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  1. #1
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    Idea or Suggestion Dropship Core [Support Thread]

    Firstly, Thanks to all those who spent the time to write, code, and maintain Zen Cart over the years.

    Plugin / Add-On Details
    This plugin adds the core capabilities for the support of dropshipments in Zen Cart. Pages and profiles are added to allow administrative users to maintain dropshipment information about suppliers and products. An observer watches for reference numbers to be added to the session and records them into the order history upon checkout.

    A base shipping class is provided to handle existing shipping requirements (including using Curl to retrieve shipping data) and provide access to the new dropshipment information. A base shipping module (subclass of the base shipping class) provides convenience functions for quickly building a shipping module utilizing the base shipping class.

    By abstracting how shipping is handled for dropshipments, many different shipping backends can be implemented without the need to duplicate code.

    Not Included
    I have not included any shipping modules built using the classes in this Plugin / Add-On.

    I can tell you I have built a handful of shipping modules extending the base classes in this plugin (and they are in production use). This includes both parcel and freight shipping carriers. I am not releasing them to the public at this time.

    Install / Uninstall
    This version does not require users to manually alter the database. The provided (un)installation scripts under "admin/includes/auto_loaders" and "admin/includes/init_includes" will handle all required database changes. These scripts DO require the Zen Cart database user to have permission to create, update, and delete tables.

    Disclaimer
    As with all Zen Cart Plugins / Add-Ons you should first TEST the changes on a non-production site. It is recommended to backup your entire Zen Cart installation and database prior to installing.
    The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. The glass is simply too big!
    Where are the Zen Cart Debug Logs? Where are the HTTP 500 / Server Error Logs?
    Zen Cart related projects maintained by lhngl : Plugin / Module Tracker

  2. #2
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    Default Dropship Core 1.1

    Release Notes
    • Added support for recording shipping quote reference information. The quote reference can only be viewed from the administrative interface and is not sent to the customer.
    • Updated the observer to use zen_db_perform when updating the database and to perform additional safety checks.
    • Updated comments in source code.
    • Moved the extra_datafiles to the correct location in the zip file.
    The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. The glass is simply too big!
    Where are the Zen Cart Debug Logs? Where are the HTTP 500 / Server Error Logs?
    Zen Cart related projects maintained by lhngl : Plugin / Module Tracker

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Dropship Core 1.1

    Hi,

    Please could you give more of a description of what this module actually provides. I think iunderstand but just need to clarify.

    Regards

    paul
    Even novices can be professionals!

    Funky Fancy Dress

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dropship Core 1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by Wilkesy View Post
    Please could you give more of a description of what this module actually provides. I think iunderstand but just need to clarify.
    Extra database fields to handle drop shipments
    • Drop Shipment Source Locations (TABLE_SUBCONTRACTORS_SHIPPING). Stores shipment origin locations along with name aliases and additional information such as shipping contact person and restrictions for the location.
    • Drop Shipment Package / Shipment Carrier Information (TABLE_PACKAGING_FOR_SHIPPING). Stores package name, shipping carrier (intended to correspond with the shipping module names), type (shipping carrier's code for the package), and description (human readable description of the packaging). Future versions will probably support additional options.
    • Drop Shipment Default Source Location for a MFG (TABLE_MANUFACTURERS_SHIPPING). Stores a default shipping origin for each MFG if desired.
    • Drop Shipment Product Level Information (TABLE_PRODUCTS_SHIPPING). Stores information about each product including the shipping location to use, shipping attributes (width, depth, height), freight class, leadtime (approximate time from ordering to product shipping from origin location), and packaging for the product. Future versions may include additional options.


    Admin Management Pages
    • Page for managing drop shipment origin locations.
    • Page for managing drop shipment packaging / carrier types.
    • Updated manufacturer page for adding a default shipment origin.
    • Updated product pages to allow the entry of additional shipping options including origin location.


    Base Classes
    • dropship class. Contains methods to retrieve extra shipping information from the database tables
    • dropship_carrier class. An abstract class handling common methods needed to: retrieve information about products to be shipped, communicate with a shipping carrier, provide a unified quote request method, and provide logging.
    • dropship_carrier_module class. An abstract class extending dropship_carrier to provide storage for required shipping module fields, required shipping module methods, surcharge handling, and convenience functions for retrieving the values of shipping module constants.


    Observer
    Watches for shipping modules to add "Quote Reference" and "Shipping Reference" information such as an "ID". If the shipping module provides this information during checkout, once the order has been confirmed, the information is added directly to the order history.

    In the case of "Quote Reference" this is added as a private entry and can be used when talking with the shipment carrier to identify the quote (or even to record the quote details).

    In the case of a "Shipping Reference" this is added as a public entry and is intended to be used by the customer to reference their shipping (either with your store or to add the tracking number from UPS, FedEx, etc). The "Shipping Reference" will also be sent in the order confirmation email to the customer.

    What is not included
    Actual shipping classes built extending "dropship_carrier_module".
    Last edited by lhungil; 28 Oct 2012 at 08:58 AM.
    The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. The glass is simply too big!
    Where are the Zen Cart Debug Logs? Where are the HTTP 500 / Server Error Logs?
    Zen Cart related projects maintained by lhngl : Plugin / Module Tracker

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Dropship Core 1.1

    Seems like a very interesting module, does it work only with 1.5.1? Or is it possible to use it with 1.5.0?
    Does it support multiple warehouses?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dropship Core 1.1

    Quote Originally Posted by icecold View Post
    Seems like a very interesting module, does it work only with 1.5.1? Or is it possible to use it with 1.5.0?
    Does it support multiple warehouses?
    I've only included copies of the new files for 1.5.1 in the distribution zip file. If you are willing to spend the time merging, (most of the affected files are commented to let you know where changes were made), you can merge the changes into a Zen Cart 1.5.0 installation.

    I do have this module installed (and working) in a production Zen Cart 1.5.0 installation. I just did not provide the "affected files" already edited and updated for a Zen Cart 1.5.0 installation in the distribution zip file.
    The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. The glass is simply too big!
    Where are the Zen Cart Debug Logs? Where are the HTTP 500 / Server Error Logs?
    Zen Cart related projects maintained by lhngl : Plugin / Module Tracker

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default DB Model for next release

    I'm working on a new DB Model to use for future releases. The proposed changes are more flexible, but may change as I work through some new activity diagrams. Any thoughts and feedback are appreciated.

    The goal is to support some things currently not supported... such as package sizes and weight, max qty of an specific product in a package, etc. While all shipping methods will not use all the options (I'm trying to leave things flexible enough to work with any shipping carrier and packaging methods).
    The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. The glass is simply too big!
    Where are the Zen Cart Debug Logs? Where are the HTTP 500 / Server Error Logs?
    Zen Cart related projects maintained by lhngl : Plugin / Module Tracker

  8. #8
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    Default Re: DB Model for next release

    I am very interested in testing this module out. Don't quite have the time available to dedicate to this yet, but hoping to in the coming months.

    In regards to some of the db changes, esp relating to shipping sizes, are you thinking of being able to use this for dimensional weight?

    Will there be additional shipping modules being built (or needing to be built)?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: DB Model for next release

    Quote Originally Posted by Limitless View Post
    In regards to some of the db changes, esp relating to shipping sizes, are you thinking of being able to use this for dimensional weight?
    Was not planning to generate dimensional weight. One could, but for Freight I am currently using the "class" field to store a product's NMFC classification (determined by shipping dimensions and weight).

    Mostly the changes are to meet a client's packaging requirement. Certain items are shipped in "bundles" of up to X items per bundle. These final bundles are smaller than can be calculated by simply adding one of the dimensions (imagine items L or C shaped). We know the maximum size each bundle (package) can be upfront. Another is using set shipping packages such as UPS or USPS flat rate shipping. Knowing the final box size lets one attempt to arrange the items into boxes. Another is some packaging adds significant weight or dimensions. For example 'A' frame pallets.

    Quote Originally Posted by Limitless View Post
    Will there be additional shipping modules being built (or needing to be built)?
    I plan to eventually release a basic UPS Ground shipping module as an example. First I want to hash out all the database needs (for many reasons - but especially to keep the installation script relatively simple).

    Before I provide a working example, I want to make sure I've covered all the core data we need associated with a product / shipping location. I can then continue to add and build functions into the "Dropship Core" classes to provide common SQL lookups, optimizations, some common packaging methods, etc.

    I'm hoping others will contribute some shipping modules (and potentially enhancements) over time.
    The glass is not half full. The glass is not half empty. The glass is simply too big!
    Where are the Zen Cart Debug Logs? Where are the HTTP 500 / Server Error Logs?
    Zen Cart related projects maintained by lhngl : Plugin / Module Tracker

  10. #10
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    Default Re: DB Model for next release

    Now I understand why you are keeping track of dimensions.

    I get hammered on a few items that go UPS ground because they bill by dimensional weight, not 'real' weight and something like a 1# fishing pole 'dimensionally' weighs 11#.

    Good stuff and still hope to play with this module.

 

 
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