Author Topic: About the [apparent] new tracking number support...  (Read 3767 times)

mwmills

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About the [apparent] new tracking number support...
« on: November 15, 2006, 03:11:21 am »
Hello,

I was just checking out the VM 1.1/Joomla 1.5 demo site, and noticed the new "track" & shipping label-related columns.

Looking through the database update script, it looks like the tracking number support is integrated with the shipping label stuff in a single table (jos_vm_shipping_label), if I'm reading the repository correctly.

I would like to raise the following points (and hopefully this is the right forum to raise them):

1. IMHO, the tracking numbers should not be integrated with the shipping label support.  One reason is that we may want to add tracking numbers to orders that use a non-integrated shipping system.  I.e., one could use any shipping system they desire (via an XML interface), and then import tracking numbers back into VM.

2. There is a fundamental flaw in allowing for only one tracking number per order.  What's really needed is the ability to assign tracking numbers on a per-SKU basis within each order.  Failing that level of granularity, we should at least allow multiple tracking numbers per order (i.e., without keeping track of which tracking number goes with which SKU.)

I've been working on integrating VM with StoneEdge Order Manager, and currently can export orders & product information to StoneEdge, and can also receive real-time status updates and tracking information from StoneEdge directly into VM.  From my perspective, based on this work, we need a "tracking" table that looks something like this:

uid    order_id    order_item_sku    tracknum    tracknum_carrier    ship_date  tracknum_type    is_trackable    comments    timestamp

Where:

a. order_id is the VM order_id
b. order_item_sku is an optional product SKU that goes with this tracking number.  If this column is blank, then the granularity for this tracking number is order-wide.
c. tracknum is, of course, the tracking number
d. tracknum_carrier is the carrier that generated the tracking number
e. ship_date is the date the order (or SKU) was shipped
f. tracknum_type - indicates what type of tracking number this is.  For example, the USPS has "Express Mail ID"s and "Delivery Confirmation" numbers.  Express Mail has in-flight updates, but Priority Mail can only use delivery confirmation - which of course only gets updated upon delivery.  There are many other examples as well.  For example, Global Priority Mail does not have a true "tracking" number, but it does have a non-trackable customs ID (it isn't trackable by the customer, but the USPS can do stuff with it, such as if your package is lost, etc.)
g. is_trackable - perhaps not completely necessary, but the software that imports tracking numbers may know this information, and if so, we should keep it.  Again, tracking numbers are not all alike.  (Maybe it should be called "reference number"..)  A customer cannot track using the customs ID or a COD reference number.  But, if a package is lost, the USPS can make use of these numbers.
h. comments - Any comments that the shipper may have entered that relates to this tracking number/shipment.
i. timestamp - record insertion timestamp

Anyway, for my purposes with StoneEdge, that's what I'm using right now in my test environment.  I think that if VM intends to add tracking number support, it needs to be done something like this...

IMHO...

Mike Mills
mikem@ctis.com

mwmills

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Re: About the [apparent] new tracking number suppo
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2006, 04:24:32 am »
Anyone care to respond to this?

It is quite common to ship items in multiple shipments - think backorders and drop shipments.  I think it would be much better to go ahead and put the underlying support for per-SKU tracking numbers in place now, rather than having to add it back in later (and then have to change all the code that will ultimately be dependent on the one tracking number per order behavior.)

I'm a strong believer in doing things "right" the first time...better to not do anything at all than to have to hack in modifications later.

--
Mike Mills



cantstopthedaddy

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Re: About the [apparent] new tracking number support...
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2007, 21:47:27 pm »
i have no idea how they are probably not building the new one correctly cause i havnt looked at it yet, but it wouldnt supprise me, if you need a shiping module for vm 1.0 i have one here, it is the first release, and i have since kicked it up a few notches, but havent taken the time to repackage it and upload.. , check it out here
http://forum.virtuemart.net/index.php?topic=25740.0
it has developed beyond what is uploaded as a more specific tool for us, but i can get the code if ya need it
-the daddy

willowtree

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Re: About the [apparent] new tracking number support...
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2008, 16:30:52 pm »
I was looking for posts about creating something like this, but i don't want to duplicate work done for 1.1.

I cannot see anything in the demo as there are no orders in there, despite creating an order in the demo front end, so it's very difficult to see how it's currently working without installing a full test suite which i don't really have the time for at the moment.

I agree that a vital logic is for multiple shipments per order which if 1.1 does not do i may create a hack for our site to get this info.

Perhaps a core developer could post a quick message about how this feature is predicted to work and how progress is going with it?
Please add your VM and Joomla Version to your signature to make it easier to help you:

Most of my code posted in the forum is for VirtueMart 1.0  -  not for 1.1

willowtree

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Re: About the [apparent] new tracking number support...
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2008, 07:46:05 am »
I've been able to look at an order in the beckend of the demo (I had to go to the statistics tab and look at new orders to get at an order), but I couldn't see how/where the tracking data is added. You are able to set each line item in an order to a separate order status but it doesn't seem perfect, ie if an item is set to refunded or cancelled the order totals at the bottom don't change to accommodate this change.

I can't see anything about the shipping labels as the orders in the demo backend don't appear in the order list.

I think i'll have to look at hacking this into our site at some point but it won\t be for quite a while as I'm snowed under with other things.
Please add your VM and Joomla Version to your signature to make it easier to help you:

Most of my code posted in the forum is for VirtueMart 1.0  -  not for 1.1