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PayPal store PHP scripts?

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I?m doing a project for a mate who is aiming to sell motorcycle accessories online using only PayPal payments. At + half a century I?m not a young techie whiz like many of you and I?m not in the Web development profession, I?m working simply as a favour and to further enhance my skills (and free bike maintenance).


I?m not new to PHP, as I have previously designed a PHP mailform, but I have a feeling this?ll be a bigger deal than that.


I?ve briefly viewed several of the PayPal shopping cart videos, just to give me an idea of what to expect, this has thrown up a few questions which I hope you?ll find the time to help me with:


? I develop all my Web pages using Notepad and use QuickPHP to run scripts.

? Will I NEED to make use of the free Eclipse software?


? A database will not be required for the site, yes, I have extolled the virtues of DBs but he insists a database will not be needed.

? Do I have to use MySQL?


? I have already developed the main site ? info pages, contact, bike list and associated detail pages (bikes will not be for sale online) and I?ve also developed the ?shop? pages ? tyres, helmets, exhausts etc, I?ve even sorted the format of the ?product_box? Div for each individual item.

? Will I be able to integrate what I learn into such a box? On an existing site?


? Some items will simply need an ?Add to Cart? button, others such as tyres will need a size option box, helmets will require size and colour options.

? What?s the best way to solve that problem?


? Postage will be determined by total order e.g. <?10 = ?3.00, >?10 <?30 = ?7, >?30 = free.

? Will this be an achievable object?


? There will be quite a few ?shop? pages so I would like to embed within these pages a minicart to display to the user how many items are in the cart and the total currently spent.

? Is this likely to be possible?


I anticipate this taking me a few weeks to complete, though I would like to get the site completed, tested and operational within time for the new bike season, usually April.

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No one has answered this yet, so here are my comments:


In general, all of what you are asking to do is possible. However, I will warn you that if you don't have a solid understanding of PHP, you may struggle. Some of what you are asking for isn't included in the tutorial, so it will require you experiment and work with PHP on your own. I don't say this to scare you off necessarily, but realize that building out a full e-commerce solution is significantly more complicated than building a contact form.


1) Eclipse: No, Eclipse isn't required, you could write it using Notepad. I would suggest that you look at Eclipse or something like Notepad++ -- the features they offer, such as syntax highlighting, code completion, etc will definitely help you. Syntax highlighting is especially useful for catching minor syntax errors.


2) Database: No, the tutorial uses a XML file to store product information, so no database is necessary.


3) Integrate into existing site: Yes, you should be able to do this, as long as you follow the tutorial through and understand each step. If your existing site is not currently using the .php extension, you will have to change that.


4) Production Options: I don't believe this is covered in the tutorial. Yes, it is possible using select form elements, and probably changes to the XML file that stores the product information to indicate which products have additional options.


5) Postage: I don't believe this is covered in the tutorial, but yes, it is possible using PHP.


6) Minicart: Yes, you can use PHP to build a minicart that shows the current items in the cart. I don't believe the tutorial covers how to do that though -- you'd need to figure that out on your own or with online additional help.


Hopefully that will help get you started.

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Alright here are my 2 cents that you might want to concider before jumping into the project:


- In short you are doing some kind of online webshop.


So with that I have to say, that I do not think you got enough experience to be coding any webshop look a like cms. And it has nothing to do with it will most likely take a long time for you, but more as a respect to the users that will be using it. More specifically the costumers. As you need to concider a lot of safety and personal information storing that you need to keep safely, something you might not be as aware of after only creating a mailform.


I would suggest that you instead of reinventing the wheel, with basic skills in wheel making. Instead start looking in php's great open source community. I can garantuee you that there are thousands of ready to go CMSs out there that you can download and build upon and costumize to meet the needs you are looking for.


So check code.google.com and search for php + webshop, or something similar. Find a project with good reviews. In your case you should search for one that uses paypayl payments functions.


Now you got your major problem solved. All you got to do is diesect the code, use the parts you need, and you are ready to go. It will save you a lot of time, and save you and your friends from any future blunders caused by inexperience.



Don't forget to later study and learn how the codes work, and that's the way you learn php, at least that was how it worked for me back in the days, reading a lot of finnished code, and also a lot of broken non functional code, to understand why or why not it was working.


And as it goes for mysql need. Sure you could go with alternative ways as saving into a text file, using SQLite, but I have to say MySQL tends to be a smoother way of doing it. However nothing stops you of saving each order in seperate txt file instead.

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