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    How to integrate a pricing engine (proto-type in excel) into website


    Iím not a programmer but currently boot-strapping a start-up company and I please need some expert advice to help me recruit the right free-lance developer.

    Iíve built a prototype pricing engine in excel that aims to simulate travel market prices, and I now need to integrate this into my website Ė letís call it travel.com. The pricing engine runs of multiple inputs including date of travel, time of travel, hotel class, number of nights, etc. and also is impacted by how far in the future the travel is planned for. I also need to be able to update the algorithm manually on a regular basis.

    From researching I believe the easiest way to implement the engine into my website would be to use PHP and MySQL, using the excel proto-type to build price tables and to then pull the responses base on inputs. My first question is whether you think this would be the best way to do this?

    I also utilise a couple of sliders on the website that enable customers to choose their travel window (e.g. between 4pm and 8pm). My second question is whether there would be a way to pull a range of prices so that the total price updates instantly when changing the sliders, rather than having to hit the server each time the slider is moved?

    All help would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks, James.
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    From researching I believe the easiest way to implement the engine into my website would be to use PHP and MySQL, using the excel proto-type to build price tables and to then pull the responses base on inputs. My first question is whether you think this would be the best way to do this?
    Using the algorithm in a spreadsheet to populate a database table sounds like a pretty awkward design unless the data in the table never changes. Since your algorithm is based on date, I assume the data will change or at least expand pretty frequently over time. From a design perspective it would make more sense to implement the pricing algorithm in PHP itself. Depending on the way the data needs to be used, it may not even be necessary to have a database table for the data.

    I also utilise a couple of sliders on the website that enable customers to choose their travel window (e.g. between 4pm and 8pm). My second question is whether there would be a way to pull a range of prices so that the total price updates instantly when changing the sliders, rather than having to hit the server each time the slider is moved?
    Yes, you could load a range of data into JavaScript and use that data to update the interface without hitting the server.
    PHP FAQ

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    Thanks E-Orea


    [QUOTE=E-Oreo]Using the algorithm in a spreadsheet to populate a database table sounds like a pretty awkward design unless the data in the table never changes. Since your algorithm is based on date, I assume the data will change or at least expand pretty frequently over time. From a design perspective it would make more sense to implement the pricing algorithm in PHP itself. Depending on the way the data needs to be used, it may not even be necessary to have a database table for the data.

    Many thanks for your reply. I have been looking at fully implementing the code in PHP but the problem is there are so many variables (e.g. day or week, time of day, how long until the trip, etc.) that some of the arrays might be very long. I thought it might be easier to manage these in tables in MySQL and then use some kind of CSV upload to update from time-to-time from my excel proto-type. Does that make sense?

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