Multi-store roadmap. Let's discuss (UPDATE: done)

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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 4:25 AM Quote #87233
Hi,

As some of you already know multi-store support will be added in version 3.00 (you can discuss the entire roadmap here). This task is quite complex. That's why I decided to create a separate forum topic. There are a lot of ways to implement multi-store. So let's discuss what and how it should be implemented in nopCommerce.

Here are some points that should be considered/done:

1. Mapping. Some of the entities could be mapped/restricted to distinct shops: category, manufacturer, product, language, currency, message templates, topics, news, etc. I think it should be done similar to ACL (both user interface and implementation). There will be a separate "Stores" tab on the entity details page. There will a checkbox "Restricted to specific stores" (disabled by default). Once clicked a list of existing stores will be expanded so a store owner can choose store(s) to which he wants to restrict an entity. Discounts also could be restricted to a certain store, but it can be done as a new discount requirement plugin. All other entities will be shared between stores. I think that it will be enough for the first version of multi-store. In the next versions (after 3.00) some new entities could be added to this list.

2. Cart and order history sharing. Some stores share their carts and orders, and customers putting items in their cart for a store 1 can see these items in their cart for a store 2. Some stores do not share carts and orders. I think the second approach (do not share) is better. Or we can allow a store owner to decide which of these options should be enabled (as you understand it's more complex)

3. Settings. Some settings could be configured globally for all stores and some of them will configured per store (for example, a store theme). There's no any certain list of such settings yet.

4. Schedule tasks. We should allow a store owner to decide on which store(s) a certain schedule task should be run. For example, "Send emails" task should be run only on one of the stores, and "Keep alive" on each store.

5. Single sign-on and sign-out. There's no good solution available for this task. Should it be supported?

If we decide to have one single installation for multiple stores, it becomes much easier to implement (points 4-6).

Anything else? Your thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

UPDATE (Feb 17th): Done. Please see this post of mine
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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 4:31 AM Quote #87236
1. can we make limit for products , we can give limit to store owners and multivendor users howmany products they can add and it will be good for database and performance also because we can control trash products.

2. can we add duration for store owners/multivendor users ? if we give rental store in our web site , we can control date about users login and we can make settings on date between wich dates store owners can login to our web site.

3. we can use nop 3.0 for rental website also for store owners , they can open own shop in our web site and can we add settings in multistore area , if we want we can show store owner name , email address, company address and telephone numbers from store owners and it will be rental advertising site , if people want to buy product they will see near product details from company that who is owner from product.
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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 4:38 AM Quote #87238
CodeMaster wrote:
...

You're talking about multi-tenant or multi-vendor support. It is absolutely another task. Multi-store is the feature when one store owner has several sites (stores).
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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 8:11 AM Quote #87245
In my situation, plugins need to somehow be unique to their store.  I've got a few sites that are all owned by the same company but they each use a different shipping plugin.

I don't know if that would be true for a majority of users, though.
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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 8:43 AM Quote #87246
1. Mapping. Topics will need ACL store mapping as well. Fairly crucial in the first release as About text etc is more than likely to be different store to store.

Personally I would think about scrapping the Topic system and modify the Category Navigation to filter on Category template IDs + add additional Navigation controls - see here. Gives you the ability to show products on a topic page.

3. Settings. Seems to me you would need separate email addresses for each store or at least the ability to define them. ie if not defined revert to main one.

As an example a company may want orders from different stores sent to different departments.

7. Localised string names People may want to have different values for different stores eg Cart/Basket/Shopping Basket. Not sure if this is such a priority

8. Message templates Maybe not a priority?

HTH
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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 1:52 PM Quote #87267
Does this write-up for Magento describe how you intend multistore to work for nopCommerce?

It would seem that there would be few meaningful global settings if you want the most flexibility to configure each store independently.
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Posted: January 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM Quote #87270
I think the best way to approach multi-store would be to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer and think backwards what a customer would want and not get lost in the world of development, after all its the customer experience that matters at the end.
The way multi-store would be mostly used is like one company has a store selling Electronics, another store selling books, and some other selling clothes and so on.
A single sign on is very important for the customer. Account information like addresses should also be created on all sites so that the customer does not have to retype.
In multi-stores cross selling is extremely important. Like if someone is buying an oven then it could be linked with a book on how to cook. There should be someway to send the customer to other sister sites. Here ACLs will conflict with this approach that's why ACLs can be a good idea if there is a work around for this.
Shopping carts should be integrated as for discounts to apply, the customer should be able to see buying history from all stores in one single place. This will be helpful if one store is doing good then combined discounts can be used to divert traffic of customers to the less profitable store. The true power of multi-store can only be leveraged if we integrate the shopping history and offer discounts on top of that. Also managing multiple carts for a single customer would be a nightmare for the store owner. Customer information should be as integrated as possible.
The best approach for this would be to have a single master database which would store all the combined field and then have a per store database for the distributed mappings.
More of a design feature, but there should be tabs at the top so that a customer can easily switch between multiple stores
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Thanks & Regards,
Babur.
Posted: January 15, 2013 at 4:11 AM Quote #87313
infiniti wrote:
I think the best way to approach multi-store would be to put ourselves in the shoes of the customer and think backwards what a customer would want and not get lost in the world of development, after all its the customer experience that matters at the end.


While I agree customer experience is important the customer is not buying the website. The client will have some very definite ideas and business logic they want implementing and that will override considerations of customer experience.

The Magento design pattern looks good, however currently the store view model is essentially localization in nop. Probably not a problem.

10. Admin filter/view by store/website Ability to limit what is displayed admin side to one store/website including reports.
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Posted: January 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM Quote #87740
How will be Orders and Payments Management for Multistores and Multivondors in new 3.0 roadmap ?



1. if customer will have only 1 invoice from total cart then  every store owner will see own products and orders total but how they will receive money from mainly administrator ?

2. Store owners will have any email notification about the orders and see customer details ? or order owner will be mainly web site owner (mainly administrator) and only mainly web site owner will see customer details who ordered products ?

3. in the order detail page we will see that which product ordered from which store ? and howmuch we will pay to which store owner ?

4. customer will pay money to mainly web site account and mainly admin will pay money to store owners one by one who has ordered products ?
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Posted: January 21, 2013 at 1:25 PM Quote #87743
CodeMaster wrote:
How will be Orders and Payments Management for Multistores and Multivondors in new 3.0 roadmap ?...

Please see my answer above.
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Regards,
Andrei Mazulnitsyn
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