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Chapter 2: Installing and Using NetStores

How it works

NetStores is a group of CGI programs that work with your existing Web server. (You'll want to make sure your server is capable of handling secure transactions with SSL. Such servers are generally called "commerce servers".) The installation procedure currently supports the NCSA/Apache, Netscape, CERN/IBM, and Spry servers. Contact NetStores if you would like to use NetStores with some other server.

These CGI programs don't require a fancy, expensive database. Instead, they use standard UNIX shell script commands and the file system in powerful ways to provide all the capabilities of an expensive database.

To set up your mall, you'll add files to the NetStores directories and edit parameter files. The next two sections give you some background on the Directory structure and the Parameter files.

Directory structure

The directories used by NetStores are all subdirectories of the server root directory. (Some Web servers define $SERVER_ROOT to point to this directory. It's the directory that contains the cgi-bin directory and the htdocs directory.)

In this manual, we give file locations relative to the $SERVER_ROOT directory. For example, suppose your $SERVER_ROOT directory is /usr/local/etc/httpd. On your system, where this manual talks about the ./dwos/malldata/params.sh file, you would use the /usr/local/etc/httpd/dwos/malldata/params.sh file.

The major directories used by NetStores are subdirectories of your SERVER_ROOT directory.

See "Directory structure" for a more detailed look at the NetStores directory structure.

Parameter files

NetStores uses several parameter files named params.sh. Within these files, you define variables (called "parameters") to control how your mall and stores look and behave.

NetStores provides default params.sh files that already contain most of the parameters you can define. Just edit the definitions of the parameters listed in these files to customize your mall and stores. This chapter tells you about the parameters you can define for various purposes. See "List of parameters" for an alphabetical list of the parameters you can define.

To edit a parameter file, use any text editor you are comfortable with. Just make sure you always save the file as text only, and not in some format that includes information about fonts.

Typical parameter definitions look like this:

    MALLNAME="SuperMall by the Sea"
    BBGD="<BODY BACKGROUND='/mallimages/mallbkgd.gif'>"

The parameter name is the first thing on a line. It is followed by an equal sign (=). Then, you type the definition of the parameter.

A parameter definition can be up to 256 characters long. Each parameter and its definition should use only one line. Or, you can use "\" at the end of the line if you need to continue a definition on the next line. For example:

    BBGD="<BODY BACKGROUND='/mallimages/mallbkgd.gif' \
    BGCOLOR='#eeeeee' TEXT='#000000' LINK='#0000ff' \

You must use quotes around any parameter definitions that contain spaces. Also use quotes if it's important which letters are uppercase and lowercase. It's a good idea to use quotes around all parameter definitions, but it isn't required if there are no spaces. If you need to use quotes inside a parameter definition, use a quotation mark (") around the definition and single quotes (') inside the definition. Or, you can use quotation marks (") inside the definition if you precede each one with the escape character (\).

If you want to disable a particular parameter, you can comment it out by adding a "#" sign at the beginning of the line (before the name of the parameter).

If you add parameters to a params.sh file, you'll also need to add the new parameters to one of the export statements that are already in the file.

NetStores Administrator's Guide
1: About NetStores
2: Installing and Using NetStores
3: Troubleshooting
4: Technical Reference

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