There are some configurator-specific terms in and around our product configurator you have to be familiar with in order to work with the configurator properly. In this article we introduce these terms and their specific functions.
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- product configurator: A webshop tool that helps the customer to assemble an individual final product out of different product component options.
- integration: The interface between web-shop and product configurator
- component: For each final product that can be configured on the website, one component exists in the configurator backend. This component includes all relevant product data and settings (characteristics, rules,...) that are necessary for the configuration.
- characteristic = A feature of the product (e.g. color). Within each feature different options can be predefined (e.g. red, green, blue,...)
- option group / characteristic group = A group of similar characteristics (e.g. form, design,...). Characteristic Groups help you to structure the product features and simplify the work with the configurator
- ID & Title: For each new component, characteristic, characteristic group or rule, you have to define a title/name and an ID/value. The title represents the name that is shown in the configurator on your website, whereas IDs and values encode this name into a HTML-specific language that is necessary for the communication between configurator, web-shop and website. Therefore each ID can be allocated only once in one component. Please note that in case of IDs spaces between words need to be replaced by an underscore!
- individual CSS class: CSS is a HTML-part responsible for the layout design of websites. Your web-shop already uses its own CSS-class and this class will be automatically adopted by the configurator. If you want to use an individual, configurator-specific CSS class, you can define it in this option.
- placeholder: a text or value which is preselected in an option in order to show the customer that in this part of the configuration there are options to choose between (f.ex. "please select").
- default value: A specific value is preselected in the configuration even before the customer actively selects it. This is the so called default value. It is useful when this specific value is a standard feature of the product and thus a usual selection in the configuration.
- data type: determines how the characteristic options are presented in the configuration (e.g. small text input, radio buttons,...)
- select: data type of characteristic options. When the customer clicks on the selection field and all characteristic options are shown. The customer can only choose one option.
- multiselect: data type of characteristic options. The options are shown in a list. Only one option is selectable.
- checkbox: data type of characteristic options. The options are shown in a list; each option has a checkbox. The customer can select as many options as desired.
- radio buttons: data type of characteristic options. Each options has a radio button; only one characteristic option is selectable.
- multiselect with quantity: data type of characteristic options. The customer defines a specific quantity of one product component that should be added to the final product. With the rule "Predefine Min/Max you can define which minimum and maximum amount is selectable.
- list with images: data type of characteristic options. A normal selection in which the options are represented by icons/pictures.
- small text input: data type of characteristic options. The customer types in the desired option value into a free text field.
- big text input: data type of characteristic options. The customer types in the desired option value into a big, free text field.
- static input: data type of characteristic options. Only the option /characteristic name is shown. The customer does not have to take any actions here (select, type in, ...)
- product attribute: data type of characteristics options. The configurator can work with product attributes (e.g. values like prices or colors) from your web-shop. In order to do that you firstly have to define this product attribute in the configurator. Then you can use the value for further steps, like for example expressions.
- simple combination: data type of characteristic options. With simple combination values can be added, subtracted or multiplied in a simple way and thus create a new "combined" characteristic (for example to determine the square meters of a carpet by multiplying its length and width). Furthermore with this data type you can generate strings by using the sign quotation marks: Example: "1" + "2" = 1,2 and not 3.
- expression: data type of characteristic options. Through formulas you care able to generate more complex relationships between values manually. The result of the used formulas equals the value of the newly generated characteristic.
Example Carpets: The characteristic square meters is generated by using the characteristics length (cm) and width (cm).
- price list: data type of characteristic option. In this data type option you can deposit a price list in form of a CSV-matrix. A CSV-matrix encodes the prices for the configurator and translates them for the frontend.
- save button: data type of charcteristic option. After working on an configuration step, the customer can press a save button to save his/her previous configuration.
- rules: rules are a unique function of the configurator. They are responsible for generating cause-and-effect-relationships between certain options and option values in the configurator. This means, after a certain selection in the configurator, the following options are modified, predetermined or hidden depending on the product availability. Thus, rules prevent the customer from configuring a final product which is not producible or not available in stock. The following rule types can be created: Restriction (blacklisting), Predefine Quantity, Predefine Values, Predefine MinMax and Error Message.
- Restriction (blacklisting): A rule type. After a certain selection some of the following options are hidden. Example: After selecting a specific model, only the colors in which this model is available are still shown. All others are hidden.
- Predefine Quantity: A rule type. Here you define the minimal and maximal amount of a product component that can be added to the final product. Example: After selecting a specific PC model, the customer can add at minimum 1 and at maximum 5 intel cores.
- Predefine Values: A rule type. A predetermination of values in which a previously selected option is available. Example: A T-shirt is available in sizes XS-XXL, whereas the sweatshirt is available in sizes M-XL.
- Predefine MinMax: A rule type. A predetermination of a limited value range in an option. Example: A customer selects a specific carpet model, whose length can be at minimum 50 cm and at maximum 400 cm. The customer types in a desired length in a free text field but due to the rule he/she can only type in a value within the predetermined value range.
- Error Message: If the customer combines non-compatible product components, an error message occurs.
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