Building a customer database - Help needed...

  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Here is an interesting project for you all. If anyone can help me solve this I would be in your debt...

I am currently in the middles of creating a website for a theatre company. Now, as I get further into the project, I would like to set up a database of some kind, that will allow the customer to visit the website and login in to show the status of thier "order" (showing their personal details as well as what night they are coming and how many tickets they have purchaced etc). So in the end, it needs no more that 5 or 6 field (name, address, performance night etc).

Bring a man of relativly simple knowledge, I am looking for any suggestion as how I am to do this. It would make the website really wonderful if this feature was available.

I have already built a "customers/members only" login page that will take them to where I want this database process to initially begin (lets call it members.htm). Its ok that this login page has no relevance to the database search, and that the proper database search does not begin until they have reached member.htm. At this point, they are now prompted to enter their 'ID' code which they would have recieved.

This is when I would like the data to appear on 'their' page (which is one page filled wit their data), without me needing to create an individual page for each customer. There are thousands of customers, so you can see the impractically of such a thing.

This got me thinking as to whether there was already some web-based software that could be downloaded and customised in order to provide such a facility, rather than build one in PHP, MySQL etc. If this is not the case, then never mind, but it is something that I would considor possible to find... somewhere? Prehaps someone knows.

All or any help would be extreamly welcome, and I thank you for having read this far. Please please help.

Thank you.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm just wondering if OSCommerce would work for you. It's very customizable and can be service related vs. product related if need be.

http://www.oscommerce.com
  • SharkShark
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It sounds like all you need is a decent shopping cart. as ATNO said, OSCommerce should handle all that for you. It will create an account for each customer, they can do thier purchasing thru it, and It should show what they purchased in thier order history.
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One question though.. is it really necessary to create an account? I mean, it's a good idea from a marketing perspective, but not really from a business one. Movie theaters, unlike other businesses, don't really need to know and track their customers...

In a previous life, before I saw the light and moved into the non-profit sector, I worked for the company that originally built the Fandango.com website. It was a hell of a project, for sure, probably much more sophistated than you need... but neverthesless. If you're only trying to create an online ticket sales, the ecommerce module (which as mentioned, can be found easily enough) is the least of your worries... I would put much more thought into fulfillment. That is... how will the kid in the ticket booth be able to verify that I bought a ticket online? Will there be a real-time feed from the web database? Will he have a kiosk or something in the booth so he can check online? What happens if I use my phone, or cell-modem laptop, to buy my ticket in the parking lot since the line is so long?

I don't know how big of a movie house this is that you're talking about, but if its more than just a couple screens... I would advise you put some serious thought into the fullment side, since, honestly, the ecommerce stuff it pretty easy.

Business strategy, processes and requirements should always be defined and rock solid BEFORE even one line of code is ever written, or you're asking for trouble. As a freelancer and/or consultant, usually it's your job to hold the business' hand to get these things understood before spending time writting any code.
.c
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Preaphs I was unclear carnix. I meant that this was for a performance/stage theatre. One stage, about 600 seats over 8 nights.

Are you saying you agree with the use of OSCommerce? Do you think this is a suitable thing to use.

Also, thank you for the sugguston. I will look into it now.
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

unfortunatly, the OSCommerce website is unable to supply a working demo of the software. Can anyone direct me to where I can find a demo of OSCommerce to test its suitability?

Sorry to be such trouble. Thank you all for all your help.
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

"Theater company" ah. Didn't catch that the first time, *points to the thickness of his head* :wink:


Have you considered trying to use something like PostNuke? There are is a shopping cart module available somewhere I've seen, not to mention a nice event calendar and a descent mailing list manager, both of which would come in rather handy for you

just a thought. Then, all you'd have to do is build a custom theme, which really isn't that difficult.

.c
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

having looked at that site Carnix, I don't quite understand that it is im able to download. If is a package with a number of functions, or can I download each function, like the shopping cart module as you said. Any explaination of what PostNuke is would be ever greatly appeciated.

Forgive my own thickness of the head :)
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

PostNuke is, basically, a CMS framework. When you install it, you're basically installing a whole bunch of PHP scripts that do many voodoo-like magical things... I know that's not much of an explaination, but honestly, you don't have to know what they do to use the tool. However, no, you can't just download and run the modules without using the framework itself, it's not made that way

mmm. pnLite... wonder if that's been done already? a pn emulator that lets people use and administrate PN mods without being forced to use PN themes... that's sort of what AutoTheme does, I guess.

The best resource for figureing out what PN is, is the PN site itself... http://www.postnuke.com/

.c
  • zudo
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have sone something like what your mentioning, about the automated "personal page".

Here's some code:

PHP Code: [ Select ]
 
 
 
<html><head><LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="style.css" TYPE="text/css"></head></html>
 
click <a href="search.html">Here</a> to search our database.
 
<br><br><br>
 
<?php
 
//Put this here for now
 
 
 
//Connect to the database, or die trying
 
$dbh=mysql_connect ("localhost", "sharabas_azfc") or die ('I cannot connect to the database because: ' . mysql_error());
 
mysql_select_db ("sharabas_zoid");
 
 
 
//Make your query get stuff that's like the search, then the result
 
$query = "select * from zoid ORDER BY `name`";
 
$result = mysql_query($query);
 
 
 
//Get the number of rows so we know how many times to loop
 
$num_row = mysql_num_rows($result);
 
 
 
 
 
//Make the loop
 
for ($a = 0; $a < $num_row; $a++) {
 
   
 
   //Get the next row
 
   $row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
 
   
 
   //Make the linking loop
 
   echo"<a href='select_zoid.php?selection=$row[0]' class=$class>$row[0]</a> <br>";
 
   
 
}
 
 
 
?>
 
 
 
 
 
 
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4. <html><head><LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="style.css" TYPE="text/css"></head></html>
  5.  
  6. click <a href="search.html">Here</a> to search our database.
  7.  
  8. <br><br><br>
  9.  
  10. <?php
  11.  
  12. //Put this here for now
  13.  
  14.  
  15.  
  16. //Connect to the database, or die trying
  17.  
  18. $dbh=mysql_connect ("localhost", "sharabas_azfc") or die ('I cannot connect to the database because: ' . mysql_error());
  19.  
  20. mysql_select_db ("sharabas_zoid");
  21.  
  22.  
  23.  
  24. //Make your query get stuff that's like the search, then the result
  25.  
  26. $query = "select * from zoid ORDER BY `name`";
  27.  
  28. $result = mysql_query($query);
  29.  
  30.  
  31.  
  32. //Get the number of rows so we know how many times to loop
  33.  
  34. $num_row = mysql_num_rows($result);
  35.  
  36.  
  37.  
  38.  
  39.  
  40. //Make the loop
  41.  
  42. for ($a = 0; $a < $num_row; $a++) {
  43.  
  44.    
  45.  
  46.    //Get the next row
  47.  
  48.    $row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
  49.  
  50.    
  51.  
  52.    //Make the linking loop
  53.  
  54.    echo"<a href='select_zoid.php?selection=$row[0]' class=$class>$row[0]</a> <br>";
  55.  
  56.    
  57.  
  58. }
  59.  
  60.  
  61.  
  62. ?>
  63.  
  64.  
  65.  
  66.  
  67.  
  68.  


What it does is gets the mysql info, it then goes into a loop making links that have the name of the zoid as the selection variable.
The next page, searches for those things and displays them:
PHP Code: [ Select ]
 
 
 
<html><head><LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="style.css" TYPE="text/css"></head></html>
 
<?php
 
//Grab the selection variable
 
$name = $_GET['selection'];
 
 
 
//Connect to the database, or die trying
 
$dbh=mysql_connect ("localhost", "sharabas_azfc") or die ('I cannot connect to the database because: ' . mysql_error());
 
mysql_select_db ("sharabas_zoid");
 
 
 
//Make your query get stuff that's like the search, then the result, then get it in an array
 
$query = "select * from zoid where name = '$name'";
 
$result = mysql_query($query);
 
$row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
 
echo "<h4>Name:$row[0]</h4> <br>";
 
echo "<h4>Number:$row[1]</h4><br>";
 
echo "<h4>Type:$row[2]</h4><br>";
 
echo "<h4>Side:$row[3]</h4><br>";
 
echo "<h4>Crew:$row[4]</h4><br>";
 
echo "<h4>Height:$row[5]</h4><br>";
 
echo "<h4>Weight:$row[6]</h4><br>";
 
echo "<h4>Speed:$row[7]</h4><br><br>";
 
echo "<img src=\"$row[8]\" align=center><br><br>";
 
echo "<h4>$row[9]</h4>";
 
?>
 
 
 
 
  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4. <html><head><LINK REL=stylesheet HREF="style.css" TYPE="text/css"></head></html>
  5.  
  6. <?php
  7.  
  8. //Grab the selection variable
  9.  
  10. $name = $_GET['selection'];
  11.  
  12.  
  13.  
  14. //Connect to the database, or die trying
  15.  
  16. $dbh=mysql_connect ("localhost", "sharabas_azfc") or die ('I cannot connect to the database because: ' . mysql_error());
  17.  
  18. mysql_select_db ("sharabas_zoid");
  19.  
  20.  
  21.  
  22. //Make your query get stuff that's like the search, then the result, then get it in an array
  23.  
  24. $query = "select * from zoid where name = '$name'";
  25.  
  26. $result = mysql_query($query);
  27.  
  28. $row = mysql_fetch_array($result);
  29.  
  30. echo "<h4>Name:$row[0]</h4> <br>";
  31.  
  32. echo "<h4>Number:$row[1]</h4><br>";
  33.  
  34. echo "<h4>Type:$row[2]</h4><br>";
  35.  
  36. echo "<h4>Side:$row[3]</h4><br>";
  37.  
  38. echo "<h4>Crew:$row[4]</h4><br>";
  39.  
  40. echo "<h4>Height:$row[5]</h4><br>";
  41.  
  42. echo "<h4>Weight:$row[6]</h4><br>";
  43.  
  44. echo "<h4>Speed:$row[7]</h4><br><br>";
  45.  
  46. echo "<img src=\"$row[8]\" align=center><br><br>";
  47.  
  48. echo "<h4>$row[9]</h4>";
  49.  
  50. ?>
  51.  
  52.  
  53.  
  54.  
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

so how would this emplimtented into a test page. i don't have the PHP files installed on my PC (localHost), how do I do this?

Oh, so many questions...
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What sort of PC? If it's Win2000 or later, install IIS, then download the win32 installer for mySQL and PHP. Install all of them (IIS first). Then, you can just copy and paste the code into a .php file and your good to go.

If you run linux, just install Apache, and use the appropriate versions.. but the same holds true.

http://www.mysql.com/
http://www.php.net/

.c
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes I use XP. But IIS, im not familier with this. What does it do and is it easy to apply to my system.
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

IIS (Internet Information Service), is Microsoft's enterprise webserver application, basically in the same category as Apache or Web Sphere. It's not hard to install, although, I'm not very familiar with XP to be honest. I'd guess the proceedure is pretty much the same as 2000...

Put in your window's CD. In control panel, click Add/Remove Programs, then click on Add Window's Componets on the left hand side. Check the box next to IIS and click ok. It's will do some stuff and then, that's it.

The non-server version of IIS doesn't let you create more than one website, though you can use virtual directories under your root site (the server version can have as many sites as you want, all running in seperate threads).

.c
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One prob I see divelloping. I (sadly/annoyingly!) have XP HOME. I can see this is a problem now as IIS is not in that list.
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

lomilmand wrote:
One prob I see divelloping. I (sadly/annoyingly!) have XP HOME. I can see this is a problem now as IIS is not in that list.


Don't blame me! It came with the PC, and I didn't know i might need it back then. Is there any way around it?
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

mmmm. that is a problem. You can probably use MS PWS (personal web server), but it's a POS (peice of s**t). You might look at the windows port of Apache, or Xitami (http://www.xitami.com/), perhaps. Xitami (from iMatix, where it's name comes from, spelled backwards: http://www.imatix.com/), is a nice, small, portable webserver. PHP has an installer that can autoconfig Xitami for you, which is handy. Installing PHP by hand isn't really THAT hard, but it's can be quite a pain in the ass if you're not familiar with it.

Anyway, those are the simple options.

[now for the more complex one:]

However, I would suggest that you create a development environment that matches, as closely as possible, the production environment. There are some differences between versions. For the most part, these aren't a problem, but it's still best practice to mirror your dev and production systems.

I suggest that you look into getting another machine, doesn't have to be the latest and greatest, and putting some version of Linux or FreeBSD on it, with Apache and PHP and a mySQL server.

You don't need a monitor or keyboard or mouse for it, just a box because you can control everything remotely. Then, get a cheap 4-port ethernet hub. I'm pretty sure (you might have to look into it with XP Home) you can use your own box as the router with internet connection sharing.

In USD, this will probably cost a couple hundred, maybe... Depends on the box you get. You don't need a high end system, in fact, you can get a crappy one for $50, as long as it has decent HD space, and you'll be fine.

As for configuration, once you get into the process, post your questions on Ozzu, there are a number of people here who are very qualified and willing to help you get stuff working.

.c
  • lomilmand
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i don't see how installing Foxserv on XP Home can be a problem when you can install it on ME?!?
  • Carnix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't know anything about Foxserv. I suggest either Apache or Xitami because you can download PHP installers so you don't have to configure the web server by hand (actually, I don't know if there is an Apache installer for Windows... there is one for Xitami though). If you know how to manually install PHP extensions on other servers, then go for it. The mySQL database doesn't really care what server you're using. As long as the scripting language works, the database will work too. PHP just has a bunch of convienient mySQL functions built into it.

.c

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