In certain cases, a particular product may have a number of different variants, each of which is represented by a distinct Item. For example, if you sell shirts the same basic shirt may come in three different sizes (small, medium, and large), and three different colors (red, green, and blue). A convenient way to represent this set of related Items is to use a Matrix Item.
A Matrix Item allows you to create and group together all the related Matrix Combinations (i.e. separate Items). This makes the creation and editing of the different combinations easier than if the associated Items were created one by one.
Note: Any Item can be designated a Matrix Item when it is created i.e. a Matrix Item is not a distinct Item in its own right. So for example, you can have Matrix Stock and Service Items, and you can even have Matrix Discount/Mark up Items.
How to Create a Matrix Item
Let's go through a simple example to show how Matrix Items work. We will use shirts as the basic product.
Step 1: Creating the required Attributes
First set up two attributes called Color and Size. The Color attribute can have values Red, Blue and Green. The Size attribute can have values Small, Medium and Large. For more information on Item Attributes see Attributes
Step 2: Create the Matrix Master Item
Create a Stock Item (or Non-Stock if you prefer) with an appropriate Item Code and a Description. Before saving, make sure that the Matrix Item checkbox is ticked. This indicates that the Item is a Matrix Item. Enter the remaining details and save the Item.
After saving the Item you will notice 2 things. First, the Matrix Parent Field indicates this is the Matrix Master, secondly a Matrix Tab has appeared, this shows the different Items corresponding to combinations in this Matrix. Initially, there is only one Item combination, which is the Master itself.
Step 3: Add Matrix Combinations
Now you have created the Matrix Master, you can add Item combinations based on different Attribute values. Click on Edit and go to the Matrix Tab.
Adding Matrix combinations is easy. Simply enter the new Item Code (remember the combination is a new Item), select the required Attribute values and click on Add Combination. The new Item will automatically appear in the Matrix Combination Table.
Note: The new Item will inherit all the values from the Item it is created from (including account mappings etc). If you want to change these values simply change them in the Item before clicking Add Combination.
You can edit any of the combinations by clicking the corresponding Edit button. Moreover, you do not have to use the Matrix Master to create more combinations. You can do this from any of the Matrix combinations as well.