Products Login

Contents

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Overview
  3. Combination Products
  4. Kitted Products
  5. Product Search Administration Centre Interface
  6. Product Editor Administration Centre Interface
  7. Dependent Configurations
  8. Recommendations

This document describes what products are within the TOTECS platform. As well as how they are created, modified, handled, and administered for each project on the TOTECS platform.

Prerequisites

Please ensure that you have read and understand the following topic links before reading on.

Overview

A product within the TOTECS platform describes a physical, or non-physical object that can be looked at, as well as be sold to another person, or organisation. Each project on the TOTECS platform can have any number of products created within it. Each product has a number of fields that can describe it, these are:

Data Field Description
Product Type:

A product can be one of 3 types:

  • ACCOUNTING - The product was imported from an external business system.
  • WEB - The product was created within the TOTECS project.
  • COMBINATION - The product is the parent product of child products that are linked to it through the use product combinations feature. Combination products cannot be added to basket, only their children products can be.
Product ID: Unique indentifier assigned to the product within the project.
Product Code: Code of the product. The code must also be unique to each product.
SEO Code: Search Engine Optimised code that can be embedded into web page URL's. It is highly recommended that the SEO Code be unique for each product.
Product Key: Identifier that links a product to an external business system. It is highly recommended that the key be unique otherwise only one of the products in the project with the same key will be updated from external systems when Products data imports run.
Name: Name to describe the product.
Barcode: Barcode number that is associated to the product for scanning,
Inner Barcode: Secondary barcode number associated with the product.
Brand: Brand of the product.
Description 1: First description field that is used to describe the details of the product.
Description 2: Second description field that is used to describe the details of the product.
Description 3: Third description field that is used to describe the details of the product.
Description 4: Fourth description field that is used to describe the details of the product.
Supplier: Person or company that the product was obtained from.
Warehouse: Name of the physical location where the product is stored. This field is depricated in favour of the Locations data structure that allows a product to be assigned to multiple locations.
Meta Title: Title of the product that will be placed into the meta title field hidden within a web page for search engine optimisation purposes.
Meta Description: Description of the product that will be placed into the meta description field hidden within a web page for search engine optimisation purposes.
Meta Keywords: Keywords of the product that will be placed into the meta keywords field hidden within a web page for search engine optimisation purposes.
Width: Measurement to denote the width of a physical product. It is highly recommended to set a number in the field that is the same unit of measure for all products. If this is not done then volume calculations on orders will be inaccurate.
Depth: Measurement to denote the depth of a physical product. It is highly recommended to set a number in the field that is the same unit of measure for all products. If this is not done then volume calculations on orders will be inaccurate.
Height: Measurement to denote the height of a physical product. It is highly recommended to set a number in the field that is the same unit of measure for all products. If this is not done then volume calculations in orders will be inaccurate.
Weight: Measurement to denote the weight of a physical product. It is highly recommended to set a number in the field that is the same unit of measure for all products. If this is not done then overall weight calculations in orders will be inaccurate.
Units Per Pack: Quantity of units that makes up a pack for the product. Products sold in packs will be have the pack quantity multipled by the ordered quantity to set the final unit quantity in orders.
Class: Denotes the class of product. This field can be used to write surcharge rules, or inventory permissions that apply to match products that contain the same class.
Tax Code: Indentifier of the kind of tax that is applicable to this product when a user buys it. The taxcode dictates the percentage of tax applied when it is purchased.
Is Inclusive Of Tax: If set to Yes, then all the pricing set against the the product is inclusive of the tax amount based on the assigned taxcode's tax rate.
Stock Quantity of stock available to be ordered.
Stock None Threshold: The amount of stock that determines if a stock level indicator displays advising that the product is out of stock. If the stock amount is under this level then it will be marked as out stock.
Stock Low Threshold: The amount of stock that determines if a stock level indicator displays advising that the product has a low amount of stock left. If the stock amount is under this level then it will be marked with the Stock Low Level.
Is Active: If set to Yes then the product is available to be seen by users, and able to be purchased.
Is Hidden: If set to Yes then the product is unable to be seen by users, or purchased. This setting is typically used if the product is to remain active in the project based on being imported, but needs to be hidden from users.
Is Kitted: If set to Yes then the product represents a kit containing a number of assigned component products that are bundled together when ordered.
Kitted Products Set Price: If the Is Kitted field is set to Yes and this setting is set to Yes, then the price of the product is determined by the sum of all the component product's prices.
Use Kit Stock Calculation: If the Is Kitted field is set to Yes and this setting is set to Yes, then the amount of stock available for the product is determined by the sum of all the component product's stock amounts. If any one of the component product's are out of stock, then the product's stock amount will be also set to none.

Additionally products can have a number of assets associated to them these are:

  • Product Images
  • Product Attachments
  • Product Groups
  • Related Products
  • Product Attributes
  • Product Combinations
  • Flags
  • Alternate Codes
  • Locations
  • Price Level Prices
  • Price Level Quantity Prices
  • Customer Account Prices
  • Product Review Profiles
  • Make/Models

Click on the links below to find out more information about each of these.

Combination Products

When the product's type is set to combination, it denotes that the product has a number of other products assigned to it through the use of the Product Combinations feature. This means that if a user views a combination product, a number of fields will be displayed that allow the user to fine tune the kind of product they are looking for. An example of this is if a t-shirt product is being sold, then when a user views the details of the t-shirt, there could be options on the size of the t-shirt that fits the user. So a drop-down with the options of Small, Medium, or Large could display. For each size a different product can be asociated to the option. That means if the user then chooses the small size and adds the product to basket, they won't be adding the combination product to basket, but instead the product associated with the small size.

Multiple dimensions of fields can be set up. For instance a second field called Colour could be created, and a third field called Style could also be created. This would allow the user to choose a size, colour, and style when they viewed the combination product. For this to work a child product would need to be assigned to a combination of the size, colour and size options.

So for example one child product may be assigned when the size is small, colour is green, and style is hipster, then a different child product would be assigned when the size is small, colour is green, but the style is conservative. In this example if there were 3 options for the size field, 3 options for the colour field, and 3 options for the style field, then the total unique combination of options would be 27. Which means a total of 27 child products would need to be assigned to the parent product to cover all the possible ways that a person could tailor buying a t-shirt product. Not all combinations of options need to have a product assigned, so for example if no child product was assigned when the size is small, colour is blue, ans style is conversative, then the user would be notified that no product exists when that combination of options is selected.

Combinations are very useful to cut down the number of products that appear under categories, or in product searches, since these listings can be customised so that none of the child products display, instead only the parent combination products.

The fields that are available to a combination product are determined by the product being assigned to a Combination Profile. Its the profile that defines the fields, and their value options. This allows multiple combination products to use the same profile, and can cut down on the amount of time setting up the fields. For example the t-shirt product, jumper product, and singlet product could all be assigned to the combination profile that sets the same fields and values for each.

Kitted Products

When a product's "Is Kitted" field is set to Yes, it denotes that the product is the parent product of a kit. A kit consists of a number of products that are bundled together when the product is delivered. Any number of children products can be assigned to the kit, and a quantity is set for each product that says how many of it are included in the kit. Product kits allow products to be sold together, which can be very handy for buyers.

When users view the details of a kitted product, they can see all the products that are included in the kit and the quantities of each child product. The price of  the kitted product can be based on the sum of all the component product prices, or it can be based on only price directly set for the kitted product. The same applies for the stock quantity shown against the kitted product, it can be based on the sum of the available child produt stock, or based on the kitted product's own stock quantity.

Product Search Administration Centre Interface

Within the Administration Centre, under the Inventory menu, a menu item labelled "Product Search" exists that directs an administrator user to the Product Search interface. This interface allows administrator users to search for existing products within a TOTECS project. Additionally it allows administrator users to export data of the found products to a CSV spreadsheet file.

Simple Search

Within the Product Search administration centre interface a user can choose to find products using the Simple Search Form. To do so these steps need to occur:

  1. Navigate to the Product Search Administration Centre interface.
  2. Under the Simple Search form select from the drop down the field to search products on.
  3. In the text box next to the drop down enter the value to search for products by.
  4. Click the Find button.

The search table will list any products that match the Simple Search Form's search inputs. Note that the product search will find products that only partially match the search term given.

Advance Search

Within the Product Search administration centre interface a user can choose to find products using the Advance Search form. The advance search allows users to find products based on predefined search rules. For example one rule allows products to be found that are marked as Active and Visible.

To use the Advance Search follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Product Search Administration Centre interface.
  2. Under the Advance Search for select an option from the Search Category.
  3. For the Search Rule select a rule to search with.
  4. Enter any values required for the Value1 and Value2 search fields (if applicable for the search rule). View the Final Search Rule to see how the products will be searched.
  5. Click the Find button.

The search table will list any products that match the Advance Search Form's search inputs. For specifying dates in the value fields please use the date format, YYYY-MM-DD hh:mm:ss. An example would be 2016-05-30 17:55:33.

Product Export

Within the Product Search Administration Centre interface there is the ability to export product data, based on the products that were found. This allows administrator users to download product data into a CSV (Comma Separated Value) file that can be viewed within a spreadsheet application.

To export product data follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Product Search Administration Centre interface.
  2. Perform a simple of advance search to load products into the search table.
  3. Click on the Export button.
  4. In the Export Products dialog select the product data fields that are to be exported.
  5. For the drop down labelled Export Product Records, choose the range of product records that are to be exported. A maximum of 5000 product records can be exported at once.
  6. Click the Export button.

The web browser will then downloaded the export product CSV file, and may ask you where you wish to save the file on your computer.

Note that the columns names in the CSV are named in a way that allows the same CSV file to be imported back into the project using the Products Text File Data Import, which is accessible from the Data menu, in the Data Imports interface. This allows administrators to export product data to a spreadsheet application where changes can be made to the data, then allows the administrator to apply those changes back into the project using the Products text file data import.

Product Editor Administration Centre Interface

Within the Administration Centre, under the Inventory menu, a menu item labelled "Product Editor" exists that directs an administrator user to the Product Editor interface. This interface allows administrator users to view the details of product, create new products, modify data of existing products, delete existing products, and copy data between products.

Creating A New Product

There are three ways that a product can be created within a TOTECS project, these are using the Product Text File Data Import, the Product Connector Data Import, or using the Product Editor. This section covers creating a product using the Product Editor.

For an administrator to create a product in the Product Editor interface the following steps need to occur:

  1. Navigate to the Product Editor administration centre interface.
  2. Click on the New Product button.
  3. For the Product Type, set it to either Web Product, or Combination Product.
  4. For the Product Code field, set a unique code that no other products in the project have already been set.
  5. Enter product data into all of the product fields.
  6. Under the Pricing tab enter prices for the product for each of price levels set up in the project.
  7. Click on the Save Product button.

The product will then be created and the Product Editor will reload with the new product's details.

Modifying An Existing Product

There are 3 ways that a product can be modified within a TOTECS project, these are using the Product Text File Data Import, the Product Connector Data Import, or using the Product Editor. This section covers modifying a product using the Product Editor.

For an administrator to create a product in the Product Editor interface the following steps need to occur:

  1. Navigate to the Product Editor administration centre interface.
  2. In the search type drop down at the top of the editor choose the field to find a product by (the search type drop down is automatically set to Product Code when the interface first loads).
  3. In the text box next to the search type drop down enter the search term used to find the product by. As you type an auto-complete drop down will appear below the text box that allows you to choose from products that have been found. Choose a product once you have found the one you wish to modify.
  4. After the product's details have loaded update the pieces of the data in the form that you wish to modify..
  5. Click on the Save Product button.

The new data set for the existing product will then be saved to the project.

Note: If you update the details of product that has its Product Type set to Accounting, then these details may be altered if a Products Connector Data Import is run. The data that will be updated for existing products is dependent on the configurations set within the Connector application's adaptor that is linked to the TOTECS project.

Deleting A Product

There is only one way to delete a product within a TOTECS project at that is done through the Product Editor interface.

For an administrator to create a product in the Product Editor interface the following steps need to occur:

  1. Navigate to the Product Editor administration centre interface.
  2. In the search type drop down at the top of the editor choose the field to find a product by (the search type drop down is automatically set to Product Code when the interface first loads).
  3. In the text box next to the search type drop down enter the search term used to find the product by. As you type an auto-complete drop down will appear below the text box that allows you to choose from products that have been found. Choose a product once you have found the one you wish to modify.
  4. After the product's details have loaded click on the Delete Product button.
  5. Click on the OK button when the confirmation dialog displays.

The product will then be removed from the TOTECS project.

Note: If the product was previously imported through the Products Connector Data Import, then the next time it runs it may create the product in the project again. To ensure that this does not happen make sure that the product is marked not to be enabled for the web within the business system linked to the Connector application. Also make sure that the Connector application has its adaptor configured so that it checks in flags that denote that a product is web enabled or not. Another option is delete from the product from the business system as well.

Copying Data Between Products

Within the Product Editor it is possible to copy different pieces of data from one product to another. To do so follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Product Editor administration centre interface.
  2. In the search type drop down at the top of the editor choose the field to find a product by (the search type drop down is automatically set to Product Code when the interface first loads).
  3. In the text box next to the search type drop down enter the search term used to find the product by. As you type an auto-complete drop down will appear below the text box that allows you to choose from products that have been found. Choose a product once you have found the one you wish to copy the data from.
  4. After the product's details have loaded click on the Copy Product button.
  5. In the Copy Product dialog in the To Product Code field enter the product code for where the data of the product will be copied to.
  6. In the Specific details and Shared Details drop down, choose the pieces of data that are to be copied from one product to the other.
  7. Click on the Copy button to copy the data and save it.

Note: If you copy the data of a product that has its Product Type set to Accounting, then the data may be altered if a Products Connector Data Import is run. The data that will be updated for existing products is dependent on the configurations set within the Connector application's adaptor that is linked to the TOTECS project.

Dependent Configurations

  • For administrator users to be able to see either the Product Search or Product Editor Administration Centre interfaces, the user must be assigned to a Admin Permission Role with the "Inventory" permission set to Allow.
  • For administrator users to have the ability to modify, or delete products from within the Product Editor Administration Centre interface, the user must be assigned to a Admin Permission Role with the "Inventory Modify" permission set to Allow.
  • For administrator users to have the ability to see the Advance Search Form within the Product Search Administration Centre interface, the Advanced Search Feature must be activated for the project, and the administrator user user must be assigned to a Admin Permission Role with the "Advanced Search for Products" permission set to Allow.
  • For administrator users to have the ability to see the Export button, and export product data within the Product Search Administration Centre interface, the Product Export Feature must be activated for the project, and the administrator user user must be assigned to a Admin Permission Role with the "Export Product" permission set to Allow.

Recommendations

  • Configure a TOTECS project to integrate to an external Business system via the Connector software to allow products to be created, modified, and de-activated from within the business system. This can cut down the double data entry for setting up products and its associated data.
  • By configuring a Product data export for the adaptor in the Connector software, you can choose which product fields are updated when Products Connector Data Imports are run. This allows specific fields from the integrated business system to be pulled into the project, and allows other product field data to be set up within the Product Editor.
  • Use Product Combinations to reduce the amount of similar products that are displayed within product searches and in product categories.
  • Set the SEO Code and meta fields of each product to allow search engine optimised information to be found when a product's details are being displayed on a public content managed web page that contains a Product Details area.