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[NH] Any ideas on a shopping cart?

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  • Lawrence M Hamilton, Jr.
    A friend of my sister asked me about helping her set up a shopping cart to enhance her web site that is already making a lot of money selling - what else? -
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 19, 1999
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      A friend of my sister asked me about helping her set up a shopping cart
      to enhance her web site that is already making a lot of money selling -
      what else? - beanie babies.

      Anyway, I have seen something somewhere sometime (a hazard of the web),
      on setting them up. I would think it would require CGI or other
      server-side scripting. Are there any "ready to go" shopping carts that
      any of you know of? I want to get a better understanding of it before I
      make the commitment to do it. Any free tutorials out there?

      TIA,


      Larry Hamilton, Jr. lmhamilton@...
      Hamilton National Genealogical Society, Inc.
      http://www.HamiltonGenSociety.org/ ***NEW Address***
      My Web Site: http://members.tripod.com/notlimaH/



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    • Wayne VanWeerthuizen
      I do not know of any free tutorials, although they likely exist. Here is a quick overview of how the process works. Realize it is MUCH more involved then
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 20, 1999
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        I do not know of any free tutorials, although they likely exist.

        Here is a quick overview of how the process works. Realize it is MUCH
        more involved then merely creating a page in HTML and uploading it.

        Also, for security reasons, many ISP's will require that they do all the
        necessary programming themselves. At a minimum, they will need to
        inspect all the CGI scripts, to be sure they do not contain malicious or
        erroneous code that could mess up their servers, or other customers' web
        pages.


        Some sort of CGI is essential. They are usually written in Perl.

        Normally, such a web page is connected to a SQL database. 'MySQL' is a
        _very_ good SQL server if the web server is on any sort of Unix platform.
        And MySQL is also free. The database stores information about available
        products, user information and account history, the contents of the
        user's shopping cart, and information needed to track the cookies used by
        the web browser.

        The SQL database is important because CGI scripts remember nothing.
        Every time the users clicks on a link, the CGI script tied to that page
        has to "relearn" everything about that user. This is usually done by
        using cookies and an SQL database. The user's web browser sends the
        cookie to the web server every time the user goes back to the page that
        issued it. The cookie contains a number that uniquely identifies the
        user. Then the CGI scripts uses that number as a key, and asks the SQL
        server to remind it everything else about that user - name, contents of
        shopping cart, etc. Then the CGI updates the SQL database with whatever
        change the user made (such as adding a new item to the cart. Then it
        creates, on the fly, an HTML page customized for this user, and sends it
        to the web browser to be displayed. After that point the CGI program
        terminates. When the user clicks another link on the page, this whole
        process repeats.

        An alternative approach (which is growing in popularity) is to use an
        IMBEDDED scripting language like PHP. Still, one needs an SQL database
        for the actual data storage.


        I warn you that setting up the database requires comand-line access to
        the server, and the permission of the server's owner. Easy if the server
        is on one's own machine - but for most of us, it is not. If one is using
        an ISP's web server, one will need to work out a contract with them. One
        will likely spend a significant amount of money just to have their ISP
        set things up, and also have pay ongoing fees for the database hosting.
        (Which is rarely, if ever, included with "basic" web hosting.)


        --
        Wayne M. VanWeerthuizen
        ICQ: 15117288
        Homepage: http:/landru.myhome.net/wayne


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