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Thread began 9/05/2014 10:39 am by Christopher West | Last modified 9/05/2014 12:59 pm by Jason Byrnes | 376 views | 3 replies |

Christopher WestCommunity Expert

multiple categories

Hi I am trying something different with creating a menu system for a new ecommerce site.

Im trying to plan to best approach for creating the menu system, database and catogories page.

But I ham having trouble in deciding the easiest/best approach and wondered if I could get you advice.


current the menu structure is as follows:
Home (dynamic drop down menu)
Living (dynamic drop down menu)
Dining (dynamic drop down menu)
Sleeping (dynamic drop down menu)
Home Accessories (dynamic drop down menu)
Decorative Items (dynamic drop down menu)
New Arrivals
Best Sellers
In Store Now

I have Products table
I have a Category table

The products table has a field "CategoryID" that links that product to what ever category record in the category table.
In the products table I have fields NEW ARRIVALS, BEST SELLERS and INSTORENOW (which stores a 1 value)

I also have a search box in the header that will search on product name.

now, my main question/concern, I would want to keep my file structure to a category.php page and a product.php page. But then I am trying to work out how the best way I can do this since for the category.php page the recordset would be pulling in a URL variable based on several conditions (since first its checking from the dropdown menus for the different categories and then their is the condition that if the page is being entered from the user selecting either, NEW ARRIVALS, BEST SELLERS or IN STORE NOW...as well as if the user have chosen to use the product name search box that would list all products via the category page.

The simplest way to solve this is to separate the conditions into separate files such as:
category.php
new-arrival.php
best-seller.php
in-store-now.php
search.php

but I feel this is a bad method of programming as its basically repeating page structure and code to some extent. so would prefer to keep it all contained in one page file.

I wonder if its a case of one big recordset or would I need several recordsets on the same page (which again is bad programming).

Any thoughts or opinions on the best approach?

Regards

Chris

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

Use Data Assist search to create the filters for the Product name search or the category URL variables.

make sure the Product name search box uses the get method so the product name is passed as a URL variable.

Data Assist Search will be apply the correct filter to the recordset based on which variable, Product name or Category id is passed into it.

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Christopher WestCommunity Expert

Hi Jason, ok I probably be doing a premiere ticket with Ray because I will be using the new MySQLi server behaviors and was told that currently the webassist search server behavior doesn't use MySQLi yet.

So from my understanding, what you are suggesting is that the entire navigation system is using the webassist search server behavior. Ive never actually done a menu navigation yet solely on the search server behavior. I just want to make sure this is what you mean just in case you havent miss-understood what I wanted done.

Since the navigation is based on 9 menu links (comprising of 1 link for homepage, 5 links that are drop-downs for sub-categories and the last 3 links are just links based on product filtering for products that are new arrivals, best selling products and products that are instore now).

please note which I refered to "sub-categories" they are still considered top-level categories though (because they main menu links are categories however they are hard-coded into the website design since those categories will never change).

One issue I am facing is my client wants bread-crumbs for the main categories links to be displayed on the categories page...however since new-arrivals, best-sellers and in-store now menu links can be a random combination of products from differing categories then obviously i wouldnt be able to show bread crumbs for those 3 menu links.


Chris

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Jason ByrnesWebAssist

Yeah, for MySQLi, you should probably do a premiere support session.

but using Data Assist and MySQL, yes, the navigation can be used in conjunction with data assist search.


Think of it this way, you have a search from that lists categories and when it submits to the results page using Data Assist the URL would look like:

results.php?CatID=3&search=search


you can do the same thing with you dynamic navigation: Pass the category ID as a URL variable and include the trigger URL Variable also to trigger the Saerch behavior

a form using the get method just passes the information using URL variables, it's no different than passing those same URL variables using a link.

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