Magento: first glance

I'm currently cooperating with a company based near Modena and I recently heard about the use of Magento as the default CMS for their e-commerce projects. To keep me up-to-date, I downloaded Magento, unzipped it and took a look at the main configuration files.

The first impression is good: Magento makes use of PEAR and the Zend Framework for its backend activity, but it doesn't use Smarty as default template engine (Smarty compiles everything, so it may generate a little overloading on the server). So far so good.

The installation file checks first if you're using a recent version of PHP. If not, it returns an error:

if (version_compare(phpversion(), '5.2.0', '<')===true) {
    die('ERROR: Whoops, it looks like you have an invalid PHP version. Magento supports PHP 5.2.0 or newer.');

That's cool, because we make sure that older, buggy versions of PHP are no longer in use. Magento allows you to install the CMS either via command line or through a web interface. Here's how it performs this initial check:

if ($installer->init($app)          // initialize installer
        && $installer->checkConsole()   // check if the script is run in shell, otherwise redirect to web-installer
        && $installer->setArgs()        // set and validate script arguments
        && $installer->install())       // do install
      echo 'SUCCESS: ' . $installer->getEncryptionKey() . "\n";

Actually, the installation options are listed previously within PHP comments:

 * 2. Perform the installation
 *  php -f install.php -- --license_agreement_accepted yes \
 *  --locale en_US --timezone "America/Los_Angeles" --default_currency USD \
 *  --db_host localhost --db_name magento_database --db_user magento_user --db_pass 123123 \
 *  --db_prefix magento_ \
 *  --url "" --use_rewrites yes \
 *  --use_secure yes --secure_base_url "" --use_secure_admin yes \
 *  --admin_lastname Owner --admin_firstname Store --admin_email "" \
 *  --admin_username admin --admin_password 123123 \
 *  --encryption_key "Encryption Key"
 * Possible options are:
 * --license_agreement_accepted // required, it will accept 'yes' value only
 * Locale settings:
 * --locale                     // required, Locale
 * --timezone                   // required, Time Zone
 * --default_currency           // required, Default Currency
 * Database connection options:
 * --db_host                    // required, You can specify server port, ex.: localhost:3307
 *                              // If you are not using default UNIX socket, you can specify it
 *                              // here instead of host, ex.: /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
 * --db_name                    // required, Database Name
 * --db_user                    // required, Database User Name
 * --db_pass                    // required, Database User Password
 * --db_prefix                  // optional, Database Tables Prefix
 *                              // No table prefix will be used if not specified
 * Session options:
 * --session_save <files|db>    // optional, where to store session data - in db or files. files by default
 * Web access options:
 * --admin_frontname <path>     // optional, admin panel path, "admin" by default
 * --url                        // required, URL the store is supposed to be available at
 * --skip_url_validation        // optional, skip validating base url during installation or not. No by default
 * --use_rewrites               // optional, Use Web Server (Apache) Rewrites,
 *                              // You could enable this option to use web server rewrites functionality for improved SEO
 *                              // Please make sure that mod_rewrite is enabled in Apache configuration
 * --use_secure                 // optional, Use Secure URLs (SSL)
 *                              // Enable this option only if you have SSL available.
 * --secure_base_url            // optional, Secure Base URL
 *                              // Provide a complete base URL for SSL connection.
 *                              // For example:
 * --use_secure_admin           // optional, Run admin interface with SSL
 * Admin user personal information:
 * --admin_lastname             // required, admin user last name
 * --admin_firstname            // required, admin user first name
 * --admin_email                // required, admin user email
 * Admin user login information:
 * --admin_username             // required, admin user login
 * --admin_password             // required, admin user password
 * Encryption key:
 * --encryption_key             // optional, will be automatically generated and displayed on success, if not specified

As you can see, if you come from Wordpress or another blogging-related CMS this can be quite shocking. I also noticed that Magento makes a massive use of XML for configuration tasks: that's good, because XML is notoriously easy to edit and modify. Well, next days I'll try to put it up on my local machine and to play a little bit with it. (Yes, I have to understand how to write good XHTML/CSS templates for Magento, but since I'm lazy and disorganized, that could take some time)

2 thoughts on “Magento: first glance”

  1. Thanks for the posts we are the professional web design and development company offering an array of services like template customization,web designing, CMS solutions, eCommerce solutions, Search engine optimization and Internet marketing.

Leave a Reply

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.