Architecting Drupal Commerce

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Questions from the session

There were so many great questions from our "Architecting Drupal Commerce Sites" Webinar with Ryan Szrama & Josh Miller that we thought we'd share them all with you.
Below is a direct transcript of the Questions from our presentation (so please don't mind the spelling and grammar), with the answers provided either during the talk or in some cases, post session.  If the question was yours, thanks for asking... 
Q: can u have different prices for different customers?
A: Yes, of course. You can use separate price fields to maintain distinct price lists or else offer % discounts through the Rules module. You can facet on any aspect of the user account, i.e. user role, referral source, profile fields, etc. To learn more about how to use Rules to do this, we have some great documentation here:
Q: can you recommned a comprehensive text book for commerce module and d7
A: Recommend Rich Jones's book,, and possibly Using Drupal (Second Edition, for D7)
Q: How do I create a product bundle? I need to sell the products both individually and as a group with a discount (aka rules). I also need to keep track of the stock of the product. Would creating a custom line item be best? What about Commerce Product Bundle?
A: We addressed this on the call; the best thing to do at this point is probably to wait for our team to finish up their implementation unless you need something simpler more immediately. You can always just create a new product type to represent bundles and reference the component products through a product reference field.
Q: In terms of product bundling or product kits (aka mulitple product options per add to cart form) what is the best way to accomplish something like this?
A: See above.
Q: I currently use Commerce Pricing Attributes for a printers project which adjusts the price based on the number of copies, type of paper ect, how would you do that in Drupal comerce without using the Commerce Pricing Attributes module?
A: You'd just use line item fields and then use pricing rules to adjust the unit price of the line item based on what the user has specified. See Josh's Pizza Store video for a fairly complex example or the various donation related videos for simpler examples.
Q: Is it possible to create individual shipping addresses for gifts for example?
A: -- addressed in webinar, but still unanswered -- Ryan pointed out you could add an address field to each product line item and store that information. But making a shipping rate change based on multiple items in the cart (not to mention somehow making a group of products go to one address and a single product go to another) is beyond the ability of the current Rules paradigm.
Q: does support separate shipping addresses.
A: Ahh, nice. Guess I've never seen it. : P
Q: Is it possible to edit an Custom line item after added to cart?
A: There is a patch in the Commerce queue to facilitate it through Commerce itself, but in the meantime you may do just fine with the Editable Fields module in your shopping cart View.
Q: Is there a way to add a package option to a line item? For example a customer can buy a single product or a pakcage of that product that contains twelve pieces.
A: If the package is managed separately from the onesies, I'd probably create a distinct SKU for it and then reference both SKUs from the same product display. This would let the customer select which one they want on the Add to Cart form.
Q: Is there an affilate sales module available or planned, to manage sales of products through affilates? If no affiliate sales module, is there a third-party affiliate program that integrates well with Drupal commerce?
Q: is commerce marketplace stable? I emailed Farhad and haven't heard back
A: No clue. It's beta, so I'd test it thoroughly before using it personally.
Q: Will you get to architecture for multi-vendor at some other time? Is there a way to share orders only with the users who created the product?
A: As with most things Drupal, this is possible. To answer this thoroughly would require a review of requirements and an assessment of available assets to make this happen. In short, there are many ways to make Drupal Commerce share orders based on users' but some of this idea needs more details and more thought.
Q: Is there a stable version of the Braintree Module yet?
A: Hmm, my development was actually in the 2.x-dev branch I believe, so I don't think there's a stable yet.
Q: Looking forward to hearing about multi-vendor architecture :-)
A: As we said on the webinar, the closest thing to multi-vendor is commerce_marketplace, but it's trying to solve very big problems. Including stores, split orders, split shipping, and figuring out how to send money to multiple vendors.
Q: Thanks guys
A: Glad you could make it :)
Q: Possibility to view the slides later?
A: Yep, it's recorded and will be posted. And the slides are available here publicly:
Q: Regarding Attributes and customization: let's say we have a store that sells a product that have customization that are also products itself that you can purchase separately. What's the best way to do so?
A: There is a module called ""Commerce Product Add On"" which lets you upsell additional products. Maybe you could enable line item fields for the additional products? Untested.
Q: Can you alterate the price ( +$ value / -$ value) on the line items values?
A: You can, it just requires you to implement some way to define the price adjustment for the options. That's why Josh uses a taxonomy reference field for the customization in his pizza store demo ( - he can add price fields to the various options and then use Rules to increment (or decrement) prices accordingly based on the options selected.
Q: Can we have a drupal 7 site with commerce acting as a hub for others front end/drupal 7 clients? All the business rules and products would be defined/added on the main hub and the clients would connect via services, display the data and programatically create the order on the hub? Is that possible?
A: Yep, check out for resources we're using to do exactly that on client sites.
Q: Is the a roadmap for Commerce Dunning for non-recurring checkouts? Especially the multiple failed checkout attempts.
A: Not as far as I know; that's really just a human process, with the customer needing to get a card that works. : D
Q: Q: If there is time, can you touch on checkout security options?
A: We covered this on the call. Definitely checkout and our last webinar where we covered PCI compliance in detail:
Q: The document reference in your reply speaks to this requirement..Requirement #1 and #5 - #12
A: Depends on the level of compliance which is why we recommend using a payment vendor that mitigates the need to go beyond the first minimal level of compliance.
Q: That's just handling the payment transaction.  PCI compliance also includes application and infrastructure level compliance 
A: Right, hence my recommendation to mitigate the need for that level of compliance.
Q: Do you have a list of PCI compliant hosting vendors that will run Drupal Commerce?
A: Nope, there is no list, but our strong recommendation is to instead use a payment vendor that mitigates the need for the site hosting itself to be PCI compliant. I recommend the Drupal PCI Compliance white paper available at for further reading.
Q: Also, a list or partnership with vendors that are PCI compliant will help increase the adoption of Drupal Commerce.
A: I don't believe we really need to maintain such a list; that information is available from the vendors themselves, and it would be next to impossible for us to effectively maintain such a thing and keep it up to date.
Q: When would it make sense to create a new product type for customizable products vs normal out of the box products?
A: Currently you can only control the line item type (the thing that controls which fields are available as a line item field, like engraving) per product type. So this means you would need to create a product type per product line item type. It's possible you could code a work around that lets you dynamically choose which line item type to use per-product, maybe utilizing the Display Suite's per-node rendering options. Untested.
Q: will you use a platform for webinars that works with linux desktops in the future? GoToWebinar doesn't work with Linux. I had to fireup a Windows VM to see this. 
A: we're investigating another platform meetingburner... perhaps for 2014.  Webex .. which offers Linux we have used.. and had an #Epic fail on our first webinar. So we don't have alot of faith in it.  Any others that you know of? send to [email protected].  Thanks for jumping through some hoops to join us today!
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