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Product List Database Revamp

The first major stage of the revamp of the site is now done. I’ve completely revamped the underlying database for the site, normalizing most of the tables and creating some views to make working with the tables easier. This allowed for major improvements in how I have been handling Authors and the extra images that are attached to some of the individual product pages. It also allowed some clean up of Publishers and Book Types. It’s going to allow me to develop some additional features that I’ve wanted for awhile, such as a list of related products attached to the individual product pages, a list of links to websites with additional information on the individual products and a more flexible way to handle links to places to purchase products.

The visible changes are to the Product Lists, there is now just one entry for each product per edition per publisher. Individual formats such as Hardcover, Softcover, Pdf no longer have individual entries on the list, instead these are now listed in a small table on the individual product page. I think it’s just a cleaner way to handle the lists. It does mean I will need to go through all the lists and make sure I have the most appropriate thumbnail image being used but that’s a minor issue.

Currently the link to buy a product, when available, is in the little table listing the different formats. The plan is to consolidate those and move them to a separate list as many of the format variations link to the same page anyway.

The next step is also behind the scenes, I’m redeveloping the forms that I use to update the products to match the new database structure, and I need to do some clean up on a few items that didn’t convert well. I’ll also need to revamp the “Recent Releases” sidebar to use the new tables.

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