I want to build a complete ecommerce site. I've just started learning java script and php and i am planning to learn colfusion for the ecommerce aspect of web development. However, i just came across something on the web that said one could build an ecommerce site with php as well - something i didn't know.
Question: is there any advantage CF has over php in relation to ecommerce and, even if there is, can i get away with doing it with php - being that it is free rather than having to buy coldfusion?
If you are comfortable with PHP, it can get the job done.
ColdFusion can get the job done just as well. For many people, they can get the job done with less code and less work then PHP. But that presumes one is not learning the language, or one is learning both languages.
PHP tends to be more comfortable with people who have a programming background with other languages like C, C++, ect.
Also, you only need to buy ColdFusion if you, yourself, plan to host the production server(s). For development purposes, ColdFusion is just as free as PHP.
In addition to ilssac's answer, ecommerce is just another type of application. The programming language used to write it doesn't really matter. However, there are some things that do.
An ecommerce application will most likely include a database. If you don't know what third form normalization is, I've heard good things about the book, Database Design for Mere Mortals. You'll also have to know sql. If you don't, I've heard good things about the book, Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes.
Thanks a lot for the replies guys! I'll check out those books, Dan. Thanks.
One more thing. Just to clarify; when i say "complete ecommerce site", i mean one that can process credit/debit cards and paypal transactions etc. I take it you knew i meant this?
I presume that YOUR application will not be processing credit cards, debit cards and paypal transactions. But rather your application will be passing these jobs off to credit card, debit card and|or paypal companies to do the credit card processing for you.
I.E. YOUR application should NEVER COME NEAR to a credit card or other financial transaction. That opens up a giant can of worms that I would hope is not going to be tackled by a student "just started learning java script and php".
What YOUR application should do is collect the order information from a customer and then send the appropiate data to the API of the company you have chosen to handle the financial transactions and then wait from a response from their system.
Just wanted to be clear. And none of this changes whether you right your application in ColdFusion, PHP, ASP.NET, Cobal or binary. The point here is that there are a lot of very important privacy and security requirements to handling financial transactions that must be dealt with at all levels of system design, implementation, and maintenance. And unless you are working for Paypal, or some other such company, you don't even want to attempt something like this.
I'll get off my soapbox now.
Good points, ilssac,
Good info here: https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/smb/
You avoid a lot of that if you can certify that you only pass credit card
numbers through and do NOT store them at any point in the process on your
side. Pass them to the API and store the Transaction ID, but no other info
about the customer's CC account. Even then, there are still compliance
issues. See the PCI self-assessment questionnaire "C", which applies to
e-commerce sites that do not maintain cardholder data:
Europe, Middle East and Africa