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Chapter 6: Creating a Dashboard

Chapter 6: Creating a Dashboard


A way to easily assign a product to a category

A way to assign products to categories in batch mode

A way to assign products to groups in batch mode

A way to export category and product listings

The first order of business has to do with the admins. Are there going to be more than one? Do they need
to have different access levels to the different components?

Claudia thinks about it for a few seconds and shakes her head. “ In the future, we may have a need for
more administrator logins and privileges, but I don ’ t think we need it now. ”

“ Point taken, ” you answer, “ but it may be easier to put something rudimentary in now. Perhaps a simple
way to keep track of users and which parts of the system they can enter — categories, products, orders,
and export functions. ”

“ As long as it stays simple, ” Claudia says. “ I guess I can see a need for giving one of my store clerks the
ability to do limited things, such as update product information or export a list of products. ”

The next question you ask is about the dashboard. What does Claudia want to see there?

“ The usual information — just allow me to navigate easily to categories, products, and other sections of
the site. Oh, and maybe a way to administer some of the web pages we have on the site, like About Us
or the Privacy Policy page. ”

“ What about viewing popular products or other kinds of analytics information? ”

“ Maybe something like that, but I ’ m not too clear on that. What might be more useful is some kind of
indication of how many ongoing orders there are, or how much traffic each category or product has. It
doesn ’ t have to be complex. ”

Next, you ask about exporting. “ What kinds of formats do you want to export information in? ”

“ Definitely Excel or comma - separated values. That ’ s what I need. ”

What about importing data into products and categories?

“ That would be terrific! It would save a lot of time, especially in the beginning. ”

“ What about backups? For example, if you need to make a pretty big change to your product listing? ”

Claudia nods her head. “ Can ’ t we use the export feature for that? It seems that if I ’ m exporting
information, I should be able to use it as a backup. ”

Finally, you tell her that the look and feel of the administrative panel will be simpler than those of the
public pages. There would be some global navigation along the top, as well as a dashboard area that
contains important information, like product listings or informational forms.

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