This one is a beast of my own design, but I could use some expert EE help to get this more efficient. Here's the deal. EE categories are not as functional as I would like, particularly when it comes to custom fields. I have a large number of products to display by category, and at a category level, the site needs to have a description, multiple images, an meta description to jump up into the footer, etc. So I resorted to using an entry for this info - one entry per category. I'm basically using categories in the site only to provide the connection between the two AND to provide parent/child relationships at the category level that would otherwise not be easily achieved. I'm using GW Code Categories to provide concatenation of the category URLS (though not on the product page, which I may revise.)
Yeah, I know - expensive to process, but much more functional on the data side. On the upside, each product only has one category.
So now, when I'm viewing a product, I'm passing that product's assigned category into an embed, then using an entries loop to get the custom fields I need for the category to display within the product entry (the images at a category level, and some other custom field data, get displayed within an individual entry, rather than repeating that info at a product level within the product entry).
Right now, my URL structure is two fold:
catalog/category-name/subcategory-name (this is done within the index template in the catalog group, and once I hit the end of the tree, the list of all products in the category displays from the products channel, and I only ever go up to 2 deep)
catalog/view/product-id It's within view this template that I need to grab the description and images of the category to which the product is assigned (which matches up with an entry in my "category intros" channel)
Can you EE experts out there envision using the query module to make this marriage of content in two channels more efficient to process?