ExStock
Extended Product Description

ExStock is a DLL that works in conjunction with the base Advanced Exchequer stock module. It provides a number of additional fields to primarily be used by the
Ex-Commerce: Ocean web integration provided by Exchequer Dynamics.

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ExStock Homepage

Ex-Commerce: Ocean

When used with ExFusion in a typical Ex-Commerce integration, ExStock can allow for near real-time upload of a much larger number of fields than that of an integration using only Advanced Exchequer Stock fields.

ExStock contains a large number of fields to allow for greater control over stock inside of  Advanced Exchequer for use on the web. This includes fields such as the Include on Web field which controls which stock items are uploaded to the e-commerce system via ExFusion.

It also allows the ability to copy and use descriptions already applied to a Stock Record in Advanced Exchequer, and furthermore add more data than allowed by the limitations of the Advanced Exchequer Stock description line field length.

This data can then be used to upload, edit and view the description information for each stock item that is uploaded to the e-commerce site as it is displayed, or used as a template to create some HTML in the CMS HTML Editor.

Some other fields of importance give the option of setting whether the field is displayed for trade or retail, charge delivery and also give SEO Meta Keywords and Titles.

Configurable Products

Configurable products are a part of ExStock that are made to be very similar to the configurable products from Magento. A configurable product is a product that has multiple options when being purchased on a website, for example, if you have a shirt with multiple colours and sizes that you select before adding the product to your basket then that is a configurable product.

This is meant to be more intuitive for the customer, so when they go to purchase an item they do not have to go through every configuration of the product to find the one that they want.

In Advanced Exchequer all of the possible configurations exist as individual stock items in the stock tree however a configurable product typically requires some form of parent product to act as a basis for the configuration however Advanced Exchequer currently cannot do this therefore ExStock uses a system to allow for easier setup and configuration of these products.

How it works in Advanced Exchequer

In Advanced Exchequer, the base product needs to have its own stock group entry to represent the ‘master product’.

Then any configuration that is created needs to be created under that ‘master group’.

The stock codes under the base product will comprise of the different configurations present for that product.

When this record is opened in ExStock it will then be marked as a parent product. This means that an extra external program can be opened from the ExStock DLL for this product.

The external program is the configurable product’s interface; it runs outside of Advanced Exchequer in order to save on the resources used, thus increasing speed and performance.

How it works in the Configurable Products Interface

In the configurable product’s interface, there are three main areas used for setting up the configurable products, the first is for configuring the parent product for the configurations, the second is for creating attributes and the last is for assigning attributes to the parent product and then applying the configuration products to the resulting combinations of attribute options.

The parent product for a configurable product doesn’t exist in Advanced Exchequer, and therefore doesn’t have a price or stock code. This fake product is given a pseudo stock code for internal referencing, a list of the stock groups in the Advanced Exchequer stock tree that contains its children and the product information for the configurable product that would appear on the website. All the additional fields for a stock item available through ExStock are also available for the parent product.

The second area is for creating attributes, and the list of attribute options underneath them. Each attribute contains a number of options that the product using this attribute could be. Attributes are an important component of configurable products as it is what makes the product configurable. The configuration occurs when the customer in Ex-Commerce changes the attribute for the product to use a different option provided in the attribute options list.

The last area is for combining attributes with the parent product and assigning actual products in Advanced Exchequer to the parent. Up to 5 attributes can be selected and assigned to a parent product, each option under the chosen attributes are combined with each other option in the lists of other chosen attributes to populate a grid of all the different combinations of attribute options. For each combination, a stock record in Advanced Exchequer can be assigned to represent this configuration of the resultant configurable product.

For example, a store is selling a brick as a configurable product, that can be a number of different colours:

Then the brick itself would be the parent product. ‘Colour’ would be the attribute. Each colour would be an attribute option. Each coloured brick is then a product in Advanced Exchequer assigned to the appropriate attribute option under the parent product. This means that as the customer on the website changes the colour attribute, they are shown the price and image for the product from Advanced Exchequer that represents that colour.