Product Reviews Coming to Sueetie Marketplace

I’m having a lot of fun focusing on Marketplace improvements for Sueetie v3.4. The latest fun feature is product reviews with all of the bells and whistles you see in the biggest online commerce communities.  For my technical readers, another happy marriage of ASP.NET, jQuery and WCF.

Reviews aren’t just a valuable ecommerce feature, they’re also a great way to help build community.  Whenever you give users an opportunity for input and to provide feedback you’re building community.  Recognizing the intrinsic value of reviews, I designed them to be easily extended to support any type of Sueetie Content: wiki pages, media objects, etc.  More on that later.

Here is a screenshot of a review with its primary components.

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A Sueetie Review has three primary components.

1) Master Rating Each Sueetie Review component is independent of the other review components so you can place them anywhere you want. Here you see the Master Rating component by the product title, with the product description following and reviews (not shown) below the description. This is the layout you’ll find in the Sueetie Marketplace. The Master Rating lists the number of reviews with a link to the review list. It also gives you the average score in decimal format (ex: 3.5 out of 5 stars) both on the star display and in a mouseover tooltip.

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2) Review List The Review List is designed identically to Sueetie List View Controls where you can customize its look with .ASCX template files. In fact, each of the 3 Sueetie Review components use .ASCX template files to be easily customizable.  Sueetie Reviews is also fully localized, by the way.

On the Review List below we see the many features users come to expect in a review service. Your users can mark reviews as helpful or not helpful with voting results displayed in real time. Each review has a permalink for reference. The Review List component also has built-in intelligence to prevent someone from voting on their own review or voting more than once.

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If no reviews have yet been entered, an alternative review template will display.

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3) The Review Form We saw a screenshot of the Review Form above. The Review Form will not display if the user has already entered a review for that item or if the user is not logged-in. We saw the message displayed in a prior screenshot for members who already reviewed the item. This is what anonymous users will see in lieu of the review form.

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Lots of User Interaction

Sueetie Reviews are designed to provide ongoing feedback to the users. Here are two popup messages to thank the user for the review and to inform them that they already voted.

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Fully Integrated into the Sueetie Framework

Sueetie Reviews are fully integrated into the Sueetie Framework and the Data Core, so they can be used in all Sueetie functions and in custom applications as well. Here we see how reviews are displayed on the Site Activity List and on Sueetie Notifications. Very cool, eh?

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Sueetie Reviews: Not Just for Shopping

Sueetie Reviews are designed to be used with any type of Sueetie Content. This means you can attach them to media objects, content pages, wiki pages, any type of content unique to your community. You’ll need Atomo and the Sueetie Marketplace source for your custom needs, but extending Sueetie Reviews is very simple. Hopefully we’ll be able to talk more about that at another time. A demonstration of Sueetie Review extensibility can be seen in the top screenshot ("Great Services!") which is a review of a Content Page.  You can also see the review listed on Activity List above (in black footer area.)

Review Administration and Moderation

There is no Administrative component for Sueetie Reviews because there is no moderation function in the initial release. Moderation functions are planned in the future. Reviews will also be included in Sueetie Global Search in a future release as well.

Product Keys and Feature Freedom

Sueetie Reviews are included in the Sueetie Marketplace and are available without restrictions to both free and Sueetie Supporter Product Key holders. To customize reviews beyond Marketplace products you’ll want the source code to Sueetie Marketplace, and that is available only with a Sueetie Supporter Product Key.

Article written by

A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.