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Integration with CMSs and other projects
 
jnicholas
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I’ve seen mention of integration with Drupal and ExpressionEngine and I am interested in tying Magento into Typo3. I’d like to start a topic on this type of project and see if there is any shared knowledge or approaches. I think there are several things that could be done from simply sharing logins to full rendering engine replacements so that Magento handles the products and the CMS handles the output.

 
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I think that such a integration is too difficult and planning it at this stage could bring only problems. We don’t know what changes in Magento core appear in next releases, so building integration now can be a waste of time.

I ‘d better focus on making external classes to share information between two systems rather than fully integrating Magento with Typo.

 
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jnicholas
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Classes that connect Typo3 (or other CMSs) and Magento is what I’m thinking of at this point too. I don’t think there is any reason to tightly integrate the backends or anything. There was a large scale effort to integrate OsCommerce and Typo3 that I think showed the futility of that approach. It took them over a year to have anything useable and the end result is awkward to say the least.

I believe in most projects the staff responsible for managing the products and especially the orders is not the same people who are managing the non-store content. So there is little advantage to integrating the backends even if that wasn’t the most difficult part.

I do think that at the very least a person running a CMS driven site will want a mechanism for having one login across the content parts of the site and the cart part of the site. I’d most like to see is a thin connector that is a standard typo3/drupal/etc extension that loads the cart data from magento. Since the current system is MVC based, I’d imagine there is a controller that instantiates a model and the renders through a view. So why not an extension that instantiantes a controller that handles the models then returns the data for the CMS to template or maybe just returns a html fragment that is dropped into the page layout?

I haven’t looked very far into the code yet but I’m sure a loose connector like this can be built. I also think there is some benefit to talking through these ideas now and with multiple systems in mind.

 
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Scott
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J, I’d say feel free to try it. Couldn’t hurt. Not sure how many people are using Typo here, I think more people are using ExpressionEngine, but hey… it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. Of course, keep in mind that there are a lot of things that will change as M gets closer to a production-ready release.

 
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mckooter
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exactly what scott released above, i started to work Magento into a cms i have used in the past that also integrates with forum software i use, but once i started to decipher what i might start with (im sure there would have been many failed attempts) I realized that the code i created now would most likely not even come close to working even on B2, so i abandoned for now,

I would suggest waiting till atleast Beta2 before attempting something like this as its very possible that new features/bug fixes would disable your integration, and theres nothing worse that finally getting something to work and then having some update bring you back to the drawing board

 
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austinstorm
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Login integration would be the obvious starting point, from which everything else could flow. I’m going to start in on this with ee as time permits.

 
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Scott
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Austin, interesting. Post updates in this thread occasionally. I’d like to hear how things are going smile

 
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iblastoff
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i’m assuming in order to integrate magento with EE you’d have to use the licensed paid version. i’d rather see some working integrations with actual open-source cms’s first!

 
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Couldn’t we use a Core version of EE ? It’s free so i think that for development that should be enough.

 
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Scott
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That may be possible. Maybe if someone wanted to try it with beta1, it’s a cheap/free option for the time being.

 
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jnicholas
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I agree about the open source CMSs being preferred. I can see the appeal of EE because it has a similar aesthetic in interface which makes it a good choice from the standpoint of delivering to a client.

Since this is early stages I’d still like to see everyone thinking in more general integration terms that can be used across a wide variety of CMSs. Ideally the CMS specific code would be a pretty thin wrapper around a more universal connection class so that it would be easy to connect Magento with anything. I’d love to see this end up where Magento can easily be connected to Drupal, Typo3, Joomla, ModX, ExpressionEngine and whatever else anyone is interested in.

 
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Ross
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If you think about it, Magento is in some sense a CMS already.  Although as e-commerce software, its focus is on managing ‘product’ content.

While, for example, I can think of a lot of features that Drupal has that Magento doesn’t, a lot of the groundwork has already been laid.  Trying to integrate 2 complex systems (such as Magento and Typo3 or Drupal) is a very difficult thing, that to my mind is a waste of time that will most likely have sub-standard results.

What CMS features are people looking for that Magento doesn’t have?  Maybe it would be worth developing these features specifically for Magento.

- discussion forum
- blog
- photo gallery
- ...?

 
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DBFHCO.com
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Our company is going to try and develop a modular CMS for Magento as well. Our idea is to change the current textbox to a Wysiwig editor to start and then place some buttons in there for simple codes that allow for column breaks and so forth. But the part that I think will be great is that we wan to allow contributors to create modules for that can be dragged and dropped in to the page. This way you can build each page with dynamic components like blogs, forums, picture galleries, forms and other tools.

We are also inteding to create a menu manager that will add a content page drop down menu on the left top column of he magento pages.

I’d like some feedback on anybody who is interested in the idea. This will let us Magento guys continue to add components to Magento CMS wihtout effected the current codebase.

 
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iblastoff
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Ross - 12 September 2007 12:39 AM

If you think about it, Magento is in some sense a CMS already.  Although as e-commerce software, its focus is on managing ‘product’ content.

While, for example, I can think of a lot of features that Drupal has that Magento doesn’t, a lot of the groundwork has already been laid.  Trying to integrate 2 complex systems (such as Magento and Typo3 or Drupal) is a very difficult thing, that to my mind is a waste of time that will most likely have sub-standard results.

What CMS features are people looking for that Magento doesn’t have?  Maybe it would be worth developing these features specifically for Magento.

- discussion forum
- blog
- photo gallery
- ...?

none of the above. magento (imho) is already trying to do way too much (hopefully succeed?). adding superfluous ‘features’ that really have nothing to do with e-commerce would just stretch it way too far.

 
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Steve McQueen
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iblastoff - 12 September 2007 11:37 AM

Ross - 12 September 2007 12:39 AM
If you think about it, Magento is in some sense a CMS already.  Although as e-commerce software, its focus is on managing ‘product’ content.

While, for example, I can think of a lot of features that Drupal has that Magento doesn’t, a lot of the groundwork has already been laid.  Trying to integrate 2 complex systems (such as Magento and Typo3 or Drupal) is a very difficult thing, that to my mind is a waste of time that will most likely have sub-standard results.

What CMS features are people looking for that Magento doesn’t have?  Maybe it would be worth developing these features specifically for Magento.

- discussion forum
- blog
- photo gallery
- ...?

none of the above. magento (imho) is already trying to do way too much (hopefully succeed?). adding superfluous ‘features’ that really have nothing to do with e-commerce would just stretch it way too far.

I think that adding more CMS-features to Magento could prove to be a very good thing. Not all webshops are “classic” webshops. Our company is currently investigating if Magento could be suited for a website that has focus on the products, but with articles and pages on top of it, like a classic CMS. I very much doubt that we are alone in this.

In short: Magento promises a lot in terms of being a webshop. If it could also be a basic CMS, a big black hole between shopping sites and content sites would be filled.

 
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lopsta.com
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wordpress bridge would be a good add on

 
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