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Automatic Store Feeds v.3.0 - Reviewed

OSCommerce web-shop package is a winner in many ways, offering a huge number of out of the box features, and a vibrant community that has made some 4000 additional features. So basing our web-sales at on OSC hasn't been a bad decision.

The sales power of our OSC shop at has just now started to be even more promising. The Automatic Store Feeds 3.0 (ASF 3.0) contribution provides features to automatically submit shop contents to multiple sales channels like Google Base (aka in past life Froogle, US, UK & DE), Yahoo! Shops, BizRate and BidHopper. This basically means an online merchant is able to harness those sales channels for his/her products with minimum effort.

Installation of ASF 3.0 hasn't been trouble free though. Here's a log of problems encountered, for anyone facing the same...

MySQL 5.0 Incompatible

There have been modification is the left join construct which breaks some of the SQL used in this contrib. So you have the option of fixing the SQL, or deploying on a MySQL 4.x server.

Activating Files as Administrator

This was a minor hassle that arose because the installation documentation didn't mention. The error noted was:
"Access Denied No Right Permission Access
Please contact your Web Administrator to request more access or if you found any problem."
This is fixed by providing access to the files under Admin -> Administrator -> File Access -> StoreFeeds. Pointers in the below graphics should lead to the solution..

Bid Hopper URL (lines 29, 30)

$_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] doesn't always work, better to use the configure.php variable HTTP_CATALOG_SERVER. Don't forget to delete the "http://" in lines 29, 30.

The bidhopper.php file should be installed in the /shop path, which is publicly accessible. In my case, since I have /admin separated from /shop (admin not nested in shop), the default instructions didn't work.

froogle_us.php URL (lines 17, 18, 38, 48)

Similar to the BidHopper issue above, froogle_us.php lines HTTP_SERVER on 17, 18, 38, 48 should be replaced with HTTP_CATALOG_SERVER.

Similarly adapt froogle_uk.php and froogle_de.php

MySQL Connection String (line 39, 89, 117)

mysql_query() is used instead of the standard tep_db_query(). This shouldn't make a difference for 99% of the users out there, but if you are using multiple databases in your shop (ex. customized stuff), you'd better stick to the standard OSC tep_db_query() method.

Default Location of Items (G-Base Error: We didn't understand this location)

At line 94 in froogle_us.php it is necessary to edit the $default_location variable and set it to the Google prescribed format of [street, city, state, postal code, country]. Longitude/Latitude data should apparently also work, though I haven't tried this myself.

Similarly adapt froogle_uk.php and froogle_de.php