Solving Magento

Solutions for Magento E-Commerce Platform

by Oleg Ishenko

Looking for a Senior Magento Developer in Berlin

Are you an experienced Magento developer looking for challenging and exciting tasks in a fast growing e-commerce startup? With us you can apply yourself the best, explore new technologies, learn much and teach what you know to the members of our friendly team.

If you are interested to work in Berlin, contact us at jobs [at] medizintechnikmarkt.de

Solving Magento is now at Divisionlab.com

Don’t be surprised: I’ve decided to move the Solving Magento blog from its previous location at solvingmagento.com to my new website: DivisionLab.com

All the content will now reside at this new host, and any new updates will from now on be posted here as well.

PDF and EPUB Versions of Magento Product Types: Developer’s Guide

I am happy to announce that my book Magento Product Types: Developer’s Guide is now available as PDF and EPUB on Leanpub! I have long been promising a version other than Kindle, and now there it is:

magento-product-types-devel

Leanpub offers a .mobi (Kindle) version as well. I still recommend getting the Kindle-formatted book from Amazon, which I have carefully tested. The Amazon links are in this post: Magento Product Types: Developer’s Guide

Your comments and Magento Questions

One of the most rewarding parts of blogging is getting comments and being asked questions on my work. Unfortunately recently I’ve been unable to quickly respond to your comments and give advice on your Magento problems. Currently I am deeply engaged in a startup and this takes all my time. For this reason I must recommend you to post questions on Magento StackExchange – the community there will help you faster and better than I ever could. I’m sorry, I’m not as available to my readers as I wished I would.

Magento Product Types: Developer’s Guide

Meet my new book:

magento-product-types-book

Magento Product Types: Developer’s Guide

What’s inside:

A detailed description of Magento product types that will help you understand the inner workings of products in Magento.

Each chapter is complemented by a step-by-step tutorial teaching you how to extend the standard product type functionality.

The last tutorial will explain you how to create a custom product type.

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Magento Grouped Product Redirect Tutorial

Recently, one of my blog readers has raised a question in the comments to my post Magento Grouped Poduct Type: Is there a way to direct a customer to the grouped product when he clicks a link to the associated simple product?

The answer is, of course, yes. For this task I’ve proposed to use the Observer Pattern, which I have already covered in one of my tutorials. In this post, I am going to present you a simple extension that performs the grouped product redirect using an observer.

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OneStep Checkout – A Magento Tutorial, Part 4 (Steps 11 and 12)

This is the last part of the long tutorial on the Magento checkout customization. here, I will describe the last checkout section “Order Review” and explain how the OneStep checkout link can be added to the Magento front-end.

Previous parts of this tutorial are: Part 1: Introducing OneStep Checkout, Part 2: Starting with the OneStep Checkout JavaScript, Part3: Deeper into the Checkout Sections.
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OneStep Checkout – A Magento Tutorial, Part 3 (Steps 8 – 10 of 12)

In the third part of the Magento OneStep checkout tutorial I will continue describing the JavaScript and controller functionality of the OneStep checkout sections. See also the parts one and two.

If you are impatient, you can download the finished extension from GitHub Solvingmagento_OneStepCheckout now. A demo shop with a working OneStep checkout can be found here.
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OneStep Checkout – A Magento Tutorial, Part 2 (Steps 5 – 7 of 12)

This is the second part of the Magento OneStep Checkout tutorial. In the first part, I’ve discussed the objective and challenges of the tutorial and laid the foundation for the new checkout extension. Next, I will describe the JavaScript component of the OneStep checkout and give more details on the controller functionality.
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OneStep Checkout – A Magento Tutorial, Part 1 (Steps 1 – 4 of 12)

In this tutorial, I will demonstrate an extension that adds a OneStep checkout to Magento. In my earlier post Magento OnePage Checkout, I’ve explained the ideas behind different checkout types. In short, the checkout process is usually broken into steps, and in each step customers must provide a certain part of the checkout data. Despite the wide use of the step-by-step checkout, many online retailers find it too cumbersome for customers – especially the part where the browser has to load a new URL for each step. A different approach is the OnePage checkout such as the one implemented in Magento where all steps a brought under a single URL. The checkout shows only one step at a time and uses Ajax requests to switch between steps and refresh the checkout state without browser reloading the page. The process, however, retains its step character: customers must fill out all steps separately and in a specific order.

The OneStep approach is a further simplification of the checkout process: all step forms are shown at once and customers no longer need to submit each step individually. But, there is a catch: the customer must fill out the entire checkout form in one go. If you take all the fields of the Magento OnePage checkout and display them all in one step, they will make a long and intimidating form. Not only that might scare some buyers off, but implementing the dependencies between fields (e.g., shipping methods depending on the delivery destination) would be even more challenging. This is the exact opposite of a simple and transparent process that the OneStep checkout aims to achieve. For these reasons the use of the OneStep checkout is confined to special cases where the checkout process doesn’t need much information from customers. One such example could be a shop selling downloads which need no physical shipping and no fields for a shipping address and shipping methods are necessary. In this case, the checkout form is short: customer billing address, payment method, order overview – and ideal premise for a OneStep checkout.

In my extension I will not restrict myself to any specific scenario; instead, I will attempt to build a OneStep checkout as a replacement to the fully fledged Magento OnePage checkout. The necessary compromises may result in a checkout that is in some parameters less satisfactory than a production use would require – but, this I leave to you to judge.

This is a very long tutorial that spans several posts and consists of 12 steps. If you are impatient, you can download the finished extension from GitHub Solvingmagento_OneStepCheckout now. A demo shop with a working OneStep checkout can be found here.

Other parts of this tutorial are: Part 2: Starting with the OneStep Checkout JavaScript, Part3: Deeper into the Checkout Sections, Part4: Order Review.
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Magento OnePage Checkout Part 3: JavaScript

This is part 3 of the One Page checkout discussion. Previous parts are: Magento One Page Checkout Part 1 and OnePage Checkout Part 2: Model, Views, Controller.

One Page Checkout JavaScript Layer

The distinct feature of One Page checkout is that the checkout process can be completed without the browser having to request and load every step in a new page. Instead, One Page checkout uses JavaScript to control the navigation between steps, the steps visibility and availability. This JavaScript layer is also responsible for submitting step data to the checkout controller and interpreting controller responses to update the content of the checkout steps. You can find the JavaScript code used by One Page checkout in the following files:

  • /js/varien/accordion.js – contains a JavaScript class that combines checkout steps into an accordion-like object.
  • /skin/frontend/base/default/js/opcheckout.js – contains JavaScript classes representing individual checkout steps and the checkout as a whole. Note that this file is located in the skin folder – it is possible to have different One Page JavaScript for different skins.

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