Magento code library – Handling files and folders

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Posted on May 30th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Among most often custom coding tasks are usually those related to some import/export between Magento and other system. Usually existing store owners when switching from their current shop system to Magento want to transfer all of their products, orders, and most importantly customers.

Most of the time, standard Magento product/customer import/export is not sufficient for the task at hand. Limitations like file size upload and structure of original data require you to do a custom scripts that will handle the job of data transfer. Think of shops with several tens of thousands of orders, customers, products.

Luckily Magento comes with several nice classes that handle files and directory manipulation that might help you greatly. Surely all of this can be done with plain functional PHP, but hey why not impress your boss right?! :)

How To Setup A Cron Job In Magento – Magento Cron Tutorial

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Posted on May 26th, 2011 | Posted by admin

A CRON is a daemon which keeps running and gets activated at a said interval (time period). Cron helps store owners to setup up and schedule commands which will run periodically at set time and date. Various Magento services such as “Sending Newsletter “, Cleanup with logs, Cleanup cache, Customer notification etc. requires a mechanism where store owners can setup and schedule commands to run periodically.

Most of the web hosts have their own set of task scheduler; you can ask and verify the task scheduler from your webhost. While setting a cron-job make sure that minimum time duration is set to run every 15 minutes (not less than this) as  Magento spends around 1 minute to index 1000 products and sets the status to “Success” from “Pending”.

How To Integrate Mailchimp Into Your Magento Store

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Posted on May 26th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Are you looking to integrate Mailchimp email subscription within your Magento powered store? If yes then you are at right place. There is a sudden rise in Magento stores but some store owners are disappointed with Magento’s default email subscription and newsletter handling capabilities. Basically they face the following problems:

  1. They can not send the newsletter right away because their local time is not the same as of server time. Eventually, their newsletter campaign will be sent few hours later than the intended time. Although, this can be adjusted with a little tweak.
  2. They can not send large number of emails in one go. Magento limits how many emails should be sent at once.
  3. Managing CRON is a pain.

Magento 1.4 Themes Design Book Review

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Posted on May 26th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Magento 1.4 Themes Design was written by Richard Carter and published by Packt Publishing. It was published in January of this year (2011). I read the eBook copy, so I have not yet been able to look at the paper copy, but if it is like every other book published by Packt, there’s not much to complain about.

This book is geared towards beginners looking to get their hands dirty with theming Magento, and understanding how it works. If you are only used to theming applications like WordPress or ZenCart, you will find Magento very difficult. Magento doesn’t just use template files. Magento is much more like a framework, and should be considered as such. They have implemented a powerful system of blocks, layout xml, and template files. The concept can be difficult to wrap your head around, and that’s where this book can really help you get started.

You’ll find the book very well organized, and the author does an amazing job explaining concepts without rambling on forever. There are many occasions where a link to a article (mostly wiki articles on Magento’s site) that better explains the concept in detail, which is nice as it doesn’t clog up the book, and allows you to choose to explore the concept further or not.

Magento Go Platform, sneak peak

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Posted on May 25th, 2011 | Posted by admin

Seems like Go Platform will use REST API approach to integrate an OpenSocial gadget in your Magento store. Given that we are talking about the Google’s Open Social, I’m very pleased to see them move in this direction. Meaning most of your development will come down to JavaScript, XML, XHTML, and a few calls to REST API’s.

Hopefully the API method list will be increased in regards to the currently available API’s in the Magento community version.

Next to the Open Social which envisions a write once, run anywhere mantra in the Social Networking space we have a Apache Shindig. Shindig is an OpenSocial container. Container that helps you to start hosting OpenSocial apps quickly by providing the code to render gadgets, proxy requests, and handle REST and RPC requests.