Magento Php Developers Guide

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Magento PHP Developer's

Get started with the flexible and powerful e-commerce
framework, Magento

Allan MacGregor


Magento PHP Developer's Guide
Copyright © 2013 Packt Publishing

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
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However, Packt Publishing cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

First published: April 2013

Production Reference: 1250313

Published by Packt Publishing Ltd.
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Birmingham B3 2PB, UK.
ISBN 978-1-78216-306-0

Cover Image by Sandeep Babu (

Allan MacGregor
Jay El-Kaake

Project Coordinator
Anugya Khurana
Jonathan Todd

Michael K. Kreitzer
Corey Slavnik
Acquisition Editor
Edward Gordon
Lead Technical Editor
Azharuddin Sheikh
Technical Editors
Devdutt Kulkarni
Kaustubh S. Mayekar
Ankita R. Meshram

Tejal Soni
Aditi Gajjar
Production Coordinator
Arvindkumar Gupta
Cover Work
Arvindkumar Gupta

About the Author
Allan MacGregor is a Magento Certified Developer Plus with four years of

Magento experience. He also has a certification in Linux System Administration
by IBM.

He started working with Magento as a freelance looking for a better framework to
build e-commerce solutions, and he is now the Magento Lead Developer at Demac
Media ( He's very passionate about software development
in general. He is constantly working with new technologies and frameworks.
At Demac Media, he has participated in building core solutions for a wide
range of clients; this has given him the experience and knowledge to solve
many Magento challenges.
As part of an internal project at Demac Media, he worked on
(, a unique service for monitoring and auditing the
code health of a Magento store. You can also follow him on Twitter at
Writing this book has been a demanding experience but full of
rewards. While writing, I have discovered more of Magento and a
little bit more of myself, both as a person and a developer.
First and foremost, I want to thank my amazing wife for her
unconditional support and understanding while working on
these projects.
To Matthew Bertulli and Dimitri Colomvakos, co-founders of Demac
Media, for all their support.
To my co-workers and friends, Michael Krietzer and Corey Slavnik,
who kindly volunteered their time and effort to review this book.
And special thanks to the whole Demac Media family.
This wouldn't be possible without any of you.

About the Reviewers
Jay El-Kaake started his first tech entrepreneurship adventure at the age of

10 when he developed and launched his first website. Now, as a Co-founder
and CEO of Sweet Tooth Inc, Jay oversees up to 1,000 Magento stores per year
as Sweet Tooth's client base of over 3,000 Magento e-commerce clients grows.
Through his role at Sweet Tooth Inc., Jay was the lead in developing some of the
most popular extensions of Magento: Sweet Tooth Rewards, a full-featured loyalty
and rewards program extension; Better Store Search, a turn-key product search
optimizer; Better Store CMS, a Magento CMS improver; and Enhanced Grid, the
second most downloaded community-written extension for Magento with over
70,000 installations.
Jay's GitHub account can be found at
You can also follow Jay on Twitter at

Michael K. Kreitzer, born in Chatham, Ontario, and raised in the small

town of Thamesville, began his journey in the IT industry at an early age from
the moment he wrote his first Hello World program. He studied Computer
Programming at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and is now a Magento
Certified Plus Developer at Demac Media Inc. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario
with his wife Megan and dog Padme.
I would like to thank my family for their love and support, as well as
my co-workers who help me continue to learn every day.

Corey Slavnik is a Certified Magento Developer from Toronto, Ontario. He
understood his affinity for programming at a young age when he built games in
RPG Maker 2000. He attended McMaster University for his undergraduate degree
and continued to learn (and love) Magento at Demac Media. Corey also enjoys craft
beer and yoga.
I would like to thank my parents for always pushing me to pursue
great opportunities, and my co-workers, who have helped me learn
all things about Magento.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Understanding and Setting Up Our Development
LAMP from scratch
Getting VirtualBox
Booting our virtual machine
Installing Apache2
Installing PHP
Installing MySQL
Putting everything together
Up and running with Vagrant
Installing Vagrant
Choosing an IDE
Working with a version control system

Chapter 2: Magento Fundamentals for Developers
Zend Framework – the base of Magento
Magento folder structure
Modular architecture
Code pools
Routing and request flow
Magento version of MVC
Dissecting a layout file




Table of Contents

Websites and store scopes
Factory names and functions
Events and observers
Event dispatch
Observer bindings


Chapter 3: ORM and Data Collections


Chapter 4: Frontend Development


Magento Model Anatomy
It's magic – methods
EAV Model
What is EAV?
Retrieving the data
Working with Magento collections
Get product collection only from a specific category
Get new products added since X date
Get Bestseller products
Filter product collection by visibility
Filter products without images
Add multiple sort orders
Using Direct SQL
Extending Magento
Further improvements
Hello Magento
XML module configuration
Models and saving data
Creating the models
Setup resources
Defining a setup resource
Creating the Installer Script



What have we learned?
Setting up our routes
The index controller
The search controller
The view controller

[ ii ]

Table of Contents

Block and layouts
IndexController blocks and views
SearchController blocks and views
ViewController block and views
Adding products to the registry


Chapter 5: Backend Development


Chapter 6: The Magento API


Chapter 7: Testing and Quality Assurance


Extending the Adminhtml
Back to the configuration
The grid widget
Managing the registries
Permissions and the ACL
Updating in bulk with Massactions
The form widget
Loading the data
Saving the data

The Core API
Using the API
Setting up the API credentials for XML-RPC/SOAP
Setting up the REST API credentials
Loading and reading data
Updating data
Deleting a product
Extending the API
Extending the REST API
Securing the API
Testing Magento
Unit testing
Regression testing
Functional tests

[ iii ]


Table of Contents

Tools and testing frameworks
Unit testing with PHPUnit

Installing Ecomdev_PHPUnit
Setting up the configuration for our extension
Anatomy of a Test case
Creating a unit test

Functional tests with Mink

Magento Mink installation and setup





Creating our first test

Chapter 8: Deployment and Distribution

The road towards zero-downtime deployment
Make it right from scratch
Be sure that what you see is what you get
Ready means ready
Version control system and deployment
Packing our extension
Package Info
Release Info
Load Local Package

Publishing our extension





Appendix: Hello Magento




The configuration
The controller
Testing the route


[ iv ]

The Magento PHP Developer's Guide will help new and not so new developers
to understand and work with Magento's fundamental concepts and standard
practices for developing and testing code in Magento.
This book is my attempt to write a guide that answers questions that many
developers, including myself, had when we started to develop for Magento:
What is EAV? How does the ORM in Magento work? What are observers
and events? Which design patterns were used to create Magento?
Most importantly, this book also answers questions that many developer still have to
this day: What is the standard for developing modules and extending the frontend
and backend? How can I properly test my code? What is the best method to deploy
and distribute custom modules?

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment, will help you
set up a complete environment for Magento development with MySQL and Apache.
Additionally, we will go over the tools available to facilitate the development,
several IDEs, and version control systems.
Chapter 2, Magento Fundamentals for Developers, will be about the fundamental
concepts of Magento, such as the system architecture, MVC implementation,
and its relation with Zend Framework. All the concepts in this chapter will
set the foundation for developers starting with Magento.
Chapter 3, ORM and Data Collections, covers collections and models in Magento that
are the bread and butter of everyday Magento development. In this chapter, we will
introduce the reader to the Magento ORM system, and we will learn how to properly
work with data collections and the EAV system.


Chapter 4, Frontend Development, will explain the practical use of the skills and
knowledge we have acquired so far, and we'll be building a fully functional Magento
Module step by step. The custom module will allow readers to apply a variety of
important concepts, such as working with collections, routing, sessions, and caching.
Chapter 5, Backend Development, will extend what we built in the previous chapter and
create an interface in the Magento backend for interacting with our application data.
We will learn about extending the backend, the admin HTML theme, setting data
sources, and controlling our extension behavior through configuration.
Chapter 6, The Magento API, will explain the Magento API and how we can extend it
for providing access to the custom data that we captured using our extension.
Chapter 7, Testing and Quality Assurance, will help the reader learn critical skills
for testing our Magento modules and custom, which form an integral part of
development. We will learn about the different types of tests and the tools
available for each particular type of test.
Chapter 8, Deployment and Distribution, will help the reader learn about the
multiple tools available for deploying our code to a production environment
and how to properly pack our extensions for distribution through channels
such as Magento Connect.
Appendix, Hello Magento, will give new developers a quick and easy to follow
introduction for creating our first Magento Extension.

What you need for this book

You will need an installation of Magento 1.7, either on a local machine or on a remote
server, your favorite code editor, and permissions to install and modify files.

Who this book is for

If you are a PHP developer getting started with Magento or if you already have some
experience with Magento and want to understand the Magento architecture and how
to extend the frontend and backend of Magento, this is the book for you!
You are expected to be confident with PHP5. No experience with Magento
Development is expected, although you should be familiar with basic Magento
operations and concepts.




In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between
different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles and an
explanation of their meaning.
Code words in text are shown as follows: "GitHub now includes a .gitignore file
specifically for Magento, which will ignore all the files in the Magento core and only
keep track of our own code."
A block of code is set as follows:
"id": "default",
"host": "",
"repo": [
"url": "",

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:
$ vagrant box add lucid32
$ vagrant init lucid32
$ vagrant up

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on
the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this:
"You should now see Apache's default web page with the message It Works!".
Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.

Tips and tricks appear like this.



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Understanding and Setting
Up Our Development
In this chapter, we will go over the stack of technologies involved in running
Magento and how to set up a proper environment for development. The following
topics will be covered in this chapter:

LAMP virtual machine


Setting up and using VirtualBox


Setting up and using Vagrant


IDEs and version control systems

We will also learn how to set up a LAMP virtual machine from scratch and how to
automate this process entirely using Vagrant and Chef.

LAMP from scratch

LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) is a solution stack of open source
technologies, which is used for building a web server and is also the current
standard for running Magento.
For a more detailed list of requirements, please visit


Although Nginx has seen a wider range of adoption among Magento
developers at the time of writing this book, Apache2 is still the
community-accepted standard. We will focus on working with it.

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

As developers, there are multiple challenges and nuances of setting and maintaining
our development environment, such as:

Matching your development and production environments


Keeping a consistent environment between different platforms and
team members


Setting up a new environment that takes several hours


Not all developers have the knowledge or experience for setting up a LAMP
server on their own

We can resolve the first two points with the help of Oracle's VirtualBox
( VirtualBox is a powerful and widely popular virtualization
engine that will allow us to create virtual machines (VMs). VMs can also be shared
between developers and across all major operating systems.

Getting VirtualBox

VirtualBox is open source, and it is supported across all platforms. It can be
downloaded directly from
Now, we will proceed to setting up a Linux virtual machine. We have selected
Ubuntu Server 12.04.2 LTS for its ease of use and widely available support. First,
download the ISO file from; both 64-bit and
32-bit versions will work.
To create a new Linux virtual machine, perform the following steps:
1. Start VirtualBox Manager and click on the New button in the upper-left
corner, as shown in the following screenshot:

2. A wizard dialog will pop up and will guide us through the steps for creating
a bare virtual machine. The wizard will ask us for the basic information for
setting up the virtual machine:

VM Name: How shall we name our virtual machine? Let's name it
Magento_dev 01.


Memory: This is the value of system memory that will be assigned
to the guest operating system when our VM starts; for running a full
LAMP server, 1 GB or more is recommended.

Chapter 1


Operating System Type: This is the type of OS that we will be
installing later; in our case, we want to select Linux/Ubuntu, and
depending on our selection, VirtualBox will enable or disable certain
VM options.

3. Next, we need to specify a virtual hard disk. Select Create a virtual hard
drive now, as shown in the following screenshot:

4. There are many hard disk options available, but for most purposes, selecting
VirtualBox Disk Image (VDI) will suffice. This will create a single file on our
host operating system.
5. We now need to select the type of storage on the physical drive. We are
provided with the following two options:

Dynamically Allocated: The disk image will grow automatically as
the number of files and usage on our guest operating system grows


Fixed Size: This option will limit the size of the virtual disk from
the start

6. Next, we will need to specify the size of our virtual hard disk. We want
to adjust the size depending on how many Magento installations we
plan to use.

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

In general, we want to keep at least 2 GB per Magento installation,
and another 3 GB if we are running the database server on the same
installation. This is not to say that all that space will be used at once or
even at all, but Magento installations can use a lot of disk space once
product images and cache files are factored in.

7. Finally, we just need to click on the Create button.
The main difference is that the fixed-size hard disk will reserve
the space on the physical hard drive right from the start, whereas
the dynamically allocated hard disk will grow incrementally until
it acquires the specified size.

The newly created box will appear on the left-hand side navigation menu,
but before starting our recently created VM, we need to make some changes,
as follows:

Select our newly created VM and click on the Settings button at
the top.

ii. Open the Network menu and select Adapter 2. We will set
Attached to to Bridged Adapter as we want to set this up as a
bridged adapter to our main network interface. This will allow us
to connect remotely using SSH.

[ 10 ]

Chapter 1

iii. Go to the System menu and change the boot order so that the
CD/DVD-ROM boots first.
iv. On the Storage menu, select one of the empty IDE controllers and
mount our previously downloaded Ubuntu ISO image.

Booting our virtual machine

At this point, we have successfully installed and configured our VirtualBox instance,
and we are now ready to boot our new virtual machine for the first time. To do this,
just select the VM in the left sidebar and click on the Start button at the top.
A new window will pop up with an interface to the VM. Ubuntu will take a few
minutes to boot up.

[ 11 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

Once Ubuntu has finished booting up, we will see two menus. The first menu
will allow us to select the language, and the second one is the main menu, which
provides several options. In our case, we just want to proceed with the Install
Ubuntu Server option.

We should now see the Ubuntu installation wizard, which will ask for our language
and keyboard settings; after selecting the appropriate settings for our country and
language, the installer will proceed to load all the necessary packages in memory.
This can take up a few minutes.
Ubuntu will proceed to configure our main network adapter, and once the automatic
configuration is done, we will be asked to set up the hostname for the virtual
machine. We can leave the hostname to default settings.

[ 12 ]

Chapter 1

The next screen will request us to enter the full name of our user; for this example,
let's use Magento Developer:

Next, we will be asked to create a username and password. Let's use magedev as
our username:

And let's use magento2013 as our password:

[ 13 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

On the next screens, we will be asked to confirm our password and set up the
correct time zone; after entering the right values, the installation wizard will
show the following screen asking about our partition settings:

In our case, we select Guided – use entire disk and set up LVM; let's now confirm
that we are partitioning our virtual disk:

We will be asked to confirm our changes a final time; select Finish partitioning and
write changes to disk, as shown in the following screenshot:

[ 14 ]

Chapter 1

The installation wizard will ask us to select predefined packages to install; one of the
options available is LAMP server.
Although this is highly convenient, we don't want to install the LAMP server that
comes pre-packaged with our Ubuntu CD; we will be installing all the LAMP
components manually to guarantee that they are set up according to specific needs
and are up to date with the latest patches.
Next, for this, we will need an SSH server; select OpenSSH server from the list and
click on Continue:

Now, installation of Ubuntu is complete and it will reboot into our newly installed
virtual box.
We are almost ready to proceed with the installation of the rest of our environment,
but first we need to update our package manager repository definitions, log in to the
console and run the following command:
$ sudo apt-get update

APT stands for Advanced Packaging Tool and is one of the core libraries included
with most Debian GNU/Linux distributions; apt greatly simplifies the process of
installing and maintaining software on our systems.
Once apt-get has finished updating all the repository sources, we can proceed with
the installation of the other components of our LAMP server.

[ 15 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

Installing Apache2

Apache is an HTTP server. Currently, it is used to host over 60 percent of the
websites on the Web and is the accepted standard for running Magento stores.
There are many guides and tutorials available online for fine-tuning and tweaking
Apache2 for increasing Magento performance.
Installing Apache is as simple as running the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install apache2 -y

This will take care of installing Apache2 and all the required dependencies for us. If
everything has been installed correctly, we can now test by opening our browser and
Apache by default runs as a service and can be controlled with the following commands:
$ sudo apache2ctl stop
$ sudo apache2ctl start
$ sudo apache2ctl restart

You should now see Apache's default web page with the message It Works!.

Installing PHP

PHP is a server-side scripting language and stands for PHP Hypertext Processor.
Magento is implemented on PHP5 and Zend Framework, and we would need to
install PHP and some additional libraries in order to run it.
Let's use apt-get again and run the following commands to get php5 and all the
necessary libraries installed:
$ sudo apt-get install php5 php5-curl php5-gd php5-imagick php5-imap
php5-mcrypt php5-mysql -y
$ sudo apt-get install php-pear php5-memcache -y
$ sudo apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5 -y

The first command installed, not only php5, but also additional packages required by
Magento to connect with our database and manipulate images.

[ 16 ]

Chapter 1

The second command will install PEAR, a PHP package manager and a PHP
memcached adapter.
Memcached is a high-performance, distributed memory caching
system; this is an optional caching system for Magento.

The third command installs and sets up the php5 module for Apache.
We can finally test that our PHP installation is working by running the
following command:
$ php -v

Installing MySQL

MySQL is a popular choice of database for many web applications, and Magento is
no exception. We will need to install and set up MySQL as part of development stack
using the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-client -y

During installation, we will be asked to enter a root password; use magento2013.
Once the installer has finished, we should have a mysql service instance running
in the background. We can test it by trying to connect to the mysql server using the
following command:
$ sudo mysql -uroot -pmagento2013

If everything has been installed correctly, we should see the following mysql
server prompt:

At this point, we have a fully functional LAMP environment that can be used not
only for developing and working on Magento websites but also for any other kind
of PHP development.

[ 17 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

Putting everything together

At this point, we have a basic LAMP set up and running. However, for working with
Magento, we would need to do some configuration changes and additional setup.
The first thing that we will need to do is to create a location to store our development
site's files, so we will run the following commands:
$ sudo mkdir -p /srv/www/magento_dev/public_html/
$ sudo mkdir /srv/www/magento_dev/logs/
$ sudo mkdir /srv/www/magento_dev/ssl/

This will create the necessary folder structure for our first Magento site. Now
we need to check out the latest version of Magento. We can quickly get the files
by using SVN.
We would first need to install SVN on our server with the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install subversion -y

Once the installer has finished, open the magento_dev directory and run the svn
command to get the latest version files:
$ cd /srv/www/magento_dev
$ sudo svn export --force
branches/1.7 public_html/

We will also need to fix some of the permissions on our new Magento copy:
$ sudo chown -R www-data:www-data public_html/
$ sudo chmod -R 755 public_html/var/
$ sudo chmod -R 755 public_html/media/
$ sudo chmod -R 755 public_html/app/etc/

Next, we need to create a new database for our Magento installation. Let's open our
mysql shell:
$ sudo mysql -uroot -pmagento2013

Once in the mysql shell, we can use the create command, which should be followed
by the type of entity (database, table) we want to create and the database name to
create a new database:
mysql> create database magento_dev;

[ 18 ]

Chapter 1

Although we could use the root credentials for accessing our development database,
this is not a recommended practice to follow because it could compromise not only a
single site but also the full database server. MySQL accounts are restricted based on
privileges. We want to create a new set of credentials that has limited privileges to
only our working database:
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON magento_dev.* TO 'mage'@'localhost'
IDENTIFIED BY 'dev2013$#';

Now, we need to properly set up Apache2 and enable some additional modules;
fortunately, this version of Apache comes with a set of useful commands:

a2ensite: This creates symlinks between the vhost files in the
sites-available and the sites-enabled folders to allow the

Apache Server to read those files.

a2dissite: This removes the symlinks created by the a2ensite command.


a2enmod: This is used to create symlinks between the mods-enabled
directory and the module configuration files.


a2dismod: This will remove the symlinks from mods-enabled directory. This

This effectively disables the site.

command will prevent the module from being loaded by Apache.

Magento uses the mod_rewrite module for generating the URLs. mod_rewrite uses
a rule-based rewriting engine to rewrite request URLs on the fly.
We can enable mod_rewrite with the a2enmod command:
$ sudo a2enmod rewrite

The next step will require that we create a new virtual host file under the
sites-available directory:
$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/

The nano command will open a shell text editor where we can set up the
configuration for our virtual domain:

DocumentRoot /srv/www/magento_dev/public_html

Options Indexes FollowSymlinks MultiViews
AllowOverride All
Order allow,deny
[ 19 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment
allow from all

ErrorLog /srv/www/magento_dev/logs/error.log
LogLevel warn

To save the new virtual host file, press Ctrl + O and then Ctrl + X. The virtual host
file will tell Apache where it can find the site files and what permissions to give
them. In order for the new configuration changes to take effect, we need to enable
the new site and restart Apache. We can use the following commands to do so:
$ sudo a2ensite
$ sudo apache2ctl restart

We are nearly ready to install Magento. We just need to set up a local mapping into
our host system host file by using any of the following:


Open C:\system32\drivers\etc\hosts in notepad

ii. Add the following line at the end of the file:



Open /etc/hosts using nano:
$ sudo nano /etc/hosts

ii. Add the following line at the end of the file:

If you are having problems making the necessary changes to your host
files, please Visit

[ 20 ]

Chapter 1

We can now install Magento by opening in our
browser. At last, we should see the installation wizard. Follow the steps as indicated
by the wizard, and you will be set to go!

Up and running with Vagrant

Previously, we created a Magento install using a VM. Although using a VM gives
us a reliable environment, setting our LAMP for each of our Magento staging
installations can still be very complicated. This is especially true for developers
without experience working on a Unix/Linux environment.
What if we could get all the benefits of running a VM, but with a completely
automated setup process? What if we were able to have new VM instances
created and configured on the fly for each of our staging websites?
This is possible by using Vagrant in combination with Chef. We can create
automated VMs without the need of having an extensive knowledge about
Linux or the different LAMP components.
Vagrant currently supports VirtualBox 4.0.x, 4.1.x, and 4.2.x.

[ 21 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

Installing Vagrant

Vagrant can be downloaded directly from Furthermore,
its packages and installers are available for multiple platforms. Once you download
Vagrant, run the installation.
Once we have installed both Vagrant and VirtualBox, starting a base VM is as simple
as typing the following lines in the terminal or command prompt depending on the
OS you use:
$ vagrant box add lucid32
$ vagrant init lucid32
$ vagrant up

These commands will start a new Vagrant box with Ubuntu Linux installed. From
this point onward, we could start installing our LAMP as normal. But why should
we spend an hour to configure and set up a LAMP server for each project when we
can use Chef to automatically do it? Chef is a configuration management tool written
in Ruby that integrates into Vagrant.
To make it easier for developers who start working with Magento, I have created a
Vagrant repository on Github called magento-vagrant that includes all the necessary
cookbooks and recipes for Chef. The magento-vagrant repository also includes a new
cookbook that will take care of the specific Magento setup and configuration.
In order to start working with magento-vagrant, you will need a working copy
of Git.
If you are using Ubuntu, run the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install git-core -y

For Windows, we can use the native tool at to
download and manage our repositories.
Regardless of the operating system that you are using, we will need to check out a
copy of this repository into our local filesystem. We will use C:/Users/magedev/
Documents/magento-vagrant/ to download and save our repository; inside
magento-vagrant we will find the following files and directories:


[ 22 ]

Chapter 1







The magento-vagrant repository includes cookbooks for each of the components of
our development environment, which will be installed automatically as soon as we
start our new Vagrant box.
The only thing now left to do is to set up our development sites. The process of
adding new Magento sites to our Vagrant installation has been simplified through
the use of Vagrant and Chef.
Inside the data_bags directory, we have one file for each Magento installation
inside our Vagrant box; the default repository comes with an example installation
of Magento CE 1.7.
For each site, we will need to create a new JSON file containing all the settings
that Chef will need. Let's take a look at the magento-vagrant default file, which
can be found at the location C:/Users/magedev/Documents/magento-vagrant/
"id": "default",
"host": "",
"repo": [
"url": "",
"revision": "HEAD"
"database": [
"name": "magento_staging",
"username": "magento",
"password": "magento2013$"

This will automatically set up a Magento installation using the latest files from the
Magento repository.
Adding new sites to our Vagrant box is just a matter of adding a new JSON file for
the corresponding site and restarting the Vagrant box.
Now that we have a running Magento installation, let's look into choosing a proper
integrated development environment (IDE).

[ 23 ]

Understanding and Setting Up Our Development Environment

Choosing an IDE

Choosing the right IDE is mostly a matter of a personal developer's taste. However,
choosing the right IDE can be critical for a Magento developer.
The challenge for the IDEs comes mostly from Magento's extensive usage of factory
names. This makes the implementation of certain features such as code completion
(also known as intellisense) difficult. Currently, there are two IDEs that excel on their
native support of Magento – NetBeans and PhpStorm.
Although NetBeans is open source and has been around for a long time, PhpStorm has
been taking the upper hand and gaining more support from the Magento community.
Furthermore, a recent release of Magicento, a plugin specifically created to extend
and integrate Magento into PhpStorm, has made it the best option among currently
available options.

Working with a version control system

The Magento code base is very extensive, comprising of over 7,000 files and close to a
million and half lines of code. For this reason, working with a version control system
is not only a good practice but also a necessity.
Version control systems are used to keep track of changes across multiple files and
by multiple developers; by using a version control system we gain access to very
powerful tools.
Of the several version control systems available (Git, SVN, Mercurial), Git deserves
special attention due to its simplicity and flexibility. By releasing the upcoming version
2 of Magento on Github, a Git hosting service, the Magento core development team has
recognized the importance that Git has among the Magento community.
For more information on Magento2, please visit

Github now includes a .gitignore file specifically for Magento, which will ignore
all the files in the Magento core and only keep track of our own code.

[ 24 ]

Chapter 1

That said, there are several version control concepts that we need to keep in mind
when working with our Magento projects:

Branching: This allows us to work on new features without affecting our
trunk (stable release).


Merging: This is used to move code from one place to another. Usually, this
is done from a development brand to our trunk once the code is ready to be
moved into production.


Tagging: This is used for creating snapshots of a release.


In this first chapter, we learned about setting up and working with LAMP
environments, setting development environments across multiple platforms,
creating and provisioning Vagrant virtual machines, working with Chef recipes,
and using version control systems for Magento development.
Having a proper environment is the first step for starting developing for Magento,
and it is an integral part of our Magento toolbox.
Now that we have a development environment set up and ready to use, it is time to
dive deep into the Magento fundamental concepts; these concepts will give us the
necessary tools and knowledge for developing with Magento.

[ 25 ]

Magento Fundamentals
for Developers
In this chapter, we will cover the fundamental concepts for working with Magento.
We will learn how Magento is structured, and we will go over the source of
Magento's flexibility, that is, its modular architecture.
Magento is a flexible and powerful system. Unfortunately, this adds some level of
complexity too. Currently, a clean installation of Magento has around 30,000 files
and over 1.2 million lines of code.
With all that power and complexity, Magento can be daunting for new developers;
but don't worry. This chapter is designed to teach new developers all the
fundamental concepts and tools they will need to use and extend Magento, and in
the next chapter, we will be diving deep into Magento models and data collections.

Zend Framework – the base of Magento

As you probably know, Magento is the most powerful e-commerce platform in the
market; what you might not know about Magento is that it is also an object-oriented
(OO) PHP framework developed on top of Zend Framework.
Zend's official site describes the framework as:
Zend Framework 2 is an open source framework for developing web applications
and services using PHP 5.3+. Zend Framework 2 uses 100% object-oriented code
and utilises most of the new features of PHP 5.3, namely namespaces, late static
binding, lambda functions and closures.

Magento Fundamentals for Developers

The component structure of Zend Framework 2 is unique; each component is
designed with few dependencies on other components. ZF2 follows the SOLID
object oriented design principle. This loosely coupled architecture allows developers
to use whichever components they want. We call this a "use-at-will" design.
But what is Zend Framework exactly? Zend Framework is an OO framework
developed on PHP that implements the Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradigm.
When Varien, now Magento Inc., started developing Magento it decided to do it on
top of Zend because of the following components:


















In total, Magento uses around 15 different Zend components. The Varien library
directly extends several of the Zend components mentioned previously, for example
Varien_Cache_Core extends from Zend_Cache_Core.
Using Zend Framework, Magento was built with the following principles in mind:

Maintainability: It occurs using code pools to keep the core code separate
from local customizations and third-party modules


Upgradability: Magento modularity allows extensions and third-party
modules to be updated independently from the rest of the system


Flexibility: Allows seamless customization and simplifies the development
of new features

Although having used Zend Framework or even understanding it are not the
requirements for developing with Magento, having at least a basic understanding of
the Zend components, usage, and interaction can be invaluable information when we
start digging deeper into the core of Magento.
You can learn more about Zend Framework at
[ 28 ]

Chapter 2

Magento folder structure

Magento folder structure is slightly different from other MVC applications; let's take
a look at the directory tree, and each directory and its functions:

app: This folder is the core of Magento and is subdivided into three
importing directories:


code: This contains all our application code divided into three code
pools such as core, community, and local


design: This contains all the templates and layouts for our application


locale: This contains all the translation and e-mail template files

used for the store


js: This contains all the JavaScript libraries that are used in Magento


media: This contains all the images and media files for our products and


lib: This contains all the third-party libraries used in Magento such as Zend
and PEAR, as well as the custom libraries developed by Magento, which
reside under the Varien and Mage directories


skin: This contains all CSS code, images, and JavaScript files used by the


var: This contains our temporary data such as cache files, index lock files,
sessions, import/export files, and in the case of the Enterprise edition the full
page cache folders

CMS pages as well as the product image cache

corresponding theme

Magento is a modular system. This means that the application, including the core, is
divided into smaller modules. For this reason, the folder structure plays a key role
in the organization of each module core; a typical Magento module folder structure
would look something like the following figure:

[ 29 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers

Let's review each folder in more detail:

Block: This folder contains blocks in Magento that form an additional layer


controllers: controllers folders are formed by actions that process web

of logic between the controllers and views

server requests


Controller: The classes in this folder are meant to be abstract classes and
extended by the controller class under the the controllers folder


etc: Here we can find the module-specific configuration in the form of XML
files such as config.xml and system.xml


Helper: This folder contains auxiliary classes that encapsulate a


Model: This folder contains models that support the controllers in the module


sql: This folder contains the installation and upgrade files for each

common-module functionality and make it available to a class of
the same module and to other modules' classes as well
for interacting with data

specific module

As we will see later on in this chapter, Magento makes heavy use of factory names
and factory methods. This is why the folder structure is so important.

Modular architecture

Rather than being a large application, Magento is built by smaller modules, each
adding specific functionality to Magento.
One of the advantages of this approach is the ability to enable and disable
specific module functionality with ease, as well as add new functionality by
adding new modules.


Magento is a huge framework, composed of close to 30,000 files. Requiring every
single file when the application starts would make it incredibly slow and heavy. For
this reason, Magento makes use of an autoloader class to find the required files each
time a factory method is called.
So, what exactly is an autoloader? PHP5 includes a function called __autoload().
When instantiating a class, the __autoload() function is automatically called; inside
this function, custom logic is defined to parse the class name and the required file.
[ 30 ]

Chapter 2

Let's take a closer look at the Magento bootstrap code located at app/Mage.php:
Mage::register('original_include_path', get_include_path());
if (defined('COMPILER_INCLUDE_PATH')) {
set_include_path($appPath . PS .
include_once "Mage_Core_functions.php";
include_once "Varien_Autoload.php";
} else {
* Set include path
$paths[] = BP . DS . 'app' . DS . 'code' . DS . 'local';
$paths[] = BP . DS . 'app' . DS . 'code' . DS . 'community';
$paths[] = BP . DS . 'app' . DS . 'code' . DS . 'core';
$paths[] = BP . DS . 'lib';
$appPath = implode(PS, $paths);
set_include_path($appPath . PS .
include_once "Mage/Core/functions.php";
include_once "Varien/Autoload.php";

The bootstrap file takes care of defining the include paths and initializing the
Varien autoloader, which will in turn define its own autoload function as the
default function to call. Let's take a look under the hood and see what the Varien
autoload function is doing:
* Load class source code
* @param string $class
public function autoload($class)
if ($this->_collectClasses) {
$this->_arrLoadedClasses[self::$_scope][] = $class;
if ($this->_isIncludePathDefined) {

[ 31 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers
} else {
$classFile = str_replace(' ', DIRECTORY_SEPARATOR,
ucwords(str_replace('_', ' ', $class)));
$classFile.= '.php';
//echo $classFile;die();
return include $classFile;

The autoload class takes a single parameter called $class, which is an alias
provided by the factory method. This alias is processed to generate a matching
class name that is then included.
As we mentioned before, Magento's directory structure is important due to
the fact that Magento derives its class names from the directory structure. This
convention is the core principle behind factory methods that we will be reviewing
later on in this chapter.

Code pools

As we mentioned before, inside our app/code folder we have our application code
divided into three different directories known as code pools. They are as follows:

core: This is where the Magento core modules that provide the base

functionality reside. The golden rule among Magento developers is that
you should never, by any circumstance, modify any files under the core
code pool.


community: This is the location where third-party modules are placed. They
are either provided by third parties or installed through Magento Connect.


local: This is where all the modules and code developed specifically for this

instance of Magento reside.

The code pools identify where the module came from and on which order they
should be loaded. If we take another look at the Mage.php bootstrap file, we can see
the order on which code pools are loaded:






'app' . DS . 'code' . DS . 'local';
'app' . DS . 'code' . DS . 'community';
'app' . DS . 'code' . DS . 'core';

[ 32 ]

Chapter 2

This means that for each class request, Magento will look in local, then community,
then core, and finally inside the lib folder.
This also leads to an interesting behavior that can easily be used for overriding core
and community classes, by just copying the directory structure and matching the
class name.
Needless to say that this is a terrible practice, but it is still useful
to know about just in case you someday have to take care of a
project that exploits this behavior.

Routing and request flow

Before going into more detail about the different components that form a part
of Magento, it is important that we understand how these components interact
together and how Magento processes requests coming from the web server.
As with any other PHP application, we have a single file as an entry point for every
request; in the case of Magento this file is index.php, which is in charge of loading
the Mage.php bootstrap class and starting the request cycle. It then goes through the
following steps:
1. The web server receives the request and Magento is instantiated by calling
the bootstrap file, Mage.php.
2. The frontend controller is instantiated and initialized; during this controller
initialization Magento searches for the web routes and instantiates them.
3. Magento then iterates through each of the routers and calls the match. The
match method is responsible for processing the URL and generating the
corresponding controller and action.
4. Magento then instantiates the matching controller and takes the
corresponding action.
Routers are especially important in this process. The Router objects are used by the
frontend controller to match a requested URL (route) to a module controller and
action. By default, Magento comes with the following routers:






The action controller will then load and render the layout, which in turn will load the
corresponding blocks, models, and templates.
[ 33 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers

Let's analyze how Magento will handle a request to a category page; we will use
http://localhost/catalog/category/view/id/10 as an example. Magento
URIs are comprised of three parts – /FrontName/ControllerName/ActionName.
This means that for our example URL, the breakdown would be as follows:

FrontName: catalog


ControllerName: category


ActionName: view

If I take a look at the Magento router class, I can see the Mage_Core_Controller_
Varien_Router_Standard match function:
public function match(Zend_Controller_Request_Http $request)
$path = trim($request->getPathInfo(), '/');
if ($path) {
$p = explode('/', $path);
} else {
$p = explode('/', $this->_getDefaultPath());

From the preceding code, we can see that the first thing the router tries to do is to
parse the URI into an array. Based on our example URL, the corresponding array
would be something like the following code snippet:
$p = Array
[0] => catalog
[1] => category
[2] => view

The next part of the function will first try to check if the request has the module
name specified; if not, then it tries to determine the module name based on the first
element of our array. And if a module name can't be provided, then the function will
return false. Let's take a look at that part of the code:
// get module name
if ($request->getModuleName()) {
$module = $request->getModuleName();
} else {
[ 34 ]

Chapter 2
if (!empty($p[0])) {
$module = $p[0];
} else {
$module = $this->getFront()->getDefault('module');
if (!$module) {
if (Mage::app()->getStore()->isAdmin()) {
$module = 'admin';
} else {
return false;

Next, the match function will iterate through each of the available modules and try
to match the controller and action, using the following code:
foreach ($modules as $realModule) {
// get controller name
if ($request->getControllerName()) {
$controller = $request->getControllerName();
} else {
if (!empty($p[1])) {
$controller = $p[1];
} else {
$controller =
getOriginalPathInfo(), '/')
// get action name
if (empty($action)) {
if ($request->getActionName()) {
[ 35 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers
$action = $request->getActionName();
} else {
$action = !empty($p[2]) ? $p[2] :
//checking if this place should be secure
$controllerClassName = $this->_validate
ControllerClassName($realModule, $controller);
if (!$controllerClassName) {
// instantiate controller class
$controllerInstance = Mage::getControllerInstance
$request, $front->getResponse());
if (!$controllerInstance->hasAction($action)) {
$found = true;

Now that looks like an awful lot of code, so let's break it down even further. The first
part of the loop will check if the request has a controller name; if it is not set, it will
check our parameter array's ($p) second value and try to determine the controller
name, and then it will try to do the same for the action name.
If we got this far in the loop, we should have a module name, a controller name, and
an action name, which Magento will now use to try and get a matching controller
class name by calling the following function:
$controllerClassName = $this->_validateControllerClassName($realModu
le, $controller);

This function will not only generate a matching class name but it will also validate
its existence; in our example case this function should return Mage_Catalog_
[ 36 ]

Chapter 2

Since we now have a valid class name, we can proceed to instantiate our controller
object; if you were paying attention up to this point, you have probably noticed that
we haven't done anything with our action yet, and that's precisely the next step in
our loop.
Our new instantiated controller comes with a very handy function called
hasAction(); in essence, what this function does is to call a PHP function
called is_callable(), which will check if our current controller has a public
function matching the action name; in our case this will be viewAction().
The reason behind this elaborate matching process and the use of a foreach loop is
that it is possible for several modules to use the same FrontName.

Now, http://localhost/catalog/category/view/id/10 is not a very user-friendly
URL; fortunately, Magento has its own URL rewrite system that allows us to use
Let's dig a little deeper into the URL rewrite system and see how Magento gets the
controller and action names from our URL alias. Inside our Varien/Front.php
controller dispatch function, Magento will call:

[ 37 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers

Before actually looking into the inner workings of the rewrite function, let's take a
look at the structure of the core/url_rewrite model:
Array (



As we can see, the rewrite module is comprised of several properties, but only two of
them are of particular interest to use – request_path and target_path. Simply put,
the job of the rewrite module is to modify the request object path information with
the matching values of target_path.

Magento version of MVC

If you are familiar with the traditional MVC implementations such as CakePHP
or Symfony, you may know that the most common implementation is called a
convention-based MVC. With a convention-based MVC, to add a new model or
let's say a controller, you only need to create the file/class (following the framework
conventions) and the system will pick it up automatically.
Magento, on the other hand, uses a configuration-based MVC pattern, meaning
that creating our file/class is not enough; we explicitly have to tell Magento that
we added a new class.
Each Magento module has a config.xml file, which is located under the module
etc/ directory and contains all the relevant module configuration. For example, if
we want to add a new module that includes a new model, we would need to define a
node in the configuration file that tells Magento where to find our model, such as:


[ 38 ]

Chapter 2


Although this might look like additional work, it also gives us a huge amount
of flexibility and power. For example, we can rewrite another class by using the
rewrite node:



Magento will then load all the config.xml files and merge them at runtime, creating
a single configuration tree.
Additionally, modules can also have a system.xml file, which is used to specify
configuration options in the Magento backend, which in turn can be used by end
users to configure the module functionality. A snippet of a system.xml file would
look like the following code:


[ 39 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers



Let's break down each node function:

section_name: This is just an arbitrary name that we use to identify our


group: Groups, as the name implies, are used to group configuration options


label: This defines the title or label to be used on the field/section/group.


tab: This defines the tab on which the section should be displayed.


frontend_type: This node allows us to specify which render to use for our

configuration section; inside this node we will specify all the fields and
groups for the configuration section.
and display them inside an accordion section.

custom option field. Some of the available options are:






[ 40 ]

Chapter 2































sort_order: It specifies the position of the field, group, or section.


source_model: Certain type of fields such as a select field can take options

from a source model. Magento already provides several useful classes under
Mage/Adminhtml/Model/System/Config/Source. Some of the classes we
can find are:












By just using XML, we can build complex configuration options for our modules
right on the Magento backend, without having to worry about setting up templates
for populating fields or validating data.

[ 41 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers

Magento is also kind enough to provide a comprehensive amount of form field
validation models, which we can use with the  tag. Among the following
field validators we have:










As with any other part of Magento we can extend the source_model, frontend_
type, and validator functions and even create new ones. We will be tackling this
task in a later chapter where we will create a new type of each. But for now, we will
explore the concepts of models, views, file layouts, and controllers.


Magento makes use of the ORM approach; although we can still use Zend_Db to
access the database directly, we will be using models to access our data most of the
time. For this type of task, Magento provides the following two types of models:

Simple models: This model implementations are a simple mapping of one
object to one table, meaning our object attributes match each field and our
table structure


Entity Attribute Value (EAV) models: This type of models are used to
describe entities with a dynamic number of attributes

Magento splits the model layer up into two parts: a model handling the business
logic and a resource handling the database interaction. This design decision allows
Magento to eventually support multiple database platforms without having to
change any of the logic inside the models.
Magento ORM uses one of PHP's magic class methods to provide dynamic access to
object properties. In the next chapter we will look into models, the Magento ORM,
and the data collections in more detail.
Magento models don't necessarily have to be related to any type of
table in the database or an EAV entity. Observers, who we will be
reviewing later, are perfect examples of this type of Magento models.

[ 42 ]

Chapter 2


The view layer is one of the areas where Magento truly sets itself apart from other
MVC applications. Unlike traditional MVC systems, Magento's view layer is divided
into the following three different components:

Layouts: Layouts are XML files that define the block structure and properties
such as name and the template file we can use. Each Magento module has its
own set of layout files.


Blocks: Blocks are used in Magento to reduce the burden on the controller by
moving most of the logic into blocks.


Templates: Templates are PHTML files that contain the required HTML code
and PHP tags.

Layouts give the Magento frontend an amazing amount of flexibility. Each module
has its own layout XML files, which tell Magento what to include and render on
each page request. Through the use of the layouts, we can move, add, or remove
blocks from our store without worrying about changing anything else other than
our XML files.

Dissecting a layout file

Let's examine one of the core layout files of Magento, in this case catalog.xml:


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Call us at (555) 555-0123.


[ 43 ]

Magento Fundamentals for Developers


Visit our site and save A LOT!

Site Map

Layout blocks are comprised of three main XML nodes, as follows:

handle: Each page request will have several unique handles; the layout

uses these handles to tell Magento which blocks to load and render on
a per page basis. The most commonly used handles are default and

The default handle is especially useful for setting global blocks, for example
adding a CSS or JavaScript to all pages on the header block.

reference: A  node is used to make references to a block. It is
useful for specifying nested blocks or modifying an already existing block.
In our example we can see a new children block being specified inside


block: The  node is used to load our actual blocks. Each block node

can have the following properties:

type: This is the identifier for the actual block class. For example,
catalog/product_list makes reference to the Mage_Catalog_


name: This is the name used by other blocks to make reference to


before/after: These properties can be used to position the blocks

this block.

relative to other blocks' position. Both these properties can use a
hyphen as a value to specify if the module should appear at the very
top or the very bottom.

[ 44 ]

Chapter 2


template: This property determines the .phtml template file, which
will be used for rendering the block.


action: Each block type has specific actions that affect the frontend
functionality. For instance, the page/html_head block, which has
actions for adding CSS and JavaScript (addJs and addCss).


as: This is used to specify the unique identifier that we will be using

for calling the block from the template, for example calling a child
block by using getChildHtml('block_name').

Blocks are a new concept that Magento implements in order to reduce the controller
load. They are basically data resources that communicate directly with the models,
which manipulate the data, if needed, and then pass it to the views.
Finally, we have our PHTML files; the templates contain the html and php tags and
are in charge of formatting and displaying the data from our models. Let's take a
look at a snippet from the product view template:

productAttribute ($_product, $_product->getName(), 'name') ?>

... getReviewsSummaryHtml ($_product, false, true)?> getChildHtml('alert_urls') ?> getChildHtml('product_type_data') ?> getTierPriceHtml() ?> getChildHtml('extrahint') ?> ... getShortDescription()):?>

__('Quick Overview') ?>

productAttribute($_product, nl2br($_product-> getShortDescription()), 'short_description') ?>
[ 45 ] Magento Fundamentals for Developers The following is the block diagram of MVC: Controllers In Magento, MVC controllers are designed to be thin controllers; thin controllers have little business logic and are mostly used for driving the application requests. A basic Magento controller action would just load and render the layout: public function viewAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); } From here it is the job of the blocks to handle the display logic, get the data from our models, prepare the data, and send it to the views. Websites and store scopes One of the core features of Magento is the ability to handle multiple websites and stores with a single Magento installation; internally, Magento refers to each of these instances as scopes. [ 46 ] Chapter 2 Values for certain elements such as products, categories, attributes, and configurations are scope specific and can differ on different scopes; this gives Magento tremendous flexibility, for example, a product can be set up on two different websites with different prices but can still share the rest of the attribute configuration. As developers, one of the areas where we will be using scopes the most is when working with configuration. The different configuration scopes available in Magento are: • Global: As the name implies, this applies across all scopes. • Website: These are defined by a domain name and are composed by one or more stores. Websites can be set up to share customer data or be completely isolated. • Store: Stores are used to manage products and categories, and to group store views. Stores also have a root category that allows us to have separated catalogs per store. • Store view: By using store views we can set up multiple languages on our store frontend. [ 47 ] Magento Fundamentals for Developers Configuration options in Magento can store values on three scopes (global, website, and store view); by default, all the values are set on the global scope. By using system.xml on our modules, we can specify the scopes on which the configuration options can be set; let's revisit our previous system.xml: … HTML]]> select adminhtml/system_config_source_yesno 10 1 1 1 … Factory names and functions Magento makes use of factory methods to instantiate Model, Helper, and Block classes. A factory method is a design pattern that allows us to instantiate an object without using the exact class name and using a class alias instead. Magento implements several factory methods, as follows: • Mage::getModel() • Mage::getResourceModel() • Mage::helper() • Mage::getSingleton() • Mage::getResourceSingleton() • Mage::getResourceHelper() Each of these methods takes a class alias that is used to determine the real class name of the object that we are trying to instantiate; for example, if we wanted to instantiate a product object, we can do so by calling the getModel() method: $product = Mage::getModel('catalog/product'); [ 48 ] Chapter 2 Notice that we are passing a factory name composed of group_classname/model_ name; Magento will resolve this to the actual class name of Mage_Catalog_Model_ Product. Let's take a closer look at the inner workings of getModel(): public static function getModel($modelClass = '', $arguments = array()) { return self::getConfig()->getModelInstance ($modelClass, $arguments); } getModel calls the getModelInstance from the Mage_Core_Model_Config class. public function getModelInstance($modelClass='', $constructArguments=array()) { $className = $this->getModelClassName($modelClass); if (class_exists($className)) { Varien_Profiler::start('CORE::create_object_of::'.$className); $obj = new $className($constructArguments); Varien_Profiler::stop('CORE::create_object_of::'.$className); return $obj; } else { return false; } } getModelInstance()in return calls the getModelClassName() method, which takes our class alias as a parameter. Then it tries to validate the existence of the returned class, and if the class exists, it will create a new instance of that class and return it to our getModel() method: public function getModelClassName($modelClass) { $modelClass = trim($modelClass); if (strpos($modelClass, '/')===false) { return $modelClass; } return $this->getGroupedClassName('model', $modelClass); } getModelClassName() calls the getGroupedClassName() method, which is actually in charge of returning the real class name of our model. [ 49 ] Magento Fundamentals for Developers getGroupedClassName() takes two parameters – $groupType and $classId; $groupType refers to the type of object that we are trying to instantiate (currently only models, blocks, and helpers are supported) and $classId, which we are trying to instantiate. public function getGroupedClassName($groupType, $classId, $groupRootNode=null) { if (empty($groupRootNode)) { $groupRootNode = 'global/'.$groupType.'s'; } $classArr = explode('/', trim($classId)); $group = $classArr[0]; $class = !empty($classArr[1]) ? $classArr[1] : null; if (isset($this->_classNameCache [$groupRootNode][$group][$class])) { return $this->_classNameCache [$groupRootNode][$group][$class]; } $config = $this->_xml->global->{$groupType.'s'}->{$group}; $className = null; if (isset($config->rewrite->$class)) { $className = (string)$config->rewrite->$class; } else { if ($config->deprecatedNode) { $deprecatedNode = $config->deprecatedNode; $configOld = $this->_xml->global-> {$groupType.'s'}->$deprecatedNode; if (isset($configOld->rewrite->$class)) { $className = (string) $configOld->rewrite->$class; } } } if (empty($className)) { if (!empty($config)) { $className = $config->getClassName(); } if (empty($className)) { $className = 'mage_'.$group.'_'.$groupType; } if (!empty($class)) { [ 50 ] Chapter 2 $className .= '_'.$class; } $className = uc_words($className); } $this->_classNameCache [$groupRootNode][$group][$class] = $className; return $className; } As we can see, getGroupedClassName() is actually doing all the work; it grabs our class alias catalog/product and creates an array by exploding the string on the slash character. Then, it loads an instance of VarienSimplexml_Element and passes the first value in our array (group_classname). It will also check if the class has been rewritten, and if it has, we will use the corresponding group name. Magento also uses a custom version of the uc_words() function, which will capitalize the first letters and convert separators of the class alias if needed. Finally, the function will return the real class name to the getModelInstance() function; in our example case it will return Mage_Catalog_Model_Product. [ 51 ] Magento Fundamentals for Developers Events and observers The event and observer pattern is probably one of Magento's more interesting features, since it allows developers to extend Magento in critical parts of the application flow. In order to provide more flexibility and facilitate the interaction between the different modules, Magento implements an event/observer pattern; this pattern allows for modules to be loosely coupled. There are two parts of this system – an event dispatch with the object and event information, and an observer listening to a particular event. Event dispatch Events are created or dispatched using the Mage::dispatchEvent() function. The core team has already created several events on critical parts of the core. For example, the model abstract class Mage_Core_Model_Abstract calls two protected functions every time a model is saved – _beforeSave() and _afterSave(); on each of these methods two events are fired: protected function _beforeSave() { if (!$this->getId()) { $this->isObjectNew(true); } Mage::dispatchEvent('model_save_before', array('object'=>$this)); [ 52 ] Chapter 2 Mage::dispatchEvent($this->_eventPrefix.'_save_before', $this->_getEventData()); return $this; } protected function _afterSave() { $this->cleanModelCache(); Mage::dispatchEvent('model_save_after', array('object'=>$this)); Mage::dispatchEvent($this->_eventPrefix.'_save_after', $this->_getEventData()); return $this; } Each function fires a generic mode_save_after event, and then a dynamic version based on the type of object being saved. This gives us a wide range of possibilities for manipulating objects through observers. The Mage::dispatchEvent() method takes two parameters: the first is the event name and the second is an array of data that is received by the observer. We can pass values or objects in this array. This comes in handy if we want to manipulate the objects. In order to understand the details of the event system, let's take a look at the dispatchEvent() method: public static function dispatchEvent($name, array $data = array()) { $result = self::app()->dispatchEvent($name, $data); return $result; } This function is actually an alias to the dispatchEvent() function inside the app core class located in Mage_Core_Model_App: public function dispatchEvent($eventName, $args) { foreach ($this->_events as $area=>$events) { if (!isset($events[$eventName])) { $eventConfig = $this->getConfig()-> getEventConfig($area, $eventName); if (!$eventConfig) { $this->_events[$area][$eventName] = false; continue; } [ 53 ] Magento Fundamentals for Developers $observers = array(); foreach ($eventConfig->observers-> children() as $obsName=>$obsConfig) { $observers[$obsName] = array( 'type' => (string)$obsConfig->type, 'model' => $obsConfig->class ? (string)$obsConfig-> class : $obsConfig->getClassName(), 'method'=> (string)$obsConfig->method, 'args' => (array)$obsConfig->args, ); } $events[$eventName]['observers'] = $observers; $this->_events [$area][$eventName]['observers'] = $observers; } if (false===$events[$eventName]) { continue; } else { $event = new Varien_Event($args); $event->setName($eventName); $observer = new Varien_Event_Observer(); } foreach ($events[$eventName] ['observers'] as $obsName=>$obs) { $observer->setData(array('event'=>$event)); Varien_Profiler::start('OBSERVER: '.$obsName); switch ($obs['type']) { case 'disabled': break; case 'object': case 'model': $method = $obs['method']; $observer->addData($args); $object = Mage::getModel($obs['model']); $this->_callObserverMethod ($object, $method, $observer); break; default: $method = $obs['method']; $observer->addData($args); $object = Mage::getSingleton($obs['model']); $this->_callObserverMethod ($object, $method, $observer); [ 54 ] Chapter 2 break; } Varien_Profiler::stop('OBSERVER: '.$obsName); } } return $this; } The dispatchEvent() method is actually doing all the work on the event/observer model: 1. It gets the Magento configuration object. 2. It walks through the observer's node children, checking if the defined observer is listening to the current event. 3. For each of the available observers, the dispatch event will try to instantiate the observer object. 4. Lastly, Magento will try to call the corresponding observer function mapped to this particular event. Observer bindings Now, dispatching an event is the only part of the equation. We also need to tell Magento which observer is listening to each event. Not to our surprise, observers are specified through config.xml. As we saw before, the dispatchEvent() function queries the configuration object for available observers. Let's take a look at an example config.xml file: module_name/observer function_name The event node can be specified in each of the configuration sections (admin, global, frontend, and so on) and we can specify multiple event_name children nodes; the event_name has to match the event name used in the dispatchEvent() function. Inside each event_name node, we have a single observer node that can contain multiple observers, each with a unique identifier. [ 55 ] Magento Fundamentals for Developers Observer nodes have two properties such as , which points to our observer model class and , which in turn points to the actual method inside the observer class. Let's analyze an example observer class definition: class Namespace_Modulename_Model_Observer { public function methodName(Varien_Event_Observer $observer) { //some code } } One interesting thing about observer models is that they don't extend any other Magento class. Summary In this chapter, we covered many important and fundamental topics about Magento such as its architecture, folder structure, routing system, MVC patterns, events and observers, and configuration scopes. And while this might seem overwhelming at first sight, it is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more to learn about each of these topics and Magento. The purpose of this chapter is to make developers aware of all the important components of the platform from the configuration object up to the way the event/object pattern is implemented. Magento is a powerful and flexible system, and it is much more than an e-commerce platform. The core team has put a lot of effort in making Magento a powerful framework. In later chapters, we will not only review all these concepts in more detail, but we will also apply them in a practical manner by building our own extensions. [ 56 ] ORM and Data Collections Collections and models are the bread and butter of everyday Magento development. In this chapter, we will introduce the reader to the Magento ORM system, and we will learn how to properly work with data collections and the EAV system. As with most modern systems, Magento implements an Object Relational Mapping (ORM) system. Object-relational mapping (ORM, O/RM, and O/R mapping) in computer software is a programming technique for converting data between incompatible type systems in object-oriented programming languages. This creates, in effect, a "virtual object database" that can be used from within the programming language. In this chapter, we will cover the following topics: • Magento Models • Anatomy of a Magento Data Model • EAV and EAV models • Working with Direct SQL queries We will also be working with several snippets of code to provide an easy framework to experiment and play around with Magento. Note that the interactive examples in this chapter assume you are working with either the default Magento installation inside the VagrantBox or a Magento installation with sample data. ORM and Data Collections For this purpose, I have created the Interactive Magento Console (IMC), which is a shell script specially created for this book and inspired by Ruby's own Interactive Ruby Console (IRB). Follow these steps: 1. The first thing we will need to do is to install the IMC. To do so, download the source files from and extract them under your Magento test installation. The IMC is a simple Magento shell script that will allow us to test our code in real time. 2. Once you extracted the script, log in to the shell of your virtualbox. 3. Next, we will need to navigate to our Magento root folder. If you are using the default vagrant box, the installation is already provided; the root folder is located under /srv/www/ce1720/public_html/, and we navigate to it by running the following command line: $ cd /srv/www/ce1720/public_html 4. Finally, we can start the IMC by running the following command line: $ php shell/imc.php 5. If everything is installed successfully, we should see a new line starting with magento >. Magento Model Anatomy As we learned in the previous chapter, Magento Data Models are used to manipulate and access the data. The model layer is divided into two fundamental types, simple models and EAV, where: • Simple Models: These model implementations are simple mappings of one object to one table, meaning that our object attributes match each field and our table structure • Entity Attribute Value Models (EAV): These type of models are used to describe entities with a dynamic number of attributes Note that it is important to clarify that not all Magento Models extend or Mage use the ORM. Observers are a clear example of simpler Model classes that are not mapped to a specific database table or entity. [ 58 ] Chapter 3 In addition to that, each Model type is formed by the following layers: • Model class: Here is where most of our business logic resides. Models are used to manipulate the data, but they don't access it directly. • Resource Model class: Resource Models are used to interact with the database on behalf of our models. They are in charge of the actual CRUD operations. • Model Collection class: Each Data Model has a collection class; collections are objects that hold a number of individual Magento Model instances. CRUD stands for the four basic types of database operations: create, read, update, and delete. Magento Models don't contain any logic for communicating with the database; they are database agnostic. Instead, this code resides in the Resource Model layer. This gives Magento the capacity to support different types of databases and platforms. Although currently only MySQL is officially supported, it is entirely possible to write a new resource class for a new database without touching any of the Model logic ones. Model Layer Model Resource Layer Resource Model Adapter Layer Database adapter [ 59 ] ORM and Data Collections Let's experiment now by instantiating a product object and setting some of its properties by following these steps: 1. Start the Magento interactive console running under your Magento staging installation root: php shell/imc.php 2. Our first step is going to create a new product object instance by typing: magento> $product = Mage::getModel('catalog/product'); 3. We can confirm whether this is a blank instance of the product class by running: magento> echo get_class($product); 4. We should see the following as a successful output: magento> Magento_Catalog_Model_Product 5. If we want to know more about the class methods, we can run the following command line: magento> print_r(get_class_methods($product)); This will return an array with all the available methods inside the class. Let's try to run the following snippet of code and modify a product price and name: $product = Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load(2); $name = $product->getName() . '-TEST'; $price = $product->getPrice(); $product->setPrice($price + 15); $product->setName($name); $product->save(); On the first line of code, we are instantiating a specific object, then we are proceeding to retrieve the name attribute from the object. Next, we are setting the price and name, and finally are saving the object. If we open our Magento Product class Mage_Catalog_Model_Product, the first thing that we will notice is that while both getName() and getPrice() are defined inside our class, the setPrice() and setName() functions are not defined anywhere. But why and more importantly, how is Magento magically defining each of the product object setter and getter methods? While getPrice() and getName() are indeed defined, there is no definition for any of the getter and setter methods for product attributes, such as color or manufacturer. [ 60 ] Chapter 3 It's magic – methods Well, it happens that the Magento ORM system is indeed using magic; or to be precise, one of the PHP's more powerful features for implementing its getters and setters, the magic __call() method. Magento methods that are used inside Magento are used to set, unset, check, or retrieve data. When we try to call a method, which does not actually exist in our corresponding class, PHP will look into each of the parent classes for a declaration of that method. If we can't find the function on any of the parent classes, it will use its last resort and try to use a __call() method, and if found, Magento (or PHP for that matter) will call the magic method, thus passing the requested method name and its arguments. Now, the Product model doesn't have a __call() method defined, but it gets one from the Varien_Object class from which all Magento models inherit from. The inheritance tree for the Mage_Catalog_Model_Product class is given in the following flowchart: Mage_Catalog_Model_Product getName(), getPrice(),getStatus() Mage_Catalog_Model_Abstract Mage_Core_Model_Abstract Varien_Object _call() magic methods Every Magento Model inherits from the Varien_Object class. Let's take a closer look at the Varien_Object class: 1. Open the file located in magento_root/lib/Varien/Object.php. 2. The Varien_Object class not only has a __call() method but also two deprecated methods, __set() and __get(); these two are replaced by the __call() method and thus are no longer used. public function __call($method, $args) { switch (substr($method, 0, 3)) { case 'get' : [ 61 ] ORM and Data Collections //Varien_Profiler::start('GETTER: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); $key = $this->_underscore(substr($method,3)); $data = $this->getData($key, isset($args[0]) ? $args[0] : null); //Varien_Profiler::stop('GETTER: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); return $data; case 'set' : //Varien_Profiler::start('SETTER: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); $key = $this->_underscore(substr($method,3)); $result = $this->setData($key, isset($args[0]) ? $args[0] : null); //Varien_Profiler::stop('SETTER: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); return $result; case 'uns' : //Varien_Profiler::start('UNS: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); $key = $this->_underscore(substr($method,3)); $result = $this->unsetData($key); //Varien_Profiler::stop('UNS: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); return $result; case 'has' : //Varien_Profiler::start('HAS: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); $key = $this->_underscore(substr($method,3)); //Varien_Profiler::stop('HAS: '.get_ class($this).'::'.$method); return isset($this->_data[$key]); } throw new Varien_Exception("Invalid method" . get_ class($this)."::".$method."(".print_r($args,1).")"); } Inside the __call() method, we have a switch that will handle not only getters and setters but also the unset and has functions. If we start a debugger and follow the calls of our snippet code to the __call() method, we can see that it receives two arguments: the method name for example setName() and the arguments from the original call. [ 62 ] Chapter 3 Interestingly, Magento tries to match the corresponding method type based on the first three letters of the method being called; this is done when the switch case argument calls the substring function: substr($method, 0, 3) The first thing that is called inside each case is the _underscore() function, which takes as parameter anything after the first three characters in the method name; following our example, the argument passed would be Name. The __underscore() function returns a data key. This key is then used by each of the cases to manipulate the data. There are four basic data operations, each used on the corresponding switch case: • setData($parameters) • getData($parameters) • unsetData($parameters) • isset($parameters) Each of these functions will interact with the Varien_Object data array and will manipulate it accordingly. In most cases, a magic set/get method will be used to interact with our object attributes; only in a few exceptions where additional business logic is required, getters and setters will be defined. In our example, they are getName() and getPrice(). public function getPrice() { if ($this->_calculatePrice || !$this->getData('price')) { return $this->getPriceModel()->getPrice($this); } else { return $this->getData('price'); } } We will not enter details of what the price function is actually doing, but it clearly illustrates that additional logic might be required for certain parts of the models. public function getName() { return $this->_getData('name'); } [ 63 ] ORM and Data Collections On the other hand, the getName() getter wasn't declared because of the need of implementing special logic but by the need of optimizing a crucial part of Magento. The Mage_Catalog_Model_Product getName() function can be potentially called hundreds of times per page load and is one of the most commonly used functions across Magento; after all, what kind of e-commerce platform would it be if it was not centered around products? Frontend and backend alike will call the getName() function at one point or another. For example, if we load a category page with 24 products, that is, 24 separate calls to the getName() function, each of these calls will look for a getName() method on each of the parent classes, and then, when we try to use magic __call() method, it will result in losing precious milliseconds. Resource Models contain all the database-specific logic, and they instantiate the specific read and write adapters for their corresponding data source. Let's go back to our example working with products and take a look at the product Resource Model located at Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Product. Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Product Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Abstract Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Abstract Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Abstract Resource models come in two different types: Entity and MySQL4. The latter being a pretty standard one-table/one-model association, while the former is far more complicated. EAV Model EAV stands for entity, attribute, and value, it is probably the most difficult concept for new Magento developers to grasp. While the EAV concept is not unique to Magento, it is rarely implemented on modern systems, on top of that, Magento implementation is not a simple one. [ 64 ] Chapter 3 Entity Model EAV Attribute Value Table (varchar) Value Table (text) Value Table (Int) Value Table (etc) Magento Stores each value type in different tables What is EAV? In order to understand what EAV is and what its role within Magento is, we need to break down it into the parts of the EAV model. • Entity: The entity represents the data items (objects) inside Magento products, customers, categories, and orders. Each entity is stored in the database with a unique ID. • Attribute: These are our object properties. Instead of having one column per attribute on the product table, attributes are stored on separates sets of tables. • Value: As the name implies, it is simply the value link to a particular attribute. This design pattern is the secret behind Magento's flexibility and power, allowing entities to add and remove new properties without having to do any changes to the code or templates. Whereas model can be seen as a vertical way of growing our database (new attributes add more rows), the traditional model would involve a horizontal grow pattern (new attributes add more columns) that would result in a schema redesign every time new attributes are added. The EAV model not only allows the fast evolution of our database, but also, it is more efficient, because it only works with non-empty attributes, avoiding the need to reserve additional space in the database for null values. If you are interested in exploring and learning more about the Magento database structure, I highly recommend you to visit [ 65 ] ORM and Data Collections Adding a new product attribute is as simple as going to the Magento backend and specifying the new attribute type, be it color, size, brand, and so on. The opposite is also true, because we can get rid of unused attributes on our products or customer models. For more information on managing attributes, visit http://www. Magento Community Edition currently has eight different types of EAV objects: • Customer • Customer address • Products • Product categories • Orders • Invoices • Credit memos • Shipments Magento Enterprise Edition has one additional type called RMA item, which is part of the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) system. All this flexibility and power is not free, and there is a price to pay; implementing the EAV model results in having our entity data distributed on a large number of tables, for example, just the Product Model is distributed on around 40 different tables. The following diagram only shows a few of the tables involved in saving the information of Magento products: [ 66 ] Chapter 3 Another major downside of EAV is the loss of performance when retrieving large collections of EAV objects and an increase on the database query complexity. Since the data is more fragmented (stored in more tables), selecting a single record involves several joins. Let's continue using Magento products as our example and manually build the query for retrieving a single product. If you have PHPMyAdmin or MySQL Workbench installed on your development environment, you can experiment with the following queries. Each can be downloaded from PHPMyAdmin ( and MySQL Workbench ( [ 67 ] ORM and Data Collections The first table that we will need to use is the catalog_product_entity. We can consider this as our main product EAV table since it contains the main entity records for our products: Let's query the table by running the following SQL query: SELECT * FROM `catalog_product_entity`; The table contains the following fields: • entity_id: This is our product unique identifier and is used internally by Magento. • entity_type_id: Magento has several different types of EAV models, products, customers, and orders, and these are just some of them. Identifying each by type allows Magento to retrieve the attributes and values from the appropriate tables. • attribute_set_id: Products attributes can be grouped locally into attribute sets. Attribute sets allow even further flexibility on the product structure since products are not forced to use all available attributes. • type_id: There are several different types of products in Magento: simple, configurable, bundled, downloadable, and grouped products, each with unique settings and functionality. • sku: Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) is a number or code used to identify each unique product or item for sale in a store. This is a user-defined value. [ 68 ] Chapter 3 • • has_options: This is used to identify if a product has custom options. required_options: This is used to identify if any of the custom options are required. • created_at: This is a row creation date. • updated_at: This shows the last time the row was modified. Now we have a basic understanding of the product entity table, and we also know that each record represents a single product in our Magento store, but we don't have much information about that product beyond the SKU and the product type. So, where are the attributes stored? And how does Magento know the difference between a product attribute and a customer attribute? For that, we need to take a look at the eav_attribute table by running the following SQL query: SELECT * FROM `eav_attribute`; As a result, we will not only see the product attributes but also attributes corresponding to the customer model, order model, and so on. Fortunately, we already have a key for filtering the attributes from this table. Let's run the following query: SELECT * FROM `eav_attribute` WHERE entity_type_id = 4; This query is telling the database to only retrieve the attributes where the entity_type_id columns are equal to the product entity_type_id(4). Before moving on, let's analyze the most important fields inside the eav_attribute table: • • attribute_id: This is the unique identifier for each attribute and primary key of the table. entity_type_id: This field relates each attribute to a specific EAV model type. • attribute_code: This field is the name or key of our attribute and is used to generate the getters and setters for our magic methods. • backend_model: The backend model manages loading and storing data into • backend_type: This field specifies the type of value stored into the • backend_table: This field is used to specify if the attribute should be stored the database. backend (database). on a special table instead of the default EAV tables. [ 69 ] ORM and Data Collections • frontend_model: The frontend model handles the rendering of the attribute element into a web browser. • frontend_input: Similar to the frontend model, the frontend input specifies the type of input field the web browser should render. • frontend_label: This field is the label/name of the attribute as it should be rendered by the browser. • source_model: The source models are used to populate an attribute with possible values. Magento comes with several predefined source models for countries, yes or no values, regions, and so on. Retrieving the data At this point, we have successfully retrieved a product entity and the specific attributes that apply to that entity, and now it is time to start retrieving the actual values. In order to simply execute the example (and the query), we will only try to retrieve the name attribute of our products. But how do we know on which table our attribute values are stored? Well, thankfully, Magento is following a naming convention for naming the tables. If we inspect our database structure, we will notice that there are several tables using the catalog_product_entity prefix: • catalog_product_entity • catalog_product_entity_datetime • catalog_product_entity_decimal • catalog_product_entity_int • catalog_product_entity_text • catalog_product_entity_varchar • catalog_product_entity_gallery • catalog_product_entity_media_gallery • catalog_product_entity_tier_price But, wait, how do we know which is the right table to query for our name attribute values? If you were paying attention, we've already seen the answer. Do you remember that the eav_attribute table had a column called backend_type? [ 70 ] Chapter 3 Magento EAV stores each attribute on a different table based on the backend type of that attribute. If we want to confirm the backend type of our name, we can do so by running the following code: SELECT * FROM `eav_attribute` WHERE `entity_type_id` =4 AND `attribute_code` = 'name'; And we should see, as a result, that the backend type is varchar and that the values for this attribute are stored in the catalog_product_entity_varchar table. Let's inspect this table: The catalog_product_entity_varchar table is formed by only six columns: • value_id: The attribute value is the unique identifier and a primary key • entity_type_id: This value belongs to the entity type ID • attribute_id: This is a foreign key that relates the value with our eav_entity table [ 71 ] ORM and Data Collections • store_id: This is a foreign key matching an attribute value with a storeview • entity_id: This is a foreign key to the corresponding entity table; in this case, it is catalog_product_entity • value: This is the actual value that we want to retrieve Depending on the attribute configuration, we can have it as a global value, meaning it applies across all store views or a value per storeview. Now that we finally have all the tables that we need to retrieve the product information, we can build our query: SELECT p.entity_id AS product_id, var.value AS product_name, p.sku AS product_sku FROM catalog_product_entity p, eav_attribute eav, catalog_product_ entity_varchar var WHERE p.entity_type_id = eav.entity_type_id AND var.entity_id = p.entity_id AND eav.attribute_code = 'name' AND eav.attribute_id = var.attribute_id [ 72 ] Chapter 3 As result of our query, we should see a result set with three columns: product_id, product_name, and product_sku. So, let's step back for a second in order to get product names with SKUs. With raw SQL, we would have to write a five-line SQL query, and we would only be retrieving two values from our products: from one single EAV value table if we wanted to retrieve a numeric field, such as price, or from a text value, such as product. If we didn't have an ORM in place, maintaining Magento would be almost impossible. Fortunately, we do have an ORM in place, and most likely, you will never need to deal with raw SQL for working with Magento. That said, let's see how can we retrieve the same product information by using the Magento ORM: 1. Our first step is going to instantiate a product collection: $collection = Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->getCollection(); 2. Then, we will specifically tell Magento to select the name attribute: $collection->addAttributeToSelect('name'); 3. Now sort the collection by name: $collection->setOrder('name', 'asc'); 4. And, finally, we will tell Magento to load the collection: $collection->load(); 5. The end result is a collection of all products in the store sorted by name; we can inspect the actual SQL query by running: echo $collection->getSelect()->__toString(); With the help of only three lines of code, we are able to tell Magento to grab all the products in the store to specifically select the name, and finally, order the products by the name. The last line, $collection->getSelect()->__toString(), allows us to see the actual query that Magento is executing on our behalf. The actual query being generated by Magento is: SELECT `e`.*. IF( at_name.value_id >0, at_name.value, at_name_default. value ) AS `name` FROM `catalog_product_entity` AS `e` LEFT JOIN `catalog_product_entity_varchar` AS `at_name_default` ON (`at_name_default`.`entity_id` = `e`.`entity_id`) [ 73 ] ORM and Data Collections AND (`at_name_default`.`attribute_id` = '65') AND `at_name_default`.`store_id` =0 LEFT JOIN `catalog_product_entity_varchar` AS `at_name` ON ( `at_ name`.`entity_id` = `e`.`entity_id` ) AND (`at_name`.`attribute_id` = '65') AND (`at_name`.`store_id` =1) ORDER BY `name` ASC As we can see, the ORM and the EAV models are wonderful tools that not only put a lot of power and flexibility on hands of the developers, but they also do it in a way that is comprehensive and easy to use. Working with Magento collections If you look back to the previous code example, you might notice that we've not only instantiated a Product model, but also we've called the getCollection() method. The getCollection() method is part of the Mage_Core_Model_Abstract class, meaning that every single model inside Magento can call this method. All collections inherit from Varien_Data_Collection. A Magento collection is basically a model that contains other models. So, instead of using an array for holding a collection of products, we could use a Product collection instead. Collections not only provide a convenient data structure for grouping models but also provide special methods that we can use to manipulate and work with collection of entities. Some of the most useful collection methods are: • addAttributeToSelect: To add an attribute to entities in a collection, * can • addFieldToFilter: To add an attribute filter to a collection, this function is used on regular, non-EAV models • • be used as a wildcard to add all available attributes addAttributeToFilter: This method is used to filter a collection of EAV entities addAttributeToSort: This method is used to add an attribute to sort order [ 74 ] Chapter 3 • addStoreFilter: This method is used to store an availability filter; it includes the availability product • addWebsiteFilter: This method is used to add a website filter to a collection • addCategoryFilter: This method is used to specify a category filter for a • addUrlRewrite: This method is used to add URL rewrites data to a product • setOrder: This method is used to set the sorting order of a collection product collection Those are just a few of the collection methods available; each collection implements different unique methods depending on the entity type they correspond to. For example, the customer collection Mage_Customer_Model_Resource_Customer_ Collection has a unique method called groupByEmail(), which has the name that correctly implies and groups the entities inside of a collection by e-mail. As with previous examples, we will continue working with the product models, and in this case, the product collection. Mage_Catalog_Model_Product Mage_Catalog_Model_Abstract Mage_Core_Model_Abstract Varien_Object In order to illustrate better how we can use collection, we will be working on the following common product scenarios: 1. Get product collection only from a specific category. 2. Get new products since X date. 3. Get Bestseller products. 4. Filter product collection by visibility. 5. Filter products without image. 6. Add multiple sort orders. [ 75 ] ORM and Data Collections Get product collection only from a specific category The first thing most developers try to do when starting with Magento is to load a product collection with products from only a specific category, and while I have seen many approaches by using addCategoryFilter() or addAttributeToFilter(), the reality is that, for most cases, the approach is much simpler and a bit counter-intuitive to what we have learned so far. The easiest way of doing it is not by getting a product collection first and then filtering by a category but actually instantiating our target category and getting the product collection from there. Let's run the following snippet of code on IMC: $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(5); $productCollection = $category->getProductCollection(); We can find the getProductCollection() method declaration inside the Mage_ Catalog_Model_Category class. Let's take a better look at this method: public function getProductCollection() { $collection = Mage::getResourceModel('catalog/product_collection') ->setStoreId($this->getStoreId()) ->addCategoryFilter($this); return $collection; } As we can see, the function does nothing more than instantiating a Resource Model for the product collection, that is, setting the store to the current store ID and passing the current category to the addCategoryFilter() method. This is one of those decisions that was taken to optimize Magento performance, and frankly to simplify the life of the developers working with it, since in most cases a category is going to be available one way or the other. Get new products added since X date So, now that we know how to get a product collection from a specific category, let's see whether we are able to apply filters to the resulting products and only to the retrieved ones matching our conditions; in this particular case, we will request all the products that were added after December 2012. Following our previous example code, we can filter our collection by product creation date by running the following code on IMC: // Product collection from our previous example $productCollection->addFieldToFilter('created_at', array('from' => '2012-12-01)); [ 76 ] Chapter 3 It is simple, isn't it? We could even add an additional condition and get the products added between two dates. Let's say we only want to retrieve the products that were created in the month of December: $productCollection->addFieldToFilter('created_at', array('from' => '2012-12-01)); $productCollection->addFieldToFilter('created_at', array('to' => '2012-12-30)); Magento's addFieldToFilter supports the following conditions: Attribute code eq neq like nlike in nin is notnull null moreq gt lt gteq lteq SQL condition = != LIKE NOT LIKE IN () NOT IN () IS NOT NULL NULL >= > < >= <= We can try other types of filters, for example, let's use the following code on IMC after adding our creating date filter, so we can retrieve only visible products: $productCollection->addAttributeToFilter('visibility', 4); The visibility attribute is a special attribute used by products to control where products are shown; it has the following values: • Not visible individually: It has a value 1 • Catalog: It has a value 2 • Search: It has a value 3 • Catalog and Search: It has a value 4 [ 77 ] ORM and Data Collections Get Bestseller products To try to get the Bestseller products for a specific category, we would need to step up our game and do a join with the sales_order table. Retrieving Bestseller products will come in handy later on for creating a special category or custom reporting; we can run the following code on IMC: $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(5); $productCollection = $category->getProductCollection(); $productCollection->getSelect() ->join(array('o'=> 'sales_flat_order_item'), 'main_table. entity_id = o.product_id', array('o.row_total','o.product_id'))>group(array('sku')); Let's analyze what's happening on the third line of our snippet. getSelect() is a method inherited directly from Varien_Data_Collection_Db, which returns the variable where the Select statement is stored in addition to the collections that provide methods for specifying a join and a group without having to write any SQL. This is not the only way of adding a join to a collection. There is, in fact, a cleaner way of doing it by using the joinField() function. Let's rewrite our previous code to make use of this function: $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(5); $productCollection = $category->getProductCollection(); $productCollection->joinField('o', 'sales_flat_order_item', array('o. row_total','o.product_id'), 'main_table.entity_id = o.product_id') ->group(array('sku')); Filter product collection by visibility This is extremely easy to do with the help of the addAttributeToFilter. Magento products have a system attribute called visibility, which has four possible number values ranging from 1 to 4. We are interested only in showing products whose visibility is 4; meaning, it can be seen both in the search results and the catalog. Let's run the following code in IMC: $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(5); $productCollection = $category->getProductCollection(); $productCollection->addAttributeToFilter('visibility', 4); If we change the visibility code, we can compare the different collections results. [ 78 ] Chapter 3 Filter products without images Filtering products without images comes in handy when you are dealing with a third-party import system, which can sometimes be unreliable. As with everything we have done so far, product images are the attributes of our product. $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(5); $productCollection = $category->getProductCollection(); $productCollection->addAttributeToFilter('small_image',array('notnull' =>'','neq'=>'no_selection')); By adding that extra filter, we require products to have a small image specified; by default, Magento has three products: image types, thumbnail, and small_image and image. These three types are used on different parts of the application. We could even set up a stricter rule for products if we wanted to. $productCollection->addAttributeToFilter('small_image', array('notnull'=>'','neq'=>'no_selection')); ->addAttributeToFilter('thumbnail, array('notnull'=>'','neq'=>'no_ selection')) ->addAttributeToFilter('image', array('notnull'=>'','neq'=>'no_ selection')); Only products that have all the three types of images will be included in our collection. Try experimenting by filtering with the different image types. Add multiple sort orders Finally, let's take our collection and sort it first by stock status and then by price, from highest to lowest. In order to retrieve the stock status information, we will use a method unique to the stock status resource model called addStockStatusToSelect(), which will take care of generating the corresponding SQL for our collection query: $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(5); $productCollection = $category->getProductCollection(); $select = $productCollection->getSelect(); Mage::getResourceModel('cataloginventory/stock_status')->addStockStatu sToSelect($select, Mage::app()->getWebsite()); $select->order('salable desc'); $select->order('price asc'); Inside this query, Magento will sort products by the salable status that is either true or false, and by price; the end result is that all the available products will show the first ordered ones from the most expensive to the cheapest ones, and then, the out-of-stock products will be shown from the most expensive to the cheapest. [ 79 ] ORM and Data Collections Experiment with different sort order combinations to see how Magento organizes and orders the product collections. Using Direct SQL So far, we have learned how Magento data models and the ORM system provide a clean and simple way to access, store, and manipulate our data. Before we jump right into this section, learn about the Magento database adapters, and how to run raw SQL queries, I feel it is important that we understand why you should avoid as much as possible to use what you are about to learn in this section. Magento is an extremely complex system, and as we've also learned in the previous chapter, a framework is driven in part by events; just saving a product will trigger different events, each doing a different task. This will not happen if you decide to just create a query and update a product directly. So, as developers, we have to be extremely careful and sure whether there is a justifiable reason for going outside the ORM. That said, there are, of course, scenarios when being able to work with the database directly comes in extremely handy and is actually simpler than working with the Magento models. For example, when updating a product attribute globally or changing a product collection status, we could load a product collection and loop through each of the individual products updating and saving them. While this would work fine on a smaller collection, as soon we start growing and working with a larger dataset, our performance would start to drop and the script would take several seconds to execute. On the other hand, a direct SQL query will execute much faster, usually under 1 second, depending on the dataset size and the query being executed. Out of the box, Magento will take care of all the heavy lifting of having to establish a connection to the database by using the Mage_Core_Model_Resource model; Magento makes two types of connections available to us, core_read and core_write. Let's start by instantiating a resource model and two connections, one for reading and the other for writing: $resource = Mage::getModel('core/resource'); $read = $resource->getConnection('core_read'); $write = $resource->getConnection('core_write'); Even if we are working with direct SQL queries, thanks to Magento, we don't have to worry about setting up the connection to the DB beyond instantiating a resource model and the proper type of connection. [ 80 ] Chapter 3 Reading Let's test our read connection by executing the following code: $resource = Mage::getModel('core/resource'); $read = $resource->getConnection('core_read'); $query = 'SELECT * FROM catalog_product_entity'; $results = $read->fetchAll($query); Although this query works, it will return all the products in the catalog_product_ entity table. But what will happen if we try to run this same code on a Magento installation that uses table prefixes? Or what if Magento suddenly changes the table name in the next upgrade? This code is not portable or easily maintainable. Fortunately, the resource model provides another handy method called getTableName(). getTableName() method will take a factory name as a parameter, and based on the configuration established by the config.xml, it will not only find out the right table but will also verify that table exists in the DB. Let's update our code to use getTableName(): $resource = Mage::getModel('core/resource'); $read = $resource->getConnection('core_read'); $query = 'SELECT * FROM ' . $resource->getTableName('catalog/ product'); $results = $read->fetchAll($query); We are also using the fetchAll() method. This will return all the rows of our query as an array, but this is not the only option available; we also have fetchCol() and fetchOne() at our disposal. Let's have a look at the following functions: • fetchAll: This function retrieves all the rows returned by the original query • fetchOne: This function will return only the values from the first database row returned by the query • fetchCol: This function will return all the rows returned by the query but only the first rows; this is useful if you only want to retrieve a single column with unique identifiers such as products IDs or SKUs Writing As we've mentioned before, saving a model, be it a product, category, customer, and so on, in Magento can be relatively slow due to the amount of observers and events triggered in the backend. [ 81 ] ORM and Data Collections But if we are only looking to update simple static values, updating large collections can be a painfully slow process if done through the Magento ORM. Let's say, for example, we want to make all the products on the site out of stock. Instead of doing it through the Magento backend or creating a custom script that iterates through a collection of all the products, we can simply perform the following code snippet: $resource = Mage::getModel('core/resource'); $read = $resource->getConnection('core_write); $tablename = $resource->getTableName('cataloginventory/stock_status'); $query = 'UPDATE {$tablename} SET `is_in_stock` = 1'; $write->query($query); Summary In this chapter, we have learned about: • Magento Models, their inheritance, and purpose • How Magento uses resource and collection models • The EAV model and its importance within Magento • How the EAV works and the structure that is used inside the database • What the Magento ORM model is and how it is implemented • How to work with Direct SQL and the Magento resource adapter The chapters so far have been more theoretic than practical; this has been done with the intention of guiding you through the complexity of Magento and providing you with the tools and knowledge that you will require for the rest of the book. For the rest of the book, we will take a more hands-on approach and start building extensions incrementally, applying all the concepts we have learned so far. In the next chapter, we will start getting our feet wet and develop our first Magento extension. [ 82 ] Frontend Development So far, we have focused on the theory behind Magento, its architecture, and getting familiar with common and important concepts of everyday Magento development. In this chapter, we will give a practical use to the skills and knowledge we have acquired so far by incrementally building a Magento extension for our frontend. We will build a fully functional Gift Registry extension. Extending Magento Before jumping ahead and start building our extension, let's define an example scenario and a scope for our extension. This way we will have a clear idea of what we are building and more importantly, of what we are not building. Scenario Our scenario is simple; we want to extend Magento to allow customers to create gift registry lists and share them with friends and family. Customers should be able to create multiple gift registries and specify the recipients of those gift registries. A gift registry will hold the following information: • Event type • Event name • Event date • Event location • List of products Frontend Development Features Have a look at the following features: • Store administrator can define multiple event types (birthdays, weddings, and gift registries) • Create events and assign multiple gift registry lists to each event • Customers can add products to their registries from the cart, wish list, or directly from the product pages • Customers can have multiple gift registries • People can share their registries with friends and family through e-mail and/or direct link • Friends and family can buy the items from the gift registry Further improvements The following is a list of possible features that have been left out of this example extension due to their complexity, or in the case of social media due to the fact that their APIs and the amount of social media platforms is ever-changing, but they are still a good challenge for readers who want to extend this module even further: • Social media integration • The registry can keep track of the request and fulfilled quantities for each registry item • Specify multiple and different registry owners • Delivery to registry owner address Hello Magento In previous chapters, we learned about the Magento code pools (core, community, local). Since we don't intend to distribute our module on Magento Connect, we will be creating it under the local directory. All Magento modules are kept inside packages or namespaces; for example, all the Core Magento modules are kept under the Mage namespace. For the purpose of this book, we will use Magento Developers Guide (MDG). The Magento naming convention for modules is Namespace_Modulename. [ 84 ] Chapter 4 Our next step will be to create the module structure and configuration files. We need to create a namespace directory under app/code/local/. The namespace can be anything you like. The accepted convention is to use the company's name or the author's name as the namespace. So our first step will be to create the directory app/code/local/Mdg/. This directory will also hold not only our gift registry module but also any future modules we develop. Under our namespace directory, we will also need to create a new directory with the name of our module, which will hold all the code of custom extension. So let's go ahead and create a Giftregistry directory. Once that is done, let's create the rest of our directory structure. Note that Magento is a bit sensitive to the use of camel-casing due to its use of factory methods. In general, it's a good idea to avoid using camel—casing in our module/controller/action names. For more information on Magento naming conventions, please see the Appendix of this book. The file location is /app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/. Block/ Controller/ controllers/ Helper/ etc/ Model/ sql/ As we have learned so far, Magento uses .xml files as a central part of its configuration. In order for a module to be recognized and activated by Magento, we need to create a single file under app/etc/modules/, following the Namespace_Modulename.xml convention. Let's create our file. The file location is app/etc/modules/Mdg_Giftregistry.xml. true local [ 85 ] Frontend Development Downloading the example code You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.packtpub. com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you. After creating this file or making any changes to our module configuration files, we will need to refresh the Magento configuration cache: 1. Navigate to the Magento backend. 2. Open System | Cache Management. 3. Click on Flush Magento. Since we are working on a development extension and we are going to be making frequent changes to the configuration and extension code, it is a good idea to disable the cache. Follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the Magento Backend. 2. Open System | Cache Management. 3. Select all the Cache Type checkboxes. 4. Select Disable from the Actions drop-down list. 5. Click on the Submit button. [ 86 ] Chapter 4 Once we have cleared the cache, we can confirm that our extension is being made active by going into System | Advanced. Magento now knows about our module, but we haven't told Magento what our module is supposed to do; for that, we will need to set up the module configuration. [ 87 ] Frontend Development XML module configuration There are two main files involved in a module configuration: config.xml and system.xml. In addition to these module configurations, these are also stored in: • api.xml • adminhtml.xml • cache.xml • widget.xml • wsdl.xml • wsi.xml • convert.xml In this chapter, we will focus only on the config.xml file. Let's create our base file and break down each of the nodes by following these steps: 1. Start by creating the config.xml file under our module etc/directory. 2. Now, copy the following code to the config.xml file (the file location is app/ code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/config.xml): 0.1.0 Mdg_Giftregistry_Model Mdg_Giftregistry_Block Mdg_Giftregistry_Helper [ 88 ] Chapter 4 Mdg_Giftregistry All module configurations are contained inside the node. Inside this node, we have the and nodes. The node is just used to specify the current module version, which is later used to decide which installation and upgrade files to run. There are three main configuration nodes that are most commonly used to specify the configuration scope: • For now, we will be working on the scope. This will make any configuration available to both, the Magento Frontend and Backend. Under the node, we have the following nodes: • As we can see, each node follows the same configuration pattern: NameSpace_ModuleName_ClassType Each of the nodes that are used by the Magento class factories instantiate our custom objects. The node is a critical part of our extension configuration. The node is used by the factory methods, such as Mage::getModel() or Mage::getHelper(). [ 89 ] Frontend Development Notice that we are not defining each specific Model, Block, or Helper, just the path where Magento factories can find them. Magento naming convention allows us to have any folder structure under each of these folders, and Magento will be smart enough to load the appropriate class in Magento's class names. In Magento, class names and directory structures are one and the same. For example, we could have created a new model class under app/code/local/ Mdg/Giftregistry/Models/Folder1/Folder2/Folder3, and the factory name for instantiating an object from this class would be: Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/folder1_folder2_folder3_classname'); Let's create our first model, or to be more specific, a helper class. Helpers are used to contain utility methods that are used to perform common tasks and can be shared among different classes. Let's go ahead and create an empty helper class; we will add the helper logic later in this chapter. The file location is app/code/loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/Helper/Data.php. Refer to the following code: It might seem odd that we are naming our helper Data, but this is actually part of Magento's standards that each module has a default helper class called Data. Another interesting thing with helper classes is that we can just pass the node without a class-specific class name to the helper factory method, and this will default to the Data helper class. So if we wanted to instantiate our default helper class, we only need to perform the following: Mage::helper('mdg_registry'); [ 90 ] Chapter 4 Models and saving data Before jumping straight into creating our models, we need to define clearly what type of models we are going to build and how many. So let's review our example scenario. For our gift registry, it appears that we will need two different models: • Registry Model: This model is used to store the gift registry information, such as gift registry type, address, and recipient information • Registry Item: This model is used to store the information of each of the gift registry items (quantity requested, quantity bought, product_id) Although this approach is correct, it does not meet all the requirements of our example scenario. By having all the registry information stored into a single table, we cannot add more registry types without modifying the code. So, in this case, we will want to break down our data into multiple tables: • Registry Entity: This table is used to store the gift registry and event information • Registry Type: By storing the gift registry type into a separate table, we can add or remove event types • Registry Item: This table is used to store the information of each of the gift registry items (quantity requested, quantity bought, product_id) Now that we have defined our data structure, we can start building the corresponding models that will allow us to access and manipulate our data. Creating the models Let's start by creating the Gift Registry type model, which is used to manage the registry types (wedding, birthday, baby shower, and so on). To do so, follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new file called Type.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Type.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/type'); parent::_construct(); } } [ 91 ] Frontend Development We will also need to create a resource class; every Magento Data model has its own resource class. It is also important to clarify that only models that handle the data directly, be it a simple data model or an EAV model, will require a resource class. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new folder under Model called Mysql4. 3. Create a new file called Type.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Mysql4/ Type.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/type', 'type_id'); } } Finally, we will also need a collection class to retrieve all available event types: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new file called Type.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Mysql4/ Type/Collection.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/type'); parent::_construct(); } } [ 92 ] Chapter 4 Let's do the same by creating a model that handles the gift registry items. This model will hold all the relevant product information for the registry items. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new file called Item.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Item.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/item'); parent::_construct(); } } Let's go ahead and create the resource class: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Open the Mysql4 folder 3. Create a new file called Item.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Mysql4/ Item.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/item', 'item_id'); } } And, finally, let's create the corresponding collection class: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new file called Collection.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/ Mysql4/Item/Collection.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/item'); parent::_construct(); } } Our next step will be to create our Registry entity; this is the core of our registry and is the model that ties everything together. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new file called Entity.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/ Entity.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); parent::_construct(); } } Let's go ahead and create the resource class: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Open the Mysql4 folder. 3. Create a new file called Entity.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/ Mysql4/Entity.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/entity', 'entity_id'); } } [ 94 ] Chapter 4 And, finally, let's create the corresponding collection class: 1. Navigate to the Model folder on our module directory. 2. Create a new file called Collection.php and copy the following content into the file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/ Mysql4/Entity/Collection.php): _init('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); parent::_construct(); } } So far, we haven't done anything other than blindly creating new models by copying code and adding model classes to our module. Let's test our newly created models using the Interactive Magento Console (IMC). Let's fire up IMC and try out the new models by running the following command in the root of our Magento installation: $ php shell/imc.php The following code assumes that you are running a Magento test installation with sample data, and if you are using the Vagrant box installation, you already have all the preloaded data: 1. We will start by loading the customer model: magento > $customer = Mage::getModel('customer/customer')>load(1); 2. Next we need to instantiate a new registry object: magento > $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); 3. One handy function that is part of all Magento models is the getData() function, which returns an array of all the object attributes. Let's run this function on both a, the registry and customer object and compare the output: magento > print_r($customer->getData()); magento > print_r($registry->getData()); [ 95 ] Frontend Development 4. As we notice, the customer has all the data set for our John Doe example record, while the registry object returns completely empty $regiarray. Let's change this by running the following code: magento > $registry->setCustomerId($customer->getId()); magento > $registry->setTypeId(1); magento > $registry->setWebsiteId(1); magento > $registry->setEventDate('2012-12-12'); magento > $registry->setEventCountry('CA'); magento > $registry->setEventLocation('Toronto'); 5. Now let's try to print the registry data one more time by running: magento > print_r($registry->getData()); 6. Finally, to make our changes permanent, we need to call the model save function: magento > $registry->save(); And oops! Something went wrong when saving the product; we got the following error in the console: Fatal error: Call to a member function beginTransaction() on a nonobject in …/app/code/core/Mage/Core/Model/Abstract.php on line 313 What happened? The save() function that is being called is part of the parent class Mage_Core_Model_Mysql4_Abstract, which in turn calls the abstract class save() function, but we are missing a critical part of our config.xml file. In order for Magento to properly identify which resource class to use, we need to specify the resource model class and the matching table for each entity. Let's go ahead and update our configuration file by following these steps: 1. Navigate to the extension etc/ folder. 2. Open config.xml. 3. Update the node with the following code (the file location is app/ code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Entity.php): … Mdg_Giftregistry_Model mdg_giftregistry_mysql4 [ 96 ] Chapter 4 Mdg_Giftregistry_Model_Mysql4 mdg_giftregistry_entity
… Now, before we can actually save a product to the database, we have to create our database tables first; next, we will learn how to use setup resources for creating our table structures and setting our default data. Setup resources Now that we have created our model code, we need to create setup resources in order to be able to save them. The setup resources will take care of creating the corresponding database tables. Now, we could just use straight SQL or a tool such as PHPMyAdmin to create all the tables, but this is not the standard practice, and by general rule, we should never modify the Magento Database directly. To achieve this, we will do the following: • Define a setup resource on our configuration file • Create a resource class • Create an installer script • Create a data script • Create an upgrade script [ 97 ] Frontend Development Defining a setup resource When we first defined our configuration file, we defined a node: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/config.xml. Refer to the following code snippet: … Mdg_Giftregistry … The first thing to notice is that the node is used as a unique identifier for our setup resource; the standard naming convention is , and while it is not required, it is highly recommended to follow this naming convention. We will also need to make a change to the node, add an additional class node, and read and write connections: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/config.xml. … Mdg_Giftregistry Mdg_Giftregistry_Model_Resource_Setup core_setup core_write core_read [ 98 ] Chapter 4 … Creating this setup resource is not required for the basic setup scripts, and Mage_Core_Model_Resource_Setup can be used instead, but by creating our own setup class, we are planning ahead and giving ourselves more flexibility for future improvements. Next, we will create the setup resource class under the file location, otherwise we will be getting an error saying that Magento can't find the setup resource class. Create the setup resource class under the file location, app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Model/Resource/Setup.php. Refer to the following code snippet: node was the node. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/config.xml. Refer to the following code snippet: 0.1.0 As we mentioned before, this node is required on all Magento modules and is used to identify the current installed version of our module. This version number is used by Magento to identify if and which installation and upgrade scripts to run. [ 99 ] Frontend Development A word on naming conventions: Since Magento 1.6, the setup script naming conventions have changed. Originally, the Mysql4install-x.x.x.php naming convention was used and is currently deprecated but still supported. Since Magento 1.6, the naming convention for the setup script has changed and now developers can make use of three different script types: • Install: This script is used when the module is first installed and no record of it exists on the core_resource table • Upgrade: This script is used if the version in the core_resource table is lower than the one in the config.xml file • Data: This script will run after the matching version install/upgrade script and are used to populate the tables with required data Data script are introduced in Magento 1.6 and are stored under the data/directory directly under our Module root. They follow a slightly different convention than the install and upgrade scripts by adding the prefix. Let's continue creating our registry entity table in our installation script under. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/sql/mdg_giftregistry_ setup/install-0.1.0.php. Refer to the following code: startSetup(); // Create the mdg_giftregistry/registry table $tableName = $installer->getTable('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); // Check if the table already exists if ($installer->getConnection()->isTableExists($tableName) != true) { $table = $installer->getConnection() ->newTable($tableName) ->addColumn('entity_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_INTEGER, null, array( 'identity' => true, 'unsigned' => true, 'nullable' => false, 'primary' => true, ), [ 100 ] Chapter 4 'Entity Id' ) ->addColumn('customer_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_INTEGER, null, array( 'unsigned' => true, 'nullable' => false, 'default' => '0', ), 'Customer Id' ) ->addColumn('type_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_SMALLINT, null, array( 'unsigned' => true, 'nullable' => false, 'default' => '0', ), 'Type Id' ) ->addColumn('website_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_SMALLINT, null, array( 'unsigned' => true, 'nullable' => false, 'default' => '0', ), 'Website Id' ) ->addColumn('event_name', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_TEXT, 255, array(), 'Event Name' ) ->addColumn('event_date', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_DATE, null, array(), 'Event Date' ) ->addColumn('event_country', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_TEXT, 3, array(), 'Event Country' ) ->addColumn('event_location', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_TEXT, 255, [ 101 ] Frontend Development array(), 'Event Location' ) ->addColumn('created_at', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::TYPE_TIMESTAMP, null, array( 'nullable' => false, ), 'Created At') ->addIndex($installer->getIdxName('mdg_giftregistry/entity', array('customer_id')), array('customer_id')) ->addIndex($installer->getIdxName('mdg_giftregistry/entity', array('website_id')), array('website_id')) ->addIndex($installer->getIdxName('mdg_giftregistry/entity', array('type_id')), array('type_id')) ->addForeignKey( $installer->getFkName( 'mdg_giftregistry/entity', 'customer_id', 'customer/entity', 'entity_id' ), 'customer_id', $installer->getTable('customer/entity'), 'entity_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::ACTION_CASCADE, Varien_Db_Ddl_ Table::ACTION_CASCADE) ->addForeignKey( $installer->getFkName( 'mdg_giftregistry/entity', 'website_id', 'core/website', 'website_id' ), 'website_id', $installer->getTable('core/website'), 'website_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::ACTION_CASCADE, Varien_Db_Ddl_ Table::ACTION_CASCADE) ->addForeignKey( $installer->getFkName( [ 102 ] Chapter 4 'mdg_giftregistry/entity', 'type_id', 'mdg_giftregistry/type', 'type_id' ), 'type_id', $installer->getTable('mdg_giftregistry/type'), 'type_id', Varien_Db_Ddl_Table::ACTION_CASCADE, Varien_Db_Ddl_ Table::ACTION_CASCADE); $installer->getConnection()->createTable($table); } $installer->endSetup(); Please note that due to space constraints we are not adding the full installation script; you still need to add the installer code for the item and type tables. The full installation file and the code files can be downloaded directly from Now that might look like a lot of code, but it is only creating one output of the tables, in order to make sense of it, lets break it down, and see what is exactly the code doing. The first thing to notice is that even if we are creating and setting database tables, we are not writing any SQL code. Magento ORM provides an adapter with the database. All the installation, upgrade, and data scripts inherit from Mage_Core_ Model_Resource_Setup. Let's break down each of the functions being used on our installation script. The first three lines of the script instantiate both resource_setup model and the connection. The rest of the script deals with setting up a new table instance and calling the following functions on it: • addColumn: This function is used to define each of the table columns and takes the following five parameters: °° name: This is the name of the column °° type: This is the data storage type (int, varchar, text, and so on) °° size: This is the column length °° options: This is an array of additional options for the data storage °° Comment: This is the column description [ 103 ] Frontend Development • addIndex: This function is used to define the indexes of a particular table and takes the following three parameters: °° index: This is an index name °° columns: This can be a string with a single column name or an array °° • with multiple ones options: This is an array of additional options for the data storage addForeginKey: This function is used to define foreign key relationships, and it takes the following six parameters: °° fkName: This is a foreign key name °° column: This is a foreign key column name °° refTable: This is a reference table name °° refColumn: This is a reference table column name °° onDelete: This is an action to take on delete row °° onUpdate: This is an action to take on update of row The code creating each of our tables is basically composed of those three functions, and after each table definition, the following code is executed: $installer->getConnection()->createTable($table); This is telling our database adapter to convert our code into SQL and run it against the database. There is one important thing to notice; that is, instead of providing or hard-coding the database names, the following code is called: $installer->getTable('mdg_giftregistry/entity') This is the table alias that we defined before inside our config.xml files. To finish our installer, we need to create a newTable instance for each of our entities. Here's a challenge for you. Create the missing tables by using your Installer Script. To see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit challenge/chapter4/1. The data scripts can be used to populate our tables; in our case, this will come in handy to set up some base event types. [ 104 ] Chapter 4 We will first need to create a data installation script under the data folder; as we mentioned before, the structure is very similar to the SQL folder, and the only difference is that we append the data prefix to the matching installation/upgrade script. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the module data folder app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/ data/. 2. Create a new directory based on resource; in this case, it would be mdg_giftregistry_setup. 3. Under mdg_giftregistry_setup, create a file called data-install0.1.0.php. 4. Copy the following code into the data-install-0.1.0.php file (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/data/mdg_giftregistry_ setup/data-install-0.1.0.php): 'baby_shower', 'name' => 'Baby Shower', 'description' => 'Baby Shower', 'store_id' => Mage_Core_Model_App::ADMIN_STORE_ID, 'is_active' => 1, ), array( 'code' => 'wedding', 'name' => 'Wedding', 'description' => 'Wedding', 'store_id' => Mage_Core_Model_App::ADMIN_STORE_ID, 'is_active' => 1, ), array( 'code' => 'birthday', 'name' => 'Birthday', 'description' => 'Birthday', 'store_id' => Mage_Core_Model_App::ADMIN_STORE_ID, 'is_active' => 1, ), ); foreach ($registryTypes as $data) { Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/type') ->addData($data) ->setStoreId($data['store_id']) ->save(); } [ 105 ] Frontend Development Let's take a closer look at the last conditional block on the data-install-0.1.0.php script: foreach ($registryTypes as $data) { Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/type') ->addData($data) ->setStoreId($data['store_id']) ->save(); } Now, if we refresh our Magento installation, the error should be gone, and if we take a close look at the mdg_giftregistry_type table, we should see the following records: As we learned before, the installation and data scripts will run the first time our module is installed. But what happens in our case where Magento already thinks our module is installed? Since the module is already registered in the core_resource table, the installation scripts will not be run again, unless Magento detects a version change in the extension. This is great for handling multiple releases of an extension but not very practical for development purposes. Fortunately, it is easy to trick Magento into running our extension installation scripts again. We only have to delete the corresponding entry in the core_resource table. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Open your MySQL console; if you are using our Vagrant box, you can just open it by typing mysql. 2. Once we are in the MySQL shell, we need to select our working database; in our case, it is ce1702_magento. 3. Finally, we need to enter the core_resource table using the following query: mysql> DELETE FROM `core_resource` WHERE `code` = giftregistry_setup' [ 106 ] 'mdg_ Chapter 4 What have we learned? So far, we have learned to: • Create the base directory structure for our Magento module • The role and importance of the configuration files • Creating models and setup resources • The role and order of installation, upgrade, and data scripts Here's a challenge for you. Try improving the model structure for our module even further by converting the entity into an EAV model; this will require modifications to the installation scripts and to the resource model. To see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit Setting up our routes Now that we are capable of saving and manipulating the data by using our models, we need to provide a way for customers to interact with the actual gift registries; that is our first step. We need to create valid routes or URLs in the frontend. As with many things in Magento, this is controlled by the configuration file. A route will convert a URL into a valid controller, action, and method. Open our config.xml file. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/ etc/config.xml. Refer to the following code: standard Mdg_Giftregistry giftregistry [ 107 ] Frontend Development Let's break down the configuration code we just added: • : Previously, we added all the configuration inside the global • : This is the container tag that holds the configuration for our custom routes • : The naming convention for this tag is to match the • : As we learned in Chapter 2, Magento Fundamentals for Developers, Magento breaks down the URLs into / frontName/actionControllerName/actionMethod/. scope; since we want our routes to be only available in the frontend, we need to declare our custom routes under the frontend scope module name and is the unique identifier for our route Once we have defined our route configuration, we need to create an actual controller to handle all the incoming requests. The index controller Our first step is to create IndexController under our module controllers directory. Magento will always try to load IndexController if no controller name is specified. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/Index.php. Refer to the following code: loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); } } Before going into the details of what is happening within the controller action; let's create the rest of the controllers and corresponding actions. We will need a controller that takes care of the basic operations for customers so they are able to create, manage, and delete their registries. Also, we will require a search controller so family and friends can locate the matching gift registries, and finally, we will require a view controller for showing the registry details. Our first step will be to add the remaining actions to the index controller (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ IndexController.php): loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function deleteAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function newAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function editAction() [ 109 ] Frontend Development { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function newPostAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function editPostAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } } Before we start adding all the logic to the index controller, we need to take an extra step to prevent not logged in customers to access the giftregistry functionality. Magento Front Controller is already very useful for handling this; it's called the preDispatch() function, which is executed before any other action in the controller. Open your IndexController.php and add the following code at the beginning of the class. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ IndexController.php. Refer to the following code: authenticate($this)) { $this->getResponse()->setRedirect(Mage::helper('custom er')->getLoginUrl()); $this->setFlag('', self::FLAG_NO_DISPATCH, true); } } … [ 110 ] Chapter 4 Now, if we try to load, we will be redirected to the login page unless we are logged in to the frontend. Our next step will be to add all the logic to each of the controller actions so the controller can properly handle creation, update, and deletion. The index, new, and edit actions are mostly used to load and render the layout, so there is not much logic involved in controller, newPostAction(), editPostAction(), and deleteAction(); on the other hand, they handle a heavier and more complicated logic. Let's get started with newPostAction(). This action is used to handle the data received from the newAction() form. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Open IndexController.php. 2. The first thing we will add to the action is an if statement to check if the request is a post-request, which we can retrieve by using the following code: $this->getRequest()->isPost() 3. In addition to that, we also want to check that the request has actual data; for that, we can use the following code: $this->getRequest()->getParams() Once we have validated that, the request is a proper request, and while we are receiving data, we need to actually create gift registry. To do so, we will add a new function inside our registry model by following these steps: 1. Open the registry entity model. 2. Create a new function called updateRegistryData() and make sure the function takes two parameters: $customer and $data. 3. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Entity. php. Add the following code inside this function: public function updateRegistryData(Mage_Customer_Model_Customer $customer, $data) { try{ if(!empty($data)) { $this->setCustomerId($customer->getId()); $this->setWebsiteId($customer->getWebsiteId()); $this->setTypeId($data['type_id']); $this->setEventName($data['event_name']); $this->setEventDate($data['event_date']); $this->setEventCountry($data['event_country']); [ 111 ] Frontend Development $this->setEventLocation($data['event_location']); }else{ throw new Exception("Error Processing Request: Insufficient Data Provided"); } } catch (Exception $e){ Mage::logException($e); } return $this; } This function will help us out by adding the form data into the current instance of the registry object, which means we need to create one inside our controller. Let's put the code for our controller together: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ IndexController.php. Refer to the following code snippet: public function newPostAction() { try { $data = $this->getRequest()->getParams(); $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); $customer = Mage::getSingleton('customer/session')>getCustomer(); if($this->getRequest()->getPost() && !empty($data)) { $registry->updateRegistryData($customer, $data); $registry->save(); $successMessage = Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry')->__ ('Registry Successfully Created'); Mage::getSingleton('core/session')>addSuccess($successMessage); }else{ throw new Exception("Insufficient Data provided"); } } catch (Mage_Core_Exception $e) { Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->addError($e>getMessage()); $this->_redirect('*/*/'); } $this->_redirect('*/*/'); } We have created a very basic controller action that will handle the registry creation and that will handle most of the possible exceptions. [ 112 ] Chapter 4 Let's continue by creating editPostAction; this action is very similar to the newPostAction. The main difference is that in the case of editPostAction, we are working with an already existing registry record, so we will need to add some validation before setting the data. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ IndexController.php. Let's take a closer look at the following action code: public function editPostAction() { try { $data = $this->getRequest()->getParams(); $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); $customer = Mage::getSingleton('customer/session')>getCustomer(); if($this->getRequest()->getPosts() && !empty($data) ) { $registry->load($data['registry_id']); if($registry){ $registry->updateRegistryData($customer, $data); $registry->save(); $successMessage = Mage::helper('mdg_ giftregistry')->__('Registry Successfully Saved'); Mage::getSingleton('core/session')>addSuccess($successMessage); }else { throw new Exception("Invalid Registry Specified"); } }else { throw new Exception("Insufficient Data provided"); } } catch (Mage_Core_Exception $e) { Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->addError($e>getMessage()); $this->_redirect('*/*/'); } $this->_redirect('*/*/'); } As we can see, this code is pretty much the same as our newPostAction() controller with the critical distinction that it tries to load an existing registry before updating the data. [ 113 ] Frontend Development Here's a challenge for you. Since the code between editPostAction() and newPostAction() are very similar, try combining both into a single post action that can be reused. To see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit To finalize IndexController, we need to add an action that allows us to delete a specific registry record; for that, we will use deleteAction(). Thanks to the Magento ORM system, this process is really simple, as Magento models inherit the delete() function, which as the name implies will simply delete that specific model instance. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ IndexController.php. Inside IndexController, add the following code: public function deleteAction() { try { $registryId = $this->getRequest()->getParam('registry_id'); if($registryId && $this->getRequest()->getPost()){ if($registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity')>load($registryId)) { $registry->delete(); $successMessage = Mage::helper('mdg_ giftregistry')->__('Gift registry has been succesfully deleted.'); Mage::getSingleton('core/session')>addSuccess($successMessage); }else{ throw new Exception("There was a problem deleting the registry"); } } } catch (Exception $e) { Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->addError($e>getMessage()); $this->_redirect('*/*/'); } } [ 114 ] Chapter 4 The important actions to notice in our delete controller are as follows: 1. We check for the right type of request into our action. 2. We instantiate the registry object and verify if it is a valid one. 3. Finally, we call the delete() function on the registry instance. You might notice by now that since we have made a critical omission, there is no way to add an actual product to our cart. We will be skipping that particular action for now, and we will create it after we have a better understanding of the blocks and layouts involved and how it interacts with our custom controllers. The search controller Now that we have a working IndexController that will handle most of the logic for modifying actual registries, the next controller that we will create is SearchController. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Create a new controller under the controllers directory with the name SearchController. 2. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ SearchController.php. Copy the following code into the search controller: loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function resultsAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } } We will leave indexAction for now, and we will focus on the logic involved in resultsAction(), which will be taking the search parameters and loading a registry collection. [ 115 ] Frontend Development The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ SearchController.php. Let's take a look at the complete action code and break it down: public function resultsAction() { $this->loadLayout(); if ($searchParams = $this->getRequest()->getParam('search_ params')) { $results = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity')>getCollection(); if($searchParams['type']){ $results->addFieldToFilter('type_id', $searchParams['type']); } if($searchParams['date']){ $results->addFieldToFilter('event_date', $searchParams['date']); } if($searchParams['location']){ $results->addFieldToFilter('event_location', $searchParams['location']); } $this->getLayout()->getBlock(' results') ->setResults($results); } $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } As with previous actions, we are taking the request parameters, but in this particular case, we load a gift registry collection and apply a field filter for each of the available fields. One thing to stand out is that this is the first time we are interacting with the layout directly from a Magento controller. $this->getLayout()->getBlock('') ->setResults($results); What we are doing here is making the loaded registry collection available to that particular block instance. [ 116 ] Chapter 4 The view controller Finally, we need a controller that allows displaying registry details regardless of whether a customer is logged in or not. Follow these steps: 1. Create a new controller under the controllers directory with the name ViewController. 2. Open the controller that we just created and refer to the following placeholder code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/ controllers/ViewController.php): getRequest()->getParam('registry_ id'); if($registryId){ $entity = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); if($entity->load($registryId)) { Mage::register('loaded_registry', $entity); $this->loadLayout(); $this->_initLayoutMessages('customer/session'); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } else { $this->_forward('noroute'); return $this; } } } } So here we are using a new function, Mage::register(), which is setting a global variable that we can later retrieve into the application flow by any method. This function is part of the Magento Registry pattern that is compromised of the following three functions: • Mage::register(): This function is used to set global variables • Mage::unregister(): This function is used to unset global variables • Mage::registry(): This function is used to retrieve global variables [ 117 ] Frontend Development We are using the registry function in this case to provide access to the registry entity further ahead the application flow and particularly in the view block that we will be creating next. Block and layouts As we learned in Chapter 2, Magento Fundamentals for Developers, Magento separates its view layer into blocks, templates, and layout files. Blocks are objects that handle parts of the logic. Templates are phtml files that are a mix of HTML and PHP code. Layout files are XML files that control the position of blocks. Each module has its own layout file that is in charge of updating that specific module layout. We need to start by creating a layout file for our module by following these steps: 1. Navigate to app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/. 2. Create a file named mdg_giftregistry.xml. 3. Add the following code (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/ default/layout/mdg_giftregistry.xml): Note that by adding our templates and layouts to the base/default theme, we'll make our templates and layouts available to all stores and themes. [ 118 ] Chapter 4 If we take a closer look at the XML we just pasted, we can see that we have a default tag and several other sets of tags. As we mentioned earlier, in Magento, routes are formed by a frontend name, a controller, and an action. Each of the XML tags in the layout file represents one of our controllers and actions; for example, will control the layout of our IndexController action; Magento assigns each page a unique handle. In order for Magento to recognize our layout file, we need to declare the layout file inside the config.xml file by following these steps: 1. Navigate to the extension etc/ folder. 2. Open config.xml. 3. Add the following code inside the node (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/mdg_giftregistry.xml): mdg_giftregistry.xml IndexController blocks and views As we did before, we will start by building the index controller. Let's define which templates and blocks we need to define for each of the actions: • Index: This is the list of the current customer available registries • New: This provides a new form to capture the registry information • Edit: This loads a specific registry data and loads them in the form For the index action, we will need to create a new block called List.php. Let's start by creating the registry list block by following these steps: 1. Navigate to app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/. 2. Create a file named List.php. [ 119 ] Frontend Development 3. Copy the following code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Block/List.php.): getCustomer(); if($currentCustomer) { $collection = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/ entity')->getCollection() ->addFieldToFilter('customer_id', $currentCustomer->getId()); } return $collection; } } The previous code declares our list block that will be used in IndexController. The blocks declares the getCustomerRegistries() method, which will check for the current customer and try to retrieve a collection of registries based on that customer. Now that we created a new block, we need to add it to our layout XML file: 1. Open mdg_giftregistry.xml. 2. Add the following code inside (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/mdg_ giftregistry.xml): In the layout, we are declaring our block; inside that declaration, we are setting the block name, template, and type. If we try loading the index controller page right now, since we have not created our template file, we should then see an error about the missing template. [ 120 ] Chapter 4 Let's create the template file: 1. Navigate to design/frontend/base/default/template/. 2. Create the mdg/ folder. 3. Inside that folder, create a file called list.phtml (the file location is app/ design/frontend/base/default/template/mdg/list.phtml): getCustomerRegistries(); ?>
  • getEventName(); ?>

    __('Event Date:') ?> getEventDate(); ?>

    __('Event Location:') ?> getEventLocation(); ?>

    __('View Registry') ?>
This is the first time we generate a .phtml file. As we mentioned before, .phtml files are just a combination of PHP and HTML code. In case of the list.phtml file, the first thing we are doing is to load a collection by calling the getCustomerRegistries() method; one thing to notice is that we are actually calling $this->getCustomerRegistries(), as each template is assigned to a specific block. We are missing a couple of important things, which are as follows: • If there are no registries for the current customer, we would only display an empty unordered list • There is no link to delete or edit a specific registry One quick way of checking if the collection has registries is to call the count function and display an error message if the collection is actually empty. [ 121 ] Frontend Development The file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/template/mdg/list. phtml. Refer to the following code: getCustomerRegistries(); ?>
count()): ?>

__('You have no registries.') ?>

__('Click Here to create a new Gift Registry') ?>
[ 122 ] Chapter 4 We have added a new if statement to check that the collection count is not empty and a link to the IndexController edit action. Finally, if there are no registries to show, we are displaying an error message linking to the new action. Let's continue by adding the block and templates for the new action: 1. Open the mdg_giftregistry.xml layout file. 2. Add the following code inside the node (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/mdg_ giftregistry.xml): Since we are just displaying a form to post the registry information to newPostAction(), we are just creating a core/template block with the custom template file that will contain the form code. Our template file will look like the following code. The file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/template/mdg/new.phtml:
  • [ 123 ] Frontend Development
This time we are doing something new here. We are calling a helper; a helper is a class that contains methods that can be reused from blocks, templates, controllers, and so on. In our case, we are creating a helper that will retrieve all available registry types. Follow these steps: 1. Navigate to app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Helper. 2. Open the Data.php class. [ 124 ] Chapter 4 3. Add the following code inside it (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Helper/Data.php): getCollection(); return $collection; } } Finally, we need to set up the edit template; the edit template will be exactly the same as the new template but with one major difference. We will check for the existence of a loaded registry and prepopulate the values of our fields. The file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/template/mdg/edit. phtml. Refer to the following code: getLoadedRegistry(); ?>
  • [ 125 ] Frontend Development

__('There was a problem loading the registry') ?>

Let's continue by adding the block and templates for the edit action: 1. Open the mdg_giftregistry.xml layout file. 2. Add the following code inside the node (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/mdg_ giftregistry.xml): Once that is set, we can try creating a couple of test registries and modifying their properties. [ 126 ] Chapter 4 Here's a challenge for you. As with the controller, the edit and new form can be combined into a single reusable form. Try to combine them to see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit SearchController blocks and views For our search controller, we will need a search template for our index. For the results, we can actually reuse the registry list template by simply making a change to our controller by following these steps: 1. Navigate to the template folder. 2. Create a file called search.phtml. 3. Add the following code (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/ default/template/mdg/search.phtml):
  • [ 127 ] Frontend Development
A couple of things to notice: • We are using the helper model to populate the Event type IDs • We are posting directly to the search/results Now, let's make the appropriate change to our layout file: 1. Open mdg_giftregistry.xml. 2. Add the following code inside (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/mdg_ giftregistry.xml): For the search results, we don't need to create a new block type since we are passing the results collection directly to the block. In the layout, our changes will be minimal, and we can reuse the list block for displaying the search registry results. [ 128 ] Chapter 4 However, we do need to make a change in the controller. We need to change the function from setResults() to setCustomerRegistries(). The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/ SearchController.php. Refer to the following code: public function resultsAction() { $this->loadLayout(); if ($searchParams = $this->getRequest()->getParam('search_ params')) { $results = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity')>getCollection(); if($searchParams['type']){ $results->addFieldToFilter('type_id', $searchParams['type']); } if($searchParams['date']){ $results->addFieldToFilter('event_date', $searchParams['date']); } if($searchParams['location']){ $results->addFieldToFilter('event_location', $searchParams['location']); } $this->getLayout()->getBlock(' results') ->setCustomerRegistries($results); } $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } Finally, let's update the layout files by following these steps: 1. Open mdg_giftregistry.xml. 2. Add the following code inside (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/layout/mdg_ giftregistry.xml): [ 129 ] Frontend Development And that would be the end of our SearchController template; however, there is a problem that our search results are displaying. For the delete and edit links of a registry, we need a way to restrict these links only to the owner. We can do that with the following Helper function: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Helper/Data.php. Refer to the following code: public function isRegistryOwner($registryCustomerId) { $currentCustomer = Mage::getSingleton('customer/session')>getCustomer(); if($currentCustomer && $currentCustomer->getId() == $registryCustomerId) { return true; } return false; } And let's update our template to use the new helper method. The file location is app/design/frontend/base/default/template/mdg/list. phtml. Refer to the following code: getCustomerRegistries(); $helper = Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry') ?>
count()): ?>

__('You have no registries.') ?>

__('Click Here to create a new Gift Registry') ?>
ViewController block and views For our view, we just need to create a new template file and a new entry in the layout.xml file: 1. Navigate to the template directory. 2. Create a template called view.phtml. 3. Add the following code (the file location is app/design/frontend/base/ default/template/mdg/view.phtml):

getEventName(); ?>

__('Event Date:') ?> getEventDate(); ?>

__('Event Location:') ?> getEventLocation(); ?>

[ 131 ] Frontend Development 4. Update the layout XML file, . Here's a challenge for you. Improve the view form to return an error if there is not an actual loaded registry. To see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit Adding products to the registry We are almost at the end of the chapter, and we are yet to cover how to add products to our registries. Due to space concerns in this book, I decided to move this section to Summary In this chapter, we have covered a lot of ground. We have learned how to extend the frontend of Magento and how to work with routes and controllers. The Magento layout system allows us to modify and control blocks and display it on our store. We also started working with Magento Data models, and we learned how to use them, as well as how to handle and manipulate our data. We have only touched the surface of the frontend development and of the Data models. In the next chapter, we will expand a little bit more on the topics of configuration, models, and data, and we will explore and create an admin section on the Magento backend. [ 132 ] Backend Development In the previous chapter, we added all the frontend functionality for the gift registry. Now customers are able to create registries and add products to the customer registries, and in general have full control over their own registries. In this chapter, we are going to build all the functionalities that store owners need to manage and control the registries through the backend of Magento. Magento backend can be considered in many senses a separate application from the frontend of Magento; it uses a completely separate theme, style, and a different base controller. For our gift registry, we want to allow store owners to see all customer registries, modify the information, and add and remove items. In this chapter, we will cover the following: • Extending the Adminhtml with configuration • Using the grid widget • Using the form widget • Restricting access and permissions with Access Control Lists Extending the Adminhtml Mage_Adminhtml is a single module that provides all the backend functionalities for Magento through the usage of configuration. As we learned before, Magento uses scopes for defining the configuration. In the previous chapter, we used the frontend scope to set up the configuration for our custom module. Backend Development To modify the backend, we need to create a new scope in our configuration file called admin. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Open the config.xml file, which can be found at the location app/code/ loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/. 2. Add the following code to it: admin Mdg_Giftregistry_Adminhmtl giftregistry This code is very similar to the one we used before to specify our frontend route; however, by declaring the route this way we are breaking an unwritten Magento design pattern. In order to keep things consistent on the backend, all new modules should extend the main admin route. Instead of defining the route with the previous code, we are creating a completely new admin route. Normally, you don't want to do this for the Magento backend unless you are creating a new route that requires admin access but not the rest of the Magento backend. A callback URL for an admin action would be a good example of something like this. Fortunately, there is a very easy way to share route names among Magento modules. Sharing route names was introduced in Magento 1.3 but to this day, we still see extensions that don't use this pattern properly. [ 134 ] Chapter 5 Let's update our code: 1. Open the config.xml file, which can be found at the location app/code/ loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/. 2. Update the routes configuration with the following code: Mdg_ Giftregistry_Adminhtml After making this change, we can properly access our admin controllers through the admin namespace; for example, giftregistry/index would now be giftregistry/index. Our next step will be to create a new controller that we can use to manage the customer registries. We will call this controller GiftregistryController.php. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Navigate to your module controllers folder. 2. Create a new folder called Adminhtml. 3. Create the file called GiftregistryController.php at the location app/ code/loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/Adminhtml/. 4. Add the following code to it: loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; [ 135 ] Backend Development } public function editAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function saveAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function newAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } public function massDeleteAction() { $this->loadLayout(); $this->renderLayout(); return $this; } } Notice something important: this new controller extends Mage_Adminhtml_ Controller_Action instead of Mage_Core_Controller_Front_Action, which we had been using so far. The reason for this is that the Adminhtml controller has additional validation to prevent non-admin users to access their actions. Notice that we are placing our controller inside a new subfolder inside the controllers/ directory; by using this subdirectory, we are keeping the frontend and backend controllers organized. This is a widely accepted Magento standard practice. For now, let's leave this blank controller alone, and let's extend the Magento backend navigation and add some extra tabs to the customer edit page. [ 136 ] Chapter 5 Back to the configuration As we have seen so far, most of the time Magento is controlled by XML configuration files and the backend layout is no different. We need to create a new adminhtml layout file. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Navigate to the design folder. 2. Create a new folder called adminhtml and inside it create the following folder structure: °° adminhtml/ °° --default/ °° ----default/ °° ------template/ °° ------layout/ 3. Inside the layout folder let's create a new layout file called giftregistry.xml at the location app/code/design/adminhtml/default/default/layout/. 4. Copy the following code into the layout file: mdg_giftregistry tab_giftregistry_main We also need to add the new layout file into the config.xml module. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Navigate to the etc/ folder. 2. Open the config.xml file, which can be found at the location app/code/ loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/. [ 137 ] Backend Development 3. Copy the following code into the config.xml file: … giftregistry.xml … What we are doing inside the layout is creating a new container block and declaring a new tab that contains this block. Let's quickly test our changes so far by logging in to the Magento backend and opening a customer information by going into Customer Manager located at Customers | Manage Customers. We should get the following error in the backend: [ 138 ] Chapter 5 This is because we are trying to add a block that has not been declared yet; to fix this, we need to create a new block class. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Navigate to the blocks folder and create a new block class following the directory structure called Giftregistry.php at the location app/code/ loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Customer/Edit/Tab/. 2. Add the following code to it: setTemplate ('mdg/giftregistry/customer/main.phtml'); parent::_construct(); } public function getCustomerId() { return Mage::registry('current_customer')->getId(); } public function getTabLabel() { return $this->__('GiftRegistry List'); } public function getTabTitle() { return $this->__ ('Click to view the customer Gift Registries'); } public function canShowTab() { return true; } public function isHidden() { return false; } } [ 139 ] Backend Development There are a couple of interesting things happening with this block class. For starters, we are extending a different block class, Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Template, and implementing a new interface, Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Widget_Tab_Interface. This is done in order to access all the features and functionalities of the Magento backend. We are also setting the block template inside the construct function of our class; also under the getCustomerId, we are making use of the Magento global variables to get the current customer. Our next step will be to create the corresponding template file for this block, otherwise we would get an error on the block initialization. 1. Create a template file called main.phtml at the location app/code/design/ adminhtml/default/default/template/mdg/giftregistry/customer/. 2. Copy the following code into it:

__('Customer Gift Registry List') ?>

Nothing here
For now, we are just adding placeholder content to the template so that we can actually see our tabs in action; now, if we go to the customer section in the backend, we should see that a new tab is available, and clicking on that tab will display our placeholder content. By now, we have modified the backend and added a Customers tab to the customer section just by changing a configuration and adding some simple blocks and a template file. But so far, this hasn't been particularly useful, so we need a way of displaying all the customer gift registries under the Gift registry tab. [ 140 ] Chapter 5 The grid widget Instead of having to write our own grid blocks from scratch, we can reuse the ones that have been already provided by the Magento Adminhtml module. The block that we will be extending is called grid widget; the grid widget is a special type of block designed to render a collection of Magento objects in a particular table grid. A grid widget is normally rendered inside a Grid container; the combination of both elements allow not only to display our data in a grid form but also adds search, filtering, sorting, and mass action capabilities. Perform the following steps: 1. Navigate to the block Adminhtml/ folder and create a folder called Giftregistry/ at the location app/code/loca/Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/ Adminhtml/Customer/Edit/Tab/. 2. Create a class called List.php inside that folder. 3. Copy the following code into the Giftregistry/List.php file: setId('registryList'); $this->setUseAjax(true); $this->setDefaultSort('event_date'); $this->setFilterVisibility(false); $this->setPagerVisibility(false); } protected function _prepareCollection() { $collection = Mage::getModel ('mdg_giftregistry/entity') ->getCollection() ->addFieldToFilter('main_table.customer_id', $this->getRequest()->getParam('id')); $this->setCollection($collection); [ 141 ] Backend Development return parent::_prepareCollection(); } protected function _prepareColumns() { $this->addColumn('entity_id', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Id'), 'width' => 50, 'index' => 'entity_id', 'sortable' => false, )); $this->addColumn('event_location', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Location'), 'index' => 'event_location', 'sortable' => false, )); $this->addColumn('event_date', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Date'), 'index' => 'event_date', 'sortable' => false, )); $this->addColumn('type_id', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Type'), 'index' => 'type_id', 'sortable' => false, )); return parent::_prepareColumns(); } } Looking at the class we just created, there are only three functions involved: • __construct() • • _prepareCollection() _prepareColumns() [ 142 ] Chapter 5 On the __construct function, we are specifying a few important options about our grid class. We are setting the gridId; the default sort to be by eventDate, and we are enabling pagination and filtering. The __prepareCollection() function loads a collection of registries filtered by current customerId. This function can be used to do more complex operations in our collection too; for example, joining a secondary table to get more information about the customer or another related record. Finally, by using the __prepareColumns() function, we are telling Magento which columns and attributes for our data collection should be shown and how we can render them. Now that we have created a functional grid block, we would need to do some changes to our layout XML file in order to display it. Perform the following steps: 1. Open the giftregistry.xml file, which can be found at the location app/ design/adminhtml/default/default/layout/. 2. Make the following changes: mdg_giftregistry mdg_giftregistry/adminhtml_customer_ edit_tab_giftregistry [ 143 ] Backend Development What we did was to add the grid block as part of our main block, but if we go to the customer edit page and click on the Gift registry tab, we are still seeing the old placeholder text and the grid is not displaying. This is because we haven't made the necessary changes to our main.phtml template file. In order to display children blocks, we specifically need to tell the templating system to load any or a specific child; for now, we will just load our specific grid block. Perform the following steps: 1. Open the main.phtml template file, which can be found at the location app/ design/adminhtml/default/default/template/customer/. 2. Replace the template code with the following:

__ ('Customer Gift Registry List') ?>

getChildHtml('tab_giftregistry_list'); ?>
[ 144 ] Chapter 5 The getChildHtml() function is responsible for rendering all the child blocks. The function getChildHtml() can be called with a specific child block name or without parameters; when called without parameters, it will load all the available children blocks. In the case of our extension, we are only interested in instantiating a particular child block, so we will be passing the block name as the function parameter. Now, if we refresh the page, we should see our grid block loaded with all the gift registries available for that particular customer. Managing the registries Now, this is handy if we want to manage the registries for a specific customer, but it does not really help us if we want to manage all the registries available in a store. For that, we need to create a grid that loads all the available gift registries. Since we already created a gift registry controller for the backend, we can use the index action to display all the available registries. The first thing we need to do is to modify the Magento backend navigation to show a link to our new controller index action. Again, we can achieve this by using XML. In this particular case, we are going to create a new XML file called adminhtml.xml. Perform the following steps: 1. Navigate to your module etc folder, which can be found at the location app/ code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/. 2. Create a new file called adminhtml.xml. 3. Place the following code in that file: Gift Registry 71 Manage Registries 0 adminhtml/giftregistry/index [ 145 ] Backend Development While the standard is to have this configuration added inside adminhtml.xml, you will likely encounter extensions where this standard is not followed. This configuration can be located inside config.xml. This configuration code is creating a new main-level menu and a new child-level option under it; we are also specifying which action the menu should be mapped to, in this case, the index action of our gift registry controller. If we refresh the backend now, we should see a new Gift registry menu added to the top-level navigation. Permissions and the ACL Sometimes we need to restrict access to certain features of our module or even the whole module based on the admin rule. Magento allows us to do this by using a power feature called ACL or Access Control List. Each role in the Magento backend can have different permissions and different ACLs. The first step of enabling ACLs with our custom module is to define which resources should be restricted by the ACL; not so surprisingly, this is controlled by the configuration XML files. Perform the following steps: 1. Open the adminhtml.xml configuration file, which can be found at the location app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/. 2. Add the following code after the menu path: Gift Registry 300 Manage Registries 0 [ 146 ] Chapter 5 Now, in the Magento backend, if we navigate to System | Permissions | Roles, select the Administrators role, and try to set Roles Resources at the bottom of the list; we can see the new ACL resources we created, as shown in the following screenshot: By doing this, we gain granular control over which operations each user has access to. If we click on the Manage Registries menu, we should get a blank page; since we haven't created the corresponding grid block, layouts, and templates, we should see a completely blank page. So let's start by creating the blocks that we will need for our new grid; the way we will create our gift registry grid will be slightly different from what we did for our Customers tab. We need to create a grid container block and a grid block. The grid container is used to hold the grid header, the buttons, and the grid content, while the grid block is only in charge of rendering the grid with pagination, filtering, and mass actions. Perform the following steps: 1. Navigate to your block Adminhtml folder. 2. Create a new block called Registries.php at the location app/code/local/ Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/: [ 147 ] Backend Development 3. Add the following code to it: _controller = 'adminhtml_registries'; $this->_blockGroup = 'mdg_giftregistry'; $this->_headerText = Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Gift Registry Manager'); parent::__construct(); } } One important thing we are setting up in the construct function inside our grid container is the usage of protected values of _controller and _blockGroup by the Magento grid container to identify the corresponding grid block. It is important to clarify that $this->_controller is not the actual controller name but the block class name and $this->_blockGroup is actually the module name. Let's continue with creating the grid block, which as we learned previously has three main functions: _construct, _prepareCollection(), and _prepareColumns(). But in this case, we will add a new function called _prepareMassActions(), which allows us to modify selected sets of records without having to edit each individually. Perform the following steps: 1. Navigate to your block Adminhtml folder and create a new folder called Registries. 2. Under the Model folder create a new block called Grid.php at the location app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Registries/. 3. Add the following code to Grid.php: File Location: Grid.php setId('registriesGrid'); $this->setDefaultSort('event_date'); $this->setDefaultDir('ASC'); $this->setSaveParametersInSession(true); [ 148 ] Chapter 5 } protected function _prepareCollection(){ $collection = Mage::getModel ('mdg_giftregistry/entity')->getCollection(); $this->setCollection($collection); return parent::_prepareCollection(); } protected function _prepareColumns() { $this->addColumn('entity_id', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Id'), 'width' => 50, 'index' => 'entity_id', 'sortable' => false, )); $this->addColumn('event_location', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Location'), 'index' => 'event_location', 'sortable' => false, )); $this->addColumn('event_date', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Date'), 'index' => 'event_date', 'sortable' => false, )); $this->addColumn('type_id', array( 'header' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Type'), 'index' => 'type_id', 'sortable' => false, )); return parent::_prepareColumns(); } protected function _prepareMassaction(){ } } [ 149 ] Backend Development This grid code is very similar to what we had created before for the Customers tab, with the exception that this time we are not specifically filtering by a customer record, and we are also creating a grid container block instead of implementing a custom block. Finally, in order to show the grid in our controller action we need to perform the following steps: 1. Open the giftregistry.xml file, which can be found at the location app/ code/design/adminhtml/default/default/layout/. 2. Add the following code to it: … … Since we are using a grid container, we only need to specify the grid container block, and Magento will take care of loading the matching grid container. There is no need to specify or create a template file for the grid or the grid container as both blocks automatically load the base templates from the adminhtml/base/ default theme. Now, we can check our newly added gift registry by navigating to Gift Registry | Manage Registries in the backend. [ 150 ] Chapter 5 Updating in bulk with Massactions When creating our base grid block, we defined a function called _prepareMassactions(), which provides an easy way of manipulating multiple records from the grid. In our case, for now, let's just implement a mass delete action. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Open the registry grid block Grid.php, which can be found at app/code/ local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Registries/. 2. Replace the _prepareMassaction() function with the following code: protected function _prepareMassaction(){ $this->setMassactionIdField('entity_id'); $this->getMassactionBlock()-> setFormFieldName('registries'); $this->getMassactionBlock()->addItem('delete', array( 'label' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Delete'), 'url' => $this->getUrl('*/*/massDelete'), 'confirm' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Are you sure?') )); return $this; } The way mass actions work is by passing a series of selected IDs to our specified controller action; in this case, the massDelete() action will add code to iterate through the registry collection and delete each of the specified registries. Perform the following steps: 1. Open the GiftregistryController.php file, which can be found at the location app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/Adminhtml/. 2. Replace the blank massDelete() action with the following code: … public function massDeleteAction() { $registryIds = $this-> getRequest()->getParam('registries'); if(!is_array($registryIds)) { Mage::getSingleton('adminhtml/session')-> addError(Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry')-> __('Please select one or more registries.')); } else { try { [ 151 ] Backend Development $registry = Mage::getModel ('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); foreach ($registryIds as $registryId) { $registry->reset() ->load($registryId) ->delete(); } Mage::getSingleton ('adminhtml/session')->addSuccess( Mage::helper('adminhtml')->__ ('Total of %d record(s) were deleted.', count($registryIds)) ); } catch (Exception $e) { Mage::getSingleton ('adminhtml/session')-> addError($e->getMessage()); } } $this->_redirect('*/*/index'); } Challenge: Add two new mass actions to change the status of the registries to enable or disable respectively. To see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit Finally, we also want to be able to edit the records listed in our grid. For that, we need to add a new function to our registries grid class; this function is called getRowUrl(), and it is used to specify the action to be taken when clicking on a grid row; in our particular case, we want to map that function to the editAction(). Perform the following steps: 1. Open the Grid.php file, which can be found at the location app/code/ local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Registries/. 2. Add the following function to it: … public function getRowUrl($row) { return $this->getUrl('*/*/edit', array ('id' => $row->getEntityId())); } … [ 152 ] Chapter 5 The form widget So far, we have been working with the gift registry grid, but right now we aren't able to do much more than just getting the list of all the available registries or deleting registries in bulk. We need a way of getting the details of a specific registry; we can map this to the edit controller action. The edit action will display the registry-specific details and will also allow us to modify the details and status of a registry. We will need to create a few blocks and templates for this action. In order to view and edit the registry information, we need to implement a form widget block. Form widgets work in a similar fashion as the grid widget blocks and need to have a form block and a form container block that extends the Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Widget_Form_Container class. In order to create the form container, let's perform the following steps: 1. Navigate to the Registries folder. 2. Create a new class file called Edit.php at the location app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Registries/. 3. Add the following code to the class file: class Mdg_Giftregistry_Block_Adminhtml_Registries_Edit extends Mage_Adminhtml_Block_Widget_Form_Container { public function __construct(){ parent::__construct(); $this->_objectId = 'id'; $this->_blockGroup = 'registries'; $this->_controller = 'adminhtml_giftregistry'; $this->_mode = 'edit'; $this->_updateButton('save', 'label', Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Save Registry')); $this->_updateButton('delete', 'label', Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry')-> __('Delete Registry')); } public function getHeaderText(){ if(Mage::registry('registries_data') && Mage::registry('registries_data')->getId()) return Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry')->__ ("Edit Registry '%s'", $this-> htmlEscape(Mage::registry ('registries_data')->getTitle())); [ 153 ] Backend Development return Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry')->__ ('Add Registry'); } } Similar to the grid widget, the form container widget will automatically identify and load the matching form block. One additional protected attribute that is being declared in the form container is the mode attribute; this protected attribute is used by the container to specify the location of the form block. We can find the code responsible for creating the form block inside the Mage_ Adminhtml_Block_Widget_Form_Container class: $this->getLayout()->createBlock($this->_blockGroup . '/' . $this->_ controller . '_' . $this->_mode . '_form') Now that we have created the form container block, we can proceed to create the matching form block. Perform the following steps to do so: 1. Navigate to the Registries folder. 2. Create a new folder called Edit. 3. Create a new file called Form.php at the location app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Registries/Edit/. 4. Add the following code to it: 'edit_form', 'action' => $this->getUrl('*/*/save', array ('id' => $this->getRequest()->getParam('id'))), 'method' => 'post', 'enctype' => 'multipart/form-data' )); $form->setUseContainer(true); $this->setForm($form); if (Mage::getSingleton ('adminhtml/session')->getFormData()){ $data = Mage::getSingleton ('adminhtml/session')->getFormData(); [ 154 ] Chapter 5 Mage::getSingleton ('adminhtml/session')->setFormData(null); }elseif(Mage::registry('registry_data')) $data = Mage::registry ('registry_data')->getData(); $fieldset = $form->addFieldset('registry_form', array('legend'=>Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry') ->__('Gift Registry information'))); $fieldset->addField('type_id', 'text', array( 'label' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Registry Id'), 'class' => 'required-entry', 'required' => true, 'name' => 'type_id', )); $fieldset->addField('website_id', 'text', array( 'label' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Website Id'), 'class' => 'required-entry', 'required' => true, 'name' => 'website_id', )); $fieldset->addField ('event_location', 'text', array( 'label' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Location'), 'class' => 'required-entry', 'required' => true, 'name' => 'event_location', )); $fieldset->addField('event_date', 'text', array( 'label' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Date'), 'class' => 'required-entry', 'required' => true, 'name' => 'event_date', )); $fieldset->addField('event_country', 'text', array( 'label' => Mage::helper ('mdg_giftregistry')->__('Event Country'), 'class' => 'required-entry', 'required' => true, [ 155 ] Backend Development 'name' => 'event_country', )); $form->setValues($data); return parent::_prepareForm(); } } We also need to modify our layout file and tell Magento to load our form container. Copy the following code to the layout file giftregistry.xml, which can be found at the location app/code/design/adminhtml/default/default/layout/: … We can check out our progress at this point by going into the Magento backend and clicking on one of our example registries. We should see the following form: But there seems to be an issue. None of the data is loaded; we just have an empty form, so we have to modify our controller editAction() in order to load the data. [ 156 ] Chapter 5 Loading the data Let's start by modifying editAction() inside our GiftregistryController.php file, which can be found at the location app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/ controllers/Adminhtml/: … public function editAction() { $id = $this->getRequest()->getParam('id', null); $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity'); if ($id) { $registry->load((int) $id); if ($registry->getId()) { $data = Mage::getSingleton ('adminhtml/session')->getFormData(true); if ($data) { $registry->setData($data)->setId($id); } } else { Mage::getSingleton('adminhtml/session')->addError (Mage::helper('awesome')->__ ('The Gift Registry does not exist')); $this->_redirect('*/*/'); } } Mage::register('registry_data', $registry); $this->loadLayout(); $this->getLayout()->getBlock('head')->setCanLoadExtJs(true); $this->renderLayout(); } What we are doing inside our editAction() is to check for a registry with the same ID, and if it exists, we will load that registry entity and make it available to our form. Previously, when adding the form code to the file app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Block/Adminhtml/Registries/Edit/Form.php, we included the following: … if (Mage::getSingleton('adminhtml/session')->getFormData()){ $data = Mage::getSingleton('adminhtml/session')->getFormData(); Mage::getSingleton('adminhtml/session')->setFormData(null); }elseif(Mage::registry('registry_data')) $data = Mage::registry('registry_data')->getData(); … [ 157 ] Backend Development Now, we can test our changes by reloading the form: Saving the data Now that we have created the form for editing a registry, we need to create the corresponding action to process and save the data posted by the form. We can use the save form action to handle this. Perform the following steps: 1. Open the GiftregistryController.php class, which can be found at the location app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/controllers/Adminhtml/. 2. Replace the blank saveAction() function with the following code: public function saveAction() { if ($this->getRequest()->getPost()) { try { $data = $this->getRequest()->getPost(); $id = $this->getRequest()->getParam('id'); if ($data && $id) { [ 158 ] Chapter 5 $registry = Mage::getModel ('mdg_giftregistry/entity')->load($id); $registry->setData($data); $registry->save(); $this->_redirect('*/*/edit', array ('id' => $this->getRequest() ->getParam('registry_id'))); } } catch (Exception $e) { $this->_getSession()->addError( Mage::helper('mdg_giftregistry')->__ ('An error occurred while saving the registry data. Please review the log and try again.') ); Mage::logException($e); $this->_redirect('*/*/edit', array ('id' => $this->getRequest()-> getParam('registry_id'))); return $this; } } } Let's break down what this code is doing step by step: 1. We check if the request has valid post data. 2. We check that both the $data and $id variables are set. 3. If both variables are set, we load a new registry entity and set the data. 4. Finally, we try to save the registry entity. The first thing we do is to check that the data posted is not empty and that we are getting a registry ID as part of the parameters; we also check if the registry ID is a valid instance of the registry entity. [ 159 ] Backend Development Summary In this chapter, we learned how to modify and extend the Magento backend to our specific needs. Whereas, the frontend extends the functionality that the customers and users can use; extending the backend allows us to control this custom functionality and how customers interact with it. Grids and forms are important parts of the Magento backend, and by using them properly, we can add a lot of functionality without having to write a lot of code or reinvent the wheel. Finally, we learned how to use the permissions and Magento ACL to control and restrict the permissions of our custom extension after extension, as well as Magento in general. In the next chapter, we will dive deep into the Magento API, and we will learn how to extend it to manipulate our registry data using several methods such as SOAP, XML-RPC, and REST. [ 160 ] The Magento API In the previous chapter, we extended the Magento backend and learned how to use some of the backend components so that store owners can manage and manipulate the gift registry data of each customer. In this chapter we will cover the following topics: • The Magento Core API • The multiple API protocols available (REST, SOAP, XML-RPC) • How to use the Core API • How to extend the API to implement new functionality • How to restrict parts of the API to specific web user roles While the backend provides an interface for day-to-day operations, sometimes we will need to access and/or transmit data from and to third-party systems. Magento already provides API functionality for most of the core features, but for our custom gift registry extension, we will need to extend the Mage_Api functionality. The Core API Often while talking about the API, I heard developers talking about the Magento SOAP API or the Magento XML-RPC API or the RESTful API. But the important fact is that these are not separate APIs for each of these protocols; instead, Magento has a single Core API. As you might notice, Magento is built mostly around abstraction and configuration (mostly XML), and the Magento API is no exception. We have a single core API and adapters for each of the different protocol types. This is incredibly flexible, and if we want to, we can implement our own adapter for another protocol. The Magento API The core Magento API gives us the ability to manage products, categories, attributes, orders, and invoices. This is done by exposing three of the core modules: • Mage_Catalog • Mage_Sales • Mage_Customer The API supports three different types: SOAP, XML-RPC, and REST. Now, if you have done web development outside Magento and with other APIs, it is most likely that those APIs have been RESTful APIs. Before we jump into the specifics of the Magento API architecture, it is important that we understand the differences between each of the supported API types. XML-RPC XML-RPC was one of the first protocols supported by Magento and it is the oldest of them all. This protocol has a single endpoint on which all the functions are called and accessed. XML-RPC is a remote procedure call (RPC) protocol that uses XML to encode its calls and HTTP as a transport mechanism. Since there is only a single endpoint, XML-RPC is easy to use and maintain; its purpose is to be a simple and effective protocol for sending and receiving data. The implementation uses straightforward XML to encode and decode a remote procedure call along with the parameters. However, this comes at a cost, and there are several problems with the whole XML-RPC protocol: • Lack of discoverability and documentation. • Parameters are anonymous and XML-RPC relies on the order of the parameters to differentiate them. • Simplicity is the greatest strength and the greatest issue with XML-RPC. While most of the tasks can easily be achieved with XML-RPC, some tasks will require you to bend over backwards to achieve something that should be straightforward to implement. SOAP was designed to address XML-RPC limitations and provide a more robust protocol. [ 162 ] Chapter 6 For more information about XML-RPC you can go to the following link: SOAP The SOAP v1 was one of the first protocols supported by Magento along with XML-RPC since Magento 1.3 SOAP v2. SOAP, originally defined as Simple Object Access Protocol, is a protocol specification for exchanging structured information in the implementation of web services in computer networks. A SOAP request is basically an HTTP POST request containing a SOAP envelope, a header, and a body. The core of SOAP is Web Services Description Language (WSDL), which is basically XML. WSDL is used to describe the functionality of a web service, in this case our API methods. This is achieved by using the following series of predetermined objects: • Types: These are used to describe the data transmitted with the API; types are defined using XML Schema, a special language for this purpose • Message: This is used to specify the information needed to perform each one of the operations; in the case of Magento, our API methods will always use request and respond messages • Port type: These are used to define the operations that can be performed and their corresponding messages • Port: This is used to define the connection point; in the case of Magento, a simple string is used • Service: This is used to specify which functions are exposed through the API • Bindings: They are used to define the operations and the interface with the SOAP protocol For more information about the SOAP protocol you can refer to the following website: [ 163 ] The Magento API All the WSDL configuration is contained inside each module wsdl.xml file; for example, let's take a look at an excerpt of the Catalog Product API: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/wsdl.xml. ... ... ... [ 164 ] Chapter 6 Retrieve products list by filters ... ... ... By using WSDL we can document, list, and support more complex data types. [ 165 ] The Magento API RESTful API The RESTful API is the new addition to the family of protocols supported by Magento and is only available on Magento CE 1.7 or older. A RESTful web service (also called a RESTful web API) is a web service implemented using HTTP and the principles of REST. A RESTful API can be defined by the following three aspects: • It makes usage of the standard of HTTP methods, such as GET, POST, DELETE, and PUT • Its exposed URIs are formatted in a directory-like structure • It uses JSON or XML to transfer information The REST API supports the response in two formats, which are XML and JSON. One of the advantages that REST has over SOAP and XML-RPC is that all interaction with the REST API is done through the HTTP protocol, meaning it can be used by any programming language virtually. The Magento REST API has the following characteristics: • Resources are accessed by making an HTTP request to the Magento API service • The service replies with the data for the request or a status indicator or even both • All resources can be accessed through api/rest/ • Resources return HTTP status codes, such as HTTP Status Code 200, to indicate success on a response, or HTTP Status Code 400 to indicate a bad request • Request to a particular resource is done by adding a particular path to the base URL ( [ 166 ] Chapter 6 REST uses HTTP verbs to manage the states of resources. In the Magento implementation four verbs are available: GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE. For this reason, using the RESTful API is trivial in most cases. Using the API Now that we have clarified each of the available protocols, let's explore what we can do with the Magento API and how to do it with each of the available protocols. We will use the product endpoint as an example for accessing and working with the different API protocols. The examples are provided in PHP and these use three different protocols. For complete examples in PHP and to see examples in other programming languages visit Setting up the API credentials for XML-RPC/ SOAP Before we get started, we need to create a set of web service credentials in order to access the API functions. The first thing we need to set up is the API user role. Roles control the permissions for the API by using Access Control Lists (ACL). By implementing this design pattern, Magento is able to restrict certain parts of its API to specific users. Later in this chapter, we will learn how we can add our custom functions to the ACL and secure our custom extensions' API methods. For now, we just need to create a role with full permissions by executing the following steps: 1. Go to the Magento backend. 2. Go to System | Web Services | Roles from the main navigation menu. 3. Click on the Add New Role button. [ 167 ] The Magento API 4. As shown in the following screenshot, you will be requested to provide a role name and specify the role resources: 5. By default, the Resources Access option is set to Custom and no resources are selected. In our case, we will change the Resource Access option by selecting All from the drop-down menu. 6. Click on the Save Role button. Now that we have a valid role in our store, let's proceed to create a web API user: 1. Go to the Magento backend. 2. Go to System | Web Services | Users from the main navigation menu. 3. Click on the Add New User button. [ 168 ] Chapter 6 4. Next, we will be asked for the user information as shown in the following screenshot: 5. In the API Key and API Key Confirmation fields enter your desired password. 6. Click on the User Role tab. 7. Select the user role that we just created. 8. Click on the Save User button. The reason that we need to create a username and role for accessing the API is that every single API function requires a session token to be passed as a parameter. For that reason, every time we need to use the API, the first call that we have to make is to the login function, which will return a valid session token ID. Setting up the REST API credentials The new RESTful API is slightly different in terms of authentication; instead of using the traditional Magento web service users, it uses a three-legged OAuth 1.0 protocol to provide authentication. OAuth works by asking the user to authorize its application. When the user registers an application, he/she needs to fill in the following fields: • User: This is a customer, who has an account with Magento and can use the services with the API. • Consumer: This is a third-party application that uses OAuth to access the Magento API. [ 169 ] The Magento API • Consumer Key: This is a unique value used to identify a user with Magento. • Consumer Secret: This is a secret used by the customer to guarantee the ownership of the consumer key. This value is never passed in the request. • Request Token: This value is used by the consumer (application) to obtain authorization from the user to access the API resources. • Access Token: This is returned in exchange of the request token and on successful authentication. Let's proceed to register our application by going to System | Web Services | REST - OAuth Consumers and selecting Add New in the Admin panel: One important thing to notice is that a callback URL must be defined, to which the user will be redirected after successfully authorizing the application. Our first step is to learn how to get this session token ID on each of the available API protocols. To get session token ID in XML-RPC, we need to execute the following code: $apiUser = 'username'; $apiKey = 'password'; $client = new Zend_XmlRpc_Client(''); // We authenticate ourselves and get a session token id $sessionId = $client->call('login', array($apiUser, $apiKey)); [ 170 ] Chapter 6 To get a session token ID in SOAP v2, we need to execute the following code: $apiUser = 'username'; $apiKey = 'password'; $client = new SoapClient(''); // We authenticate ourselves and get a session token id $sessionId = $client->login($apiUser, $apiKey); To get a session token ID in REST, we need to execute the following steps: $callbackUrl = ""; $temporaryCredentialsRequestUrl = " initiate?oauth_callback=" . urlencode($callbackUrl); $adminAuthorizationUrl = ' authorize'; $accessTokenRequestUrl = ''; $apiUrl = ''; $consumerKey = 'yourconsumerkey'; $consumerSecret = 'yourconsumersecret'; session_start(); $authType = ($_SESSION['state'] == 2) ? OAUTH_AUTH_TYPE_AUTHORIZATION : OAUTH_AUTH_TYPE_URI; $oauthClient = new OAuth($consumerKey, $consumerSecret, OAUTH_SIG_ METHOD_HMACSHA1, $authType); $oauthClient->setToken($_SESSION['token'], $_SESSION['secret']); Loading and reading data The Mage_Catalog module product endpoint has the following exposed methods that we can use to manage products: • catalog_product.currentStore: This sets/gets the current store view • catalog_product.list: This retrieves products list using filters • This retrieves a product • catalog_product.create: This creates a new product • catalog_product.update: This updates a product • catalog_product.setSpecialPrice: This sets a special price for a product • catalog_product.getSpecialPrice: This gets a special price for a product • catalog_product.delete: This deletes a product [ 171 ] The Magento API Right now, the functions that are of particular interest for us are catalog_product. list and Let's see how we can use the API to retrieve product data from our staging store. To retrieve product data from our staging store in XML-RPC, execute the following code: … $result = $client->call($sessionId, 'catalog_product.list'); print_r ($result); … To retrieve product data from our staging store in SOAPv2, execute the following code: … $result = $client->catalogProductList($sessionId); print_r($result); … To retrieve product data from our staging store in REST, execute the following code: … $resourceUrl = $apiUrl . "/products"; $oauthClient->fetch($resourceUrl, array(), 'GET', array('Content-Type' => 'application/json')); $productsList = json_decode($oauthClient->getLastResponse()); … Regardless of the protocol, we will get back a list of all the products' SKUs, but what if we want to filter that product list based on an attribute? Well, Magento lists functions that allow us to filter the product list based on an attribute by passing a parameter. Having said that, let's see how we can add filters to our product list call. To add filters to our product list call in XML-RPC, execute the following code: … $result = $client->call('catalog_product.list', array($sessionId, $filters); print_r ($result); … To add filters to our product list call in SOAPv2, execute the following code: … $result = $client->catalogProductList($sessionId,$filters); print_r($result); … [ 172 ] Chapter 6 With REST, things are not that simple and it is not possible to retrieve a product collection filtered by an attribute. However, we are able to retrieve all the products that belong to a specific category by executing the following code: … $categoryId = 3; $resourceUrl = $apiUrl . "/products/category_id=" . categoryId ; $oauthClient->fetch($resourceUrl, array(), 'GET', array('Content-Type' => 'application/json')); $productsList = json_decode($oauthClient->getLastResponse()); … Updating data Now that we are able to retrieve product information from the Magento API, we can start updating the content of each product. The catalog_product.update method will allow us to modify any of the product attributes; the function call takes the following parameters. For updating data in XML-RPC, execute the following code: … $productId = 200; $productData = array( 'sku' => 'changed_sku', 'name' => 'New Name', 'price' => 15.40 ); $result = $client->call($sessionId, 'catalog_product.update', array($productId, $productData)); print_r($result); … For updating data in SOAPv2, execute the following code: … $productId = 200; $productData = array( 'sku' => 'changed_sku', 'name' => 'New Name', 'price' => 15.40 ); $result = $client->catalogProductUpdate($sessionId, array($productId, $productData)); print_r($result); … [ 173 ] The Magento API For updating data in REST, execute the following code: … $productData = json_encode(array( 'type_id' => 'simple', 'attribute_set_id' => 4, 'sku' => 'simple' . uniqid(), 'weight' => 10, 'status' => 1, 'visibility' => 4, 'name' => 'Test Product', 'description' => 'Description', 'short_description' => 'Short Description', 'price' => 29.99, 'tax_class_id' => 2, )); $oauthClient->fetch($resourceUrl, $productData, OAUTH_HTTP_METHOD_ POST, array('Content-Type' => 'application/json')); $updatedProduct = json_decode($oauthClient->getLastResponseInfo()); … Deleting a product Deleting products by using the API is very simple and probably one of the most common operations. For deleting products in XML-RPC, execute the following code: … $productId = 200; $result = $client->call($sessionId, 'catalog_product.delete', $productId); print_r($result); … For deleting products in SOAPv2, execute the following code: … $productId = 200; $result = $client->catalogProductDelete($sessionId, $productId); print_r($result); … [ 174 ] Chapter 6 For deleting the code in REST, execute the following code: … $productData = json_encode(array( 'id' => 4 )); $oauthClient->fetch($resourceUrl, $productData, OAUTH_HTTP_METHOD_ DELETE, array('Content-Type' => 'application/json')); $updatedProduct = json_decode($oauthClient->getLastResponseInfo()); … Extending the API Now that we have a basic understanding of how to use the Magento Core API, we can proceed to extend and add our own custom functionality. In order to add new API functionality, we have to modify/create the following files: • wsdl.xml • api.xml • api.php In order to make our registries accessible for third-party systems, we need to create and expose the following functions: • giftregistry_registry.list: This retrieves a list of all the registry IDs • This retrieves all the registry information and takes a required registry_id parameter • giftregistry_item.list: This retrieves a list of all the registry item IDs associated to a registry and takes a required registry_id parameter • This retrieves the product and detailed information of a registry item and takes one required item_id parameter and takes an optional customer ID parameter So far, we have only added reading operations. Let's now try to include API methods for updating, deleting, and creating registries and registry items. To see the answer with the complete code and full breakdown, visit [ 175 ] The Magento API Our first step is to implement the API class and the required functions: 1. Navigate to the Model directory. 2. Create a new class called Api.php and place the following placeholder content inside it: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Api.php. getCollection(); if(!is_null($customerId)) { $registryCollection->addFieldToFilter('customer_id', $customerId); } return $registryCollection; } public function getRegistryInfo($registryId) { if(!is_null($registryId)) { $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity')>load($registryId); if($registry) { return $registry; } else { return false; } } else { return false; } } public function getRegistryItems($registryId) { if(!is_null($registryId)) { [ 177 ] The Magento API $registryItems = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/item')>getCollection(); $registryItems->addFieldToFilter('registry_id', $registryId); Return $registryItems; } else { return false; } } public function getRegistryItemInfo($registryItemId) { if(!is_null($registryItemId)) { $registryItem = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/item')>load($registryItemId); if($registryItem){ return $registryItem; } else { return false; } } else { return false; } } } As we can see from the preceding code, we are not doing anything new. Each function is in charge of loading either a collection of Magento objects or a specific object based on the required parameters. In order to expose this new function to the Magento API, we need to configure the XML files we created before. Let's start by updating the api.xml file: 1. Open the api.xml file. 2. Add the following XML code: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/api.xml. mdg_giftregistry/api [ 178 ] Chapter 6 Mdg Giftregistry Registry functions getRegistryList getRegistryList getRegistryInfo getRegistryInfo mdg_giftregistry/api Mdg Giftregistry Registry Items functions</ title> <methods> <list translate="title" module="mdg_ giftregistry"> <title>getRegistryItems getRegistryItems getRegistryItemInfo getRegistryItemInfo giftregistry_registry giftregistry_item giftregistry_registry giftregistry_item [ 179 ] The Magento API There is one more file we need to update to make sure the SOAP adapters pick up our new API functions: 1. Open the wsdl.xml file. 2. Since the wsdl.xml file is normally very long in extent, we will break it down in several places. Let's start by defining the skeleton of the wsdl.xml file: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/wsdl.xml. [ 180 ] Chapter 6 3. This is the basic placeholder. We have all the main nodes that we defined at the beginning of the chapter. The first thing that we have to define is the custom data types that our API will use: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/wsdl.xml. … [ 181 ] The Magento API … Complex data types allow us to map which attributes and objects are transmitted through the API. 4. Messages allow us to define which of the complex types are transmitted on each API call request and response. Let's proceed to add the respective messages in our wsdl.xml: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/wsdl.xml. … [ 182 ] Chapter 6 … 5. One important thing to notice is that each request message will always include a sessionId property that is used to validate and authenticate each request, whereas the response is used to specify which complied data types or values are returned: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/wsdl.xml. … Get Registries List Get Registry Info getAllProductsInfo getAllProductsInfo … [ 183 ] The Magento API 6. The next thing that is required for properly adding the new API endpoints is to define the bindings, which are used to specify which methods are exposed: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/wsdl.xml. … [ 184 ] Chapter 6 … You can see the complete wsdl.xml in one piece at Even after we broke it down, the WSDL code can still seem overwhelming, and to be honest, it took me some time to get used to such a massive XML file. So if you feel or are feeling it is too much, just take it one step at a time. Extending the REST API So far, we have only worked on extending the SOAP and XML-RPC parts of the API. The process involved in extending the RESTful API is slightly different. The REST API was introduced with Magento Community Edition 1.7 and Enterprise Edition 1.12. In order to expose the new API methods to the REST API, we need to create a new file called api2.xml. The configuration on this file is a little more complex than the normal api.xml, so we will break it down after adding the full code: 1. Create a new file called api2.xml under the etc/ folder. 2. Open api2.xml. 3. Copy the following code: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/api2.xml. [ 185 ] The Magento API MDG GiftRegistry API calls 30 Gift Registries 50 Gift Registry Items 50 giftregistry_registry mdg_giftregistry/api_registry mdg_giftregistry/api_registry Gift Registry 10 1 1 1 1 Registry List Registry Item List Item [ 186 ] Chapter 6 /mdg/registry/list collection /mdg/registry/:registry_id entity /mdg/registry_item/list collection /mdg/registry_item/:item_id entity 1 One important thing to notice is that we are defining a route node inside this configuration file. This is treated by Magento as a frontend route and it is used to access the RESTful api function. Also notice that we don't need to create a new controller for this to work. Now, we also need to include a new class to handle the REST requests, and implement each of the defined privileges: 1. Create a new class called V1.php under Model/Api/Registry/Rest/Admin. 2. Open the V1.php class and copy the following code: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Model/Api/ Registry/Rest/Admin/V1.php. getCollection(); return $registryCollection; } } Securing the API Securing our API is already a part of the process of creating our module and it is also handled by the configuration. The way Magento restricts access to its API is by using ACL. As we learned before, these ACL allow us to set up roles with access to different parts of the API. Now, what we have to do is make our new custom functions available to the ACL: 1. Open the api.xml file. 2. Add the following code after the node: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/etc/api.xml. MDG Gift Registry 1 MDG Gift Registry List Available Registries Retrieve registry data MDG Gift Registry Item List Available Items inside a registry Retrieve registry item data [ 188 ] Chapter 6 Summary In previous chapters, we learned how to extend Magento to add new functionality for both store owners and customers; knowing how to extend and work with the Magento API opens a world of possibilities. By using the API, we can integrate Magento with third-party systems like ERP and points of sale; both by importing and exporting data. In the next chapter we will learn how to properly build a test for all the code we have built so far, and we will also explore multiple testing frameworks. [ 189 ] Testing and Quality Assurance So far, we have covered: • The Magento fundamentals • Frontend development • Backend development • Extending and working with the API However, we omitted a critical step of the development of any extension or custom code: testing and quality assurance. Despite the fact that Magento is a very complex and large platform, there is no included/integrated unit test suite on versions previous to Magento2. For that reason, proper testing and quality assurance is often overlooked by most Magento developers either by lack of information or because of the large overhead of some of the testing tools, and while there are not many tools available for running a proper test with Magento, the ones that exist are of very high quality. In this chapter, we will take a look at the different options available for testing our Magento code, and we will also build some very basic tests for our custom extension. So let's go over the topics covered in this chapter: • The different testing frameworks and tools available for Magento • The importance of testing our Magento code • How to set up, install, and use Ecomdev PHPUnit extension • How to set up, install, and use Magento Mink for running functional tests Testing and Quality Assurance Testing Magento Before we start writing any test, it is important that we understand the concepts related to testing and more particularly to each of the available methodologies. Unit testing The idea behind unit testing is writing tests for certain areas (units) of our code, so we can verify that the code works as expected and that function is returning expected values. Unit testing is a method by which individual units of source code, sets of one or more computer program modules together with associated control data, usage procedures, and operating procedures, are tested to determine if they are fit for use. Another advantage of writing unit tests is that by performing the test, so we are more likely to write code that is easier to test. This means our code tends to be broken down into smaller but more specialized functions as we continue to write more and more tests. We start building a test suite that can be run against our codebase every time we introduce changes or functionalities; this is known as regression testing. Regression testing Regression testing mostly refers to the practice of re-running existing test suites after making code changes to check whether a new functionality is not also introducing new bugs. Regression testing is any type of software testing that seeks to uncover new software bugs, or regressions, in existing functional and non-functional areas of a system after changes, such as enhancements, patches, or configuration changes, have been made to them. In the particular case of a Magento store or any e-commerce site, we want to perform regression testing on critical features of the store such as checkout, customer registration, adding to the cart, and so on. [ 192 ] Chapter 7 Functional tests Functional testing is more concerned with testing that the application returns the appropriate output based on a specific input, rather than what happens internally. Functional testing is a type of black-box testing that bases its test cases on the specifications of the software component under test. Functions are tested by feeding them input and examining the output, and internal program structure is rarely considered. This is especially important for e-commerce websites like ours where we want to test the site as the customer would experience it. TDD One testing methodology that has gained popularity in recent years and that is now coming to Magento is known as Test-driven development (TDD). Test-driven development (TDD) is a software development process that relies on the repetition of a very short development cycle: first the developer writes an (initially failing) automated test case that defines a desired improvement or new function, then produces the minimum amount of code to pass that test and finally refactors the new code to acceptable standards. The basic concept behind TDD is to first write a failing test and then write code to pass the test; this generates very short development cycles and helps to streamline the code. Ideally, you want to start the development of your modules and extensions by using TDD in Magento. We omitted this in previous chapters due to the fact that it would add unnecessary complexity and confuse the reader. For a full tutorial on TDD with Magento from scratch, visit [ 193 ] Testing and Quality Assurance Tools and testing frameworks As mentioned before, there are several frameworks and tools available for testing PHP code and Magento code. Let's get to know each one of them a little better: • Ecomdev_PHPUnit: This extension is just amazing; the developers at Ecomdev created an extension that integrates PHPUnit with Magento and also adds Magento-specific assertions to PHPUnit, all without having to modify core files or affect the database. • Magento_Mink: Mink is a PHP library for the Behat framework that allows • Magento_TAF: Magento_TAF stands for Magento Test Automation Framework, which is the official testing tool provided by Magento. Magento_ TAF includes over 1,000 functional tests and is very powerful. Unfortunately, it has a major drawback; it has a large overhead and steep learning curve. you to write functional and acceptance tests; Mink allows writing tests that simulate user behavior and browser interaction. Unit testing with PHPUnit Before Ecomdev_PHPUnit, testing Magento with PHPUnit was problematic and really not very practical from the different methods that were available. Almost all required core code modifications or developers had to jump through hoops to set up basic PHPUnits. Installing Ecomdev_PHPUnit The easiest way to install Ecomdev_PHPUnit is to grab a copy directly from the GitHub repository. Let's write the following command on our console: git clone git:// Now copy the file over to your Magento root folder. Composer and Modman are alternative options available for installation. For more information on each, please visit Finally, we need to set the configuration to instruct the PHPUnit extension which database to use; local.xml.phpunit is a new file added by Ecomdev_PHPUnit. This file holds all the extension-specific configuration and specifies the name of the test database. [ 194 ] Chapter 7 The file location is app/etc/local.xml.phpunit. Refer to the following code: 1 [change me] [change me] 0 0 You will need to create a new database for running tests and replace the example configuration values in the local.xml.phpunit file. By default, this extension does not allow you to run the test on the same database; keeping the test database separate from the development and production allows us to run our test with confidence. [ 195 ] Testing and Quality Assurance Setting up the configuration for our extension Now that we have the PHPUnit extension installed and set up, we need to prepare our gift registry extension for running unit tests. Follow these steps: 1. Open the Gift Registry extension, config.xml file 2. Add the following code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/etc/config.xml): … … This new configuration node allows the PHPUnit extension to recognize the extension and run the matching tests. We also need to create a new directory called Test that we will use to place all our test files. One of the advantages about using Ecomdev_PHPUnit over previous methods is that this extension follows the Magento standards. This means we have to keep the same module directory structure inside the Test folder: Test/ Model/ Block/ Helper/ Controller/ Config/ Based on that, the naming convention for each Test case class would be [Namespace]_[Module Name]_Test_[Group Directory]_[Entity Name]. Each Test class must extend one of the following three base Test classes: • EcomDev_PHPUnit_Test_Case: This class is used for testing helpers, models, • EcomDev_PHPUnit_Test_Case_Config: This class is used for testing the • EcomDev_PHPUnit_Test_Case_Controller: This class is used for testing the and blocks module configuration layout rendering process and the controller logic [ 196 ] Chapter 7 Anatomy of a Test case Before jumping ahead and trying to create our first test, let's break down one of the examples provided by Ecomdev_PHPUnit: getStore($storeId)->getId(); $product = Mage::getModel('catalog/product') ->setStoreId($storeId) ->load($productId); $expected = $this->expected('%s-%s', $productId, $storeId); $this->assertEquals( $expected->getFinalPrice(), $product->getFinalPrice() ); $this->assertEquals( $expected->getPrice(), $product->getPrice() ); } } The first important thing to notice in the example test class is the comment annotations: … /** * Product price calculation test * * @test * @loadFixture * @doNotIndexAll * @dataProvider dataProvider */ … [ 197 ] Testing and Quality Assurance These annotations are used by the PHPUnit extension to identify which of the class functions are tests, and also, they allow us to set up specific settings for running each test. Let's take a look at some of the available annotations: • @test: This annotation identifies a class function as a PHPUnit test • @loadFixture: This annotation specifies the use of fixtures • @loadExpectation: This annotation specifies the use of expectations • @doNotIndexAll: By adding this annotation, we are telling the PHPUnit tests that they should not run any index after loading the fixtures • @doNotIndex [index_code]: By adding this annotation, we can instruct PHPUnit not to run a specific index So now, you are probably a bit confused. Fixtures? Expectations? What are they? Following is a little description on Fixtures and Expectations: • Fixtures: Fixtures are yet another markup language (YAML) files that represent database or configuration entities • Expectations: Expectations are useful if we don't want to have hard-coded values in our tests and are also specified in YAML values For more information about the YAML markup, visit So, as we see, fixtures provide the data for the tests to process, and the expectations are used to check if the results returned by the test are what we are expecting to see. Fixtures and expectations are stored inside each Test type directory. Following the example earlier, we would have a new directory called Product/. Inside it, we need a new directory for expectations and one for our fixtures. Let's take a look at the revised folder structure: Test/ Model/ Product.php Product/ expectations/ fixtures/ Block/ Helper/ Controller/ Config/ [ 198 ] Chapter 7 Creating a unit test For our first UnitTest, let's create a very basic test that allows us to test the Gift Registry Models that we previously created. As we mentioned before, Ecomdev_PHPUnit uses a separate database for running all the tests; for this, we need to create a new fixture that will provide all the data for our test case. Follow these steps: 1. Open the Test/Model folder. 2. Create a new folder called Registry. 3. Inside the Registry folder, create a new folder called fixtures. 4. Create a new file called registryList.yaml and paste the following code in it (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/Model/ fixtures/registryList.yaml): website: # Initialize websites - website_id: 2 code: default name: Test Website default_group_id: 2 group: # Initializes store groups - group_id: 2 website_id: 2 name: Test Store Group default_store_id: 2 root_category_id: 2 # Default Category store: # Initializes store views - store_id: 2 website_id: 2 group_id: 2 code: default name: Default Test Store is_active: 1 [ 199 ] Testing and Quality Assurance eav: customer_customer: - entity_id: 1 entity_type_id: 3 website_id: 2 email: group_id: 2 store_id: 2 is_active: 1 mdg_giftregistry_entity: - entity_id: 1 customer_id: 1 type_id: 2 website_id: 2 event_date: 12/12/2012 event_country: Canada event_location: Dundas Square created_at: 21/12/2012 - entity_id: 2 customer_id: 1 type_id: 3 website_id: 2 event_date: 01/01/2013 event_country: Canada event_location: Eaton Center created_at: 21/12/2012 It might not look like it, but we add a lot of information with this fixture. We will create the following fixture data: • A website scope • A store group • A store view • A customer record • Two gift registries By using fixtures, we are creating data on the fly that will be available for our test case. This gives us the consistency of running the test multiple times against the same data and the flexibility to easily change it. Now, you might be wondering how the PHPUnit extension knows how to pair a Test case with a specific fixture. [ 200 ] Chapter 7 There are two ways the extension loads fixtures: one is by specifying the fixture inside the comment annotations, or if the fixture name is not specified, the extension will search a fixture with same name as the Test case function being executed. Knowing that, let's create our first Test case: 1. Navigate to the Test/Model folder. 2. Create a new Test class called Registry.php. 3. Add the following base code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Test/Model/Registry.php): getCollection(); $this->assertEquals( [ 202 ] Chapter 7 2, $registryList->count() ); } This is a very basic test; the only thing that we are doing is loading a registry collection. In this case, all the registries are available, and then they run an assertion to check if the collection count matches. However, this is not very useful. It would be even better if we were able to load only the registries that belong to a specific user (our test user) and check that collection size. That said, let's change the code a little bit: The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/Model/Registry. php. Refer to the following code: /** * Listing available registries * * @test * @loadFixture * @doNotIndexAll * @dataProvider dataProvider */ public function registryList() { $customerId = 1; $registryList = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity') ->getCollection() ->addFieldToFilter('customer_id', $customerId); $this->assertEquals( 2, $registryList->count() ); } Just by changing a few lines of code, we created a test that allows checking whether our registry collections are working properly and if they are correctly linked to a customer record. Run the following command in your shell: $ phpunit [ 203 ] Testing and Quality Assurance If everything went as expected, we should see the following output: PHPUnit 3.4 by Sebastian Bergmann . Time: 1 second Tests: 1, Assertions: 1, Failures 0 You can also run $phpunit—colors for a nicer output. Now, we only need a test to verify that the registry items are working properly: 1. Navigate to the Registry.php test case class that we created before. 2. Add the following code inside the registryItemsList() function (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/Model/ Registry.php): /** * Listing available items for a specific registry * * @test * @loadFixture * @doNotIndexAll * @dataProvider dataProvider */ public function registryItemsList() { $customerId = 1; $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity') ->loadByCustomerId($customerId); $registryItems = $registry->getItems(); $this->assertEquals( 3, $registryItems->count() ); } We will also need a new fixture for our new Test case: 1. Navigate to the Test/Model folder. 2. Open the Registry folder. [ 204 ] Chapter 7 3. Create a new file called registryItemsList.yaml (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/Model/fixtures/ registryItemsList.yaml): website: # Initialize websites - website_id: 2 code: default name: Test Website default_group_id: 2 group: # Initializes store groups - group_id: 2 website_id: 2 name: Test Store Group default_store_id: 2 root_category_id: 2 # Default Category store: # Initializes store views - store_id: 2 website_id: 2 group_id: 2 code: default name: Default Test Store is_active: 1 eav: customer_customer: - entity_id: 1 entity_type_id: 3 website_id: 2 email: group_id: 2 store_id: 2 is_active: 1 mdg_giftregistry_entity: - entity_id: 1 customer_id: 1 type_id: 2 website_id: 2 event_date: 12/12/2012 event_country: Canada event_location: Dundas Square created_at: 21/12/2012 mdg_giftregistry_item: - item_id: 1 registry_id: 1 product_id: 1 - item_id: 2 [ 205 ] Testing and Quality Assurance registry_id: 1 product_id: 2 - item_id: 3 registry_id: 1 product_id: 3 Let's run our test suite: $phpunit --colors We should see both tests passing: PHPUnit 3.4 by Sebastian Bergmann . Time: 4 second Tests: 2, Assertions: 2, Failures 0 Finally, let's replace our hard-coded variables with proper expectations: 1. Navigate to the Module Test/Model folder. 2. Open the Registry folder. 3. Inside the Registry folder, create a new folder called expectations. 4. Create a new file called registryList.yaml (the file location is app/code/ local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/Model/expectations/registryList. yaml). count: 2 Wasn't that easy? Well, it was so easy that we will do it again for the registryItemsList test case: 1. Navigate to the Module Test/Model folder. 2. Open the Registry folder. 3. Create a new file called registryItemsList.yaml inside the expectations folder (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/ Model/expectations/registryItemsList.yaml): count: 3 Finally, the last thing that we need to do is to update our Test case class to use the expectations. Make sure the update file has the following code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Giftregistry/Test/Model/Registry.php): getCollection() ->addFieldToFilter('customer_id', $customerId); $this->assertEquals( $this->_getExpectations()->getCount(),$this->_ getExpectations()->getCount(), $registryList->count() ); } /** * Listing available items for a specific registry * * @test * @loadFixture * @doNotIndexAll * @dataProvider dataProvider */ public function registryItemsList() { $customerId = 1; $registry = Mage::getModel('mdg_giftregistry/entity')>loadByCustomerId($customerId); $registryItems = $registry->getItems(); $this->assertEquals( $this->_getExpectations()->getCount(), $registryItems->count() ); } } The only change here is that we are replacing the hard-coded value inside our assertions with the expectations, values. If we ever need to make any changes, we don't need to change our code; we can just update the expectations and the fixtures. [ 207 ] Testing and Quality Assurance Functional tests with Mink So far, we have learned how to run unit tests against our code, and while unit tests are great for testing individual parts of our code and the logic, when it comes to large applications such as Magento, it is important to test from the user's perspective. Functional testing mostly involves black-box testing and is not concerned about the source code of the application. In order to do that, we can use Mink. Mink is a simple PHP library that can virtualize a web browser. Mink works by using different drivers. Out of the box, it supports the following drivers: • GoutteDriver: This is a pure-PHP headless browser written by the creator of • SahiDriver: This is a new JS browser controller that is quickly • ZombieDriver: This is a browser emulator written in Node.js and currently • SeleniumDriver: This is currently the most popular browser driver; the original version relies on a third-party server for running the tests • Selenium2Driver: The current version of Selenium is fully supported in Python, Ruby, Java, and C# Symfony framework replacing Selenium is only limited to one browser (Chromium) Magento Mink installation and setup Using Mink with Magento is extremely easy, thanks to Johann Reinke, who created a Magento extension that facilitates Mink integration with Magento. We will install this extension using Modgit, a module manager inspired by Modman. Modgit allows us to deploy Magento extensions directly from a GitHub repository without creating symlinks. Installing Modgit can be achieved with three lines of code: wget -O modgit chmod +x modgit sudo mv modgit /usr/local/bin [ 208 ] Chapter 7 Wasn't that easy? Now we can proceed to install Magento Mink, for which we should thank Modgit that it is even easier: 1. Move to the Magento root directory. 2. Run the following commands: modgit init modgit -e clone mink That's it. Modgit will take care of installing the file for us directly from the GitHub repository. Creating our first test Mink tests are also stored inside the Test folder. Let's create the base skeleton of our Mink test class: 1. Navigate to the Test folder on our module root. 2. Create a new directory called Mink. 3. Inside the Mink directory, create a new PHP class called Registry.php. 4. Copy the following code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/ Giftregistry/Test/Mink/Registry.php): section('TEST ADD PRODUCT TO REGISTRY'); $this->setCurrentStore('default'); $this->setDriver('goutte'); $this->context(); // Go to homepage $this->output($this->bold('Go To the Homepage')); $url = Mage::getStoreConfig('web/unsecure/base_url'); $this->visit($url); $category = $this->find('css', '#nav .nav-1-1 a'); if (!$category) { return false; [ 209 ] Testing and Quality Assurance } // Go to the Login page $loginUrl = $this->find('css', 'ul.links li.last a'); if ($loginUrl) { $this->visit($loginUrl->getAttribute('href')); } $login = $this->find('css', '#email'); $pwd = $this->find('css', '#pass'); $submit = $this->find('css', '#send2'); if ($login && $pwd && $submit) { $email = ''; $password = 'password'; $this->output(sprintf("Try to authenticate '%s' with password '%s'", $email, $password)); $login->setValue($email); $pwd->setValue($password); $submit->click(); $this->attempt( $this->find('css', 'div.welcome-msg'), 'Customer successfully logged in', 'Error authenticating customer' ); } // Go to the category page $this->output($this->bold('Go to the category list')); $this->visit($category->getAttribute('href')); $product = $this->find('css', '.category-products li.first a'); if (!$product) { return false; } // Go to product view $this->output($this->bold('Go to product view')); $this->visit($product->getAttribute('href')); $form = $this->find('css', '#product_registry_form'); if ($form) { $addToCartUrl = $form->getAttribute('action'); $this->visit($addToCartUrl); $this->attempt( [ 210 ] Chapter 7 $this->find('css', '#btn-add-giftregistry'), 'Product added to gift registry successfully', 'Error adding product to gift registry' ); } } } Just at first glance, you can tell that this functional test is quite different from the unit tests that we built previously, and although it seems like a lot of code is quite simple. The previous test has been down in code blocks. Let's break down what the previous test is doing: • Set up the browser driver and the current store • Go to the home page and check for a valid category link • Try to log in as a test user • Go to a category page • Open the first product on that category • Try to add the product to the customer's gift registry This test makes few assumptions and is expecting a valid customer within an existing gift registry. There are some considerations that we have to keep in mind when creating Mink tests: • Each test class must extend JR_Mink_Test_Mink • Each test function must start with the test keyword Finally, the only thing that we have to perform is run our tests. We can do this by going to the command line and running the following command: $ php shell/mink.php If everything was successful, we should see something similar to the following output: ---------------------- SCRIPT START --------------------------------Found 1 file -------------- TEST ADD PRODUCT TO REGISTRY ------------------------Switching to store 'default' Now using Goutte driver ----------------------------------- CONTEXT ----------------------------------[ 211 ] Testing and Quality Assurance website: base, store: default Cache info: config Disabled N/A layout Disabled N/A block_html Disabled N/A translate Disabled N/A collections Disabled N/A eav Disabled N/A config_api Disabled N/A config_api2 Disabled N/A ecomdev_phpunit Disabled N/A Configuration Layouts Blocks HTML output Translations Collections Data EAV types and attributes Web Services Configuration Web Services Configuration Unit Test Cases Go To the Homepage [OK] Try to authenticate with password password [OK] Go to the category list [OK] Go to product view [OK] Product added to gift registry successfully Summary In this chapter, we went over the basics of Magento testing. The purpose of this chapter was not to build complex tests or go in too deep, but rather get our feet wet and get a clear idea of what we can do to test our extensions. We covered several important topics in this chapter, and by having proper test suites and tools, it can save us from future headaches and improve the quality of our code. In the next and final chapter, we will learn how to package and distribute custom code and extensions. [ 212 ] Deployment and Distribution Welcome to the last chapter of this book; we have come far and learned a lot along the way. By now, you should have a clear idea of everything involved in working and developing custom extensions for Magento. Well, almost everything, as with any other Magento developer your code will eventually need to be promoted to production or maybe packaged for distribution; in this chapter we will see the different techniques, tools, and strategies that are available to us. The final objective of this chapter is to give you the tools and skills to do deployments with confidence and with little to no downtime. The road towards zero-downtime deployment Deploying to production is probably one of the most dreaded tasks for developers, and more often than not, it will be improperly done. But what is zero-downtime deployment? Well, it is to production with confidence, knowing the code is properly tested and ready, this is the ideal that all Magento developers should aspire to. This is achieved not by a single process or tool but by a combination of techniques, standards, and tools. In this chapter we will learn the following: • Distributing our extension through Magento Connect • The role of version control systems in deployment • Proper practices for branching and merging changes Deployment and Distribution Make it right from scratch In the previous chapter, we learned how testing can not only enhance our workflow but also save us from future headaches. The unit tests, integration tests, and automated tools are all at our disposal to ensure that our code is properly tested. Writing tests means more than just putting together a few tests and calling it done; we are responsible for thinking about all the possible edge cases that might affect our code and write tests for each of them. Be sure that what you see is what you get In the first chapter of this book, we dived right into setting up our development environment, which is a very important task. In order for us to guarantee that we are delivering quality and tested code, we must be able to develop and test our code in an environment as close to production as possible. I'll illustrate the importance of this environment with an example on the early days of Magento. I heard it happened several times; developers worked on their local environments creating new extensions from scratch, they finished their development and tested on their local staging, and everything seemed to be working properly. One of the commonly accepted workflows is: • Starting development on the developer's local machine, which is running a virtual machine close to the production environment • Testing and approving changes on a staging environment that is a close as possible copy of production • Finally, deploying changes to the production environment It was now time to promote their code to production and they confidently did so; of course it was working on local, hence it had to work on production, right? In these particular situations, it wasn't the case; what happened instead was that as soon the new code was loaded into production, the store crashed, saying the autoloader wasn't able to find the class. What happened? Well, the problem was that the developers' local environment was Windows and the name of the extension folder was in CamelCase, for example MyExtension, but internally in the class names they were using the capitalized text (Myextension). [ 214 ] Chapter 8 Now this will work just fine in Windows because the file does not distinguish between uppercase, capitalized, or lowercase folder names; while a Unix-based system like most of the web servers do make a distinction on the folder and file naming. While this example may look silly, it illustrates quite well the need for a standardized development environment; there are so many parts and "moving pieces" in a Magento installation. A different version of PHP or an extra Apache module that is enabled in production but not staging can make a world of difference. Learn more about Magento naming conventions at Ready means ready But when we say that our code is actually ready for production, what does ready really mean? Each developer might have a different definition of what ready and done actually mean. When working on a new module or extending Magento, we should always define what ready means for this particular feature/code. So we are now getting somewhere, and we know that in order to pass the code to production, we have to do the following: 1. Test our code and make sure we have covered all the edge cases. 2. Make sure the code follows the standards and guidelines. 3. Make sure it has been tested and developed in an environment as close to the production as possible. Version control system and deployment Version control systems (VCSs) are the lifeblood of any developer, and while the field might be a bit divided among Git and SVN enthusiasts (no mention for you Mercurial guys), the basic functionalities are still the same. Let's quickly go through the differences between each VCS, and their advantages and disadvantages. [ 215 ] Deployment and Distribution SVN This is a powerful system, and it has been around for quite some time and is very well known and widely used. Subversion (SVN) is a centralized VCS; by this we mean that there is a single main source that is recognized as "Good", and all developers check out and push changes from and to this central source. While this makes changes easier to track and maintain, it has a serious disadvantage. Being centralized also means that we have to be in constant communication with the central repository, so working remotely or without an Internet connection is not possible. Git Git is a much younger VCS and has been rising in popularity for a few years now, mostly due to the wide adoption by the open-source community and popularity of Github ( A critical difference between SVN and Git is that Git is a decentralized version control system, which means there is no central authority or main repository; each developer has a full copy of the repository locally available. Being decentralized makes Git faster in addition to having a better and more powerful branching system than other VCSs; also, working remotely or without an Internet connection is possible. [ 216 ] Chapter 8 Regardless of which VCS we choose, the most powerful (and sometimes overlooked) feature of any VCS is branching or the ability to create branches. Branching allows us to experiment and work on new features without breaking the stable code in our trunk or master; creating a branch requires us to take a snapshot of the current trunk/master code where we can make any changes and tests. Now, branching is only part of the equation; once we are comfortable with our code changes and have properly tested every edge case, we need a way of reintegrating those changes into our main code base. Merging gives us this capability to reintegrate all our branch modifications by running a few commands. By integrating branches and merging changes into our workflow, we gain flexibility and the freedom to work on different set of changes, features, and bug fixes without interfering with experimental or work-in-progress code. Also, as we will learn next, version control can help us to do seamless promotions and keep our code up to date across multiple Magento installations with ease. Distribution You might want to freely distribute your extension or make it available commercially, but how could you guarantee that the code is properly installed each time without having to do it yourself? And what about the updates or upgrades? Not all store owners are tech savvy or capable of changing files on their own. [ 217 ] Deployment and Distribution Fortunately, Magento comes out of the box with its own package manager and extension marketplace called Magento Connect. Magento Connect allows developers and solution partners to share their open-source and commercial contributions with the community and is not restricted to only custom modules; we can find the following types of resources in the Magento Connect marketplace: • Modules • Language packs • Custom themes Packing our extension One of the core features of Magento Connect is allowing us to package our extensions directly from the Magento backend. To package our extension perform the following steps: 1. Log in to the Magento backend. 2. From the backend, select System | Magento Connect | Package Extensions. [ 218 ] Chapter 8 As we can see, the Create Extension Package section is composed of six different subsections, which we will cover next. Package Info Package Info is used to specify the general extension information such as name, description, and versions of Magento that are supported, as follows: • Name: The standard practice is to keep the name simple and using just words • Channel: This refers to the code pool for the extension; as we mentioned in the previous chapters, extensions designed for distribution should use the "community" channel • Supported releases: Select which version of Magento should be supported for our extension • Summary: This field contains a brief description of the extension used on the extension review process • Description: This has a detailed description of the extension and its functionality • License: This has the license used for this extension; some of the available options are: • °° Open Software License (OSL) °° Mozilla Public License (MPL) °° Massachusetts Institute of Technology License (MITL) °° GNU General Public License (GPL) °° Any other license if your extension is to be distributed commercially License URI: This has the link to the license text More information about the different license types can be found at [ 219 ] Deployment and Distribution Release Info The following screenshot shows the screen for Release Info: The Release Info section contains important data about the current package release: • Release Version: The initial release can be any arbitrary number, however, it is important that the version is incremented with each release. Magento Connect will not allow you to update the same version twice. • Release Stability: Three options are available – Stable, Beta, and Alpha. • Notes: Here we can enter all the release-specific notes, if any. Authors The following screenshot shows the screen for Authors: [ 220 ] Chapter 8 In this section, the information about author(s) is specified; each author's information has the following fields: • Name: Author's full name • User: Magento username • Email: Contact e-mail address Dependencies The following screenshot shows the screen for Dependencies: There are three types of dependencies that are used when packaging a Magento extension: • PHP Version: Here we need to specify minimum and maximum versions of PHP that are supported for this extension in the Minimum and Maximum fields, respectively • Packages: This is used to specify any other packages that are required for this extension • Extensions: Here we can specify if a specific PHP extension is required for our extension to work In case a package dependency is not met, Magento Connect will allow us to install the required extension; for PHP extensions Magento Connect will throw an error and will stop the installation. [ 221 ] Deployment and Distribution Contents The following screenshot shows the screen for Contents: The Contents section allows us to specify each file and folder that forms part of the extension package. This is the most important section in the extension packaging process and it's also the easiest to mess up. Each content entry has the following fields: • Target: This is the target base directory and it is used to specify the base path for searching the file. The following options are available: °° Magento Core team module file – ./app/code/core °° Magento Local module file – ./app/code/local °° Magento Community module file – ./app/code/community °° Magento Global Configuration – ./app/etc °° Magento Locale language file – ./app/locale °° Magento User Interface (layouts, templates) – ./app/design °° Magento Library file – ./lib °° Magento Media library – ./media °° Magento Theme Skin (Images, CSS, JS) – ./skin °° Magento Other web accessible file – ./ °° Magento PHPUnit test – ./tests °° Magento other – ./ • Path: This is the filename and/or path relative to our specified target • Type: For this field, two options are available to us – File or Recursive dir [ 222 ] Chapter 8 • Include: This field takes a regular expression that allows us to specify which files to include • Ignore: This field takes a regular expression that allows us to specify which files to exclude Load Local Package The following screenshot shows the screen for Load Local Package: This section will allow us to load packaged extensions; since we have not packaged any extensions, the list is currently empty. Let's go ahead and package our gift registry extension. Be sure to fill in all the fields and then click on Save Data and Create Package; this will package and save the extension in the magento_root/var/connect/ folder. The extension package file contains all the source's files and the source code needed; additionally, a new file called package.xml is created with each package. This file contains all the information about the extension and the detailed structure of the files and folders. Publishing our extension Finally, in order to make our extension available, we have to create an extension profile in Magento Connect. To create an extension profile, perform the following steps: 1. Log in to 2. Click on the My Account link. 3. Click on the Developers link in the left-hand side navigation. 4. Click on Add new extension. [ 223 ] Deployment and Distribution The Add new extension window looks something like the following screenshot: [ 224 ] Chapter 8 It is important to note that the Extension Title field must be the exact name you used while generating the package. Once the extension profile has been created, we can proceed to upload our extension package; all the fields should match the ones specified during the extension packaging process. Finally, once we are done, we can click on the Submit for Approval button. An extension can have the following status: • Submitted: This means the extension was submitted for review • Not Approved: This means there was a problem with the extension, and you will also receive an e-mail explaining the reason why the extension was not approved • Live: This means the extension has been approved and is available through Magento Connect • Offline: This means you can take your extension offline at any time from your account Extension Manager [ 225 ] Deployment and Distribution Summary In this chapter, we learned how to deploy and share our custom extensions. There are many different methods that we can use for sharing and deploying our code to production environments. This is the final chapter of our book; we have learned a lot about Magento development, and though we have covered a lot of ground, this book is only meant to be just a stepping stone of your long journey. Magento is not an easy framework to learn, and while it can be a daunting experience, I encourage you to keep trying and learning. [ 226 ] Hello Magento The following example will give you a quick and easy introduction into the world of creating Magento extensions. We will create a simple Hello World module that will allow us to display a Hello World! message when we visit a specific URL in our store. The configuration Creating a bare bones extension in Magento requires at least two files: config.xml and the module declaration file. Let’s go ahead and create each one of our files. The first file is used to declare the module to Magento; without this file, Magento will not be aware of any extension files. The file location is app/etc/modules/Mdg_Hello.xml. Refer to the following code: true local The second XML file is called config.xml; it is used to specify all the extension configurations, such as routes, blocks, models, and helper class names. For our example, we are only going to be working with the controllers and the routes. Hello Magento Let’s create the configuration file with the following code. The file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Hello/etc/config.xml. Refer to the following code: 0.1.0 standard Mdg_Hello hello Our extension can now be loaded by Magento, and you can enable or disable our extension in the Magento Backend at System | Configuration | Advanced. The controller Magento at its core is a Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework. So, in order to make our new route functional, we have to create a new controller that will respond to this specific route. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Navigate to the extension root directory. 2. Create a new folder called controllers. 3. Inside the controllers folder, create a file called IndexController.php. 4. Copy the following code (the file location is app/code/local/Mdg/Hello/ controllers/IndexController.php): node 44 node 89 __construct function 143 @doNotIndexAll annotation 198 @doNotIndex [index_code] annotation 198 node 89 scope 108 scope 108 node 89 @loadExpectation annotation 198 @loadFixture annotation 198 scope 108 node 98 node 89 __prepareCollection() function 143 __prepareColumns() function 143 _prepareMassactions() function 151 node 44 scope 108 @test annotation 198 A a2dismod command 19 a2dissite command 19 a2enmod command 19 a2ensite command 19 Access Control Lists (ACL) 146, 147, 167 action, XML nodes 45 addAttributeToFilter() method 76, 78 addCategoryFilter() 76 addColumn function about 103 comment parameter 103 name parameter 103 options parameter 103 size parameter 103 type parameter 103 addForeginKey function about 104 column parameter 104 fkName parameter 104 onDelete parameter 104 onUpdate parameter 104 refColumn parameter 104 refTable parameter 104 addIndex function about 104 columns parameter 104 index parameter 104 options parameter 104 Add new extension window 224 addStockStatusToSelect() method 79 Adminhtml backend, modifying 134 block class, creating 139, 140 code, updating 135 extending 133 layout file, creating 137, 138 Apache2 about 16 installing 16 app, Magento folder structure code 29 design 29 locale 29 APT(Advanced Packaging Tool) 15 as, XML nodes 45 authors about 220 email 221 name 221 user 221 autoload class 32 autoloader 30, 31 autoload() function 30 B backend, Magento form widget 153, 154 grid widget 141 before/after, XML nodes 44 bindings, WSDL 163 blocks 118 blocks and views, index controller adding 119 blocks and views, search controller adding 127 blocks and views, view controller adding 131 blocks, view layer 43 C CakePHP 38 catalog_product.create method 171 catalog_product.currentStore method 171 catalog_product.delete method 171 catalog_product.getSpecialPrice method 171 method 171 catalog_product.list method 171 catalog_product.setSpecialPrice method 171 catalog_product.update method 171, 173 channel, Package info 219 Chef 22 code pools about 32 community directory 32 core directory 32 local directory 32 collection methods addAttributeToFilter 74 addAttributeToSelect 74 addAttributeToSort 74 addCategoryFilter 75 addFieldToFilter 74 addStoreFilter 75 addUrlRewrite 75 addWebsiteFilter 75 setOrder 75 configuration-based MVC pattern 38 configuration scopes, Magento global 47 stores 47 store view 47 websites 47 contents about 222 include field 223 path field 222 target field 222 type field 222 controller creating 228 route, adding to 229, 230 convention-based MVC 38 Core API about 161 credentials, setting up for SOAP 167-169 credentials, setting up for XML-RPC 167-169 extending 175-178 RESTful API 166 securing 188 SOAP 163 using 167 XML-RPC 162 core layout files, view layer examining 43 core_resource table 106 D data loading 171-173 reading 171-173 updating 173 database creating, for Magento installation 18 [ 232 ] data, EAV model retrieving 70 Data Script 100 deleteAction() method using 114 delete() function 114 dependencies about 221 extensions 221 packages 221 PHP Version 221 description, Package info 219 direct SQL reading 81 using 80 writing 81 dispatchEvent() method 53 E EAV model about 58, 64, 65 attribute 65 data, retrieving 70-73 entity 65 limitations 67 value 65 EAV objects 66 EAV table about 68 fields 68 Ecomdev_PHPUnit installing 194, 195 Ecomdev_PHPUnit extension 194 EcomDev_PHPUnit_Test_Case class 196 EcomDev_PHPUnit_Test_Case_Config class 196 EcomDev_PHPUnit_Test_Case_Controller class 196 edit action 153 editAction() 157 editPostAction() creating 113 event and observer pattern about 52 event dispatch 52 observer bindings 55 event dispatch 52-55 expectations 198 extension about 217 live 225 not approved 225 offline 225 packing 218, 219 publishing 223, 225 submitted 225 extension, packing authors 220, 221 contents 222, 223 dependencies 221 load local package 223 Package Info 219 Release Info 220 extensions, dependencies 221 Extension Title field 225 F factory methods Mage::getModel() 48 Mage::getResourceHelper() 48 Mage::getResourceModel() 48 Mage::getResourceSingleton() 48 Mage::getSingleton() 48 Mage::helper() 48 fetchAll() method 81 fetchCol() method 81 fetchOne() method 81 fixtures 198 form widget about 153-156 data, loading 157, 158 data, saving 158, 159 functional testing about 193 with Mink 208 G getChildHtml() function 145 getCollection() method 74 getCustomerRegistries() method 120, 121 getGroupedClassName() method 49 [ 233 ] getModelClassName() method 49 getModelInstance() method 49 getModel() method 49 getProductCollection() method 76 getTableName() method 81 Giftregistry directory creating 85 function 175 giftregistry_item.list function 175 function 175 giftregistry_registry.list function 175 Gift registry tab 140, 144 Gift Registry type model collection class 92 collection class, creating 93 creating 91-96 resource class 92 resource class, creating 93, 94 Git 24, 216, 217 Github about 24 URL 216 GNU General Public License (GPL) 219 GoutteDriver 208 grid widget __construct function 143 __prepareCollection() functio 143 __prepareColumns() function 143 about 141, 142 displaying, in controller 150 Massactions, used for bulk upload 151, 152 permissions and ACL 146-148 registries, managing 145, 146 groupByEmail() 75 H handle, XML nodes 44 hasAction() function 37 Hello World module configuration 227, 228 helper class 90 HTTP verbs 167 I IDE about 23 features 24 selecting 24 ignore field, contents 223 include field, contents 223 index controller block, creating 119, 120 blocks and views, adding 119-126 creating 108-113 deleteAction(), using 114, 115 editPostAction(), creating 113 newPostAction(), creating 111 template file, creating 121 Installer Script creating 99-106 installing Apache2 16 MySQL 17 PHP 16 Vagrant 22 Install Script 100 intellisense 24 Interactive Magento Console (IMC) 95 about 58 installing 58 Interactive Ruby Console (IRB) 58 is_callable() function 37 J joinField() function 78 L LAMP about 7 requisites 7 layout blocks, view layer 44 layout file creating 118 recognizing 119 layouts 118 layouts, view layer 43 license, Package info 219 license URI, Package Info 219 Linux virtual machine creating 8, 9, 11 Load Local Package 223 [ 234 ] local mapping setting up, into host system 20 login function 169 M Mage_Adminhtml module 133 Mage_Catalog module 162, 171 Mage_Core_Controller_Varien_Router_ Standard match function 34 Mage_Customer module 162 Magento about 27 additional setup 18 backend 133 configuration scopes 47 event and observer pattern 52 extending 83 factory methods 48 IDE, selecting 24 LAMP, installing 7 Mink, using with 208, 209 Modular architecture 30 MVC pattern, using 38-41 request, handling 34 routers 33 SVN, installing 18 testing 192 version control system, working with 24, 25 websites and store scopes, handling 46, 47 Zend Framework 27 Magento2 URL 24 Magento API 161 Magento collections Bestseller products, getting 78 collection methods 74 multiple sort orders, adding 79 product collection, filtering by visibility 78 product collection, getting 76, 77 products, filtering without images 79 using 75 working with 74 Magento community 24 Magento Connect 218 Magento Core API. See Core API Magento Developers Guide (MDG) 84 Magento extension building 83 cache, disabling 86 configuration cache, refreshing 86 directory structure, creating 85 features 84 Giftregistry directory, creating 85 improvements 84 routes, setting up 107 scenario 83 XML module configuration 88 Magento folder structure about 29 app 29 block 30 controller 30 controllers 30 etc 30 helper 30 js 29 lib 29 media 29 model 30 skin 29 sql 30 var 29 Magento_Mink extension 194 Magento Model Anatomy about 58 EAV 58 Model class 59 Model Collection class 59 product object, instantiating 60 Resource Model class 59 simple models 58 Magento naming convention Namespace_Modulename 84 Magento naming conventions URL 215 Magento ORM 42 Magento ORM system about 57 methods 61 Magento_TAF extension 194 magento-vagrant repository 22 Mage.php bootstrap class 33 Mage_Sales module 162 [ 235 ] Magicento 24 Massachusetts Institute of Technology License (MITL) 219 Massactions used, for bulk upload 151, 152 massDelete() 151 message, WSDL 163 methods, Magento ORM system implementing 61-64 magic __call() method 61 Mink about 208 drivers 208 functional testing with 208 test, creating 209, 211, 212 using, with Magento 208 Mink, drivers GoutteDriver 208 SahiDriver 208 Selenium2Driver 208 SeleniumDriver 208 ZombieDriver 208 Model class 59 Model Collection class 59 models creating 91 Gift Registry type model, creating 91, 92 registry item 91 registry model 91 setup resources 97 models, MVC pattern about 42 Entity Attribute Value (EAV) models 42 model handling 42 resource handling 42 simple models 42 Model-View-Controller (MVC) 28, 228 Modgit about 208 installing 208 Modular architecture about 30 advantages 30 autoloader 30 code pools 32 Mozilla Public License (MPL) 219 MVC block diagram 46 MVC controllers 46 MVC pattern, Magento controllers 46 models 42 views 43 MySQL about 17 installing 17 N name, Package info 219 name, XML nodes 44 nano command 19 NetBeans 24 newPostAction() creating 111 Nginx 7 node function frontend_type 40 group 40 label 40 section_name 40 sort_order 41 source_model 41 tab 40 notes, release info 220 O OAuth 169 object-oriented (OO) PHP framework 27 observer bindings 55, 56 Open Software License (OSL) 219 ORM(Object Relational Mapping) system 57 P Package Info about 219 channel 219 description 219 license 219 license URI 219 name 219 summary 219 supported releases 219 [ 236 ] packages, dependencies 221 path field, contents 222 PHP about 16 installing 16 PHP Hypertext Processor 16 PhpStorm 24 PHP Version, dependencies 221 port type, WSDL 163 port, WSDL 163 preDispatch() function 110 product deleting 174 deleting, in SOAPv2 174 deleting, in XML-RPC 174 products adding, to registry 132 R registries managing 145, 146 registry entity table 91 registry item 91 registry item table 91 registry model 91 registry type table 91 regression testing 192 Release Info license 220 notes 220 release stability 220 release version 220 release stability, release info 220 release version, release info 220 remote procedure call (RPC) protocol 162 request flow 34 request handling 33-38 Resource Model class 59 REST product data, retrieving from staging store 172 REST API extending 185, 187 RESTful API about 166 credentials, setting up 169, 170 defining 166 features 166 RESTful web service 166 resultsAction() 115 Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) system 66 roles control 167 route adding, to controller 229, 230 setting up 107 testing 229 routers 33 S SahiDriver 208 Save Role button 168 search controller blocks and views, adding 127-130 creating 115, 116 Selenium2Driver 208 SeleniumDriver 208 service, WSDL 163 setup resources about 97 creating 97 defining 98, 99 Installer Script, creating 99-106 Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) about 163 Core API credentials, setting up for 167-169 URL 163 SOAPv2 filters, adding to product list call 172 product, deleting 174 Submit for Approval button 225 Subversion. See SVN summary, Package info 219 supported releases, Package info 219 SVN 216 Symfony 38 T target field, contents 222 TDD about 193 with Magento, URL 193 [ 237 ] templates 118 templates, view layer 43 template, XML nodes 45 Test-driven development. See TDD testing, Magento functional testing 193 regression testing 192 unit testing 192 type field, contents 222 type, XML nodes 44 U Ubuntu booting up 11 unit testing 192 unit testing, with PHPUnit about 194 configuration, setting up for extension 196 creating 199-207 Ecomdev_PHPUnit, installing 194, 195 extension configuration, setting up for extension 196 Test case, anatomy 197, 198 Upgrade Script 100 V Vagrant downloading 22 installing 22, 23 using 21 Varien_Cache_Core 28 VCSs 215 version control concepts branching 25 merging 25 tagging 25 version control system Git 24 Mercurial 24 SVN 24 working with 24 Version control systems. See VCSs viewAction() 37 view controller blocks and views, adding 131, 132 creating 117 view layer about 43 blocks 43 core layout files, examining 43 layouts 43 templates 43 VirtualBox about 8 downloading 8 URL 8 VirtualBox Disk Image (VDI) 9 virtual machines (VMs) about 8 booting 11-15 W websites and store scopes handling 46, 47 WSDL (Web Services Description Language) about 163 bindings 163 configuration 164, 165 message 163 port 163 port type 163 service 163 types 163 WSDL code 185 wsdl.xml URL 185 X XML module configuration about 88 adminhtml.xml 88 api.xml 88 cache.xml 88 config.xml 88 convert.xml 88 system.xml 88 widget.xml 88 wsdl.xml 88 wsi.xml 88 XML nodes action 45 [ 238 ] as 45 before/after 44 block 44 handle 44 name 44 reference 44 template 45 type 44 XML-RPC about 162 Core API credentials, setting up for 167-169 filters, adding to product list call 172 product data, retrieving from staging store 172 product, deleting 174 URL 163 Y yet another markup language (YAML) file 198 Z Zend_Acl component 28 Zend_Cache component 28 Zend_Cache_Core 28 Zend components Zend_Acl 28 Zend_Cache 28 Zend_Currency 28 Zend_Date 28 Zend_DB 28 Zend_Http 28 Zend_Locale 28 Zend_Pdf 28 Zend_Soap 28 Zend_Currency component 28 Zend_Date component 28 Zend_DB component 28 Zend Framework about 27, 28 flexibility 28 maintainability 28 upgradability 28 URL 28 Zend_Http component 28 Zend_Locale component 28 Zend_Pdf component 28 Zend_Soap component 28 zero-downtime deployment 213 ZombieDriver 208 [ 239 ] Thank you for buying Magento PHP Developer's Guide About Packt Publishing Packt, pronounced 'packed', published its first book "Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management" in April 2004 and subsequently continued to specialize in publishing highly focused books on specific technologies and solutions. Our books and publications share the experiences of your fellow IT professionals in adapting and customizing today's systems, applications, and frameworks. Our solution based books give you the knowledge and power to customize the software and technologies you're using to get the job done. Packt books are more specific and less general than the IT books you have seen in the past. Our unique business model allows us to bring you more focused information, giving you more of what you need to know, and less of what you don't. Packt is a modern, yet unique publishing company, which focuses on producing quality, cutting-edge books for communities of developers, administrators, and newbies alike. For more information, please visit our website: About Packt Open Source In 2010, Packt launched two new brands, Packt Open Source and Packt Enterprise, in order to continue its focus on specialization. This book is part of the Packt Open Source brand, home to books published on software built around Open Source licences, and offering information to anybody from advanced developers to budding web designers. The Open Source brand also runs Packt's Open Source Royalty Scheme, by which Packt gives a royalty to each Open Source project about whose software a book is sold. Writing for Packt We welcome all inquiries from people who are interested in authoring. Book proposals should be sent to If your book idea is still at an early stage and you would like to discuss it first before writing a formal book proposal, contact us; one of our commissioning editors will get in touch with you. We're not just looking for published authors; if you have strong technical skills but no writing experience, our experienced editors can help you develop a writing career, or simply get some additional reward for your expertise. Magento: Beginner's Guide ISBN: 978-1-84719-594-4 Paperback: 300 pages Create a dynamic, fully featured, online store with the most powerful open source e-commerce software 1. Step-by-step guide to building your own online store 2. Focuses on the key features of Magento that you must know to get your store up and running 3. Customize the store's appearance to make it uniquely yours 4. Clearly illustrated with screenshots and a working example Mastering Magento ISBN: 978-1-84951-694-5 Paperback: 300 pages Maximize the power of Magento: for developers, designers, and store owners 1. Learn how to customize your Magento store for maximum performance 2. Exploit little known techniques for extending and tuning your Magento installation 3. Step-by-step guides for making your store run faster, better and more productively Please check for information on our titles Magento Mobile How-to [Instant] ISBN: 978-1-84969-366-0 Paperback: 78 pages Create and configure your own Magento Mobile application and publish it for the Andriod and iOS platform 1. Learn something new in an Instant! A short, fast, focused guide delivering immediate results. 2. Style and theme your Magento Mobile Application interface 3. Configure Product categories and add static content for mobile 4. Prepare and publish your Magento mobile application targeting iPhone/iPad and Android platforms Magento 1.3 Sales Tactics Cookbook ISBN: 978-1-84951-012-7 Paperback: 292 pages Improve your Magento store's sales and increase your profits with this collection of simple and effective tactical techniques 1. Build a professional Magento sales web site, with the help of easy-to-follow steps and ample screenshots, to solve real-world business needs and requirements 2. Develop your web site by using your creativity and exploiting the sales techniques that suit your needs 3. Provide visitors with attractive and innovative features to make your site sell Please check for information on our titles

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