USHOP 2.0



Table Of Contents
  1. System Requirements of the Store Owner
  2. System Requirements of the Customers
  3. Order Form Layouts
  4. Maximum Capacity of Shopping Cart
  5. Merchant Account Interfaces
  6. Load Time of Java Applets
  7. Java Performance on Various Browsers/Operating Systems
  8. Trial Version

1. System Requirements of the Store Owner

To be able to use uShop, the server on which the store owner is going to host the on-line store's web pages must be a UNIX or NT server capable of running Perl CGI scripts. Furthermore, for the transactions to be secure, the server should also be a secure server that can run Perl CGI scripts.

For more information on making transactions secure with uShop, follow the "Making Transactions Secure" link at our uShop 2.0 Reference Site



2. System Requirements of the Customers

The only requirement of the customers is that they have a Java-enabled browser. And while Java is platform independent, each operating system/browser has slight differences in the way the Java Virtual Machine is implemented. So we included a table of the operating systems and browsers on which we have tested uShop:

Operating System Browsers Notes
Windows 95 Netscape 3.02
Netscape 4.06
Netscape 4.60
IE 3.0
IE 4.0
IE 4.72
IE 5.0
 
Windows 98 Netscape 3.02
Netscape 4.06
Netscape 4.60
IE 3.0
IE 4.0
IE 4.72
IE 5.0
 
Windows NT 4.0 Netscape 4.06  
Linux Netscape 4.0 Message window appears larger than normal.
IRIX (Silicon Graphics) Netscape 3.01
Netscape 4.0
 
Solaris (Sun) Netscape 4.5 Very long drop-down lists may produce scroll-bar warnings. This does not affect functionality
MAC OS Not Tested Not Tested


Note: From our tests, we have found that the latest version of Netscape (Netscape 4.6) and the latest versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE 4.72 and IE 5.0) work particularly well with uShop - so you may wish to use one of these during development.


3. Order Form Layouts

The order forms that uShop uses are written and compiled in Java 1.0. This means that you cannot edit the order forms to add/remove fields yourself - you must use one of the standard order form layouts that come with uShop. To see all of the order form applets that are available with uShop, follow the "On-line Reference" link from our reference site: http://www.uburst.com/uShop/reference/

New with uShop 2.0 - Be sure to check out the uShopOrderCustom order form applets - which allow you to customize almost all of the fields names and whether they are required or not.



4. Maximum Capacity of Shopping Cart

uShop allows up to 20 different items to be added to the shopping cart at a time. This is a limitation due to Microsoft's Internet Explorer. That is, the only way to pass data from Java applets to a CGI script is via the GET method. This method passes the data to the script by adding it after the URL (eg. http://www.mydomain.com/cgi-bin/myscript.cgi?field1=blah&field2=moreblah&field3=evenmoreblah.........). We have discovered that the length of this location string on IE is much smaller than on Netscape and other browsers. That is, we found that 20 items worth of data is the most we can safely pass at one time to the uShop CGI script (with worrying about losing any data). If we didn't have to worry about IE, Netscape would have allowed us to more than double that.


5. Merchant Account Interfaces

The only interface to an external merchant account system that is available with uShop is an interface to AuthorizeNet. Otherwise, uShop only handles getting the sensitive payment information securely from the customer to the storeowner. The storeowner must then process the credit card number or other payment information manually.


6. Load Time of Java Applets

Java applets do take a little time to load and start. Although we have kept the uShop applets very small - most under 4K bytes - it does take a second or two for each applet to load and be started. Considering most web page graphics are much larger than this - 4K bytes may seem negligible, however, it can add up and slow down your pages if you put a lot of uShop applets on a single web page. For this reason, it is recommended to keep the number of applets on a single web page to under 20 applets per page.

New with uShop 2.0 - With the release of uShop 2.0 the applets have many new feature and yet are actually 20% smaller than before. In addition, they no longer multi-threaded (which often slowed down browsers and used up system resources). So in other words, the uShop 2.0 applets are leaner and more effecient than ever.



7. Java Performance on Various Browsers/Operating Systems

Java applets run and appear differently on various browsers running on various operating systems. Although we have tried to write the uShop applets to minimize these differences, there will be some variations on how the applets appear and run on different browsers/operating systems. And for this reason, it recommended to try your store out on various browsers and operating systems to make sure the minor differences are acceptable to you.


8. Trial Version

But perhaps, the best way to see if uShop will work for you would be to try it out yourself. We have made a free trial version of uShop (a.k.a. uShop Lite) available for everyone and we invite everyone to download this trial version and try it out for him/herself. This trial version, is a toned-down, yet fully-functional version of uShop that you can setup on your server and start taking orders with today. Then later, when you do decide to purchase the full version of uShop, you wonít have to change a word of .html....just replace the trial versionís .class files with the new .class files that are included with uShop.

Note: You can get the trial version here.