Interchange Guides: the Catalog Building Tutorial

Davor Ocelic

Jon Jensen

Sonny Cook

This documentation is free; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

It is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.


The purpose of this document is to guide you through constructing a simple Interchange catalog from scratch. The standard catalogs that ship with Interchange are quite complex since they are ready to be used for business and highlight many of the capabilities that Interchange offers. Those catalogs may not be the right places to start the journey if you're interested in learning the basic Interchange building blocks.

Although this tutorial provides ready-to-use examples, please think about them (and ideally, retype them instead of copy-pasting to your test catalog).

Table of Contents

Before You Begin
Interchange Installation
Test Server Hostname
Interchange Daemon and Catalogs
Minimal Catalog
Catalog Files
Link Program
Catalog Root Directory (CATROOT)
Interchange-managed Catalog Subdirectories
Catalog Registration: interchange.cfg
Catalog Configuration: catalog.cfg
Products Database
Page Templates
ITL: the Interchange Tag Language
Welcome Page
Tutorial Catalog in Action
Phase 1: Tutorial Files
Product Display
Product Listing
Phase 2: Tutorial Files
The Shopping Basket
Order Link
Phase 3: Tutorial Files
Order Checkout
Credit Card Processing
Phase 4: Tutorial Files
Enhancing the Catalog
Basic Enhancements
Price Pictures
Catalog Variables
More Interesting Page Footer
Advanced Credit Card Expiration Date Options
Sorting the Product List
Adding a Search Box
Default Catalog Page
High-traffic Changes
Phase 5: Tutorial Files
Final Notes

DocBook! Interchange!