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I'd like to start using databases with my websites. I use PayPal shopping cart now and want to automate adding sales items for my customers product. It seems like PHP/MySQL is the easy answer. Am I right?

I don't really want to build a whole cart just most of a cart. More of a catalog that also has PayPal 'add2cart' buttons for each item.

Can PHP buy links/PayPal button code and/or images/thumbnails be stored as data in MySQL fields?

Does a simple script/setup for this already exist?

Could I start with a simple cart script and replace the sales functions with PayPal code?

Could I start with a simple catalog script and the add my 'buy links'?

Any light you can shine on me would be wonderful.

Should I bother going down this road at all? Is this PHP stuff any good/worth learning?

Thanks,
Chris

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Last Post by drjohn
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Don't try to write your own cart! Use an existing script or free service. They all include a way to integrate a service such as PayPal or any of the other money handling services. There are literally thousands of such scripts and services around.

If all you want is a catalogue with links to your PayPal account, then yes of course you can do that. Asking the question suggests you have little experience of using databases. You can store anything in a MySQL database and manipulate it with PHP. (Although most people recommend against storing an actual image in the database, just a link to where it is located is best).

I'd suggest you start by just playing with MySQL and PHP and when you've had a bit of practise, come back and ask more specific questions. Neither of these is something you can pick up in a few days, so don't rush at this, buy a book or two and work through the exercises for example.

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Look, i agree with much of what drjohn has said.

You really cannot learn this all at once, personally i've moved away from PHP and am using JSP purely because i find that dealing with classes is more efficient.

HOWEVER, from what I understand from your post is that you already have a static website up and running and wish to add some functionality to that site so you can just update the database, and your products are all there along with the add-to-paypal cart buttons?

If you dont have the time to sit down and read through several in-depth books on php/mysql or which ever server-side script you wish to run, there is a website which may be able to take you through step-by-step in creating a simple catalog for your website
http://www.php-shopping-cart-tutorial.com/

this website covers everything, INCLUDING paypal integration

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Many people like video tutorials as they can see some interaction going on.

But you can't print out the tutorial, you can't see the beginning middle and that bit near the end where he said..., somewhere about 7:27 or was it 8:35.

Also, as you saw in the tutorial your referenced, he talks a lot but doesn't say much. And gets confused as he didn't have a script written out to talk from ;)

And he started saying the tutorial was on using include files, then covered absolutely NOTHING on include files for connecting to the database...

Sometimes tutorials go too fast at crucial points and you don't realise you've missed a vital bit.

Buy a book, and watch videos just to see the interactivity.

EDIT:
I decided to watch the first three tutorials. The first one started saying how to use include files. three tutorials and 25 mins later, and still no explanation of why we are using an include file, and the big advantages it gives us...
Some of the comments after the third tutorial make this point too.

This is why books, which have technical editors and are assessed as suitable and accurate, can be so much better. If the above three were combined into a single written tutorial, it would have been a couple of pages long.

A cute video isn't really all that good (unless you are selling them, of course)

Edited by drjohn: n/a

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