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Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

 
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  #1  
Old 03-11-2010, 01:32 PM
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Default Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Hi,

Zone1 Creative have released a new x-cart site this morning. As usual it is designed by Dave Friston and Built by me (Pinakin Patel).

This project has taken just over six months to complete and there is still a second mirror site to build.

The client requirements was to convert two Actinic stores to Xcart.

The products on the two sites are the same but may show different pricing schemes as one site represents the retail bricks and mortar business and the other is internet only.

The sites are dynamically updates from Ackermans EPOS system so when something is sold in store both stores will update the stock levels.

Also If a product name, description, extra fields, advanced filter details change in the epos system the site changes automatically.

They can even disable products online from the shopfront EPOS.

The second challenge was to right a bespoke import routine that imported products from the old actinic store and EPOS system and merged the data.

You can checkout the final site that went live this morning http://www.ackermanmusic.co.uk

Feedback welcome.

Already noted : search is slow, as it has to sift through 32K products and extra fields. I will be introducing a javascript message to say this search will take time.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:04 PM
 
Shamun Shamun is offline
 

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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Only thing I can find is that the admin area isnt protected.

Otherwise, I love it. Everything is nicely done and the buttons are good looking.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Do you mean that it does not have HTTP authentication?
As it has the standard password protections.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

32,000 products is probably the store to date that we have built. This has raised a few issues in terms of memory and performance in xcart.

By default the memory limit is 16MB on the server.

But when you try and build the froogle.txt file this process runs out of memory. I set the memory limit to 128M and it only managed to get through 15K products before bombing out.

Also as we are using advanced filter with all the sheet music in one single category this meant that filtering would take ages. To the point where you thought the server had crashed.

The related items functionality administration becomes un usable when you have large amounts of products in a single category. So if we want to relate some sheet music to an instrument then this is not possible 30K of products are trying to be loaded by javascript into a select box.

Otherwise x-cart has performed outstandingly and there is no need to go looking at apps like magento for large scale sites.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:49 PM
 
Shamun Shamun is offline
 

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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by zone1creative
Do you mean that it does not have HTTP authentication?
As it has the standard password protections.

Correct.
If you put a password on it (such as from .htaccess) it'll add another layer of security which they must get through.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Site looks very nice.

I've heard that with very large stores, you might need to re-write a lot of base PHP and SQL.

Don't kow for sure, since i don't mess with that side too much.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley
Site looks very nice.

I've heard that with very large stores, you might need to re-write a lot of base PHP and SQL.

Don't kow for sure, since i don't mess with that side too much.

Your write. I have done that already with the custom import and update routines. The standard update routines took 4 hours to run and I would need to break this up into 1000 products at a time.

Now I have implemented a queuing system, so that updates are queue and run in regular interval for a small number of products at a time.
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Great site you got going on there, it's not often that you can click on a site and there's nothing that doesn't look out of place or any real glaringly obvious errors.

Site speed is very impressive as well, what host are you using?

Re the updates, are you using a differential file to see what levels have changed and then only update the values that have changed rather than doing the whole shooting match?
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Old 03-12-2010, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks
Great site you got going on there, it's not often that you can click on a site and there's nothing that doesn't look out of place or any real glaringly obvious errors.

Site speed is very impressive as well, what host are you using?

Re the updates, are you using a differential file to see what levels have changed and then only update the values that have changed rather than doing the whole shooting match?

Hi Sparks
Thanks for the feedback.

The server is a dedicated server from Heart Internet. The server cost is ё139.99 per month and for this you get centos / linux/ webmin installed.

I spent about a week installing virtualmin but then realised that Heart will preconfigure this for you on setup for free.

The is a cron job that runs at 2am which creates a Xcart Import file for every product in the EPOS system.

Then I export all product codes from Xcart to a flat file and do a match to generate a file that only contains products that are new and need importing into xcart. So this keeps the update routine nice and small.

I have then added a trigger to the products table on the EPOS database which logs products that have been updated or deleted.

So every 5 minutes the log is checked and updates are made to xcart or products are disabled.

All very slick. Even handles variants.

The biggest irritation with imports is images and the urls being wrong or images are not there.

So I wrote a php image handler script. So if the image existed it gets resized before being sent to the browser. Otherwise it shows an unavailable image instead so xcart never stops during an import.
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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Default Re: Zone1 Creative New site for Ackerman Music

very nice, if I had not already hired a web designer for my site I'd be talking to you!
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