I am looking for clarification on why I would have simple products with attributes?
As to me they look like simple products that have lost their 'parent/configurable product'.
Or would you use 'Attributes' on a simple product for some other reason?
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Magento uses attributes to define a product. When I say product, I mean, physical products in this case i.e. book, cloth. We can use attributes like author_name, version for books but for cloth we need to use size, colour.
In Magento, we create author_name and version attributes, make them available to create configurable product, assign other meta data to it, assign them in an attribute set i.e. ‘product_book’. You can create attribute set form Catalog > Manage Attribute Sets. Attribute set is something where you can group different attributes but for a specific product in this case book.
Now when you create any simple product with the attribute set ‘product_book’ as opposed to ‘Default’, you will be having those two attributes author_name, version available with default attributes.
However, configurable product is created based on an attribute set and available attributes under this attribute set which have been selected to create a configurable product i.e. author_name, version. Now these two attributes will be used as ‘Super attributes’ for this configurable product. You can say, configurable products group similar simple products.
The same applies for cloth product.
Please post your reply if you need more information.
Ok thanks for that, but what I meant is why would I want a 'simple product' with attributes?
What benefit would it be to have a product, using you example
Book with attributes 'Author' and 'Version'
Rather than just creating a simple product for a 'Book' without any attributes?
Yes you certainly can create simple products but you will be given default attributes though. but it's not practical and feasible approach.
Sorry I don't understand what you mean?
Why would I want a 'Simple Product' to have 'Attributes' ?