Sunday, September 4, 2011

Magento API Role not working properly on Magento

After upgrading to Magento I cannot create Web Service API Roles properly.

Any "Role Resources" I assign are reverted back to "none", having the effect that none of the API Users have any privileges.

Please advice the solution. Thank you.


Run this MySQL query:

delete from `api_rule` where api_permission='deny'

This will remove all 'deny' API rules and is probably insecure hack but it's probably better than having no Magento Web Service API access at all.

( Referenced thread on Magento Commerce Forums )

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fixing Product Grid bug resetting to 3 columns when cache is enabled

In Magento Commerce, if you edit layout/catalog.xml in your theme as follows:


The above layout XML code should make category/catalog page use 2 columns left page layout, and the Product Grid will use 4 columns.

Note: The above code should also be applied to the "catalog_category_layered" layout handle.

However, there is a bug as of Magento If cache is not active, then Product Grid correctly uses 4 columns.
But if cache is active, the first page view will use 4 columns, yet the subsequent page views use 4 columns in Product Grid.

Even doing this still doesn't work:


I'm not sure what causes this, but there is a solution to this problem although it's more of a workaround:

It's not ideal, but at least it works: (source)


Another workaround is easier to do but will hurt performance: Disable layout cache :(

To learn more about designing themes for Magento, I highly recommend Magento 1.4 Themes Design book with great reviews.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Breaking News: eBay Acquires Magento eCommerce Software Vendor

eBay buys the e-commerce platform Magento, which it previously had a 49 percent stake in, in a bid to build a broader commerce operating system that spans online, mobile, social and local. In effect, eBay is looking to be the go-to resource for online and offline retailers, helping connect them to consumers.

Los Angeles–based Magento offers an open-source commerce software suite that allows merchants to build flexible online stores that can be customized easily. Tens of thousands of merchants use Magento and its newer software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution called Magento Go. The deal—the terms of which have not been disclosed—is expected to be finalized in the third quarter. The purchase of Magento comes after eBay announced in February that it had made a $22.5 million investment in Magento a year earlier, worth a 49 percent stake.

Building an X.Commerce platform
By swallowing up Magento, eBay is building what it calls X.Commerce, an open platform that can offer a wide array of end-to-end services to merchants, providing everything from local inventory data and discounts to historical information on pricing, transactions and browsing. It then offers tools for payment and helps close the loop on transactions so retailers know how it all came together. EBay, PayPal and GSI, a digital marketing and e-commerce company that eBay is in the process of buying, would provide some of the basic building blocks for the platform. But X.Commerce would also incorporate other eBay assets and enlist the help of developers who could build on the operating system. EBay expects to share more about the X.Commerce platform at its newly renamed X.Commerce Innovate conference on Oct. 12 and 13. From the eBay press release:
“Technology-driven innovation is blurring the lines between online and offline commerce, changing the way consumers shop, and enabling retailers of all sizes to benefit from the latest innovations from the developer community,” said John Donahoe, the president and CEO of eBay. “The feedback we’ve heard from external developers has been clear — they don’t just want payments or an ecommerce site; they want access to a full set of commerce capabilities to build complete shopping experiences for merchants. We believe the acquisition of Magento and creation of our X.Commerce group will enable us to meet developers’ needs and drive global commerce innovation for retailers and consumers.”
It’s a big strategy move but one that has been tipped off by eBay’s recent acquisitions. With its pickups of RedLaser and Milo as well as its recent purchases of WHERE and Fig Card, eBay has been assembling the components for a deeper push into commerce, especially local transactions. RedLaser allows eBay to insert itself into comparison shopping as mobile consumers use their smartphones to help them shop. Milo helps connect users to the local inventory of products around them. With WHERE, eBay got not only a local guide for mobile users but also a location-based ad network and a deals service called WHEREBuys. That allows eBay to engage a user through an ad or deal; then, by integrating with PayPal for payments, it can close the loop on the transaction and theoretically charge a premium for it. Fig Card, a competitor to Square, also helps merchants accept mobile payments, which can include PayPal. And combined with GSI, which provides e-commerce infrastructure for large retailers and brands, eBay has solutions that appeal to both small and large companies.

Helping out local merchants
PayPal spokesperson Anuj Nayer said X.Commerce is not just a new platform but an emerging business division for eBay. He said the real promise is going after offline retailers who are desperate for ways to innovate and compete as online and offline shopping converge.

EBay recognizes that its marketplace can only serve so many retailers. But the company is betting it can be a valuable resource to retailers by creating an open ecosystem that helps them compete. The challenge is on for eBay and PayPal to evolve and tackle more of the offline retail world and marry it to its strengths in e-commerce. As we noted following Google’s big payment announcement with Google Wallet, PayPal has been working on its own mobile and point-of-sale offerings, something Google VP Osama Bedier was leading for PayPal before he switched sides in January. The company already said that it was “all-in” on mobile payments. 

As Square’s COO Keith Rabois told us recently, the bigger opportunity is in offline real-world transactions. That’s why he thinks Square can ultimately be worth more than PayPal, his old company. PayPal is showing today that it has no intention of being relegated to the sidelines of commerce as it grows via mobile and local. It still has to sort out how it will deal with point-of-sale transactions, something it said it will announce later this year. PayPal is more of a popular option for online purchases, so we will need to hear more about how PayPal can facilitate offline transactions and make it easy and convenient for people. That’s one of the promises of NFC with its tap-and-go system. On a larger scale, eBay has to show it can be nimble with this operating system and move quickly to assert itself into a market that is being transformed by Google with its NFC Wallet and Square with its new Register and Card Case products.

But clearly, eBay and PayPal can’t be taken lightly. While Rabois said PayPal’s brand has atrophied, the combined might of eBay and PayPal is still formidable, and the company has a lot of money and resources it can bring to bear on the commerce front. X.Commerce is good example of what eBay and PayPal can do when they put it all together. It’s a necessary step and a sign of how the world of commerce, online and offline, is all coming together.

(Article copied verbatim from gigaom)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Magento 1.4 Themes Design Book Review

Magento 1.4 Themes Design Book provides in-depth explanation, guide, tutorials and HTML/CSS/layouts/PHP code examples to design website themes for Magento Commerce.

About The Book

The book is written in an informal tone with clear, step-by-step guides through the major tasks in the book. This book is aimed at web designers and web developers who are not familiar with Magento at all, and at Magento designers and developers who are more familiar with Magento 1.3 than Magento 1.4. The book assumes knowledge of HTML and CSS and an awareness, but not in-depth knowledge of, PHP syntax.

Review of this Magento theming book from the net :
I have read many books about Magento and in my opinion Packt Publishings are some of the best. Although there are some good general and cookbook style Magento books around I think Magento Theming is an area that requires a dedicated book and I would say that if you are serious about your ecommerce store and getting the most from Magento I think Magento Theme Design 1.4 by Richard Carter is well worth a read - cover to cover.

It is also important to note that many of the books currently available for Magento are based on version 1.3 that this book is currently as up to date as you can get (as far as I am aware all of the book is relevant to the recently released version 1.5) being based on 1.4, this is especially important as there has been some significant changes in the area of themes in version 1.4 from 1.3.

There is no doubt that Magento theme designing can be daunting and the more knowledge you have of HTML, CSS, XML and possibly of other CMS themes the less steep the learning curve well be. There is also certainly a big incentive to change the default theme as to me it is very ugly. The results you can get from just some of the techniques in this book can be make a huge difference to the look of you Magento store.

Overall I enjoyed the style of the book and particularly found the build up of Richard's example site useful. A great feature of the book is that you can download the code used in the books which includes css files, xml files and even the images used in the examples.

If you have no CSS skills at all probably best to start with a good CSS book. Overall a great book for anyone looking to improve their Magento theming skills.
Another book review:
This 280-pager is dedicated to Magento's design related aspects. Those of you who've already done some work with Magento know that not only is the design architecture quite complex, but it is also using a terminology quite different from what you might know from other shopping carts or content management systems. A Magento layout, for example, does not refer to something a designer would produce in Photoshop, but rather to a set of XML directives which control the overall appearance of a certain page. Likewise, a template in Magento is not a collection of items which compile the browser output, like in osCommerce for example, but rather a single file formatting what is called a block in Magento. After the first chapter, which provides an overview of the way in which the Magento frontend presents itself to the user, introduces several showcases of popular web stores using Magento and explains how the software is installed on the server, the author Richard Carter explains the Magento-specific terminology and how the individual parts of the theming system relate to each other. He mentions the Magento multistore setup and draws attention to the fact that thanks to the fallback-system, one does not have to duplicate entire themes but rather change only those that are relevant to the current project.

In the ensuing chapters, the author looks at theming in more detail and provides a range of examples, so that readers can gain their first hands-on experiences by following what is being done in the book. For my taste, there's a slight tendency to overuse full-page screenshots to support the explanation, however, the examples are well documented and easy to follow. The last chapters deal with the way in which transactional emails in Magento can be customised and contain a step-by-step description of how social networks and services such as Twitter and Facebook can be integrated into a Magento installation.

In summary, I would recommend this book to Magento-ians who have already got their feet wet with Magento and know their way around the admin panel. If you want to know which knobs to fiddle with in order to make appear Magento the way you want, this book is for you.
Minor Issues

There are several flaws though, sometimes incorrect information is provided. For example:
The base theme is in the app/design/frontend/base/ directory. The second package contains the custom theme's default theme in the app/design/frontend/default/ directory, which acts as a base theme within the package. The custom theme itself, which is the non-default theme, is in the app/design/frontend/our- custom-theme/default/ and app/design/frontend/our-custom-theme/custom- theme/ directories.
Actually the app/design/frontend/default/ directory contains Magento's bundled default theme, not any custom theme.

Other times the English is confusing:
Default themes in Magento 1.3 In Magento 1.3, the default theme acted the way the base theme did in Magento 1.4, providing every file that your Magento store required to operate.
Since the book is talking about Magento 1.4, I wonder why the author wrote "did".
If I were the book's editor, I would rewrite it as follows:
In Magento 1.3, the default theme used to provide every file that your Magento store required to operate. This has changed with Magento 1.4, where all required themes files is provided by the base theme, and the default theme simply contains additional resources like CSS, images, JavaScripts, and locale files.

I still highly recommend Magento 1.4 Themes Design as a useful resource for Magento theme development.