ReCom Marketplace can be a webservice?

So this is what I’m going to do. And I hope this time it will materialize (sorry about the delay Syamsul, it’s just not the usual me to sit down for hours trying to write some software that I don’t know how’s it’s going to end up like).

First, I’ve registered a proper domain name for the place I’ll be running this service. To increase reliability and decrease the interaction with phpNuke code, I’ll be running the service right off I’ll use sort of a services model so that RCM and Kangsar and potentially other websites can talk directly to Kangsar backend.

Next I’ll be building a concrete interface. This would be a simple XML API, just to follow the hype that’s going on. I’ll be referencing many webservices interface to see how to build this nicely, in particular the AWS code base in Amazon. Although I must say it’s not solid, it certainly suite my style (heh, I wrote some of it).

I’ll publish this API here as soon as I’ve something concrete so that another person can build a front-end to it.

Now, let me go deeper into the design of the whole system. It will be a marketplace engine, a service that allows various Buyers and Sellers to list what they want on a single Marketplace. It will provide an extensive Catalog service that allows you to classify Items according to their respective Category. Item authority is encouraged but not strictly enforced, probably with reference to Amazon’s ASIN. The location however is strictly enforced. In other words, each Item a Seller post onto the platform will have Location and Contact Information. The Contact will be anonymized, but will allow Buyers and Sellers to communicate.

The Ordering Pipeline involves no online money transactions. All transactions are to be settled by the Buyers and Sellers themselves. Future releases will have facilities to allow for online payments, such as Paypal transactions, if the Seller has the capacity to receive it. Kangsar will not try to involve in financial transaction, at least for the first part of the project. When a Buyer clicks “Buy” on a page, the system basically puts the Item into Pending until the Seller explicitly say the transaction is complete and the Item is no longer for sale.

The location hierarchy will follow closely with ReCom user’s geography for now. We’ll start with 7 countries (Malaysia, US, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Singapore) and add more as they get pushed out. Each would be seperated by cities (no need states) and then seperate areas within the city (e.g. North PJ/Damansara, South PJ/Old Town, West PJ/Kelana Jaya etc.) The exact demarcation will be configurable in the future depending on the demand.

That’s pretty much what I have in mind for a phase 1 launch. It would be hard to say when this will be done, maybe in two days, maybe in two months, but certainly something to have by the holiday season.

Going in parallel to this would be a php-based front end on ReCom, we’ve already named it RCM, it’s just unclear whether it’s going to be ReCom Marketplace or ReComMerce. RCM basically takes XML, parses it and gives out webpages with ReCom look and feel. It also takes requests and for users, wrap them back into nice little XML structures and send them back to Kangsar.

The following is the proposed API in pseudo-English, which would be formalized later over the weekend.

  1. get_new_item_lists()
    – returns list of newly posted items
  2. get_item_lists(location, price range, keywords, category, include_pending_sales?)
    – returns lists of posted items according to search terms (will be finalized later)
  3. get_item(item)
    – returns an object containing everything about an item (note, images will be links to Kangsar)
  4. buy_item(item)
    – returns success or failure, emails will be sent to confirm Seller and Buyer.
  5. sell_item(title, description, location, category, price, quantity, email-address, etc.)
    – returns success or failure, emails will be sent to confirm Seller.

This is probably enough to make some magic happen. We’ll see.

There’ll be other details, like encryption between webservice and frontends, how to integrate payments and stuff.

I’ll also install some bug-tracking software for anyone who’s interested to participate in QA’ing my software. If you’re interested in working with me, let me know too. My hands are pretty tied to work and play so having an extra hand is always a Good Thing(tm).

Good. Now it’s time to go home and read Life of PI.

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3 Responses

  1. Your explanation is enough to get my jumping out my skin!. After involving myself with a humongous OS project, I think I’m in a pretty good shape to help things move. When you’re done with the API, I’m more than happy to help sort things out and make it work on Recom’s site. and then we can begin the ‘marketing’ side of it. You know better.

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