While on vacation recently I listened to a presentation by Charlene Li titled The Future of Social Networks. In it she said that social networks won't really take off until we work out personal ecommerce. To me that meant online communities needed to be able to support the exchange of goods and services among its members, to sell stuff. Introducing Sueetie Marketplace, a first step in supporting personal ecommerce in Sueetie Communities.
You'll find Sueetie Marketplace ready to support the sell of your (fictitious) goods while you kick the tires at http://sueetie.org/marketplace. I say "fictitious" because the Sueetie.org Marketplace is for demonstration purposes only. All registered members can enter goods for sale or contact sellers about their similarly fictitious wares. Anonymous users can engage with sellers but cannot post their own ads or use the product bookmark feature. If you contact "daveburke" about any items listed, I promise to write back so that your Marketplace experience is complete.
Here are screenshots of the Sueetie Marketplace home page and a product page. I'm so excited about Marketplace that I added a new chocolate cake background image.
If the pages look familiar it's because they started out as the ASPNET Starter Kit Classifieds application. I used the app last year for a client project and thought it was very full-featured. I also wanted to use it because it was no longer being maintained like other Sueetie applications. That means I will be able to integrate it as tightly with the Sueetie framework as I want in the future.
The success of ecommerce apps are much like high-speed connections, the last 10 feet of cable from the curb to the front door are the most important. In Sueetie Marketplace we're purposely not running that last 10 feet of cable, not including PayPal integration or online purchasing support. That will no doubt come for communities and business clients who need it, but used as a community product exchange application, Sueetie Marketplace is good to go.
Like other Sueetie Applications, Marketplace is completely integrated with Sueetie's ASPNET Membership and Role architecture. I created a new "MarketplaceAdministrator" role to manage the application and who sees the "Marketplace Admin" link in the header.
No new Sueetie feature announcement would be complete without touching on the technical details. First, it was important to distinguish Marketplace SQL objects from others, so I added the "mp_" prefix to all Marketplace data objects. No SQL object prefix is bad, but hey, it was a starter app, right? Things are nice and clean now.
It was good having access to Sueetie.Core and the Sueetie Data Provider. I encountered some sort of bug with Photo handling, so instead of working through the nasty DataSet.xsds I simply went around them with a new MarketplacePhoto object and SueetieMarketplace proxy class.
One of the weirdnesses of the original Classifieds app is that it uses the User Profile MemberID property as the primary user key, which to me is just dumb. But that's cool, and rather than re-architect hundreds of lines of code, with Sueetie in the mix I could derive from SueetieBasePage class and assign a CurrentUserID value to that nutty profile.MemberID property.
The week is done and with Sueetie Marketplace online it's been a good one. I hope you consider stopping by to visit Sueetie Marketplace.