's possible to go directly into the database and do it that way, but that's tedious, at best. That's only viable if you're going to load it once and not change it much, if at all.

You'd need a minimum of four selections the customer would have to make: length, width, door and option. They could all be dropdown lists where the length and width would contain only the valid numbers of inches that you'd accept for each dimension, the door list would obviously contain each type of door, and the options list would contain only those options that pertained to the currently selected door.

As for the contents of each dropdown, if you're okay with working in HTML code, and you don't plan on changing the selections much, you could just hard code the dimension dropdowns. You could conceivably do the same for the doors. The options would be a little trickier, unless every option applies to every door. In that case, it's easy. If you have certain options that only apply to certain doors, that's a different story. That's still doable, but now you're looking at some kind of database, either a real database like MySQL or a file on the site that contains the info.

The whole thing could be done in Javascript and HTML with an XML "database" file if the number of products isn't too large.

How many doors do you have altogether?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Well we have over 35 styles and growing. Each style has 18 different wood options, all with an associated square foot cost. What i need would be something that acts similar to a spreadsheet where you can set up formulas for each box, but retrive the square foot pricing for each door from a database when the visitor selects it. Having a dropdown menu for dimensions would be tough since we make doors from 4" to 48" wide and 4" to 96" long in 1/16" increments, so if they could enter the size and the form recognize it would be great. Any suggestions?
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
Yep, you're right, that's unworkable with dropdowns. Let me sleep on it and I'll get back with you tomorrow. It's past midnight here so my brain is about to shut down. :-)
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Thanks for your patience, i appreciate it. Talk to you soon, have a good night
Programmer: John The Geek, Computer Software Engineer replied 8 years ago
Hi,

My apologies. I got slammed this week and totally spaced on your question. I did give it some thought before being sidetracked, however, and have a couple questions for you.

Let me make sure I understand your pricing structure. If I purchase a particular style/model of door, I have up to 18 options of which I must choose one. Each option has a price per square foot. I'm assuming it's not possible to combine options, it's just one of the 18 possible, correct?

Is the sq. ft. price of each option the same no matter which of the 35 door styles I choose? In other words, if I choose option A for door A is it the same price as option A for door B? Or can it possibly be different for door A and door B?

What I'm trying to get to is what the database structure would have to look like and whether you really need a full blown database or if the data could be stored in an XML file.

Thanks for your patience, and again, my apologies for the delay.

John


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