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A better way to handle product attributes. 
 
manolodf
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I think this is a very important issue and needs to be revisited now that 1.0 is out.  I think a Tutorial or video of some sorts would help people tremendously, whether its paid or not. 

These attributes do scare some people away, but if they can understand and see how powerful the system can be, it can add great value to our community.

Some people dont care about inventory and just want different colors, show how to give them that (Furniture Example Above)
other people need a separate SKU for every Variant Product, show them how to do that (clothing, shoes)
Other product need configurable products that might not have a unique SKU (Custom PCs)
Others might need a way to easily add a product option and add a letter to the sku, R for Red, B for Blue etc in order to know what dog bed, in what size and what fabric.

From what I have read I think these are all workable options by Magento, the trick is knowing how to use them correctly for your particular situation, think future, and think organization from the beginning, which I think is what Magento has done very well.

BTW anyone else notice Magento gets picked up by the spell checker?

 
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MasterEmit
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I just want recommend to check also this post: http://www.magentocommerce.com/boards/viewthread/1022/ - its the same issue.

 
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Spaceout
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I finally got this installed and running and then I get to adding the attributes. OMG...In many situations it seems like a ridiculous amount of work adding in some cases hundreds or even thousands of “simple products” just to add a simple drop down list of options to the front end of the store. 

I can understand why it’s set up that way, but as it was said before, many people aren’t interested in inventory control. It would be nice if we could create and save a drop down list of options (attributes)...and then be able to apply that list to a product.  Done. Easy.  Am I missing something?

 
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ttwhy
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maybe a fast solution could be a “mass simple product generation”.

You just tell a range from X to Z and it creates all items at once. This would be the Hell for the Database but it could work for the most problems.

 
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Gidgidonihah
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hell for the database is generally not a good thing.

I have to say that from the sound of it, this would keep me from using it as well. I’ve been looking into moving my site away from oscommerce, and magento is one of the good choices. But this is a huge downfall.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t downloaded and tried it yet, but it sounds very disturbing.

 
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darki777
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I have the same Problem, i have masses of products with 6 and more size Attributes, 24 colors and more (separate logo-color and t-shirt-color), many manufacturers and more, this means that i have more than 10.000 product entrys (respect, i never seen a bigger database ^^).

My Request is:
a new checkbox like “show as editable field in the frontend product view” (in “Catalog --> Attributes --> Manage Attributes --> ‘my attribute’ --> properties --> ‘show as editable field in the frontend product view’").

As Example see this frontend output (the effect is similar to configurable products, but without to duplicate 100 times the same product):
http://wp1054544.wp087.webpack.hosteurope.de/private/test/magento-attributes_t-shirt.jpg

The Advantage:
Now we need not more than 1 product for all attribute values and combinations.

Greetings, darki

 
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talofo
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Using Magento 1.1.4, Can we have the following product scenario:

Having a FIX price from a Standard Configuration Product (ex: Computer), and made some bundle options NOT REQUIRED so that users can upgrade that options IF THEY WANT (i.e Graphic Cards), and IF NOT, take the Basic Configurated product (with the default Graphic Cards presented on the description).

Short:
Can we have a upgradable product with Magento?

Talofo

 
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JoshBelke
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latest project.
3,000 configurable items.
Required 15,000 simple items.

 
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MagKen
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Spaceout - 25 May 2008 12:12 PM

I finally got this installed and running and then I get to adding the attributes. OMG...In many situations it seems like a ridiculous amount of work adding in some cases hundreds or even thousands of “simple products” just to add a simple drop down list of options to the front end of the store. 

I can understand why it’s set up that way, but as it was said before, many people aren’t interested in inventory control. It would be nice if we could create and save a drop down list of options (attributes)...and then be able to apply that list to a product.  Done. Easy.  Am I missing something?

We would certainly need inventory control on this kind of feature as we ship physical products. Interspire has a simple way of adding attributes to products, maybe Magento can take some design cues from them/

 
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macguy
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I am going to have to bump this back up as well and put in my 2 cents.

I am building a site that sells tuxedos and I am running into a HUGE dilemma that I hope someone can help resolve.

The concept of the site is to sell a “complete tuxedo” for one price but the user has to build it by selecting the options on the screen.  I’ve already created and imported the thousands of sku’s for the simple products and then created the configurable product for all the tuxedo pieces (ie - tux jacket, shirt, pants, bow tie & cummerbund, etc). 

Here’s an example - the Men’s tux shirt is available in 24 various sizes (from XS to 5XL with 4 neck size options) and has 2 collar options (wingtip or laydown) and is available in 3 colors.  Then we also offer 14 different women’s sizes with the same collar and color options PLUS 3 children’s sizes with same collar and color options.

So, just to get the Tux Shirt to display on the page as it’s own product I needed to upload 217,728 line items in my csv file.

Here’s the math so you can see the break down:
24 * 2 * 3 * 14 * 2 * 3 * 3 * 2 * 3 = 217,728

And that was JUST to get the tux shirt to display as a configurable product.

Now here’s the kicker....

The tuxedo shirt is only ONE part of the COMPLETE tuxedo that we want to make available for purchase.

We want the user to also choose:
- Tux Jacket (14 size variables * 3 sleeve lengths * men’s * women’s * children’s * 2 colors)
- Tux Pants (13 size variables * gender * colors)
- Bow Tie & Cummerbund (fabric type & colors)
- Cuff links & studs (4 options)

If all we did was add ONE additional product in ONE size with 2 color options we would need an additional 217,728 sku’s in the database.  But since we have multiple products with multiple choices you can see we are talking about well over a million sku’s just to build one outfit.

It’s not so bad creating them in a spreadsheet and saving it as a CSV but importing them through Magento’s import screen is a VERY LONG process.

I’ve used XCart in the past and they have a nice way of allowing you to create options and assign a piece of a sku to that option.  So, when the user selects an option from the dropdown menu it dynamically builds the next piece of the sku to give you one master sku upon ordering.  There were many things about XCart that I didn’t like which is why I switched to Magento but perhaps that option could be considered for future releases of Magento.

OR, if there was a way to create a bundled product that uses a group of configurable products to create the bundle.  That would save me at least a week or two of data entry and importing right now.

 
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videohead
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I think this thread might be making a mountain out of a molehill.
If you are not interested in inventory control, you can simply turn off decrementing your product stock on sell.
If you are concerned about the difficulty of adding skus, I recommend creating your products in Excel and then simpliy uploading them. You can use an EAV worksheet to create your product matrix, with relevant attributes and then upload the CSV files.
It’s super simple to create new product rows in Excel, and a simple formula to create the skus in a meaningful way.
If you are manually entering your skus and products, then STOP. Use Excel or hire a halfway computer literate person to batch create in Excel or GoogleDocs.

Having used a variety of ecommerce tools, I will tell you straight out that SKU control of every product option is the best way to maintain your pricing and the advantages of allowing for customization for your customers. Try to do the same level of customization without SKU level control in OSCommerce, Virtuemart, Ubercart, or CubeCart and you will be pulling your hair out in a matter of weeks.

 
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videohead
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I feel like this post fundamentally misunderstands how the data needs to be structured in any resource system, I work with databases of all size and complexity, and in this regard I can say that Magento has a huge leg up over non-EAV systems.

To run a capable inventory-to-sale system, you must track each item as a separate SKU. No dummy SKUs or fake SKUs will help you out.

If you worked with Ubercart, Cube Cart, Xcart, ZenCart, OSCommerce, or Virtuemart you would have the same problem.

In this regard, Magento actually makes you life easier by allowing you to import using dataflow and CSV/spreadsheet.

Then the only tricky part is to figure out if you want configurable or grouped products, and build out the relationships accordingly - correlate your attributes with the products of those attributes.

If you follow best practices, and use human readable segmented SKUs then you can make this happen pretty easily using existing PHP scripts.

 
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dcolum23
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I know this thread is quite old, but I’m ready to jump out of a window.

I’m putting together a Web-to-print shop right now and there are literally thousands and thousands of variations. Example:

1 color, 500 cards + 20 or more add-on options
2 colors, 500 cards + 20 or more add-on options
...

1 color, 1000 cards + 20 or more add-on options
2 colors, 1000 cards + 20 or more add-on options
...

Are you kidding me? I mean, there might even be hundreds of thousands of variations…

@videohead, you mentioned CSV. I thought the exact same thing… that I could create my product variations once and then duplicate them for all other products. But there are so many variations, and so many columns, how the heck are you supposed to copy and paste (accurately) each set of variable products?

You said that you can run through “scenarios” with excel or some other program… HOW?!

Honestly, either I’m completely ignorant to how this actually works, or you would have to be clinically insane to take on this kind of a task in Magento.

 
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lake_tuna
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I did not read all of the posts, but it looks like you guys need to use “Custom Options.” Manage Products -> your item “CUSTOM-COMP” -> Custom Options. If you create a dropdown menu with all possible options, your customers will be able to select custom options you have specified and you can build or create this custom product without having to make CUSTOM-COMP-17LCD, CUSTOM-COMP-21LCD, CUSTOM-COMP-24LCD, etc.. you get the idea.

Do it this way, your invoice will list CUSTOM-COMP with option “whatever-customer-chose”, so you will be keeping inventory only on CUSTOM-COMP and not LCD size.

 
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kania
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Maybe my extension is of interest for you. It is a JavaScript that generates each combination which is possible with the option values selected. For instance, you sell your shirts in size S, M, L, XL and colors Blue, Red, Yellow and front-print yes/no, it will generate the 4*3*2 combinations with a SKU “PREFIX_SIZEVALUE_COLORVALUE_PRINTVALUE_POSTFIX”.

The extension DOES NOT generate all combinations in a batch, but one after another (each requiring a click). Nevertheless, this help a lot!!!

Take a look at http://magentoextensions.blogspot.com/

 
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