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Start: Friday, July 14, 2000 2:54 AM

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I'm trying to figure out what might be the best route to go for a new shopping cart site. It's for a client who is really doing this more as a hobby - not a big budget. It's collectibles, so there should be quite a few items that change with regularity.

I have looked at the Dansie shopping cart which has been recommended on this list before. It will run on a flat file text-type database. However, I need to be able to set up ASP to add, remove and modify items online for the client. I've done this with ASP and Access databases. I just don't know if I can use ASP to do this with text-type databases. Is this possible?

Also - any other good shopping cart solutions that you all have used or are happy with? I'd be grateful for the input. I've heard sales pitches for Mercantec and Miva lately. The sales people say they're great. There are a lot of options out there.

Anything special that I should know in terms of credit card processors, I'd be happy to hear, as well.

Yes, you can use ASP to write to a text-based database. First thing, you have to figure out the format of said database, obviously. Then, from within ASP, use the FileSystemObject to open the file, read it in, append to it, delete lines from it, and close it. Not difficult to do. link for Microsoft information on the FileSystemObject

Yes, there are lots of options out there. I've used the Dansie shopping cart almost exclusively, as it's a good, solid program, and Craig Dansie is terrific with answering questions, customizing, etc.

I have no idea about the ASP part. What I would suggest is that you write and ask him and see what he says. (I'm curious to know the answer, too, if you do ask him.) link to Dansie site He usually responds to email very quickly.

There are also other good options out there. I'm not familiar with ASP stuff to point something your way, but I know other people on this list know.

Since you use Dansie, how do you usually keep up the product databases? Do you use the flatfile database, or do you do it another way?

My clients manage the database part themselves, which is one of the good points that they've wanted to have. I haven't gotten involved in the updating. But they use the flatfile database. They have their products in Access, and they've worked it out to integrate all this.

Do they then take their Access database and save it as a flatfile and FTP it themselves? Or does the Dansie cart have built in web-based management?

Wasn't Dansie in the middle of an "indescretion back door issue" a couple of months ago, with its carts providing a back door leading back to Dansie's servers or something like that? It made a big wave through the "FrontPage community" who use a lot of Dansie's carts.

link to site that listed the details of the back door

Yes, that was certainly an issue that was brought up a couple of months ago. I have personally never had any problems. While I don't understand this back door thing, in all my dealings with Craig Dansie (which has been a LOT over the past 2+ years), I've only found him to be honest, caring, helpful, and goes out of his way to do whatever he can for his customers. One of his colleagues sent out a long letters to Craig's clients about this issue, and I had the impression that the author of the first article blasting him had twisted things around quite a bit, and that Craig's "malicious intentions" don't even exist.

So I don't know. I know it doesn't take much to destroy someone's reputation after a lot of hard work and a good shopping cart program. I was hoping this issue had been put to rest actually.

I don't know enough about programming to know what that back door thing is. Perhaps at this point he's taken it out. I have no qualms about asking him what the status is on this. And in fact, I will do so and will report back.

I do think it's important to watch out for each other, and I do understandthat this is why you brought it up. I have no problem with that at all. I just want to make sure that the facts are accurate and that there actually is some kind of problem. As I mentioned, I have clients with this cart and have had nothing but exceptional service and a solid program.

So I'll let you know what I find out.

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