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Kiwi Chris

Unleashed inventory integration

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I don't really have anything public to show, as nearly all the work is back-end, but I thought I'd post here anyway as it's a pretty good example of just how powerful Processwire can be.

About a year ago, I inherited an incomplete Craft website made by a designer. Apart from the usual company information site, it was supposed to provide a customer portal for clients of a wine bottling company to make bookings for production runs.

Data for stock levels of goods like bottles and labels was to come from an inventory management system Unleashed https://www.unleashedsoftware.com/

Unleashed provides a REST API, so I had to integrate with that first by writing an API integration module, and then ended up using Processwire's core lazy cron module to periodically pull data from Unleashed using a custom module.

The booking forms have a lot of conditional fields, eg if you are bottling a given wine variety, you should only be able to select labels that match that variety. All this conditional stuff was achieved with a lot of additions to ready.php.

I also needed to be able to created a predefined set of pages when a new user is added if they have a 'client' role. Once again, more hooking in ready.php

I've used the Admin Restrict Branch module so clients can only see their own records when they're logged in, but staff can see all records.

Lister Pro provides the ability to search and view completed production runs.

Part way through the project, as the client was happy with the way things were going, I was asked to add in logistics and dispatch which is provided by another company, which also runs Unleashed with a separate set of data, and with some clients who don't bottle wine, but will end up using the same portal, so using the roles and permissions inherent in Processwire, I set up production templates with separate roles to dispatch templates, so I could easily have clients assigned access to just the templates they need.

Tracey Debugger got a thorough workout along the way, and the debugger console is an absolute killer tool for making quick changes to data when updating a live site to match changes from the dev site.

At the start of this project, I'd used Processwire quite a bit, but never dived into module development or hooking, but I've now ended up with a reasonable idea how they work.

@bernhard has produced some excellent tutorials which I found really helpful figuring out how to create modules, and other people like @Robin S have answered questions when I've got stuck. @ryan himself has been helpful when I've been trying to do things that push either the limits of my knowledge or Processwire or both 😋  .

Could I have done this with other tools? Depends. Wordpress would have been as useless as using petrol to fight a fire, however something like ASP.Net COULD have done the job but would have probably made things a lot more complicated. In parallel, I've been working on building a REST API with ASP.Net for another client to integrate with an existing SQL Server database, and I've found that Visual Studio is inclined to break projects quite regularly, with dependencies getting messed up, or even whole configuration files getting corrupted when it has a hissy fit, so working with Processwire is a pleasure in comparison.

 

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