[thelist] Source for Freelance Database/Forms Work

jeff jeff at members.evolt.org
Wed Jan 3 23:33:08 CST 2001


: From: Jeff Basko
: My client has contracted with the Thomas Register for
: 2001.. it includes their proprietary eCom web.

ewwww, "propietary".  i love that word.  *grin*

: I have my client preparing an excel spreadsheet according
: to TR specifications. However, we have already decided
: that we need to put a basic eCom capability on the home
: site, independent of TR.

good idea.

: By basic, I mean there will be no purchase transactions
: online. There will be a "Request for Quote" link leading to
: a form with the specific product details pre-filled from the
: link, allowing the customer to either fill in their personal
: info, or use a login.

i would recommend nixing the login idea.  it will only increase the
complexity of the project driving up the development cost for little zero to
very little benefit to your customers.  the only exception is if this is
intended to be more of a b2b presence where the same "customers" will be
returning and using the ecom app on a regular basis.

: Ideally, these products would have a link to a photo as well,
: but given the variety of products (sizes) within each grouping,
: there may be one photo for as many as 50 line items.

if they have one photo, then you're talking about a single product with many
options.  like a t-shirt, for example.  it might come in a single color, but
5 sizes.  it's still only a single product though.  a good ecom app should
be able to handle creating products with multiple option types on a per
product basis (like size, colors, etc.) and multiple option values (small,
medium, large, red, black, green, etc.) for each option type.

: We will have somewhere in the vicinity of 2000-3000
: (total) line items in 12 categories.

the number of categories is unimportant as a good ecom app should give the
client the ability to create as many or as few categories as necessary.
ultimately it should also allow the client to nest categories, creating a
hierarchical structure to organize the product.  the client should also be
able to put any product in more than one category.

: I need my client to be able to update the database
: (preferably Access) and send me the info for
: publishing to the web.

just say no to access.  while it's ok for some web-based data driven
solutions, it's not robust enough for ecom or a site that gets very much

also, the client should never have direct access to the database itself.
they should be shielded from it and it's complexity by administrative tools
that are built to allow them to manage things like categories, products, the
association of products to categories, product option types, option type
values, quantities, imagery, etc.  it should also report things like
individual product sales and order status.

: Is this sufficient info?

no, still need more.

do you have hosting already arranged for this?  if so, will it be on a unix
box or nt?  if not, what is your preference and why?  what is your client's
monthly budget for hosting?  what kind of traffic do they expect (not hope)
to get?

do you have a preference with regard to the middleware used to build the
applications (asp, cold fusion, perl, etc.)?

have you quoted the client a price for this work already?

do you have a solid contract with the client?

do you have a signed development proposal?

do you need help writing a development proposal?

do you have any ideas of what something like this will likely run you?

there's more, but i don't want to overwhelm you.



mailto:jeff at members.evolt.org

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