The concept of the open-source software represents a double-edged sword for merchants. The ability to tailor software to meet business requirements is highly-valued, but the very changes a developer makes to support these requirements can render 3rd party integration tools useless. This even includes cases where the developer makes changes outside of what is commonly referred to as the ‘core’ product.
For instance, if a merchant needs to apply a non-standard up-charge on an order, the typical development practice is to add an additional column to the orders table (or elsewhere) to support the transaction. Everything is then coded properly and functions according to specification. The problem that ensues for 3rd party integrations is that they ‘know nothing’ of your new supporting table/columns as they are looking for information based upon the standard schema of the database. As a result, the transaction being imported into the accounting system fails because part of the money is simply missing.
CartSpan introduces mechanisms to support these changes while not sabotaging a merchants chances for a serviceable accounting integration. By recognizing activity in standardized ‘extra’ fields on the orders (or items) table, CartSpan can utilize its flexible mapping capabilities to re-point these values to the desired accounting fields. Taking the example above, the developer would add the column ‘
order_extra_1’ to the orders table in the shopping cart. The following screen capture of phpMyAdmin illustrates that column as added to the ‘sales_flat_order’ table in a Magento database. The developer would code to support the up-charge in whichever columns he/she would normally write to, but would additionally populate the ‘extra’ column for mapping purposes.
CartSpan offers not one, but three of these standard fields that can be re-mapped into accounting. These fields can be used for transaction data or for informational content that can be imported along with customer comments as a line item. Below is an example of the ‘order_extra_1’ column being mapped to a surcharge import into the accounting system:
By offering these standardized fields, CartSpan meets merchants and developers ‘in the middle’ to support accounting integration of non-standard eCommerce implementations.