[thelist] what is needed to make this quickStore app. work

Susan Wallace susanhw at webcastle.com
Tue Aug 7 23:40:17 CDT 2001

Hi Kevin,

When I was using that tutorial to learn what you are getting into right 
now, I felt a bit lost as well. That particular tag is a "quick and dirty" 
means to an end - a very basic application that performs the function of 
your local Sears. You have departments (categories) to look in, you choose 
an item to purchase, you carry it around with you until you are done 
browsing (shopping cart), you bring it to the cashier, pay for it, and 
leave. All of this is in this application. The beauty of it is that it's 
done with just a few files and the function of the page that you are seeing 
in the browser is based on the last thing that you clicked on.  The 
confusing part about it (when you are just starting) is that it's done with 
just a few files and the function of the page you... well, you get my point.

I'm not sure that the QuickStore application is one that I would personally 
find a lot of practical use for in terms of a live web site, because every 
single 'store' that you would ever encounter will have very different 
requirements. It is my opinion that you would learn more by starting with 
the basics of understanding the components that go into an e-commerce site, 
learn how they all work together, and then learn the advantage of creating 
a self contained application like that.

To specifically address your questions:

I downloaded your templates, set up the datasource, and ran the store. The 
first page that comes up asks me to search or go to the Administrator. 
(like you mentioned) The first thing you need to do is create a category, 
and then create in item within that category. Once you do that, you can 
search for it and you should get the point of how that fits together, 
however, this is not a truly realistic overview of what you need to 
consider when designing an online store. (Primarily because of the lack of 
consideration for product options, inventory control and etc.)

The templates that you are referring to that have grayed out information at 
the top are comments to show you the usage of each custom tag - or each cfm 
template. This is so that you can implement each page separately if you 
want to and apply the required attributes to get them to work. The error 
message that you get is because the datasource name is not set in each of 
those pages, or in the application.cfm file, so it does not know where to 
get your store information from. (Make sense?)

I see what you mean about the Add product not being an option in this case, 
but I'm not sure if that was by design, or if there is some errata from the 
book that I am not able to find. I suspect that it was by design so that 
folks didn't take that application and implement it on a live web site - at 
least not without a ton of editing. ;-)

You mention that you don't seem to have a good feel for the overall big 
picture here, and acknowledge that there are things you aren't aware of 
yet, so I think that I would be helping you out more if I started with some 
basics and help you work into an e-commerce application. There are a lot of 
great online resources for this, and I have some information collected that 
might be of use as well. If you are interested in a "tutorial" of sorts, 
let me know and I will condense it into an article that is easy to read. :)

I apologize for the length of this post - I am new here and realize it's 
longer than most, but hopefully it will help others in the future that are 
starting out with Cold Fusion.

<tip type="Leisure Reading">
It never hurts to learn something new other than a coding example or one 
more geek tip. ;-) Here is a site that will teach you all those things that 
you didn't learn in school - how to mix classic drinks, meet people in your 
neighborhood (you know, out in "The Big Room"), or keep your desk clean: 

Susan Wallace

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