Archive for the ‘PHP’ Category

Magento Modules

Posted: August 11, 2011 in Magento, PHP

Magento consists of modules and as a result modules are the core of Magento. When you consider every action that takes place in Magento both Front/Back-end, they all go through a module.  Modules act as containers for one or more of the following : Settings, Database schemas,   rendering objects, Utility helpers, data models, or action controllers.Modules can be made up of all six of these or just one.

Magento has come up with a way to have a well designed code base and still have it extendable by creating Code Pools which are folders/directories that contain modules in Magento and they consist of three code pools local, community and core. All custom made modules you develop can be installed in the local code pool, all modules distributed with the base  Magento are in the core code pool and the community code pool was initially for third party modules but they can now be installed on both local and community.

Models are also a very important aspect of Magento as they are the muscles. They mainly help with moving data from the database to the program itself and they are also responsible for manipulating the data.

Blocks help with Magento’s templating scheme. They are a HTML and PHP mixed file with phtml extension and each block controls one template file. All blocks extend the base class Mage_Core_Block_Template which extends Mage_Core_Block_Abstract.

Controllers in Magento are the starting point for all the business logic. Controllers extend the base class Mage_Core_Controller_Varien_Action which has three important classes :

  • dispatch($action)
  • preDispatch()
  • postDispatch()
Helpers are pretty much standard in every thing you do or find and the same is applied to Magento as they are a way to restructure an existing body of code out of the core classes.
The two major methods of helpers to look out for are :
  1. __ (two underscores)
  • This method is a translation helper
  1. htmlEscape
Config files
There are three different config files available (config.xml, system.xml and convert.xml) and they are found in the etc folder under the main directory all of which are XML. config.xml is the only config file that directly affects your modules behavior.


Posted: April 19, 2011 in Development, Magento, PHP

Magento is an Ecommerce platform aimed at businesses who want to take it online. Magento is recognized as one of the best Ecommerce solutions available backed by a company called Varien. The software runs on the Apache/MySQL/PHP platform. Magento is considered as one of the best solutions because :

  • They are compatible with most gateways
  • You can use almost any shipment with it
  • You can manage multiple stores on one backend
  •  Support is provided free
  • User friendly Interface
  • Create stores in different languages
  • One page checkout, guest checkout
  • Support for multiple currencies
  • Cross-sells, up-sells and related items
  • RSS Feeds for new Products
  • Built-in product review feature

Magento offer two solution, the Community Edition and Enterprise Edition. The Community edition is free but has limited features whereas the Enterprise edition has more features but has A yearly license fee.

Magento enables you to have full control over the content, look & feel, is flexible and robust. The platform comes with the best set of features out of the box making it easier for merchants to manage.Magento also offers multiple languages and multiple currencies making it a worldwide tool that is easy to understand and use.

integration with Google analytics, and some reporting features to help better promote your products.

Magento is a leading Ecommerce solution for online commerce because of its rich feature and capabilities to make online shopping easier for both the customer and the stores owner. Magento comes with a lot of features integrated and is easy to use.
With multiple languages, currencies,  free support, one page checkouts and a user friendly interface they have a recipe for success.
The software is remarkable and the costs to use it are not to pricy


Posted: April 1, 2011 in PHP

Cakephp is a framework with lots of functions and methods used to develop php projects. It has a lot of functions including methods that perform a lot of things. This framework was designed to speed up web projects by eliminating a lot of nitty gritty stuff such as having to to link the database properly to be able to process data from and to the DB.

Cakephp is the solution to a lot of unanswered questions. For one is consists of php which as most of you know is a widely supported web programming language and is standard with most web services providers.

Starting web projects is a pain as some of you may have experienced in previous occasions and Cake has made that process a lot more easier and a lot more faster. To put things into perspective by just designing your database schema and a few lines of Cake code you can have a working system that is fully capable of writing/editing/retrieving and deleting data from your database. Cake uses a method called scaffolding that generates all the code required to communicate with your database.

I for one am using Cake on a Linux OS and its works great fast and efficient. Wouldn’t you like to spend more time improving your product and less time actually building it ? Not to say the building part is less essential but everyone always has their doubts about a new system where as they gain more confidence once you tell them about the new improvements impemented on your system.

Cake uses a method called Model-View-Controller (MVC) where Model handles all your database interactions, Views for all your output and displays on the site and Controllers for all your commands/scripts for input and the flow. Cake is good for Create Read Update and Delete (CRUD) operations.

Cake also offer helpers and comes in standard HTML, Ajax and JavaScript which simplifies the View process.

With a widely supported web programming language and standard with most web services providers Cake looks like the solution to simplify php development without losing any php capabilities. With a simple getting of the ground approach to help you get your project up and running in minutes Cake is sure to make life easier for developers and the world at large.