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Chapter 16. Case Study: Online Store

Chapter 16. Case Study: Online Store

The promise of easy money from selling over the Internet prompted many individuals and organizations to open Web storefronts and, although those with poor business models have since closed shop, there are still many online shopping sites that are successful. A key component to most of these sites is the notion of a virtual shopping cart—a place to store what users have purchased as they move through the site.

In Chapter 11, “Maintaining State Information,” you learned that the Web has no memory, so remembering what users have put into their shopping carts is a challenge that requires the use of one of the state information approaches discussed in that chapter. This means a choice of hidden form fields, cookies, or ColdFusion session variables. Implementing a shopping cart with hidden form fields is feasible but tedious because you need to incorporate the hidden fields into every single page that you generate. Using cookies would be less tedious, but you would lose business from users who don't allow cookies on their browsers. ColdFusion session variables are easy to implement and users have no control over them, so they make a good choice for supporting the shopping cart.


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