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Product Attributes from Features/Categories for VPASP - BYZ175

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Product Attributes from Features/Categories for VPASP



Product Attributes from Features/Categories for VPASP - BYZ175
Latest version:02/26-AUG-2014
From vendor:Big Yellow Zone
For Terms and Conditions, click here
Please do not purchase any BigYellowZone
products/services or request technical
support until you have read and agree with
the terms and conditions.
Price:£35.00
add to cart


Compatibility, Bundling, and Status Notes:
Compatible with VPASP V4.5 to V7.
Before installing, you must have installed:
BYZ038
BYZ036
BYZ025

This product includes:
BYZ038
BYZ036
BYZ025

Demos/Samples:
(click on a link below to see the corresponding demo/sample)
Define your Attributes This is where you define what your attributes are (eg "Color", "Size" etc).
Define your Attribute Sources This is where you define where the values for an attribute comes from (eg certain types of features, or categories under a certain highercategoryid etc).
Define your Attribute Destinations This is where you define where the values for an attribute is sent to (eg a matrix table cross-referencing the products with their attribute values, or a csv list in a products column etc).
Generate Attribute Values This is a process which goes through your attribute source reference data, and works out the list of attribute values relevant to each product, and then it puts the values into your chosen destinations.
Analyze/Display Attribute Values After generating the attribute values, this will give you a summary of the values that have been generated so that you can see at a glance the type of values (eg a list of colors) for each attribute that's been found across your products, and if your "attribute destination" for the attribute includes the matrix then it will also show you the count of products for each value.


Do you want to make your features searchable so that when someone searches on "red" then it shows them products that have "red" as an available color? Or do you want to do a similar thing for categories to help get your google feed showing relevant options/info?

This module is for when you need to get "hard to find/query/search/display" data, and you want to put it at a level and in a structure/format that's easier to deal with.

By using attributes, you can structure your queries/filters, and displays in a much easier to maintain way (especially if you're using BYZ116), as it avoids you having to create loads of duplicated data manually at different levels, but you also still have the flexibility/logic available that categories/features allow as well.

Examples:

1) Turning features into lists on products:
You might have several different feature numbers for different color permutations, eg on one product you might have a red or yellow feature, and on another product you might have a red, yellow, or green feature. It's hard to search for a given feature with the standard structure, so this addon would allow you to create matrix data that you can use an "exists" clause on, and it will also allow you to turn those features into a relevant list on a products column. For example your product which has an underlying feature of colors red, yellow, and green, could be automatically put onto the products.pother5 field with a value like red|yellow|green (to be put into a googlebase feed), or {red}{yellow}{green} (to allow keyword searches).

2) Using more than one source for the same kind of attributes:
You might have some categories which relate to colors, and you might also have some features that relate to colors, but you then want to get a distinct list of colors that are available for a given product, and make that list searchable and displayable. This addon allows you to define more than one source for a given attribute (eg color), and it will combine all those sources together and generate a distinct list of attribute values for the product that can then be put into the matrix and/or on a products column.

3) Searchable fields:
As features and categories are difficult to do keyword searches on, this addon will allow you to automatically find/stamp the relevant attribute values onto products columns so that you can add that to your xsearchfields configuration option. In this way you can then make feature values searchable, so that for example if someone searches for red then it'll return products that have any features on them that are red. If your list of values is too long to put into a products column, and if you're using BYZ116, then you could also use the matrix table and an exists clause to setup search options and filters.

4) Display:
You might want to display the summary of attributes on the products summary page, for example you might want to have this on your shopdisplayproducts.asp page:
Available in: red, yellow, green
You can use this addon to populate such a list in a products column, and then simply use that column in your template, eg:
$Available in: [pother5]

5) GoogleBase Feeds:
In your googlebase feed, you might want to display the list of colors in a googlebase format, such as:
red,yellow,green
You can use this addon to populate such a list in a products column.

6) Filters:
If you're using BYZ116, then you can use the matrix (or products columns that you're populating with lists via this addon) to have dynamic filters so that, for example, if someone is viewing products in a given category then you can display a list of colors that are available for the queried products as a "refine your search" filter.

7) Avoid Massive Category Trees:
If you use attributes rather than category trees, then having filters and searches are a lot more flexible and lead to a much better experience from the customer side.
For example, you might have a category tree like:
Stationery>Pens>Colors>Red
Stationery>Pens>Colors>Blue
Stationery>Pens>Colors>Green
Stationery>Pencils>Colors>Red
Stationery>Pencils>Colors>Blue
Stationery>Pencils>Colors>Green


But, you might also want people to see the colors in the top of the menu too so that they can see the color first, and then see what's available for that color, eg:

Stationery>Colors>Red>Pens
Stationery>Colors>Blue>Pens
Stationery>Colors>Green>Pens
Stationery>Colors>Red>Pencils
Stationery>Colors>Blue>Pencils
Stationery>Colors>Green>Pencils

Even with just 3 colors and 2 types of products (pens and pencils), you can start to see that the permutations for what customers might want to search/filter on become huge. So if you want people to be able to look for "pens/pencils", or "red/blue" at the top level, then you need to start using attributes rather than a category tree.

By using this addon, combined with BYZ116 filters/searches, you can list relevant attributes values on your left panel, and use them as a filtering mechanism which gives the customer the appearance of a conventional category tree but is a lot simpler. Using attributes instead of a conventional category tree can turn a category tree of 10,000 options into a simple list of 20 sub-options, split by attribute type (color, size etc)

In the example above, the corresponding attribute list used in a BYZ116 filter (the equivalent of a category tree) would look like:

Colors:
Red
Blue
Green

Stationery Items:
Pens
Pencils

As you can see, even with this very simple example of a handful of options/items, the category tree of 12 branches that's hard to read/scan has turned into 5 simple options that are easy to read/scan, and BYZ116 and this addon allow you to put the attributes in any order (eg you can put colors at the top, then items, or vice versa, and you can also specify the order that the values should appear in if you don't want them in alphabetical order.

When you also consider other options such as sizes, materials, manufacturer/brand etc, you can see that the potential category tree equivalent would be impossible to create as there are too many permutations if you wanted customers to be able to see "category>brand" as well as "brand>category" etc.

So, this addon is a way to help steer your site more towards "attributes" instead of just being forced to have a massive category tree, but even if you don't use attributes from the filter (eg BYZ116) aspect, it will still help your customers find things (and you display things) and to generate googlebase feed values, without you having to rewrite your system or manually creating loads of duplicate/extra data.


Technical/Developer Information:
Product Attributes are setup in 3 stages, all of this is done via the "Product Attributes" admin screens that come with this addon:

1) Create/Edit the attribute reference data (specification)
This is where you define:
a) What your attributes are (eg "Color", "Size" etc)
b) Where the values for that attribute come from (eg certain types of features, or categories under a certain highercategoryid etc).
c) Where the values for that attribute are sent to (eg a matrix table cross-referencing the products with their attribute values, or a csv list in a products column etc).

2) Generate Attribute Values
This is a process which goes through your attribute source reference data, and works out the list of attribute values relevant to each product, and then it puts the values into your chosen destinations.

3) Analyze/Display Attribute Values
After generating the attribute values, this will give you a summary of the values that have been generated so that you can see at a glance the type of values (eg a list of colors) for each attribute that's been found across your products, and if your "attribute destination" for the attribute includes the matrix then it will also show you the count of products for each value.


Terms and Conditions:
For terms, conditions, and licensing information for all BigYellowZone products/services, please click here.
Please do not purchase any BigYellowZone products/services or request technical support until you have read and agree with the terms and conditions.


Full Version History:
VerNo Version Date Release Notes
01 01-FEB-2012 Initial version - Big Yellow Zone Product Attributes from Features/Categories For VPASP
02 26-AUG-2014 Upgraded BYZ038 (from V15 to V29).
Upgraded BYZ036 (from V10 to V17).
Upgraded BYZ025 (from V06 to V08).
Fixed a bug which was erroneously deleting matrix data of previously-generated attribute types on generation.
Added extra logic to close and re-open the database during generation at relevant times to help avoid timeouts etc.
Changed to use BYZ038 functions where appropriate.
Added version checker to documentation files.
Please Note: You must be using V29 or later of BYZ038 before upgrading to V02 or later of BYZ175.
Please Note: You must be using V17 or later of BYZ036 before upgrading to V02 or later of BYZ175.
Please Note: You must be using V08 or later of BYZ025 before upgrading to V02 or later of BYZ175.
For full list of effected files, see the version history notes that come with the zip file.