Managing category information for Zen Cart and osCommerce

You can manage your category records using an interface very similar to those for customers, orders and products. This includes adding and editing categories, searching and filtering. It also includes import (i.e., upload) or update of entire batches of category records into your Zen Cart or osCommerce database.

Category information is available via a new menu item under the Product tab. It is laid in the familiar list-and-detail structure, with a list of all the categories on the left, and detailed information about a selected category record in the right (click the thumbnail at right for a screen shot). Child tabs show the parent and child categories of the selected category.

When importing category records, the layout of the CSV data is different from that used when importing the other record types such as products or customers. There are two key reasons for the difference:

  1. Unlike any other record types, category records are laid out in a hierarchy, with categories, sub-categories and sub-sub-categories being possible.
  2. The name of a category does not uniquely represent the category, because you can use the same name in different parts of the hierarchy. For example, you can have a category named lamps as a subcategory of automobile parts or of home decor.