Author Topic: Multivendor, multistore, multisite ...  (Read 16739 times)

Milbo

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Multivendor, multistore, multisite ...
« on: September 14, 2012, 12:31:25 pm »
[New manual here http://docs.virtuemart.net/manual/general-concepts/211-multivendor.html]

Just to explain some confusions and roadmap:

Multivendor means different vendors in one store.
Multistore means different stores on one installation.
Multisite means different stores on one installation, but sharing stuff like templates, tables, etc.

At the moment we are implementing multivendor. Examples are sites like ebay, dawanda, amazon.

The multivendor solutions are categorised in different modes.

- administrated
- single cart for single cash flow (and/or flow of goods)
- multi cart for multiple cash flow (and/or flow of goods)

Administrated means that the vendors must be activated by the administrator and that vendors can only edit already existing products. This is working as far I can see. The revenue report can be generated per vendor. Missing is the automatic bill and invoice generation for the affiliate vendors.

We have done the single cart solution now. In this case the cash and flow of goods is always handled by the main vendor.



A lot of people starting with multivendor often ask at first, if they can use one cart for different vendors. Yes you can do that as long the cash flow is always going over the main vendor. If you want that every vendor has its own payment or shipment method, it makes no sense to have all the products in one cart. Customers might have to initiate 3 seperate payments for 5 products in the cart, you will incur massive legal problems, it is bloody difficult to generate different invoices, ...and so forth.

So we will solve that like the big players. Every vendor will get his own cart. The carts bear the vendor_id and every product is directly added to the correct cart. Then the customer can go through each of the carts and do the checkout.

For this solution there a number of things are already done. As long you want to use this in administrated mode, we just need to set the vendor_Id in the cart, which works already. Also, we can store the carts on the database now. The problem with this is that this solution doesn't make a lot of fun if it is administrated. In most scenarios where you will want to use this, it it should work of course non-administrated.

So we need some more stuff for the affiliate vendors. They need a possibility to create categories, shipment and payment methods, calculation rules, coupons and so forth. Furthermore the registration form requires an extra userfield, so that the users can activate themself as affiliate vendors.



Multishop
is to be avoided, because it's at the expense of flexibility, security and performance. It makes sense though, to create a shop with a shared database using a joomla multisite component. For example in case a big company has different shops serving different countries. But it is too simple conceived that you can have completly different stores on one joomla/vm2 installation to spare maintaince. There are a lot of cheaper and more flexible methods available.
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