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Marketplace for Chemicals using Laravel 5.1

  • Post published:February 3, 2016

A marketplace had to be developed under vteam #577 for chemicals that are either overstocked, slow moving, surplus, close to expiration or expired, off specs, or otherwise considered as a financial liability for companies (that manufacture, distribute, or buy/sell chemical products) with maximum flexibility. This website would allow a chemical seller and potential chemical buyers to transact chemical products for the price listed, or anonymously negotiate a price upon which both would agree. Additionally, it would allow associated costs be visible to the buyer on real time basis.

Detailed level requirements were not provided to vteams engineer Khurram Rafique because client only had a global level target perspective. Khurram himself did R&D and extracted many requirements for finalizing the scope of this marketplace.

Challenge:

The major challenge was that client didn’t provide any design for the application. vteam #577 itself completed the basic structure on a template and designed it too. Client also asked Khurram to change full modules many times after completion to incorporate his new ideas.

Types of Users:

The marketplace would have four types of users:

  1. Buyers
  2. Sellers
  3. Both buyer and seller
  4. Administrator
    .

Integrated Libraries:

This marketplace was developed using PHP and Laravel 5.1 (including Gulp) framework. Following libraries were integrated for the development of marketplace major modules:

  • Admin LTE
  • Darryldecode – Laravel Shopping Cart
  • Maatwebsite/Laravel-Excel
  • GoEmerchent Payment Gateway (API)
  • Fedex Web Services
    .

Modules Development:

Following were the major modules developed for this marketplace:

1- Inventory Management

All types of users would be able to manage their respective inventory products. This would include products listing, new products addition, editing of product’s information or deletion of a product.

2- Mapping of Inventory Products

This module would upload inventory products dynamically by mapping database fields with excel sheet columns.

Uploading inventory without any set pattern through excel files encountered a problem. It was fixed by mapping inventory data with data fields on immediate basis before uploading the inventory.

3- Shopping Cart

This shopping cart was developed so that users could add products to cart, view cart, remove selected products from cart, empty cart and proceed online shopping via checkout process.

4- Payment Gateway API integration

In shopping cart, GoEmerchant API (Payment Gateway) was integrated for transactions between buyers and sellers.

5- Make an Offer (negotiate a price)

This module would offer users (buyers and sellers) to negotiate prices for products. After negotiation just enter credit card information. Enter the final negotiated price and number of packages to make an offer and then process the transaction through GoEmerchant API. The products would then shipped to users through FedEx shipping web services.

6- Shipping Module (FedEx)

For products shipment, FedEx shipping and FedEx Rates web services were integrated. FedEx LTL Freight Shipping services were also integrated in this module.

In shipping module, an error encountered while getting rates of FedEx – LTL Freight shipping. The product was shipped from seller address to buyer address but both addresses were not associated with client’s FedEx account address. For this, Khurram implemented FedEx LTL shipping via third party account to use a variable for shipper and recipient addresses.

7- Admin Module

This module was developed for marketplace administrators. They would be able to manage its Dashboard, Settings, Users, Inventory, CMS Pages, Attachments (media uploads), Orders, Offers, Shipping and Transactions.

8- Blog

An active blog that would allow users to stay updated with latest news/announcements. It also helped to drive business via strong focus on SEO

Conclusion:

As a result of this implementation, vteam #577 achieved a complete marketplace (application) as per client’s requirement with maximum flexibility.