Leveraging the Gift Wrap feature for optional upcharges to a product

by Joe Payne 23. April 2015 09:03

Just goes to show, you still can teach an old dog new tricks.

A client needed a way to add an Engraving choice to the product page.   Normally this isn’t an issue, just use the product variant feature.

But in this case, the engraving choice must be optional.   And it has to charge an amount.  And it needs to accept some text for the actual engraved words.

So after a little digging, I settled on a little-used feature in AbleCommerce known as Gift Wrap.    Gift Wrap is a way to associate a secondary charge to any product.   The basket page and the checkout pages automatically know how to handle Gift Wrap. 

By default, AbleCommerce handles Gift Wrap selection during checkout.   So the first modification was to get gift wrap to apply on the product page.   This means the BuyProductDialog control is the place to start.    I used a checkbox to render a separate panel that included the text box control.    The contents of the text box control are set to the giftmessage property available on each line item object.

Then it’s just a matter of setting the correct Id for the gift wrap on the line item before it’s added to the basket.

Basket page needed some text changes to replace “Gift Wrap” with “Engraving”…super easy to do.

Checkout needed modified to skip the gift wrap page normally encountered by default AbleCommerce behavior.

At that point, I’m done – the client can now easily associate an optional upcharge for Engraving on specific products within the store catalog. 

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AbleCommerce Gold | Personal

Building an Audit Log with nHibernate Listeners in AbleCommerce

by Joe Payne 13. March 2015 15:01

I have a client who can't seem to figure out who's making edits to certain products. Somebody changed the price, somebody marked it hidden. That sort of thing. Too many people in the back-end and no audit trail for who changed what.

So I decided to dig into nHibernate listeners. After a brutal all-nighter reading StackOverflow posts and copying snippets from a few blog posts, I actually got it working.

I added some new handlers for the Post-Commit-Create, Post-Commit-Update and Post-Commit-Delete listener events and pointed them to my AuditEventListener class. These are easily wired up in the DatabaseConfiguration.cs file.

I then created a simple class with no methods called IEntityToAudit. This is used to mark which specific data classes I want to audit.

In my AuditEventListener, I can tell if the class that fired the event is marked for audit by simply trying to cast it to the IEntityToAudit interface class. If the cast comes back not-null, I know that class is flagged to be audited.

var entityToAudit = @event.Entity as IEntityToAudit;
 
 if (entityToAudit != null)
 {
   
Now it's a simple matter of identifying the class being audited so I can record the name. And nHibernate makes it easy to tell what properties of the class are dirty.
 
This way the logging accomplishes two goals:
1. Only logging what properties were changed
2. Logging both the old value and new value of each changed property
 
I built a new data class to store the log entries in a new table in SQL. That made it easy to create a custom report in admin to view the audit log. I'm also going to build out a new button on the edit-category and edit-product pages. This will permit the admin to quickly view the audit log for a given entity.
 
Entities that are deleted record both the entityId and the value of the Name property (if that property exists).
 
To add logging to any entity in Able, I simply modify that <entity>.cs file and change 1 line of code to make it implement the IEntityToAudit interface. Everything else is handled automatically and outside of Able code to minimum customization of existing files.
 
Overall, it was a fun learning experience into the depths of nHibernate and the AbleCommerce domain model implementation.

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AbleCommerce Gold | Personal

How to speed up site rebuild after compiling a DLL

by Joe Payne 6. February 2015 07:29

Came across this little gem this morning.   Made a significant difference on my PC.

Here's the best one. Add this to your web.config for MUCH faster compilation.

<compilation optimizeCompilations="true">

Quick summary: we are introducing a new optimizeCompilations switch in ASP.NET that can greatly improve the compilation speed in some scenarios. There are some catches, so read on for more details. This switch is currently available as a QFE for 3.5SP1, and will be part of VS 2010.

The ASP.NET compilation system takes a very conservative approach which causes it to wipe out any previous work that it has done any time a ‘top level’ file changes. ‘Top level’ files include anything in bin and App_Code, as well as global.asax. While this works fine for small apps, it becomes nearly unusable for very large apps. E.g. a customer was running into a case where it was taking 10 minutes to refresh a page after making any change to a ‘bin’ assembly.

To ease the pain, we added an ‘optimized’ compilation mode which takes a much less conservative approach to recompilation.

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Tech Support | Personal | AbleCommerce Gold | AC7 Articles

Hosting Classic ASP on Server 2008 R2

by Joe Payne 3. February 2015 15:31

Ran into a problem today trying to light up a Classic ASP site that was a copy of an existing site on the same server.   However HTTP 500 errors were all we could get.   Once we enabled debug logging in ASP, we saw that there was a problem with the ADODB connection being able to open the MSAccess database within the site folders.

 

Gotta remember to enable 32-bit apps in the application pool advanced settings.

 

Note: Microsoft Access databases have been popular for many years with developers who use Active Server Pages (ASP) for small-scale applications, but Microsoft Access databases are not designed for scalability, therefore Access databases should only be used where performance is not a factor, and it is best not to host large-scale data-driven applications with Microsoft Access databases.

In IIS 7.0, IIS 7.5, and above, several security changes were made that may affect how classic ASP applications will function. For example, if you were to copy a classic ASP application that uses an Access database that is within the Web site's content area to a server that uses IIS 7.0 or above, you may receive the following error message:

Microsoft JET Database Engine error '80004005'
Unspecified error.
/example.asp, line 100

This is a generic error triggered by the Access driver that may occur for a variety of reasons, but incorrect permissions is a common cause. More specifically, the ability to work with Microsoft Access databases is implemented through the Microsoft JET Database Engine, which creates various temporary and lock files when it connects to an Access database. The following sections will discuss some of the reasons why this may occur and how to resolve those situations.

Working with 64-bit Systems

Unfortunately there are no 64-bit ODBC drivers, so on 64-bit systems you will have to run your applications in 32-bit mode. To do so, use the following steps:

  1. On the taskbar, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In the Connections pane, click Application Pools.
  3. Highlight the application pool for your application, then click Advanced Settings... in the Actions pane.
  4. In the Advanced Settings dialog, specify True for Enable 32-Bit Applications.
  5. Click OK to close the Advanced Settings dialog.

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Personal | Tech Support

TortoiseSVN missing icons in Windows 7

by Joe Payne 13. January 2015 08:35

Been scratching me head for a while now as to why my Windows Explorer icons for TortoiseSVN were suddenly missing.

After some digging, it appears that DropBox updated itself and added some more shell overlay extensions.   Since Windows 7 only supports 11 overlays, this pushed the Tortoise icon entries too low in the list.

The solution was simple:  edit the registry hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerShellIconOverlayIdentifiers

and remove the unwanted registry entries so that the TortoiseSVN entries are in the first 11 found.

image

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