I'm going to be receiving product data from multiple 3rd-party sources in a common format.
Generally, I've seen this issue handled by either creating a product for each incoming item in the user's cart from the 3rd-party, or loading all the relevant product data as json in a product's textbox custom option.
The first way can add a lot of bloat to the database, and the second can require updating a lot of templates to use the json data.
Is there a way to directly create quote items without a corresponding product existing? Or does anyone have a good starting point where I could override the existing functionality?
I'm poking around Mage/Checkout but not finding quite what I'm looking for.