1.0.1 What Type of Connection to the Online Database to Choose

Store Manager offers three types of connections to a store database: Direct Connection, PHP Bridge Connection, Connector Module.

Choosing the right type of connection will help you to:

  • Overcome database access restrictions established by your hosting company.
  • Increase the speed of bulk updates.
  • Consider the peculiarities of your workflow and make store management more effective.

Let’s review the main characteristics of every type and help you pick up the right connection.

Direct Connection

It is the type of connection that links Store Manager to the store database directly.

Advantages of Direct Connection:

  • All the changes that you do in Store Manager are applied to the store instantly and can be viewed at the storefront.
  • Up to 4 people can work with the store simultaneously.

What you should consider:

  • Every accidental modification is instantly applied to the store database. Unless you have database backup, there’s no way to undo the changes.
  • It requires direct access to the database on a server. Some hosting companies forbid this type of connection by default. In such cases, you can use Bridge connection or Module Connector.
  • The speed of direct connection depends on the speed of your internet and the power of the server.
  • Bulk import of large amounts of products is slower than with the Bridge Connection.

PHP Bridge Connection

PHP Bridge Connection - implies creating a copy of your store database on your local computer, making the updates, and synchronizing them with the online store database periodically.

How does it work:

The connection is established through a Bridge.php file. The file is uploaded to your website through FTP and is used for two operations – getting data from the remote database to the local PC and posting the changes to the online database. The Bridge is not a connection itself, actually it is just a way to transfer files between a remote and local machine.

With this type of connection, you need to synchronize changes between your store and computer manually:

  1. Download the latest version of the online database by pressing the [Get Data from Web] button.
  2. Make necessary updates to the database in Store Manager.
  3. Send data back to the store by pressing the [Post Changes to Web] button.

Advantages:

  • This type of connection works in situations when the direct connection is not possible.
  • You can undo the changes until they are sent to your website (by pressing the [Get Data from Web] button).
  • Avoid server overload - making changes locally allows using your PC resources to perform "heavy" operations like import and mass changes.
  • You can work offline and apply changes to the store later when an internet connection is available.

What you should consider:

  • If someone else is working with the same store and modifies the same kind of data (orders, products, etc.), you may not be able to apply the changes you’ve made.
  • You need to execute the [Get Data from Web] command before making any updates in Store Manager and then execute the [Post Changes to Web] command to apply the updates to the store.

Module Connector

This type of connection works the same as Bridge connection. The difference is that data is transferred through the native WooCommerce module (Connector) which is installed at your Admin panel (store back-end).

To install the module, see article 1.1. Connect through Store Manager Connector

Advantages:

  • All requests go through the module of the online store.
  • Easy installation via your store admin panel.

What you should consider:

  • You should have a powerful server that can process the request with API to work with the module.
  • The same as with the Bridge connection, you have to receive data from the store and send it back after the modifications were made.

In conclusion, let’s see in what cases what type of connection is better to use.

  • Instant product editing - Direct Connection (everything you’ve changed in the program will be visible at the store instantly).
  • Import of a large number of products and faster bulk updates - Bridge Connection.
  • Product editing offline - Bridge Connection (this is relevant for the existing products or categories).
  • Canceling the changes in the database - Bridge Connection (do not send changes from PC to the online store)
  • Establishing connection via a native WooCommerce module - Connector Module.