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I'm curious to see if Magento supports a product setup I have in mind. I don't think it does natively, but it would be good to hear some ideas and possibly an extension that already does this. It deals with designing a configurable product that has several configurable attributes whose options are dependent on the previously selected option.

For this example, let's use Shirt. Shirt has configurable attributes: color, size, design, design orientation, and wash style. The possible option combinations are as follow:

Black | S, M | [No design]     | [No Design Orientation]
Black | L    | Designs A, B, C | Portait Orientation (for Design A only), Landscape Orientation (for Design B and C) only
Black | XL   | Pre-washed, Frayed (note: this is a XL-specific option)

As shown above, Shirt in Black can be purchased in sizes S and M. When a user selects these size options, he should not see anymore option selections and be able to add to cart. If a user selects size L, however, he should be shown further options. So, if Design A is subsequently selected, Portrait Orientation option would be available but not Landscape. Now, if a user selects XL, he gets a completely different subsequent option.

I would think I'd go with configurable-simple product setup where simple products are composed of all possible options I have shown above in the back-end. On the front-end, I would probably have some Javascript that will hide and/or fill out values for the options (in case for sizes S and M that do not need further option selection). However, I still see some issues with this.

  1. There are going to be so many simple products. I have created products with custom options before to avoid having large simple product sets, but issues 2 and 3 below are not covered (I think) with custom options.

  2. All of the simple products belonging to Shirt will have the same set of attributes even though simple products with size S won't need any more other configurable attributes, for example. I don't want these specific sizes to have values like N/A or None for Design and Orientation.

  3. [PLEASE IGNOTE THIS ITEM; I LEFT IT HERE FOR RECORD] I'm not even sure if I can incorporate size XL's scenario, where the subsequent option is completely different from the other sizes.

Any thoughts?

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I don't think this setup is possible with configurable products.

But really think about dropping this:

I don't want these specific sizes to have values like N/A or None for Design and Orientation.

Then you can achieve everything you want. Just add the options N/A or just 0 and a little JS to hide the select boxes or showing them, when they are needed.

The frontend handles already the case, that only the options are shown which are available. So when you choose Black, S then only N/A is shown. If this is hidden and automatically chosen, your customer gets what you want

  • Hey Fabian, thanks for the response. I do realize issue #2 can be taken care of on the client-side, and it looks like that would be the best way with config-simple product setup.. However, I'm really more concerned about issue #1. This product setup will force me to use a lot of simple product for a given config product. I think the problem with custom-option approach is that I can't assign dynamic pricing for options that are dependent on the set of options selected. – musicliftsme Nov 25 '13 at 18:20
  • I probably need to write a custom module to achieve what I want, I'm thinking. – musicliftsme Nov 25 '13 at 18:22
  • Case 2 and 3 are not solvable by custom options. So choice is easy – Fabian Blechschmidt Nov 25 '13 at 18:43

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