[ic] Building a new catalog system -- is it this complex?

Jeme jeme at rkdpp.com
Wed Jun 9 10:31:08 EDT 2004

OK, I've been playing with interchange for a little while and I'm a bit overwhelmed.  That should be a good thing.  It means, at least, that it's a robust system.  I think I can see that it can be made to do anything I might hope such a system to do.

But when I started looking at actually doing it, I began to think that it might be an ENORMOUS amount of work to get my catalog going.

I have the system installed and configured.  I've gone through most of the catalog building tutorial.  I went through the process of making catalogs with the postgresql database backend.  I built new catalogs using the supplied templates.  But I can't seem to find exactly what I need, here, and that makes me think that I have to write it all myself.

I don't mean to sound naive or shiftless, but we can all agree, I hope, that laziness is a virtue in these kinds of cases and I'm hoping to find that this isn't as complex as I'm making it.

Here's a quick semi-made-up example of the kind of product dilemma I'm facing:

Let's say we sell workbenches.  We have 4 styles of bench in 4 colors.  Each table comes with a cover in one of 30 colors (customer's choice).  They each come with a choice of 2 types of rolling casters in one of the four bench colors (they don't have to match the bench), except one model which comes with rubber feet, but can be given casters for an upcharge.  That's several hundred variations.  Do I have to create each product in my products table first?  Our old system is on paper and we just check the boxes for all the features and colors.  There really aren't separate SKUs for each entity.

As I understand this, I have to put all of this logic in flypage.html.  Also, I have to somehow separate that whole mechanism from the generic method for showing simple products like hammers and screwdrivers.

Can someone give me a hand up on this?  Is there a demo with this kind of complexity?


More information about the interchange-users mailing list