Zen Cart, by Suhreed Sarkar

It’s really difficult to write a good manual for a product like Zen Cart. The chief obstacle to universal acclaim is the fact that the market is highly segregated: newbies who are unlikely to venture beyond modifying simple admin settings are not going to want to the customization details that will excite experienced PHP developers. So how do you balance these interests?

Suhreed Sarkar’s new book Zen Cart E-commerce Application Development walks the wire nicely. It provides ample coverage of admin panel basics that every shopowner needs to know, and also takes the time to discuss topics like changing templates and writing CSS. There is code in every chapter (even some code I wrote from Better Together), which is going to be very helpful for someone who wants to go beyond the customization capabilities which are available through the admin panel. The book’s treatment of add-ons is also useful, as is the background and comparative information for people coming from OSCommerce.

If I had to buy a single book on Zen Cart, it would still be Goh Koon Hoek’s manual. However, for users seeking a litle more detail and a gentle introduction to changing files and using contributions, this book is a nice addition. Good luck to Suhreed Sarkar and Packt Publishing!

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