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Create searchable inventory database using wordpress

Posted on 2013-11-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I currently have a members only website built for a Cisco resellers group. They have a request for me and not sure how to approach it. They want:

Each member be able to upload their inventory to a searchable database. This would be done from a webpage and not the backend.

This inventory would be searchable for all members

Any ideas? Plugins? Manually creating a table in the database and coding the page myself? Any ideas and direction no matter how small would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:princeservice
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39631031
We would need a description of the inventory records, at least.  How many members in the group?  Have you thought about security?  How well do you know PHP and SQL?
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Author Comment

by:princeservice
ID: 39631066
Because I don't have too many details yet lets say that each inventoried item would consist of five fields. We are looking at 330 members. There is already security on the site. These pages would be located in the secure area. I know SQL good enough and PHP a little. Have more of a background with classic ASP.

As far as displaying data on a page or building a search function I am not too worried (If I was bypassing wordpress and just doing straight PHP/MySQL).  I am more concerned about users being able to upload products with a csv file, dealing with duplicates, validating information, etc. This is why I would much rather find a plugin. Another problem is members need to be able to upload a csv file without accessing the Wordpress backend. Can't seem to find that capability in a plugin.

I am also looking into Toolset/Views/Types but still running into the upload issue.
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Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 39632442
You're not going to find a plugin that does everything you describe above.  Parts of it, yes, but the whole request is sort of all over the place and no single plugin will work.

The two closest things I can think of would be FormidablePro to replicate a CRUD system or one of the better cart plugins that can do inventory management (WooCommerce probably).

Formidable can do a lot of what you ask, the one thing it can't do without effort is front-end CSV upload.  You would have to write some extra code to handle that part.

The cart idea would require backend access to manage the products and upload new ones and that probably is a deal breaker for you.  But otherwise, all other functions would be there.

Dupe checking would be an issue with either solution.

My gut feeling is to write your own system and just integrate it into WordPress.  That's probably the best the in the long run.
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LVL 110

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39633363
What Jason1178 said.  With a background in ASP, this book will get you up-to-speed quickly on PHP.
http://www.amazon.com/PHP-MySQL-Web-Development-Edition/dp/0321833899

How your community members would do their uploads is one of the important design questions.  Depending on their level of sophistication, you may have some "deep thinking" to do on that subject :-)
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