Selling configurable products with a high number of attributes

Currently selling configurable products with Tryton is limited to the usage of variants. I am looking for improvements that need to be made in this area to improve the functionality for selling configurable products with a high number of attributes.

For example:

  • Computers (in the meaning of individual configurations)
  • Cars
  • Mobile Phone Tariffs (its a service but there are also options you can select)

For these examples IMHO creating all possible variants in the beginning seems not be the best idea.
Would it be a good idea to create the needed variant on first usage?

What would be the best way to handle restrictions in the configuration?

Currently there is only the product_attribute module to manage attributes on products. But i does not seem to be suitable to use it for configuration attributes of variants. Do we need a different module for that?

I think we need a way to link configuration attributes to other products to be able to create a BOM based on the lines of the sale order.

In addition you do not want to show this product as one line on the sale but in many cases you want to show the price of the base product and the selected options in separate lines.
But if we add the selected options as separate lines on the sale then we need a way to group them to a configuration when we want to build a BOM after the order has been processed.
Another option could be to explode one sale line on the report to multiple lines that show the prices of the selected attribute values.

One solution that comes in my mind is a product configurator. But for very custom products a product configurator is not a good option as it needs to much configuration. A simpler and more flexible solutions would be more helpful for these cases.

I think there is a lot of work to do and i see a lot of chances for the project if we manage to find a proper implementation of these problems. I am looking forward to your comments. Thx.

I don’t know how relevant this is , but I think this part bears some similarities with the proposal for Product Kit Support.

The Rational of this proposal says

Such product can not be managed in Tryton because at the shipment level those kit must be managed by individual components.

In the case of selling configurable products it is just the other way. On the shipment level you may have only one item for (perhaps) multiple lines on the sale order.

For me, there is no magical solution to cover all cases.
Indeed I see three cases:

  • The products are standardized and the number of variants is small, so you can create all the variants in the system

  • The products are standardized but the number of possible variants is too large. So you need to create them on the fly. This can be done by selecting the template on the sale line and filling the attributes. The sale workflow will be responsible to create the variant if it does not exist.

  • The products are not standardized. So it is pointless to create a variant for it. It could probably be managed by a unique lot/serial on which we store the attributes. The shipment must enforce to use the proper lot.

Now about the production, we know that the BoM should be improved to be able to use template when needed and to have some mechanism to deduce the proper product to use (table that link attributes to variant etc.)
Also in case the lot is fixed for a shipment, the supply modules must create the proper production order.