Working with Magento E-commerce Extensions, Page 2
Creating a New Extension for the Magento Admin Interface
Remember that the goal is to revise what the Magento administrator sees when viewing the order review page while not actually touching the default
app/design/adminhtml/default/default/template/sales/order/view/info.phtml file. In order to accomplish this, we need to extend Magento using a custom extension.
In order to prevent namespace collisions, extensions are typically identified by a unique string associated with the developer, in addition to a name which identifies the specific extension. For the purpose of this example I'll use the namespace
Gilmore and the extension name
Gilmore_Backend.xmland placing it within the directory
app/etc/modules/. Add the following contents to the file:
After saving this file, log in to the Magento administration console and navigate to
System > Configuration > Advanced and make sure the extension is enabled (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Ensuring the Gilmore_Backend Extension Is Recognized
Configuring the Magento Extension
Next, you'll need to configure the extension. This is done by creating a--you guessed it -- configuration file. This file should be named
config.xml and placed in a directory
app/code/local/Gilmore/Backend/etc/. Of course, this directory tree doesn't yet exist, so you have to create it. Within
config.xml, place the following contents:
<layout> section is the particularly important part, as it tells Magento that we want to update the Magento administration HTML (known as
adminhtml), and the update instructions are found in a file named
gilmore.xml doesn't exist, you'll need to create it too, placing it in the directory
app/design/adminhtml/default/default/layout/gilmore.xml. Within this file add the following:
This file is where many beginners tend to stumble, precisely because the XML syntax is so confusing. However, when broken down into the various parts it is actually quite easy to understand. The
adminhtml_sales_order_view enclosure refers to the very same enclosure found in
reference element associated with the
order_info attribute tells Magento that we want to update the block identified by
order_info (identified within
sales.xml) with whatever is found within the
reference enclosure. In this particular instance, we are using the
setTemplate method to identify a new template, which is found in
Updating the Sales Order View Template in Magento
The only remaining step is to actually update the page HTML to reflect the new layout. To do so, copy the contents of
app/design/adminhtml/default/default/template/gilmore/backend/info.phtml, change as desired, save the changes, and reload the order review page!
Where To From Here?
Admittedly, the update sequence seems rather lengthy, particularly because we're interested in updating only a small part of a page. However, after working through the process a few times, you'll find that it takes only a few quick moments to configure. Additionally, this is but the most simple of changes; when creating much more complex changes you'll find this approach to be incredibly convenient. And as always, if you have any questions, be sure to get in touch!
About the Author
Jason Gilmore is founder of the publishing, training, and consulting firm WJGilmore.com. He is the author of several popular books, including "Easy PHP Websites with the Zend Framework", "Easy PayPal with PHP", and "Beginning PHP and MySQL, Fourth Edition". He is currently writing a new book titled Easy Magento. Follow him on Twitter at @wjgilmore.
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