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Car models - scaled collectible models

06.11.2013 on 15:17 • edited 08.01.2014 on 19:40, rev. 3 • no comments tagged - cars, models, site
Project screenshot
Project screenshot
Project screenshot
Project screenshot

About Carmodels

A relative of a friend held a small outlet that dealt in scaled car models. He utilized some older ad-hoc accounting program that had been coded long time ago and had limited functionality, but was sufficient for the business. The man also had a Web 1.0-style site that acted as a simple viewable catalogue online. Unfortunately the man who had coded the software disappeared long ago, so there was no one to bring it up-to-date, and the old site could be updated only via that program. The man realized that he could raise his sales by at least allowing people to place orders for his merchandise online, so he decided to order a brand new site in the format of a mini-shop.

Strangely, after the site was complete but for some minor issues and was paid for, the client disappeared for some time, and after contacting him later stated that he remembered about it, but had switched to some other things to do.

Features

There were three requirements for the site. Firstly, the site should provide a way to place an order for the products. Secondly, the site should support some basic accounting capabilities, eg: proper inventory tracking, restocking, invoicing the customers. Lastly, the site should be inexpensive. Therefore the end product possessed the following:

  • A searchable database of all the merchandise that could be updated based on the export data from the previous site;
  • A shopping cart that worked without registration (but, sadly, required one before placing the order);
  • Per-store tracking of the inventory for implementing separate stocks;
  • Stock amounts tracking with the history of all changes to the amounts to eliminate any possible errors in the final amounts;
  • An invoice generator for the orders placed (TORG-12 format);
  • News block / blog, static pages with the appropriate editors.

Responsibilities

Project management plus the full stack, except design and partially markup. The latter that was outsourced to a random freelancer whose works seemed okay for the client.

Technical

  • The shopping cart is AJAX-powered to eliminate page reloads and simplify the order composition, as are several elements in the back-end;
  • The restocking option from the backend is implemented as an alternative order placed by the shop;
  • The stock tracking system on this site is somewhat overcomplicated to eliminate possible problems:
    • Goods placed into the cart are automatically reserved for that order, so some merchandise can disappear from the catalogue because the product becomes reserved.
    • Before finalizing the order there's another stock check, so in case of competing orders the "slower" one will be altered, and the user will be notified of that and the reason.