Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

Store Manager for Oscommerce from MagneticOne

One of our clients is running an OScommerce 2.2 store. They have a fair number of items with options (ie, colors etc). Setting this up with the basic oscommerce admin panel is tedious at best.

I looked for a solution and found a trial version of the MagneticOne OsCommerce Store Manger.

What it does is to put a client on your PC or Laptop that will make the connections to the SQL database that runs your store. I tried the regular connection and got blocked because the SQL user is limited to localhost only (ie, must be running on the server). I tried setting up another MySQL user with rights to log in from any host. No luck there. I then tried using the Tunnel.
No luck there either.

Keep in mind that the connection problems were the result of fairly tight security on the host. It’s not a fault of the store manager.

Now, the folks at MagneticOne are really thinking. They included a neat little php bridge. It’s a small php app that you ftp to your admin folder in your catalog. The store manager then connects via the bridge. YOu download the store info, work on it, and then upload the changes.

The changes are done via an SQL script. Overall it works pretty well. Since we are using the bridge, we backup before and after via the oscommerce control panel. Also, I tend to publish after each group of items.

Some of the advantages of the store manager are

  1. Working with options such as color is MUCH easier. You need to purchase the full version for this option to work. You can set up the options for one item and move things around
  1. Formatting the product descriptions is a lot better since a wysiwyg editor is available. THis means that you do NOT have to mod your oscommerce install with a wysiwyg editor such as fckeditor.
  1. If you are familiar with SQL, the store manager gives you the ability to write your own reports. The nice thing, if you are using the bridge, is that the reports are run against your local database and not the live database giving you a little extra safety. Keep in mind that it is possible, with SQL commands, to trash your database. Backup Regularly.

There are some things you need to consider

  1. You are using a third party program and giving that program access to your store data.
  1. If you have heavily modified Oscommerce, especially the file structure, there is a possiblity that you could end up corrupting your data. Backup regularly.
  1. We are using the bridge mode as mentioned above. Right now, only one person is working on the database. I’m not sure how good of an idea it would be to have someone working online through the web interface while you are making changes via the bridge. Things should be OK but regardles, Backup Regularly.
  1. The license is about $150 US for one machine. You can access as many stores as you like. If you want to purchase additional licenses, they are currently about $50 each.
  1. If you don’t set up the ftp connection, you can’t use the store manager to upload pictures. Right now, we are using the bridge without the FTP connectivity and working with the pictures later.

In summary, this is a neat little product. The

For more information, see the MagneticOne Store Manager page

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