Web Store Features
The Web Store is chock full of features, but our goal was not to build a tool that has every imaginable feature under the sun but rather provides a solid baseline that's easy to extend and build upon while providing a baseline that can be put into production quickly and easily.
The application provides the following features:
- Automated Setup of Web Server and Database
A configuration application creates virtual directories and sets permissions to make setup painless. A Web based Wizard can create and configure your database. A Web Based Configuration interface lets you configure most store options from a single Web form. Base setup takes only a few minutes before you're ready to add your own items and see them displayed on the Web. It's also easy to set up multiple stores in the same fashion.
- Straight forward Shopping Cart Implementation
The Web Store provides a straight forward implementation of a shopping cart with flow through a catalog of items displayed in a variety of ways. Views of the Items are fully customizable with several different default views available and extensibility via ASP.Net templates available. The shopping cart provides quick flow through and easy operation for end users.
- Integrated Payment Gateway support
The Store supports Authorize.NET, Verisign PayFlow Pro, LinkPoint, AccessPoint and PayPal out of the box. If you already use one of these providers you can be up and running in minutes. If not, we provide steps and contact points so you can get set up quickly. With PayPal you can be processing orders the same day.
- Easy layout customization
The store is ASP.NET based using easy to modify user controls that make it very easy to modify the look and feel of your store. Using simple layouts with straight forward HTML and CSS Style Sheets make layout customization easy.
- Profile User Management
The store provides user profile management for tracking shoppers through the store and the ability for visitors to reconnect to their profiles either automatically via cookies or via logging on to their profile. The profile, as all objects are easily extensible via custom fields or XML based properties.
- Inventory Management
Inventory items can be set up to track inventory counts. Items can be either physical or virtual for those selling electronically distributable items. Inventory can be managed online or offline using the offline order manager application which can upload inventory of individual items or the entire inventory file.
- Sub Item Support
The store supports several mechanisms to manage and present sub items (such as a T-Shirt with multiple sizes and/or colors). Sub items are entered as full skus that are tied to a master sku that is used for display and selection of subitems.
- Order Processing and Credit Card Support
Order processing can be accomplished right online using a set of easy to use credit card validation classes (requires merchant setup with a Authorize.NET, Verisign PayFlow Pro, LinkPoint or AccessPoint/Payment Source International) as well as PayPal integration. Or you can process credit cards offline from the order manager application. If you already have a merchant account with one of these gateways you can be up and running in minutes. If not, PayPal integration can have you up and running in the same day even with registration. We provide instructions and contact points for all providers supported so the process is quick and easy.
- Customizable settings and HTML User interface
Although this application is primarily shipped as a sample applications it has a configuration module that let you brand the application for your company and needs. Most of the display attributes of the store are driven through Style Sheets so customization or theming of the store (fonts, colors etc.) is accomplished simply by changing the attributes of the various styles.
- Multi Store Support
Hosting multiple stores is as easy as installing the store into separate directories for each store instance. This allows full customization of each store's HTML/style format. Since setup and creation of stores can be very quick it's easy to build a mall of stores for example.
- Full Administration Interface
The backend application provides a rich administration interface for the Web Store. You can view invoices, process them if you don't do so automatically, send confirmation or decline notices via email and more. You can also manage inventory by adding and deleting items and complete configuring each item, including item image management through the Web interface. In addition you can manage item categories, can set general configuration settings for the application, review the error and request logs and view Application statistics online.
- Web Service interface
You can access orders and inventory from the online store via a Web Service so you can read and write data to and from the online store with any tool that is Web Service capable. The Web Store publishes its data via the business objects which are persisted and can be picked up by a client application or for use in a business to business environment. Using the offline application in conjunction with the Web Service allows you manage orders, inventory and customers completely in an offline environment which enables you to remove all sensitive data such as credit cards off the server.
- Offline order manager application
This feature is still in development and provided in minimal form in version 1.0
An offline order manager application that demonstrates consuming the Web Service in a distributed application is also provided. The offline manager can download (and also upload) orders, verify credit cards (requires merchant setup), send email notifications, show shipping status. It also provides remote inventory management with full interaction between the offline application and the Web application. Additionally a set of reports are available to view order statistics and manage customers and orders.
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