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Integration with CMSs and other projects
 
nam37
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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.

As long as new features can be enabled/disabled when desired, and as long as the implementation of new features is well designed, then more features is NEVER a bad thing.

 
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i960
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nam37 - 09 November 2007 09:49 AM

As long as new features can be enabled/disabled when desired, and as long as the implementation of new features is well designed, then more features is NEVER a bad thing.

I agree.  Some people seem to be deathly afraid of more features.  While extra features can contribute to code bloat if poorly implemented, I just don’t see that happening with Magento.  And if each feature can be individually disabled in admin or easily removed from the code, then it’s a non-issue. If anything the extra unused features might take up a little disk space, but disk space is cheap these days.  It’s much easier to remove stuff you don’t need than it is to add stuff you do.

I for one would love to see a blog integrated with Magento, either as a core feature or as a community add-on.  I personally wouldn’t have any use for a message board or photo gallery integrated with Magento, but it would do absolutely no harm to have it there.  The only exception is that if spending the time necessary to add these extra CMS features would take away from time spent working on the e-commerce features.  Priority should always be given to the core product.

That said, I don’t see Varien adding those types of features into the core, especially not in the first stable release.  It’s much more likely that these features will come from the community.  I’d like to see the community put together these types of features in a way that can be integrated with Magento, rather than some sort of bridge between two applications.

 
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AllenAyres
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I think if an API were provided/developed so the other apps could interface with it (users, user groups, styles, etc), then magento wouldn’t need to develop other apps that aren’t central to their main focus - e-commerce. Let the blog/ forum/ gallery developers work on their stuff and varien can concentrate on developing the best e-commerce solution available. Varien would *never* be able to write enough code to satisfy ever little sniveling want from everyone if it started hacking in apps smile

 
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RoyRubin
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@AllenAyres - I fully agree. We are 100% focused on eCommerce.

 
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Danroy
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My 2 cents from a newbie,
In my commercial experience, I have found that in 9 out of 10 cases that an eCommerce focused solution is always going to do a marvelous job at eCommerce and a Content Management System focused solution is always going to do a marvelous job and managing content. (e.g. Subway does an awesome job making healthy bread rolls but how would they do in competing with Dominoes at making Pizza’s - it is just not their business focus or core speciality and would probably fail)

IMHO, I reckon, leave the CMS to the guys that specialize in it (Joomla! I reckon tops the charts for open source CMS)

Concentrate on the product management in magento and don’t get distracted.

BTW, managing content in Joomla! does not require the user or administrator to know any HTML once it is up and running - I see through the demo of Magento CMS that this is necessary.

What would be the best solution is to create a link (or bridge) between a specialized CMS (such as Joomla!) and Magento. This works best of all - particularly if there are no hacks!!! As previously mentioned, unified login/registration functions to syncronize between the 2 systems would be the absolute minimum.

I am going to investigate this early 2008 and see if I might develop this.

Cheers.

FYI, I am currently an osCommerce user and developer (not core) for the last 5 years - but am continually disappointed in their development speed (or lack of it) and I have used Joomla! since it’s inception (Mambo split).

I think Virtuemart is an “OK solution” eCommerce for Joomla! but still not as stable as osCommerce is. I certainly like where Magento is heading with the eCommerce though.

 
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Denyerec
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As I work with Typo3 as a CMS, and appreciate its flexibility in terms of content generation over other platforms, I’d love to see not particularly an integration between Typo3 and Magento, others above have made it clear how hard and fruitless that can be, but an API that allows Magento data to be easily shared between applications.

This would allow, for example, a site manager to drop in a “latest products” widget in Typo3, or generate a product list as part of a content page, or display the shopping cart persistently across the “shop site” and the “CMS site”.

It would be cool to see something similar to Typo3’s templating and content handling system (Flexible content templates within pages) appear in Magento. That system really puts the power in the sitebuilders hands with respect to layout and really is the best part of the Typo3 framework. Some Ecom sites are just pure ecommerce, but more and more these days, driven by whim or concerns about SEO, owners want to be able to integrate their shop with a non-shop looking frontend, a forum, a blog, the kitchen sink… I’m also a sucker for TypoScript and HMENU… :D

There’s nothing out there that can really offer this yet, with most commerce systems offering fairly rudimentary content management features, but trying to excel in both areas is a tough assignment!

 
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sherrie
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Denyerec - 03 July 2008 02:24 AM

As I work with Typo3 as a CMS, and appreciate its flexibility in terms of content generation over other platforms, I’d love to see not particularly an integration between Typo3 and Magento, others above have made it clear how hard and fruitless that can be, but an API that allows Magento data to be easily shared between applications.

This would allow, for example, a site manager to drop in a “latest products” widget in Typo3, or generate a product list as part of a content page, or display the shopping cart persistently across the “shop site” and the “CMS site”.

1.1 (going stable in mid to late July) is supposed to include an API for Magento

 
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Charles
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Denyerec.
My 2 cents
1) You might want to give a look at alfresco.
2) Design is key. And by that I mean not just the looks of the site but actually the way it works. For that to happen, you need a very good understanding of the info/products/clients/… that you offer and/or work with. But then again, it is not about tweaking the products into an ecom package, as nice or as good as it might be but actually the way around. How do I need to modify my ecom package so that it doesn’t compromise my design.

 
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Georg Ringer
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Hi,

I know TYPO3 very well and a friend and me will probably write a Single Sign On for TYPO3 & Magento.

I already wrote a import tool from TYPO3 (tt_products to magento) which I used to import 4000 products into a shop and the customers of tt_products into Magento.

Georg

 
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zmove
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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.

Completely agree, for a concrete example, I need to create a shop that integrate cooking recipes… Integrating a CMS behind magento or magento behind a CMS is a gaz industry for a “little” feature like that. I think it would be a lot better to enlarge the CMS feature of magento.

For example the possibility to create a content type, and associate fields to that content type… Magento already do it with attributes for products, so let’s just apply the concept to non-product content…

I can’t imagine how complex could be an external CMS integration, but, when I talk about it, I mean a good integration. If it’s to manage product in magento and other content in the CMS with just an user database sharing… It’s useless. This integration need to be compatible with store view, magento permission features, etc.... In addition, magento is quite heavy and complex, and adding this kind of integration will, IMHO, bring us in the next step in term of low performance.

I’m pretty new to magento but this is not the first website that bring me the dillema between begining with a CMS and integrate ecommerce feature or begin with an ecommerce application and adding a CMS feature. I think magento have a huge number of potential user to get by filling this gap, a lot more than adding more and more ecommerce stuff that already are awesome.

 
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