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NodsDorf

Creating a Tracking Number Add-On & Understanding The Scope

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Hi Guys / Gals,

 

I've been somewhat inactive for awhile, but still use OSC daily.

 

I've been mulling over an add-on idea to add functionality to allow admins to input a tracking number to the customer's order once it has shipped. Then allow the customer to view this tracking number on their order history page, and provide them a quick link to track the package.

 

It is a bit simplistic in nature, with no need for api intergration.

 

Part 1: Admin

2 input fields on the admin /orders.php page

1. For Carrier Selection (ie USPS, DHL, UPS, FEDEX)

1. For the Tracking Number

-on the backend the carrier selection queries the database for the correct <a href=> tag defined in a database table and appends the tracking number like http://verysimple.com/2011/07/06/ups-tracking-url/then creates a clickable link. Like Tracking Number: 1Z4892XXXXXX for the admin so they can easily pull up the tracking information if the customer calls in enquiring about their order status.

 

Part 2: Customer

1. Adds part 1 information to catalog/account_history.php page once the product has been marked shipped (order status).

2. Includes this information in the order status notification email if status is set to Shipped or whatever defined by the store owner.

 

On the surface this sounds simple to me, yet even after my 9+ years of using OSC there is a ton of things I am feeling like need to be addressed.

1. What if the order has multiple shipments?

2. What if the store owner wants more then one order status change to trigger the link generation. For example we have 3 statuses that we would want this type of information emailed to the customer, (Partial-Shipment, Shipped, Delivered). And how do we handle how this information is displayed on both pages admin/orders.php and catalog/account.history.php when multiple tracking numbers are avaialble.

3. What inpact on other pages would we have if we say starting adding fields to database tables and / or what tables should be created or safely modified.

4. What happens if a tracking URL pre-defined changes, example UPS tracking goes from http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/track?track=yes&trackNums to http://wwwtrack.ups.com/track?track=yes&trackNums=? Now we need an admin page that allows admins to define these links, else you're stuck with editing the database manually.

5. Everything else I probably don't even know to think about.

 

I have spoke with many of you folks before about various projects and found you all have unique insights on how to handle these types of issues. I hope you have time to comment on some of the things that should also be considered when undertaking writing a module. Maybe even perhaps there is a module that exist (i haven't found one) that could be expanded upon to acheive this.?

 

Many thanks for your time,

Don

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I am sure that there used to be a tracking module for older versions. It came in two parts. the main admin bit and then a further module depending on the carrier. I never used it, but it can be found here

 

http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/5535

 

also just noticed one for 2.3

 

http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/7864

 

These may give you a bit of a heads up.

 

Would love to see what you come up with


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@@14steve14

 

I saw the first one, and its crap-ton of module additions, which I believe is how the original developer invisioned it going, based on the info in the support forum posts.

 

I'll have to download the 2.3 version and give it a test drive. Looks like a good jumping off point. Little concerned about some of the functionality though as it likely will require api intergration and various developer keys to actually get data from shipping companies. Don't want to say to much about that untill I actually see it in action.

 

Thank you

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You might be overengineering things...

 

Why not use the inbuilt order_comments system and do a simple paste:

 

Your order has been shipped, please click http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/track?track=yes&trackNums=abc123

 

This means they log into your site, go to their order history, scroll down, click the link, and the new page opens.

 

That takes no extra code than what is already maintained in osCommerce.

 

 


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I have a comment toolbar . this contribution uses the language files to setup all kinds of predefined texts.

there is an option to have a dialog for e.g the tracking number, and then you get the full tracking url, provided you have done the setup correctly in the language files

 

I don't think tracking urls change that much to provide for an admin screen, I'm perfectly happy with editing the language files


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@@burt

 

This is what we do now, the tracking number goes to the comments section. I like the idea of proffessionalism that would come with tracking number(s) being associated with the order number like Amazon does.

 

@@bruyndoncx

That is a great idea! I'm not the one doing most of the comments but if I could pre-define them, I think it would be a fantastic alternative.Do you have a link to the one you use in 2.3.x and did you do any custom mods?

 

Thank you both for the comments.

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I used earlier version of this 2.3 version

http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/7775

 

my backend is pretty custom with a mix of 2.2 and 2.3 style code.


KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

I do not use the responsive bootstrap version since i coded my responsive version earlier, but i have bought every 28d of code package to support burts effort and keep this forum alive (albeit more like on life support).

So if you are still here ? What are you waiting for ?!

 

Find the most frequent unique errors to fix:

grep "PHP" php_error_log.txt | sed "s/^.* PHP/PHP/g" |grep "line" |sort | uniq -c | sort -r > counterrors.txt

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@bruyndoncx

 

Downloaded it, pretty straight forward and easy for me to add / modify myself. I'll see what the customer service department thinks of it on Monday, but to me it seems like a "I can't believe I didn't know about this add-on" add-on.

 

Thank you again,

Don

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