Help needed with delivery management / recurring orders


I think I should point out first that my programming background is in oldschool BASIC and machine code, and in modern times I have agreed to help a friend develop a site, and have been rather thrown in at the deep end! I did some preliminary beginner’s reading on PHP last year, some of which has stuck although I have a memory like a sieve!

The site is, to all intents and purposes, pretty basic. This is good for me, as I have a deadline of… actually it was today, so I need to try and get this completed over the weekend! It is to be used for entering orders (like a shopping cart without the payment part) and creating daily delivery lists, which are used to pack the van. I should point out that the site is not for public use, so it doesn’t need seperate public and administrative sections. Incidentally, the site will run on a Windows server, which I believe is running the latest PHP and MySQL.

I’ll divide this into the sections I envisage:

Section 1 - Customer List
Pretty straightforward - a customer database, with names, addresses, phone numbers etc. It should be possible to add/edit/delete customers. Basically, a bog standard customer database. (I have written one of these based on an old script, it seems to work but the original author doesn’t recommend using it any more! So if anyone has any suggestions as to a customer database tutorial…)

Section 2a - Add Items to Order
For now, I want to keep things extremely simple. Rather than a browsable shopping cart system, I just want three text boxes, which would be labelled Item, Price and Quantity. I think the contents are self explanatory! A method of selecting a customer, e.g. a combo box, should be included. There would then be a Submit button, which would add the item to a list (or cart, if you like).

Section 2b - Review & Submit Order
Once the user has finished adding items, they should be able to view their order - just like a shopping cart. They should be able to edit mistakes here. However, before submitting, a few more details need to be ascertained. Firstly, the delivery date must be entered. Secondly, a frequency of delivery should be entered (e.g. it may be a one-off, weekly, fortnightly or monthly delivery). After this, a Submit button would enter the order into the system.

Section 3 - Create Reports
This section should be filterable by date. It should create a report for the day with the order including prices and a total, then name and address of the customer. There should be a Print button.

All, in all, I guess this is pretty simple. I’m just stuck for ideas on how to put it all together! I could probably use my customer database. I’m not too sure how to do the ‘cart’ like part (a tutorial on how the theory behind this works would be good!!), and I’m REALLY stuck on how to get it to automatically repeat an order every week (or whatever the specified amount). I guess on top of that, they need to be able to stop the recurring order. I know that part of this is database design - something I am admittedly not great with. I hope this doesn’t go beyond the scope of this forum!

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. If you can recommend a tutorial or a script that I should look at, that would be great! I don’t really fancy using a full-blown shopping cart - they are rather bloated for what I need, and I don’t need any of the logging in stuff etc. Sorry for my noobishness - I hope I explained myself clearly enough!

Thanks in advance for any help given. :)

For the userbase, you’re saying you have something already (and that it works) but that its use is discouraged by its author. Usually it’s good practice to take such advise to heart, and at least take a long hard look at the implementation (especially security holes should get patched up). Your shopping cart idea is one that could be implemented using sessions, or perhaps even objects, but given your current experience with programming object-oriented programming might be a little too tough on you (nonetheless it’s something you’ll want to learn eventually if you’re active in the IT branch). For creating reports, anything’s possible. Database dumps, endless log files, etc. One thing I’d like to tell you is to have reports implemented at the admin end of it all, where it belongs.

Thanks for the reply, and sorry for the delay in mine - I was away on business.

I managed to get something working in time with regards to the userbase. I decided to go with a fixed database of products, and then a list of items with text boxes next to each one, for quantity.

All I need to do now is implement a button that takes all the items with a quantity greater than zero, and adds that to a cart… then later add the cart to the database. I’ll look into sessions as you suggested for that.

Thanks again!

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