I am excited to announce the beta 1 release of the Shipping Director plugin. The Shipping Director allows a store owner, consultant, developer, etc. to create ad hoc shipping rate calculations. While enhancing nopCommerce for my own customers' needs, I‘ve spent much time researching nopCommerce’s shipping capabilities and reading shipping related forum posts and replies. I’ve considered many user requests while designing and developing the Shipping Director.
Please feel free read about its capabilities and download the beta to try it out at www.nopTools.com. Also on nopTools.com, I’ve started writing a blog to help you begin evaluating whether the plugin meets your needs; more formal documentation is being written. The power of Shipping Director is in its ability to evaluate expressions – for user defined variables, as conditions whether a shipping option applies, to calculate rates and surcharges, and even to calculate the shipping option name and description. A store owner (non-developer) may find writing these expressions a bit difficult at first. I think, however, that many shipping scenarios are probably just set and forget, and that I or other community members could provide the expressions for those who might have some initial problems writing them. I’ll be happy to take your feedback, comments, and suggestions.
Shipping Director will not be a free plugin; I think I’ve priced it very reasonably considering its capabilities, the effort I’ve put in, the additional documentation that will be written, and the support and enhancements to come. (And it pays for itself by calculating accurate shipping charges!) The current beta version is free, and there will also be a free evaluation/trial version. The current beta is limited to 5 shipping rate requests (each time the plugin is loaded), and will expire on 12/31. After the beta, licenses will be offered on either an URL basis (e.g. www.yahoo.com), or a Domain basis (e.g. yahoo.com). I think this is a fair pricing/usage model – if you have multiple store fronts or you are a consultant with multiple clients, each store should have its own licensed copy. If you have more than 2 stores as sub-domains, then you can get a Domain license at a discount compared to purchasing multiple URL licenses.