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blakekr

designing databases properly for a simple DIY shopping cart?

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After what seems like far too much agonizing, I think I've decided to build my own php "shopping cart" and hack my own interface to paypal IPN, because all the other solutions I've come across are massively oversized and overdeveloped for my needs.

But I could use some help in setting up the structure. I'm not sure of the best way to handle "options" with my various products.

First of course I set up a basic database with product fields like:
[I]sku, price, name, etc. etc.[/I]

The tricky part is that some products will have special options, some dropdowns and some text fields, and I know I won't be able to predict all these in advance, like:
[I]item color, accessory color, font, initial, initials ...[/I]

In addition, some products will call for extra product photos and others won't ...

And then I will need some way of storing all these extra options for a given customer's order when it comes through.

I know this is probably a pretty common design question. I'd appreciate any hints on how you'd approach it.

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Break out any "custom" options into separate tables, and relate them back to their parent product ID.

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