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PHP premade databases anyone know where i can find one that will fit my needs?

P: 10
Guys I'm new to web development and especially new to databases. I have no programing background but I am computer literate in other aspects. I'm trying to start a small online business dealing with online book sales. I'm looking possibly for a premade php database that will do these things.

1. users need to be able to post books and information to a website.
2 other users need to be able to see the posted books and get in contact with them.
3. I need the database to send emails directly from the website so that the sending party is unaware of the recievers email address. Of coarse untill the reciever reply's. Similar to craigslist but with the email built in.
4. I also need the database to send out emails to users under certain constraints. Sorta like the book expires after x days please respond to have your book reposted or somethign similar to that.

I would like to keep costs down as much as possible. And simplicity is definitely not overated since I'm going to be learning as I go.

Oh and is PHP the way to go in this instance?
Jul 27 '07 #1
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19 Replies


pbmods
Expert 5K+
P: 5,821
Heya, Wessidemike. Welcome [back] to TSDN!

PHP is definitely a good option for this project. I doubt you are going to find a good premade setup, although there are e-commerce applications out there.

Just don't use osCommerce. I have to work on a client project that uses osCommerce, and it is a pile of @#$%.

My advice would be to write the application yourself, or else get the capital to contract someone to do it for you, if timing is essential.

Pretty much everything except for processing credit card payments is pretty easy to build (if time-consuming), and since merchant banks make a goodly-sized living off of online sales, you can be assured that they will have an easy-to-implement solution when it comes time to getting payment working!

And of course, we are here to help, too :)

If you want to go ahead with building your own app, post back, and we'll help get you started.
Jul 27 '07 #2

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
As for the emails, craigslist actually creates temporary email addresses for each post. If you are doing it straight through your website though, PHP's mail() function and the much more advanced Swiftmailer will do the job nicely.
Jul 27 '07 #3

P: 10
What is a good source to get started with learning PHP? I'm trying to get this site up in the next month or so, an easy read would be perfect. Oh i'm on a mac if that makes a difference, but i also have access to a pc laptop.

Thanks,
Mike
Jul 27 '07 #4

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
Umm.... How long have you been programming in PHP? Even if you have experience in other languages. there's a good amount of PHP that you'll need to know to make an easily maintainable website, and anything e-commerce related should be handled when you're at an experienced point in your career.

Of course, you could always get a pre-made an e-commerce application, but you wouldn't gain much knowledge from it.
Jul 27 '07 #5

pbmods
Expert 5K+
P: 5,821
Heya, Mike.

Here's what I would recommend. Give yourself a week to plan it out. Focus on design and functionality. Don't worry about how to make it work; just design a system that your customers would want to use.

After the first week, take a look at what you have. Give yourself an honest estimate of how long you think it will take to build. Then double it. Post your ideas here if you want.

Odds are, you'll probably want to hire a pro to set it up, at least at first.

I think it's an admirable goal to want to learn how to program by putting together an e-commerce app, and if you had two or three months to get it done, I'd say, "Great! Post back if you get stuck!"

But if you need it in a month, I would strongly recommend pulling together the capital to have it built for you.
Jul 28 '07 #6

P: 10
anyone have an estimate for what it would cost to have this sort of application designed for me??
Jul 28 '07 #7

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
The fact that you are after anything e-commerce related will raise the price, regardless of who quotes you. I could easily get this finished in less than a month (and from your description, I could probably do it in less than two weeks flat), but I'm not exactly a cheap hire. If I wasn't currently in the middle of a project, I could probably do it for less, but having multiple projects at once requires a bit more... incentive. ;)

There are plenty of novice programmers here at the forums that would do it for much less than I would. Though you wouldn't exactly get the quality or maintainability that you are likely after, you would save money and as you learn the language, you could re-factor the code.
Jul 28 '07 #8

P: 10
I guess it is e-commerce but there will be no money transactions and there is no user signup. So i'm not TOO concerned about security. Users will only be posting their phone number, email address, and book. That's about it. Oh their last name will be the password to remove their posting from the website. Either that or they will click a link from an email that i send them to remove their post. Is this still fairly involved?

Too keep users email anonomous i wanted to built the email program into the website. That way they don't need to know the email address to email the book seller. They will find out the address if/when the seller reply's.
Jul 28 '07 #9

pbmods
Expert 5K+
P: 5,821
Heya, Mike.

Ok. Let's start from the beginning.

1. users need to be able to post books and information to a website.
What kind of format are you looking for? Is this like a posting similarly to the way Craigslist does it? Or is it more like a forum, where other Users can post responses to the original post?

2 other users need to be able to see the posted books and get in contact with them.
So you want to set up a community where people can contact one another if... they are reading the same books? If they have similar views on a particular book / subject?

I guess what I'm asking is, "Under what circumstances might a User on your site want to contact another User?"

3. I need the database to send emails directly from the website so that the sending party is unaware of the recievers email address. Of coarse untill the reciever reply's. Similar to craigslist but with the email built in.
The implementation of this can be easy or hard, depending on how you do it. We'll deal with this when we get to it. For now, just assume that it will work eventually.

4. I also need the database to send out emails to users under certain constraints. Sorta like the book expires after x days please respond to have your book reposted or somethign similar to that.
Another "we'll double-cross that bridge when we get to it".

Help me out; I'm trying to understand what the site does so I can recommend how to get started.
Jul 29 '07 #10

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
So i'm not TOO concerned about security. Users will only be posting their phone number, email address, and book. That's about it. Oh their last name will be the password to remove their posting from the website. Either that or they will click a link from an email that i send them to remove their post.
*Gasp* Talk about utter lack of privacy and user protection... I sincerely hope you rethink that in it's entirety.

What do you mean by they'd ONLY be posting their personally identifiable information?? What kind of an attitude is that? The user is key, my friend. You MUST protect them. It is your job (and can technically get you sued).
Jul 29 '07 #11

P: 10
*Gasp* Talk about utter lack of privacy and user protection... I sincerely hope you rethink that in it's entirety.

What do you mean by they'd ONLY be posting their personally identifiable information?? What kind of an attitude is that? The user is key, my friend. You MUST protect them. It is your job (and can technically get you sued).
Ok let me respond to this one first. There is no user signup I don't need/want the users information. The website is, without giving my idea away an online classifieds ad exclusively for books. The information i will request of my users is their first and last name, phone number, email address, book title. The last name will not be posted on the website it will be used solely by the poster to remove his post. (either this or a link will be sent in an email to remove the post.) So the user can pick whether they want to be contacted by phone or by email or by both. You can get more information about a person by looking in the yellow pages. That is why I'm not TOO concerned about security. The users are not suplying important information. I do want the email addresses of the posters to be hidden. That's why i want the email program to be built into the website, unless someone can think of an easier more cost effective way. For example if I post a book and you want to buy my book you email me. You don't know what my email address is until i respond back to you. Because the email address will be masked by the built in email program.
Jul 29 '07 #12

P: 10
Heya, Mike.

What kind of format are you looking for? Is this like a posting similarly to the way Craigslist does it? Or is it more like a forum, where other Users can post responses to the original post?
Yes its an online classified like craigslist. I would like the information to be displayed in a form similar to the Itunes look. Where you have user, book, price presented similar to how the songs are presented , artist, song, album etc. I also want them to be able to click the (i guess it's called a reorder button) where it changes order from a-z to be z-a or low price to high price and vice versa at the users discretion.

So you want to set up a community where people can contact one another if... they are reading the same books? If they have similar views on a particular book / subject?

I guess what I'm asking is, "Under what circumstances might a User on your site want to contact another User?"
user A posts a book to the website to sell. user B searches the website for the book he needs. He sees that user A has posted the book that he needs/wants. user B then emails or calls user A to arrange a pickup. There is no money transaction over the website users arrange that themselves. And i do not charge them to use the website it's 100% free.

thanks for all your help so far, I really appreciate it.
Jul 29 '07 #13

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
Ok let me respond to this one first. There is no user signup I don't need/want the users information. The website is, without giving my idea away an online classifieds ad exclusively for books. The information i will request of my users is their first and last name, phone number, email address, book title. The last name will not be posted on the website it will be used solely by the poster to remove his post. (either this or a link will be sent in an email to remove the post.) So the user can pick whether they want to be contacted by phone or by email or by both. You can get more information about a person by looking in the yellow pages. That is why I'm not TOO concerned about security. The users are not suplying important information. I do want the email addresses of the posters to be hidden. That's why i want the email program to be built into the website, unless someone can think of an easier more cost effective way. For example if I post a book and you want to buy my book you email me. You don't know what my email address is until i respond back to you. Because the email address will be masked by the built in email program.
Okay then, that's understandable. I still don't understand why you would use their last name as a password rather than allowing them to create their own password. This would also save you the security risk of saving their "password" in plain-text.
Jul 30 '07 #14

P: 10
I found this link while searching for premade stuff... I know what i want the website to do, i just don't konw what i need to get it to do it.

http://www.fileflash.com/download/25478/

Does this sound like something i could use to write the code for me?
Jul 30 '07 #15

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
Does this sound like something i could use to write the code for me?
Write the code for you??

You disgust me. :-p

It doesn't look like it'd do much more the create a phpMyAdmin interface with limited privileges. If you're curious, you should try it out.
Jul 30 '07 #16

P: 10
Write the code for you??

You disgust me. :-p
Hey i totally respect you guys for being able to write code. I love being able to do things myself but to get this website off the ground in minimum time there is only so much I can do. I have built the website in 1 month with absolutely no previous web design knowledge using dreamweaver and lynda.com's guides. I'm proud of my self for that. I think PHP is a little beyond my grasp to master in a short period. Well that and i can't find a class to help me learn it.

It doesn't look like it'd do much more the create a phpMyAdmin interface with limited privileges. If you're curious, you should try it out.
See you already lost me. I'm guessing admin interface lets me setup the database with minimal features. But i don't know what features i will need nor what features it supplies. Most of these programs require me to purchase them. That can be a very expensive trial if i dont' know whether it can fulfill my needs.

I have no database experience so what you are describing might as well be in russian cause I gots no clue.
Jul 30 '07 #17

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
Does your website host have phpMyAdmin, or do you handle your databases through queries on your own? Your lack of experience (no offense) would suggest the former.

I'm suggesting that the application you are referring to would essentially recreate phpMyAdmin, which is just a database management tool. It would likely either leave the users with too much access, too little access, or complicated methods to add things.

Frankly, it wouldn't look like much of a website.
Jul 30 '07 #18

P: 10
Does your website host have phpMyAdmin, or do you handle your databases through queries on your own? Your lack of experience (no offense) would suggest the former.

I'm suggesting that the application you are referring to would essentially recreate phpMyAdmin, which is just a database management tool. It would likely either leave the users with too much access, too little access, or complicated methods to add things.

Frankly, it wouldn't look like much of a website.

My website is not on a server yet so i have no idea. I think I need to just shell out the cash and pay someone to impliment the database. Oh did I mention this is for a non-profit organization for a great cause. Anyone want to throw out a little charity work or do this for a reduced price. I'll explain how it's for a good cause if someone wants to help out. But as i said earlier I don't want to give my idea away to a board of highly skilled developers.
Jul 30 '07 #19

kovik
Expert 100+
P: 1,044
My website is not on a server yet so i have no idea. I think I need to just shell out the cash and pay someone to impliment the database. Oh did I mention this is for a non-profit organization for a great cause. Anyone want to throw out a little charity work or do this for a reduced price. I'll explain how it's for a good cause if someone wants to help out. But as i said earlier I don't want to give my idea away to a board of highly skilled developers.
... Fine, fine. I'm always willing to help non-profit services, but you will first need to prove to me that it is non-profit (and will remain that way for AT LEAST a year), and I can quote you a very reduced price. Don't take my generosity for granted though... I'm not looking to be harassed during the development process. I will inform you of advances, obstacles, and keep you a part of the testing process to receive your opinion on each of the services, but I do not wish to hear of any deadlines or third parties that I must discuss my progress with. I work fast, but I work in a relaxed environment which allows me to do so.

Send me a private message with either an MSN nickname, a AIM screenname, a Yahoo messenger name, or if you have none of those, an e-mail address, and then we can work something out. Depending on how sincere I feel you are, I may even throw in a nice design. We'll see. ;)
Jul 30 '07 #20

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