David Slack - Web developer

e-Commerce in Drupal

Well, I've got to say it, the Drupal / e-commerce solutions are not great!

We have to do so much just to get a basic shop up and running. At the moment we have a choice of the monster that is Ubercart or the "Do it twice" new kid Drupal Commerce and both mean we developers have to do a ton of work to basically add a product to a cart and go off to Paypal to sell it.

I've been using  Ubercart since Drupal 5 and while it does everything I could hope for in a shop it is so big and bulky. In Drupal 6 (which I still use for e commerce) it still uses tables for layout! Tables! We have not used them for layout since the 90s and  Ubercart wants me to use them. To strip tables out I have to create all new views and everything that goes with them. Then there is the cart / basket which (in Drupal 6) isn't Ajax and has to take the customer to another page to add a product. Then if I add the Ajax cart module (which isn't even in Drupal 7) I have to turn off caching. Then, Ubercart has no way of changing the currency in a simple way for the customer, you know, a pull-down that says currency and the user changes it? Non-existent. Add to that any site Ubercart is added to slows by about half in the loading, it's just too big, bulky and old.

Then there is Drupal Commerce which is the new e-commerce for Drupal 7 only. When I first heard of this I thought we would finally have an e-commerce solution in Drupal that was fast, easy to setup (views not tables) and could do everything that was missing from  Ubercart. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem the case for 1 reason alone. Any time a client wants to create a new product they have to create the product then create the view. While to a programmer this is great news, split the data from the view, to a client the is a potential double up on the work! I couldn't tell my client to do that when things like Big Cartel are working exactly the way we expect. I haven't tried  Drupal Commerce (and won't waste time on it) yet so if this is wrong please let me know.

So, I either use  Big Cartel and tell the client they have to pay for the feature of sending customers to another site or I create a new module.Creating a new e-commerce field would be a huge job but I think I'll have to do it. Something in Drupal 7 with an Add to basket field that you can add to any node type and a basket block that we can add anywhere. Checkout, invoice, etc would be views customer addresses would be user fields then Tax, Currency change etc as new node fields. At the moment I can create basic modules so this will be hard work but I think I can do this.

I'll post a link here as soon as I have more, let me know if you like this idea or if you tink you can help

 

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