Product Options vs. Product Fields
Table of contents
What is the difference between a Product Option and a Product Field?
Product Options are presented as both obligatory and optional information for the purchaser to complete while ordering a product, hence Product Options are visible to the customer. This way they gather information for the purchaser, such as name, email, phone, website, or for the specific copy of the product itself, such as IP, location, NS, Control Panel, etc. Moreover, Product Options are set per customer product, i.e. the specific "copy" of that product for that specific user.
E.g. - two customers purchase Simple Hosting. In the Management panel, the Simple Hosting product has certain Options enabled, that are the same for both customers. Still, some of them are obligatory, others are not. So one of the users may complete more from the optional information than the other. At the end of these purchases, one user has Simple Hosting with provided additional personal and preference information, and the other has Simple Hosting with less additional personal and preference information provided.
Product Fields are not visible to the customer and don't require any additional information to be completed for them. They use key-values from the system to set default criteria for the product. These are settings that are "non-negotiable" and are embedded in the product, as per the preference of the Administrator. Therefor, Product Fields are set per the catalog product in general and each purchased copy of the product comes with these criteria.
E.g. - if a customer is to purchase a basic email service, it should, or usually has, a limit of how many email accounts could be cerated, e.g. 5 (five). So in the Billia Management Panel the product of basic email service will have a Field with Key representing the email limit statement for the system, and Value representing the limit itself - 5. Anyone who purchases this product will by default have the ability to create at most that many accounts.
Why is additional information for the product added as an Extra Field rather than part of the product initial description?
This has been done for flexibility of the system. Setting that information in the product's initial description could potentially make it too requiring for the website and the front-end. Additionally, not all products may need such additional information or even the same space for it. Therefor, the Product Field makes it flexible for any type of front-end that could be designed for the business's website/page/eCommerce.
Do all Product Options have Identifiers?
No, not all Product Options have Identifiers. Certain Products need Identifiers to help users and Admins differentiate between the same or similar products. E.g. - a domain product has the identifier domain name, a hosting service has the domain name identifier, as well, a different service may have the IP as identifier. Some products may be too unique by themselves and not need an Identifier. It is only for the person viewing or managing these services/products, the system does not use the Identifiers in any way.
What Options are available for a newly created product?
Options are per plug-in (module) and are usually created upfront. Once a Product is created and a module is chosen, the Options for that module will appear in the respective section. Additionally, with the help of the Filter settings, Options from other modules can be additionally added. Moreover, custom options can be manually created on the spot.