# Thursday, 10 February 2011

imageThe wonderful world of shipping is truly a tangle of complicated business rules and pricing. At uCommerce we realized this long ago thus we do not try to supply every single shipping method known to man in the box. Rather we built a framework to allow you, dear developer, to build to specification whatever you need. Indeed this is at the very core of our Framework First methodology.

The Shipping Method

A shipping method in uCommerce consists of two discrete parts: data for presenting the shipping method to the customer and calculating costs and logic to calculate costs based on whatever is in each shipment for an order. uCommerce supports multiple shipments per order and your shipping method will have the opportunity to calculate different shippings costs based on whats in each shipment.

As you can see in the screenshot above a shipping method contains a bunch of different information.

Common Tab

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All the base information for your shipping method like the name, which will be used in code as well as on shipments created with this particular shipping method.

The default payment method in cases where your shipping method is also a payment like Collect on Delivery.

For developers the Service drop down list is of particular interest as this is where you can hook into the shipping system with your own code to calculate shipping costs. More on that in a separate article.

Access Tab

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When running a multi store set up it’s often handy to be able to set up different shipping methods for different stores and determine which countries each shipping method is available to ship to. The access tabs lets you do just that.Pricing Tab

Pricing Tab

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Here you’ll set up the pricing for your shipping method. By default each shipping method can have individual pricing in each price group, which means that you differentiate pricing in multi currency scenarios or even for individual customers if they’re working with individual price groups. The pricing strategy can be overridden by creating a custom shipping method service, which is covered in another article.

Multilingual Tabs (English)

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The final tabs covers the multilingual capability of uCommerce. Most areas in the admin UI will have multilingual tabs assigned to them. uCommerce will pick of the configured languages in Umbraco and display a multilingual tabs for each of them where appropriate. For shipping methods this means that you can set up information about each shipping method to match whatever language your customers speak.

Summing It All Up

As you’ve seen uCommerce shipping methods are very straightforward to set up. You can have multiple shipping methods configured and you decide which stores each of the shippings method are available to. For each shipping method you can either use the out of the box shipping providers or you can roll your own to match customer requirements exactly.

You might also be interested in reading Building a Custom Shipping Method Service for Calculating Shipping Costs.

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