Archive for the OXID Entwickler Category

Know your Browser Market Share

If you are constantly bewildered as to which browser your OXID eShop should support, you can use the nifty Statscounter Tool for getting the most current browser-usage statistics.

The below graph shows the splits of major browser-brands (taken for Germany for the months January to November 2011.

Particularly interesting is the falling share of Firefox (52.54% in Nov. 2011) and the rising share of Google Chrome (12.44% in Nov. 2011, up from ~8% at beginning of 2011).

This affirms that OXID Shop programmers factor in the functionality of the shops in at least 3 browsers, with 15% or higher market-share. Often requested by shop-merchants is Safari compatibility, of course both on MAC and Windows.

Very much in trend is also compatibility with the iPAD (Safari) browser, although we have noticed significant deviations of iPAD-Safari from the HTML standards (which keep getting fixed in newer versions of iOS).

If you are a shop-merchant, or shop-programmer, we’d love to hear about your browser-challenges and how you are overcoming them! Please drop us a comment..

Improving Performance of OXID Shops – Part 01

NGINX for OXID ShopsWhen creating B2C e-Commerce Shops, it is important to provide a high performance of online-shops.  For one thing it is important to keep an online-shop fast so that they are able to “quickly take care of business” and hence better the conversion rate.  For the other it is important to plan sufficient capacity so the the number of users/buyers can scale, even so in high-peak seasons.

LAMP/Apache and NGINX for OXID eSales

The classical LAMP installation, though powerful in it’s server-side processing capabilities and features, is usually not the fastest server solution for certain types of data such as static media content such as images and videos.  Due to this OXID shops hosted on LAMP, while relying on Apache2/PHP5 and MySQL’s robust features, can benefit significantly in speed by relying on a high-performance static-content servers, such as NGINX.

There are several server configurations possible:

  1. Apache and NGINX running on the same machine, the former hosting the OXID eSales application and the latter hosting only the related static content.
  2. Apache running on an application server (AS) machine and NGINX serving static content (CS, Content-Server) from a separate machine.
  3. Apache running on an application server, and NGINX service content from a network of content servers – a classical Content Delivery Network (CDN)

This series of articles explains how to setup OXID eSales shops in the 3 above configurations.

Inspiration & Resources

Inspiration for this solution was taken from the following resources:

Optimizing Performance of Zoom-Tools

If you are using special zoom-tools like Magic Zoom, you may have to make modifications to the integration module with OXID, so that the tool uses appropriate high-performance URL for loading media-content.

Date Criteria for Product Listing

OXID allows for 2 criteria for date-calculations upon which product sorting and filtering is based. This is governed by the configuration variable “Calculate newest Products by Date of Creation”, reachable under:

Master > Core-Settings > Settings > Products > “Calculate newest Products by Date of Creation (otherwise by Date of last Change)”.

Schützen Sie den OXID Admin-Bereich mit .htaccess

Auch wenn OXID standardmäßig einen Authentifizierungsmechanismus für den Admin-Bereich verwendet, ist es ratsam zusätzlich .htaccess einzusetzen. Damit werden Hacker (und skrupellose Konkurrenten) von Ihrem OXID Admin-Bereich fern gehalten.

Im Folgenden eine kleine Anleitung zum Einrichten der .htaccess Authentifizierung unter Linux

Es werden 2 Dateien benötigt, um .htaccess in Ihrem Shop zu installieren:

  • Die .htaccess Datei selbst
  • Eine Passwort Text-Datei, die den verschlüsselten Benutzernamen inkl. Passwort enthält

OXID Owner Admin .htpasswd, .htaccess File

OXID Owner Admin .htpasswd, .htaccess File

Schritt 1

Erstellen Sie eine .htaccess Datei mittels touch oder vi und fügen Sie sie in Ihren OXID Admin-Bereich ein. Die Datei sollte die folgende Zeilen enthalten:

AuthName "OXID Admin"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /full/nonweb/directory/.htpasswd
Require valid-user

Schritt 2

Erstellen Sie mit Hilfe des folgenden Befehls an einem beliebigen (nicht auf dem Web-Server befindlichen) Ort die .htpasswd Datei:

myshell: htpasswd /full/nonweb/directory/.htpasswd admin_username

Nach Eingabe werden Sie dazu aufgefordert, ein Passwort einzugeben und anschließend zu verifizieren.

Fertig! Sie Können die Funktion unter http://shopurl.com/admin/ nun ausprobieren.

Protecting OXID Admin Area with .htaccess Password

Although OXID uses a standard authentication mechanism for protecting the /admin area, it is advisable to additionally apply .htaccess protection.  This will keep hackers (and maybe unscruplous competitors) out of your OXID-Admin area.

This quick howto helps you setup .htaccess authentication on Linux environments

2 files are needed for applying .htaccess protection to your shop:

  • The .htaccess file itself
  • A password text file in which the username and encrypted password are stored

OXID Owner Admin .htpasswd, .htaccess File

OXID Owner Admin .htpasswd, .htaccess File

Step 1

Create a .htaccess file in the /admin folder using touch or vi and place it in your OXID-Admin area.  This file should contain following contents.

AuthName "OXID Admin"
AuthType Basic
AuthUserFile /full/nonweb/directory/.htpasswd
Require valid-user

Step 2

At any location which is not exposed on the web-server, create a file called the location /full/nonweb/directory/ create the .htpasswd file, using the command-line htpasswd tool.  The exact command is:

myshell: htpasswd /full/nonweb/directory/.htpasswd admin_username

admin_username can usually be left as admin.

You will be prompted after the above shell command to provide a password, and then verify it.

That’s it!  You may now try this out at http://shopurl.com/admin/

Standard OXID-Seiten für Web-Design Unternehmen

Wenn Sie als Web-Design Unternehmen Vorlagen von Seiten erstellen (im Bitmap/Photoshop/GIMP oder Vector/Illustrator/Inkscape Format), können Sie sich an den folgenden 6 Beispielen orientieren.

Diese 6 Seiten können anschließend von OXID e-Commerce Unternehmen (wie etwa euroblaze) verwendet werden, um funktionsfähige Templates zu erstellen.

Sie können auch alle 6 Screenshots im ZIP-Format herunterladen.

Standard OXID Pages for Web-Design Companies

If you are a web-design company creating templates (in Bitmap/Photoshop/GIMP or Vector/Illustrator/Inkscape formats), the following 6 pages will serve you as guildelines.

These 6 pages can then be used by OXID e-Commerce companies (such as euroblaze) to produce a functional-template.

  1. Start-page
  2. Category-listing
  3. Product Detail-page
  4. Static Content-page
  5. Checkout-steps
  6. User Registration Form

You may also download all these 6 screenshots in ZIP format.

Free OXID e-Commerce Templates

We are happy to be giving away some of our OXID templates (built on CE 4.3).  The download page is currently available only in German.  If you should need assistance in English, please contact me or “Leave a reply” below.

These templates are based on the default OXID templates that shop with the CE distribution.  They have the following improvements.

  • Ad and branding free – all marketing logos are gone
  • Rounded-corners for browsers that support CSS3
  • Standard-font used is Arial 12px
  • Choice of color-themes (6 released today)

As always, we’re happy to get your feedback and suggestions!

Installation Instructions

Installation of these templates is very easy – follow the below 2 steps.

  1. Unpack the ZIP files into the <shop-webroot>/out/ directory (should be where the basic folder is).
  2. Edit the <shop-webroot>/config.inc.php file and set the $this->sCustomTheme variable to point to the new template folder.  ex. $this->sCustomTheme = “basic_nobrand_Amazon”.

Want more Free Templates?

If you are interested in more free OXID e-Commerce templates, please leave a comment below or email us with the branch/sector your shop is going to be in and we’ll try to offer a suitable template.

Coming up in OXVM_440

The OXID Virtual Machine 440 OXVM_440 is due to release by end June 2010 (pending release of OXID 4.4).  This OXVM will contain the following new features:

  • Splash-page with dashboard for launching different versions of OXID CE (currently 4.2.0, 4.3.1 and 4.4.0 are on the VM)
  • SAMBA file-share, so that developers can map /home/oxid/ and /var/www/ folders to the host OS.
  • A script to update the VM with the latest SVN copy (into http://<vm_ip>/oxid/current).  This will use svn update.

Any specific feature requests you should have, please email me at ashant@euroblaze.de.

Download the latest OXID Virtual Machine Appliance from euroblaze.de