Overview
Operation
Record Layout
How fields relate to Web Store
How options are handled
Explanation of fields by field

Dagra Software On-Line Store Inventory Manager

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Overview

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Dagra Inventory Manager (DsInvMgr1.EXE) is the Windows side inventory manager for your on-line store. Here you add, delete, enable, disable and edit individual inventory items. After changes are complete you FTP the inventory file to your web site and it is immediately active. The file produced by this program could also be created by an export from almost any database, it is your choice to use this program or your database.

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Operation

When you start DsInvMgr it will immediately display the inventory.dat file that is stored in the same directory as the program on your Windows PC. This file is always ready to transfer to the web site that contains your on-line store. To make additions, deletions or changes to this file follow these steps:

  1. Start DsInvMgr.EXE and click on a record to select it.
  2. Click the button that begins the desired task.
    [CP] Copy selected record. Use this to add a new record.
    [ED] Edit selected record.
    [Y/N] Enable or disable the selected record (this is a toggle).
    [DR] Delete the selected record.
    [UD] Undelete the record you just deleted.
  3. When all additions and changes have been completed close DsInvMgr.EXE, start your FTP program and transfer inventory.dat to the on-line store on your web site.

The green copy [CP] and edit [ED] buttons will load the selected record into a dialog box so you can work on it. Notice that buttons are only available when it is appropriate to use them, for example, if no record is selected buttons are disabled.

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Record Layout

RecID        integer   Used by database.
ItemID       6 bytes   Identifies an item as described in "Desc" field
OptionID     4 bytes   Identifies an option combination within an "ItemID"
Opt1        16 bytes
Opt2        16 bytes
Price        9 bytes   Each option is priced separately.
Enabled      1 byte    Not shown, allows an item to be temporarily not displayed
Desc        60 bytes

341 43 Green  Small      Western shirt with fancy pockets and long sleeves
    44 Green  Medium
    45 Green  Large
    46 Green  Ex Large
    53 Red    Small
    54 Red    Medium
    55 Red    Large
    56 Red    Ex Large

You can think of the ItemID and OptionID as a unit, for example a 341 is a western style shirt while a 341 43 is a western style shirt that is green and small. On the HTML page you can describe the western style shirt in general then the program will show the options for the user to choose.

The first record for an item is the master display record for that item. If you edit the description field for any record in a group, (same ItemID) all records will be updated. If you disable the master display record for an item it will become grayed but remains the master display record. If you delete the first record the next record within that product group becomes the master display record.

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How fields relate to Web Store

Each ItemID must be represented by an HTML page or section on a page with the HTML link that calls the shopping cart program with the ItemID. This HTML section can present the item any way the storekeeper wants, the only connection to the database is on indirect one through the ItemID and shopping cart program.

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How options are handled

When the user clicks the link (see above) to add an item to the cart the cart program uses the ItemID to determine if there are options. If there are no options the user is shown a screen from which to set the quantity. If there are options they are listed as a radio button selection group (select one) along with the quantity question. Ether way a fully defined item is placed into the shopping cart. You can think of a fully defined item as one that can be boxed and shipped, all choices are defined.

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Explanation of fields by field

The Microsoft Access field type is shown in parenthesis at the end of each field description. Fields marked text such as ItemID and OptionID can accept alpha characters as well as numbers.

RecID - Number that is used by the database on the PC side and also on the server by the cart software. (auto number, key)

ItemID - size 6 bytes Identifies an item as described in Desc field. The identifier for the group of items that are presented in a single section on the web page. We strongly recommend that this be used as a numeric field. (text)

OptionID - size 4 bytes Identifies an option combination within an ItemID. There can be as many option combinations as desired as long as each is represented by a unique OptionID. We strongly recommend that this be used as a numeric field. (text)

Opt1 - size 16 bytes Commonly used for color or size this field can be used for any distinguishing characteristic that your product line supports and that your customers understand. User sees this field as the specific option combination is selected and again when cart is displayed. (text)

Opt2 - size 16 bytes Used to subdivide option one this field can complete the option combination for the product described with the ItemID. The OptionID identifies both option fields uniquely within the ItemID, often by using the first digit for Opt1 and the second digit for Opt2. User sees this field as the specific option combination is selected and again when cart is displayed. (text)

Price -. size 9 bytes. Each option can be priced differently. The field uses up to 6 digits in the dollar amount and 2 digit cents. Although the dialog box will accept any string the result is formatted into 123.99 format as it is written to the file. (currency)

Enabled - 1 or 0 1 = enabled as is common with database programs such as Microsoft Access. Allows an option combination within an item or an item that has no options to be temporarily hidden without removing it from the database. This is commonly used for temporary out of stock as it can simply be enabled again when the new stock arrives. User is not aware of this field. (yes/no)

Desc - size 60 bytes Holds the short description that will display in the shopping cart once the user has clicked an item there. (text)