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Extra Product Fields

Source module: Extra Product Fields


  • Extra Product Fields allows you to create four different types of extra fields to use to contain data for products. These fields types will be referred to like this:
    1. Text Field: Data for the product is typed into the field, just like you would do for the Product Name or Model. Leave the field blank if it does not happen to apply to a product.
    2. Text Area Field: This is basically the same as the standard text field but allows multiple lines of text with HTML tags and is essentially unlimited in size (the MySQL limit is 65,535 characters, which is not likely to be exceeded) just like the Product Description. Due to the potential length of this type of field, this contribution will not allow you to display the contents of a Text Area Field in the product listing. Leave the field blank if it does not happen to apply to a product.
    3. Single Select List Field: One value can be chosen from a list of values, just like the Product Manufacturer. This list may be displayed as a pull down menu or as a list of radio buttons. Choose “Does Not Apply” if the field does not apply to a particular product.
    4. Multi-Select List Field: Multiple values may be selected from a list of values to apply to any given product. This list will be displayed as a series of check boxes and if none of the values apply to a product then you simply leave all values unchecked.

Creating a new Extra Product Field

  • Click insert and then enter the required fields.
  • Label: First is a list of all languages installed for your version of osCommerce with an entry for a field label and whether or not the field will be used for that language. The label should represent the data your expect to store in the field. For instance, a book store might want to create fields labeled for things such as Author, ISBN Number, or Genre. You may leave the label blank for any language that will not be active but you will not be allowed to enter a blank label for an active language. You are required to answer either yes or no to whether the field is active for each language. Inactive languages will not be displayed either in the catalog nor during product entry.
  • Field Is Visible In Catalog: controls whether or not product data for the field will be displayed in the catalog. If yes the field will also be visible in admin. If no then then next setting controls whether or not the field is visible during product entry. You can change this value at any time so you can hide a field for which data has been entered for products from the catalog without destroying the product data.
  • Show Field In Admin Side Even If Disabled For Catalog: controls whether or not data for the field can be entered and viewed during product entry if the field has been set to not visible in the catalog. New to version 2.2, this setting allows you to enter data for products while keeping that data hidden from customers using the catalog side of your web site. This allows you to have fields that store data for a product that is useful only to the store but not to the store's customers. It also makes is possible to keep a field hidden from the catalog until data for that field has been entered for all of the products in the catalog. If both this field and Visible In Catalog are set to NO then no product data entry for the field can take place. Remember that a field that is visible in the catalog is always visible in admin as well. You can change this value at any time without destroying previously entered product data.
  • Sort Order: controls the order in which the fields are displayed. If left blank the fields will be displayed in the order that they are created. The value for sort order can be a positive or negative integer. This value can be changed at any time.
  • Enable Advanced Search: controls whether or not the field will be displayed as an available entry on the advanced search catalog page. All fields created with this contribution will be searched for the Search Criteria whenever the search descriptions option is chosen but this enables users to search a specific field for a certain value. This value can be changed at any time.
  • Show Field in Product Listings: controls whether or not the value of the field with it's label is shown underneath the product name in the product lists generated by index.php and advanced_search_results.php. Setting this value to NO means that the field information will only be displayed when the user views the product details in the product_info.php page. You can change this value at any time.
  • Use as META Keyword: controls whether or not the value of the field is set in the contents of an automatically generated META Keyword tag in the product_info.php page. This is not visible to the user unless they read the page source but is seen and used by various search engines such as Google. This value can be changed at any time.
  • Maximum Number of Characters: is used only by Text Fields and sets how much text can be stored in the field by setting the size of the field created in the products_descriptions database file. The value is required for text fields and must be a number between 1 and 255. This contribution prevents more than this number of characters from being typed in to the field during product data entry. Version 2 now sets the width of the field to this size during product entry. This value can be changed later if needed. If reducing the size of the field you will be warned if there are any products with data for the field that is longer that the size you are trying to reduce it to. If you reduce the size anyway then any excess characters will be truncated and lost, hence the warning.
  • Enter Text Using a single line or a text area determines which type of text field you create in the database. If set to single line a VARCHAR type of field is created in the products description table of the database using the Maximum Number of Characters. If set to text area then a TEXT type field is created and the Maximum Number of Characters is ignored. Once you have created a text field you cannot change the type between single line and text area. This value will be ignored if you set Uses a List of Values to YES.
  • Uses a List of Values: determines whether data for the field is entered in a standard empty text field (if set to NO) or as a list of preset values (if set to YES). If a list of values is chosen then the Maximum Number of Characters is ignored as all Value List values are allowed a maximum length of 64 characters. Value List would be useful for stores selling products with an attribute that has a limited range of possible values. For instance, a store selling models could create a field for Scale using a drop down list of the different scale sizes of the models that they sell. This could make it easier for users to search on products since they don't have to guess how the data might be entered (was the scale entered as 1:43 or as 1/43?) but can simply choose what they want from a list.
Once this value for the new extra field is set it cannot be changed. A text field must remain a text field and a list field must stay a list field. If you set the wrong value for this question you will have to delete the field and create a new one.
  • User May Select Single or Multiple Value sets the type of list field. The values for products for the two different types of list fields are stored in a totally different format in the product_descriptions database file so once you set this type it cannot be changed. Single Select Lists store the product value as an integer which is simply a pointer to the actual value in the value list file. Multi-Select Lists store the product value in a text field as a series of pointers separated by a delimiter. How many pointers are stored depends entirely on how many values are selected for the product. If you set the wrong value for this question you will have to delete the field and create a new one.
  • Show Chain of Parent Values: This option must be set yes or no if you set the field to use a list of values. This applies only if just a single value can be selected from the list. Multi-Select Lists cannot have parent values. Much as categories can contain other categories, this contribution allows values to contain other values. For instance, if you created a field for product type and one of the values for that field was Movies then you could create values under Movies of VHS, DVD and BluRay. If a product then had the value set to DVD, with Show Chain enabled the value would display as Movies | DVD. Otherwise the value would display as just DVD. This value can be changed at any time.
  • Restrict Product Listings: option must also be set either yes or no if the field uses a value list. This allows users to restrict the results of a product listing in index.php. It operates similar to the way osCommerce works when you view a category containing products from multiple manufacturers, or a manufacturer with products in multiple categories. In this case though, all possible values of the field are listed with the initial default being All Values. When a value is chosen only those products with that value for the field or one of the values underneath that value will be shown. Unlike the osCommerce manufacturer/category filters the user can choose a value that matches no products. Lets use the example of the Movies used above in a category with several product types. If the user chose to restrict the product type field to Movies then all products set as any type of movie would be shown, whether VHS, DVD or BluRay. If the user chose the product type of DVD then only products with that same product type (if there are any) would be displayed. Multi-Select Lists cannot restrict the product listing. This value can be changed at any time.
  • Use In Advanced Quick Search Box determines whether or not a Single Select Value List will have a drop down menu appear for it in the Advanced Quick Search Box included with this contribution. This value can be changed at any time and requires that the field have Advanced Search enabled.
  • Values Are Selected Using sets which method a Single Select Value List uses for data entry, both in the admin side during product entry and on the advanced search page of the catalog. Long lists of values are probably better set to use a pull down menu. This value can be changed at any time so if you choose one method and later decide that the other would work better you are not stuck with the originally chosen method of entry.
  • Number Of Columns Of Values simply determines how many values are listed in each row during data entry when using radio buttons for single select value lists or when using a multi-select value list (which always uses check boxes for entry). Note that the actual number of columns shown can end up being less for a multi-select value list if you have linked it to another field. This value can be changed at any time so if you later determine that you need more or fewer columns of values you can make the adjustment.
  • Display List Field Values controls how the data for list fields that have values with the optional thumbnail pictures added in version 2 is displayed. If the value does not have an image it will, of course, display as text only. In the product listing the display is always text only to avoid clutter. This field controls the display on the product_info.php file and for data entry for Multi-Select Value Lists and Single Select Value Lists that are using radio buttons for entry. The Example Display in the bottom half of each box shows what the display would look like if the value has an associated image.
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v2.5/extra_product_fields.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/21 08:57 (external edit)
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