help with client's request (excel file upload to server?)
I am new at this and needed someone to point me to right direction.
I have a client who has been updating his inventory list by updating and uploading a PDF to his server. (customer would dl this file)
His goal for his new site is to have a feature where he can upload an EXCEL file onto the server and have it update the inventory database. Can this be done? Here is his question, please let me know if this is possible. It looks to be a CMS question so any suggestion would be great.
"Inventory Upload – This is one of the main features that we want in order to make business function a little easier. We want to be able to take the values from our excel sheet and be able to upload them onto the inventory page while at the same time there being a date that states the latest inventory update."
"We want a search bar that does a good internal sweep of the inventory and any of the internal content on the pages. The search bar would be needed to pull from the inventory list."
Does he have an existing website (webhost)?
I'm guessing the Excel file would be uploaded as a CSV (comma separated variable)
file, and a PHP script would update a MySQL database online.
But here's my question ...
Does he really want to use Excel, or would he rather do the inventory stuff online
from any PC in the world? He could log in on any PC or mobile phone/PDA and
make changes to inventory, query it, search it, edit it, add to it, delete it ... etc.
And also ... if there are any specific changes to inventory, or level changes, he
could be notified automatically on his cell phone via SMS messaging.
A CMS may help with this, but I doubt Wordpress will have the extensions necessary.
Regarding mlseim's suggestion of web updated inventory, that's the best option, but I suspect this client probably tracks everything in their spreadsheets and would want to stick with that. I could be wrong - and for your sake, I hope I am.
That being said, PHP can read from Excel files by using an extension. But that opens up a good possibility for errors creeping in from their spreadsheet and that would require troublesome extra data scrubbing or validation.
The entire project is doable, but you'll probably have several headaches since you've never done a data-backed site. Fun!
Like Tom says ... find out if they would be able to do all of their inventory online.
If they are relying on Excel, then it's sort of deal-breaker.
His webhost is GoDaddy, so he already has free MySQL accounts he can use.
The only thing about doing his database and inventory online is,
They need to be online with a PC, laptop, phone, or PDA to work with the inventory.
You'll have to sub-contract a programmer to do the scripting for you.
They can alter the inventory from any PC anywhere in the world.
If they decide to use ecommerce (shopping cart) with a credit card merchant,
that inventory and ordering system could be automatic.
The database can be searched by users.
The users can set-up a "favorites" list that is remembered on their PC.
They can set-up a "membership" system.
They can use email notification and/or iphone or cellphone SMS for messaging.
The inventory is always current ... no more uploading PDF's every day.
They can upload actual photos with each item.
There will be a secure admin section for the site owners to manage the inventory.
Show him this forum thread and see what he thinks.
I'm guessing the basic inventory scripting (without ecommerce) could be
done for about $500 to $1000 ... depending on what other features they need.
Their webhost is already GoDaddy.
You just need to hire a programmer to create the scripting and database for you.
You already have everything you need to make it work,
with the exception of the credit card merchant (unless they have that too).