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Last post May 24, 2012 08:24 PM by ronneseth
May 23, 2012 12:02 AM|LINK
I am being asked to develop an e-commerce site for the sale of auto parts. This is a big task for me and I'm looking for an answer as to what the main obstacles I would need to overcome. The part I'm most concerned with at this point is the database. If
you take a look at most auto parts, they usually have a few drop down lists with year/make/model and what not.
I'm hoping to use MVC since I've been using it lately and really like it but I've only developed using Code First. I'm not too sure if this way is going to work with what I need though.
Does anyone have any experience in auto parts e-commerce in any technology and if so, was the database of cars purchased or designed and entered by you or a team or whatever have you. Looking for some pointers and appreciate all feedback.
May 23, 2012 08:05 AM|LINK
I know nothing about ASP or coding in general. But what I can tell you is that the most difficult part is the spare parts catalogue and the relationship between spare parts and vehicles to which they apply.
Normally it will would follow a scheme:
parts > connection attributes > vehicles
Its a triple relationship.
In our catalogue, we have +1 billion possible REAL combinations.
You will probably find out that in faceted navigation with dynamic fields your app can easily crash due to the size of the thing.
Thats the reason why people tend to simplify selection routes by fixing them.
Other, more adventurous, explore dynamic schemes using sharding or newish non-relational dbs.
It also depends on how visible and flexible you want your catalogue to be.
May 23, 2012 09:42 PM|LINK
What do you mean by "spare" parts? Don't seem to get too many responses in these ASP.NET forums compared to stackoverflow, but they're pretty strict over there as to what your questions involves. However, I do appreciate your comment. Unfortunately, it tells
me it's more complex than I had already expected. The most frustrating part is that the client thinks you just go to "one" of their many suppliers and just copy/paste the part images and details and pop it right into their new site with their markup prices.
Edit: Now I just realized my post was moved to "Free For All", no wonder there's no replies. What a jip. Also, whoever coded this site needs to rethink the damn footer because I can't even see the Preview/Post/Cancel buttons, just got the tip of them and
had to inspect the elements to find out which freakin' button I had to click to post.
May 24, 2012 08:24 PM|LINK
I have a lot of experience developing auto parts e-commerce sites, especially for OEM/factory parts. You are right to be worried about the database because you want the database to fit a lot of use cases, such as:
Straight part number searches
Browse for vehicle / parts that fit together
Free form search
Related parts (if you buy brake fluid, maybe the customer is interested in brake pads as well.
So I would start with the use cases you need on the front end and develop the database from there. I spent months optimizing the database from there, and eventually reduced the load on the database by 50 % and the average query time when down 50 % as well.