Author Topic: Browse By Multiple Fields  (Read 6939 times)

macroscape

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Browse By Multiple Fields
« on: July 15, 2008, 05:32:39 am »
Hello,

I am pretty new to Joomla and even newer to Virtuemart. I am trying to solve a problem where my products have multiple dimensions:

1. A specific category of the type of product (that is there and apparent)
2. The "designer" or in other words manufacturer

I can obviosuly out of the box browse by category but cant seem to figure out how to browse by "manufacturer"

Thanks, EB

korb

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 15:07:34 pm »
Hi,
You must study the product type feature and search according to parameters.
As a general how to:
-create a new product category;
-create a new product type and create some parameters (they are called atributes in backend) for that product type (there you should test all functionalities of the parameters you create for product type);
-now create a product, and add your new product type to this new product, then you should select the values of the parameters; values could be single, multiple, integer, and so on..you realy have to test to understand.
-now search for VirtueMart module here: Joomla top menu from backend Extensions Meniu - Module manager option; here you must activate search capability and search according to parameters;
-now go to frontend and refresh page, click Advanced Search According to Parameters and select your category (that is your product type);
-now you can search your product according to the parameters you have defined for it.
Ciao

akerman

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 18:43:23 pm »
Hi,

It's correct, there is no 'out-of-the-box' way to show products by manufacturer.
Although when doing advanced search you can search the field 'Manufacturer' for information.

The field 'Manufacturer' also shows up in your flypage, depending on which flypage you use.


The solution that 'korb' suggests, gives the possibility to add extra fields with different attributes to a product, which is very useful. However I suspect you want more information about the manufacturer to show, when clicking the link...

Personally, I created different categories for my manufacturers like; designer, musician and so on .. I then create a new manufacturer for each artist.

But as stated, there is no simple solution to list the manufacturers and their products. With the exception for the customer to do a search.


Hope it became a bit more clea


Regards
Akerman   
 
http://STOLT-AKERMAN.com - Web & Design agency. Spemildt in e-shop, ecommerce and marketing.
http://InfoClip.se - Swedish Antique & Used Books & Art Shop.
http://AkermansCove - Personal Portfolio
Ubuntu LAMP / Joomla 1.5.22 / VM 1.1.6 / JoomFish Contributor / Developer / Designer

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2008, 20:44:30 pm »
Thanks a lot for this thread! this is exactly what I needed!
I'll still struggle of have things work the way I want, but korb you solved one of my issue :D

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 15:49:07 pm »
Ok, I could do with some help here... :S

This is basically what I want to do with virtuemart, but is it actually possible?? :S
I' setting a catalog website for a guitar shop.
On my main menu I have the following
Electrics guitars, acoustic guitars and so on...

For each category, I would like to have several submenus popping on the left column of Joomla
- browse by manufacturers for the specified category
- browse by state (new, used)
- browse by specialty (left handed, 12 strings)

I've set up the attribute following the method of korb, but now I wonder how I can make my submenus... :S
is there someone who can give me a tip?

akerman

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 20:11:09 pm »
Not so much help, more like pointers...  :)

First, it's just code... so anything is possible. But the time and work effort to achieve your 'wish-list' could prove to become a bit on the heavy side, to say the least.


In order to present anything in the 'left column' it needs to be a 'module'.
That piece is something you need to program from scratch or at least borrow bits and pieces from other modules. Even then you might not have all you need in VM to complete the browsing methods you want in that module.


In order to use product attributes ('state' & 'speciality') as sorting parameters to create cross-tables when searching or browsing; I'm sorry to say that VM seem to lack in that area. Again leaving you with some programming skill to achieve the desired result.


...or you culd try to make the product attributes ('state' & 'specialty') into categories.
Then add the products to each category suitable. (Product then shows up in several categories).

Or, You can choose to make a tree structure like: / Guitars / Acoustic / Left Hand / New / .
Which probably is what I would do, if I wanted to set up the shop quickly and then explore other possibilities at a later stage.


As you probably understand from this, all methods have their downsides (and a few upsides maybe  ;))   but the thing here is that VM lacks a bit when it comes to make special user fields. Especially those you would like to use as sorting parameters...


Hope I didn't rain to much on your musical parade...

I think its a good idea to try and see how far you can take it on your own, experimenting with the VM shop/cart and Joomla. It wont break... just remember to backup...often.  ;)


Regards
Akerman
http://STOLT-AKERMAN.com - Web & Design agency. Spemildt in e-shop, ecommerce and marketing.
http://InfoClip.se - Swedish Antique & Used Books & Art Shop.
http://AkermansCove - Personal Portfolio
Ubuntu LAMP / Joomla 1.5.22 / VM 1.1.6 / JoomFish Contributor / Developer / Designer

korb

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2008, 01:07:25 am »
Well, it's not always a matter of code, sometimes is a matter of links,  internal functionality and your ability to hadle code (you dont't have to be a coder).

I will give an example: everybody waits for a mariage between VM and CB, BUT this mariage is already done because of Joomla. So in the CB user profile you can just create a new tab exactly like CB tabs are, but there you just paste the code from VM user details. So it's basicaly it.

About our particular example here: guitars, excelent! (I would love to have a nice new classic guitar) SoundBs, if you want to use search according to parameters, you have 2 posibilities:

1. create a parameter for each detail of guitar, exactly what fits your needs: manufacturer, state, speciallity. With this feature you don't really have to have multiple categories, but it is just a bit more work: creating product types, creating atributes, asigning your products to product type (I recommand you to assign a single product type to each product, because you will have a lot of SEF and maybe search disfunctionality like I heard in sh404SEF forum). So a single product type can  describe GENERALLY with all his atributes all your guitars.

OR

2. You can create product types for more categories of guitars (electric, classic, flamenco, you know...) and a single product type for each category with more DETAILED parameters like: size, colour, number of strings, type of strings, oldieness of guitar, state of guitar (new, used) and many more.

So using product types gives you these 2 posibillities: create a single product type that can describe GENERALY with its atributes (not so many-an easier job) all your guitars in the shop, and the second posibility, to create more product types for more categories (a single product type for each category) with many more parameters (a harder job-but the consumer has the feeling he cand find easily exactly what he needs) that describe products EXACTLY.

So in this matter, you can decide what is exactly best for you, SoundBs. This could be a perfect solution for you, but you have to know before implementing product type feature: does your cliens know exactly what they are looking for? (like buying a car or a computer?) or they think "oh what a nice texture has that guitar!"

@Akerman.
I thought of your idea to create more categories with a very deep tree category structure, but is not efficient because of 2 reasons:
-SEF aplications will fail to handle very deep category structure
-consumer is very likely rushed and has no time to search in a 2 pages list of categories what he needs, and this is the most important.

Quote
The solution that 'korb' suggests, gives the possibility to add extra fields with different attributes to a product, which is very useful. However I suspect you want more information about the manufacturer to show, when clicking the link...
Well product type is not meant to give the possibility to add "extra fields" (it only adds extra fileds in the database with the only purpose to parameter search), because in product description you can realy write stories add images and create tables, or tabs, or product scrollers. Product type is only for filtering products by their parameters' values and these parameters are shown in product flypage in the idea to show the values that are different than other products values, otherwise you can choose not to show these parameters in product flypage and only use the power of the search according to parameters.

So I hope this HELPS. :)

At this moment, I think product types feature is in a very good road. With some contributions of so much VM users it could be a strength to consider.
Ciao

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2008, 12:21:38 pm »
Thanks for your replies Akerman & korb!

Well until now I've opted for the product types thing. For example I did for the Electric guitars the product type e-guitars which contains the following:
 - state (values: new, vintage, used)
 - body  (values: solid; (semi)hollow)
 - special (values: left handed; double neck)

Now my problem is that I will have to develop a module to this displayed as I want it. I think I might get large portion of the manufacturers module to achieve this... even tho my php skills aren't much up to date since I havent developed a site for 5 or 6 years :S

I think that should work like this...

Atcually there is a website that exactly does what I want to achieve: www.chicagomusicexchange.com But I doubt they use Joomla/VM...

If I dont succeed do to that, I might go for the multicategories solution but this would get confusing I think.. instead of narrowing your choice by using some filters, you just end up with different listing depending of if you would browse per brand, per state, per body type etc....

korb

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 17:09:10 pm »
Ok, I am glad you understood the feature and yu are using it properly (In my opinion).

Please look at this tracker. Maybe it interests you.

Ciao

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 18:24:07 pm »
yeah I got it ok.. but
no idea how I can obtain a module/menu that would filter instead of selecting products from scratch...
I have the manufacturer module installed to browse by brand, which is nice.

If I succeed to have a module on this model, I would be very happy:
PARAMETER1
- value 1.1
- value 1.2
- value 1.3

PARAMETER2
- value 2.1
- value 2.2
- value 2.3

But I'm afraid this would select the product on the whole database and not make a selection within the first selection.. See what I mean?

I say "afraid" and "succeed" cause i'm not an advanced programmer...

korb

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2008, 01:38:50 am »
So you want to have buttons? or what?

You have actualy this possibility, the parameters are shown in dropdown boxes.

Are you sure you have activated search according to parameters link in VM module?
Ciao

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2008, 13:00:01 pm »
You mean in the mod_virtuemart? cause if yes, I dont use it.
I have the main menu of joomla used at top menu and at the moment the mod manfacturers on left.. I would like to have the filters on left aswell.
Something really like www.chicagomusicexchange.com

Maybe I will have to modify my thing to include the mod_virtuemart, cause my result sometimes gives weird pathway... :S


korb

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2008, 16:02:18 pm »
Hi,
Quote
Maybe I will have to modify my thing to include the mod_virtuemart, cause my result sometimes gives weird pathway... :S
This is fixed for VM 1.1.2 I tested and helped this fix.
Your idea is not bad. I am thinking of making a custom Joomla module to include links for parametric search for each product type. Seems to be the only free of charge and self made improvement without altering the code.
Ciao

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2008, 16:51:39 pm »
you seem tyo have better knowledge to achieve this than me...
But I'll try anyway...

and I didnt know a 1.1.2 was on the way... I hope it'll be released soon ;)

SoundBs

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Re: Browse By Multiple Fields
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2008, 14:48:12 pm »
I really cant figure out how to make the proper SQL request to get the right parameters :(
any help on this would be really appreciated!!