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Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by andy89, Jul 9, 2006.
Whats the best way to implement a booking system for a B&B?
telephone + pen + paper.
more info please.
Is that B&B a Bed & Breakfast?
Do you want the same system to be able to handle online requests as well as those by phone or entered by staff?
Yes it does mean B&B.
And thats a good idea.
I think I could implement a booking system easy enough, but how would I go about added a feauture so people could pay a deposit?
Funny, I'm developing a site which does pretty much the same, books a house to rent. Currently I have it set up so email/phone are the only way to book. I think to take payments you need to go to the bank and set something up.
Send me specs and lots of $$$
Seriously, though, if you want to do this electronically through a website, you'll want a webhost that has PHP/MySQL. Write a user interface to search for open rooms and book them, then an administrator interface to manage bookings and print reports.
I'm sure there's OTS software also, but homegrown is much more fun.
Edit: forgot to add that you can use sites like PayPal to process credit card payments without the end user even knowing that its a PayPal transaction, and its not too expensive either.
I know you can use Paypal on your own site but they have it now so the user has no idea they're going through PayPal? It's been a while since I've looked into using PayPal on a site but last time I saw it it screamed PayPal.
short answer- i have no clue
i know the people at this hotel use mac's and have a booking system that prints out recepts...etc it also seems to have a database of customers...etc all built into the program (i was looking over their shoulder)
i'm 80% sure the prgm they use is an os9 program
they are using some imac's
look like g5's but- might be g4's
the couple who own the inn are really nice
i'm forgetting their names
and they have a new zelander (woman from new zeland) who help them
It would be best to develop it in PHP and MySql, or use a PHP framework like Symphony or other to develop in. Those languages are the most well-known, I think, so if you it'll be easier to find help if you need it.
My advice is, if you are starting out with db programming, to start simple to learn the ropes and then add progressively more refinements.
You'll need at least an admin interface so that you can go in and update the site if a room is booked by phone.
If you are security conscious, take some pains to keep updating to the latest php/mysql/framework and don't implement your own payment solution. Use paypal or another payment provider or just let people wire you the money when they reserve.
If you are looking for a strictly online booking/reservation system, then that is relatively simple. It can just be a modified shopping cart system basically. You may even be able to do this with FoxyCart.
Now if you are looking at using a system, that books online, but is also tied into a home system where you can book in house, over the phone, or in person, you may be looking at tens of thousands of dollars.
My suggestion, use the online shopping cart, they can be implemented fairly simply, and when someone is booking over the phone, just get their info and use the same website that they would to book their reservation. No sense in paying a ton of money for a network that is only going to be used for a small bed and breakfast. If you were starting a large hotel, then yes, you'd need a large network with administrative control and all that junk, but FoxyCart would probably work just fine.
By the way, here is the link for FOXYCART:
There is a contact form on the right side of the website, just email them and ask if you can set up a product that would chose a specific range of dates, if you can, then it will work just fine. If you can only sell products, then it's not for you. I've never used FoxyCart for this purpose, so im not sure. Always worth a shot.
EDIT: I found a topic on the FoxyCart forums talking about a hotel reservation management system, and it seems to be possible, according to an Admin at FoxyCart.
As I suspected, you can just build the date picker for the check-in and check-out dates, but the tricky part would be the JS coding required in getting the price to change when they choose a longer range of dates.
An easy solution to this would be as follows: If you are planning on only requiring a deposit, then the JS coding will not be required. No matter what dates they choose the deposit price would remain the same. That then poses the problem, of not showing them what their total will be at check, perhaps that can be fixed with a simple sentence explaining the pricing per day, and that if they want the total, they can just call or something.
I know it's a hassle, but if you want something cheap, a lot of times it's not the most convenient solution. FoxyCart is pretty amazing though. I think you'll find the people there are great with support and that the system usually works flawlessly. They also handle all of the PCI and SSL certificates and security, so you don't have to pay for any of that. It's like 20$/month, but you would pay more than that for the certificates alone for a self-hosted eCommerce platform, so it's a good deal.
Just one link for an easy to use jQuery date-picker (just google it if you prefer a different one):
Joolma has several Reservation add-ons, see:
Hope this helps