Archive for the e-Commerce Blog Category

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

Meta Descriptions and Keywords for SEO

OXID is an e-Commerce system that has been built with plenty of search-engine-friendly features in mind.  Meta-tag descriptions are a common method to influence the way search-engines catalog individual pages in web-sites.  There are 3 ways a shop-owner/admin can influence meta-tags of their product pages.

Meta-tags for Category Pages

It is possible to specify meta-tags to category-listing pages under the SEO tab of individual category-editing pages.

Meta-tags for Category Pages in OXID

Meta-tags for Article Descriptions

Each article can individually be supplied with meta-tags.

Meta-tags for Product Pages in OXID

Meta-tags for CMS Pages

CMS pages can be supplied with meta-tags as seen below:

Meta-tags for CMS Pages in OXID

Site-wide Meta-tags

For enabling site-wide Meta-tags, please see Changing Default Meta-Keywords and Meta-Descriptions.

Deactivate the Number of Products in Category Menus

By default, the number of products included within a particular product category are shown in category-menus.  This can be deactivated from /admin/.  Follow:

Master Settings > Core Settings > Perform. > Enchanced Performance Settings > Display Number of contained Products behind Category Names

Activate/Deactivate product counts behind categories in OXID e-Sales

Deaktivierung der Produktzahl in Kategorie-Menüs

Standardmäßig wird die in den einzelnen Produktkategorien dargestellte Produktzahl auch in den Kategorie-Menüs angezeigt. Diesen Effekt können Sie unter /admin/ folgendermaßen deaktivieren:

Master Settings > Core Settings > Perform. > Enchanced Performance Settings > Display Number of contained Products behind Category Names

Activate/Deactivate product counts behind categories in OXID  e-Sales

Sorting Products in OXID Admin

The Easy Way for Ascending and Descending Sort

Under Categories, you will find a section which allows to select a specific column from OXARTICLES table to sort ascending or descending.  This can be found underAdminister Products > Categories > Main > Fast Sorting.

Sorting Products in Ascending and Descending Order

Customized Sorting

All too often it is necessary to assign a sorting index to products within categories, so that they appear in a specific order in category listings (list.tpl).  OXID does provide a facility for this, though not a very friendly one!

In order to start finding your way to product-sorting in any particular category, select the category and then the Sorting tab as shown in this screen-shot (follow the numbers serially).

Sorting products under categories in OXID e-Sales e-Commerce Software
Notice first that at 4 it says Sort Categories, which infact should be called Sort Products.  Click that button, in order to open a classical OXID AJAX drag-and-drop popup-slider as seen below.

Sorting products under categories in OXID 4.2 CE

Once you are done sorting all products from the left to right panes, save the new sort-order.  The sorting-order on the right is hereafter reflected on the shop front-end.

User Unfriendly

Why is this user-unfriendly?  Notice that if you wish to change the sorting order of individual products, you will have to Delete Sorting, and completely start over again!

Using ERP Systems to Populate the Sorting-Index

If you are using ERP back-ends to populate (which is usually the case for shops with large number of products) the OXID product-catalog, you may update the database table oxarticles, column OXSORT in order to influence the sorting order of products in specific categories.

Deactivating OpenID (starting OXID CE 4.3.1)

Starting OXID 4.3.1, it is possible to deactivate OpenID as an authentication mechanism.  In order to do this, go to Master Settings > Core Settings > Settings > Shop Front-end.

Notice also the other options that can be convieniently deactivated.

  • Activate/Deactivate Gift Vouchers
  • Activate/Deactivate Gift Wrapping
  • Activate/Deactivate Listmania
  • Activate/Deactivate Gift-Registry
  • Activate/Deactivate Comparision Lists

OXID e-Sales Ausgangsprodukt-Verfügbarkeit von Varianten

Die OXID e-Sales Software bietet mit dem Varianten-Konzept einen hochentwickelten Mechanismus zur Äderung von Kernprodukten. Während das Thema “Varianten in OXID” ganze Kapitel füllen könnte, soll in diesem Blog-Post lediglich erläutert werden, wie Ausgangsartikel als verfügbar / nicht-verfügbar gekennzeichnet werden.

Um ein Ausgangsprodukt (Varianten enthalten) als verfügbar / nicht-verfügbar zu kennzeichnen, folgen Sie dieser Anleitung:

Master Settings > Core Settings > System > Variants > "Parent" Products can be purchased

on/off.

OXID e-Sales Parent Products of Variants Purchasable

OXID e-Sales software provides an extremely advanced mechanism to enchange core products using the concept of Variants.  While a whole chapter can be written about use of Variants in OXID and their general implication on shop-owner’s bottom-line, this blog-post simply shows how to make a “Parent” article purchasable/non-purchasable.

In order to set the Purchasable/non-Purchasable status of Parent Products (with Variants contained within them), set:
Master Settings > Core Settings > System > Variants > “Parent” Products can be purchased on/off.

OXID e-Fire Paypal API Daten

The following instructions can be followed to obtain an API key from your Paypal-Account.  This data is necessary for integration of the OXID e-Fire Portlet for Paypal.

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To obtain professional OXID e-Fire Integration services, please contact us at oxid@euroblaze.de or visit euroblaze.de/oxid.
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Paypal API keys can be obtained from your Merchant account from the following location.
Merchant Paypal API Data for OXID Module

Merchant Paypal API Data for OXID Module

Productive Mode for OXID Shop

Fresh adopters of the OXID e-Commerce software will notice that the system is set to Productive Mode checked off.  Many wonder what this setting actually does.

This setting deletes some of the temporary cache files used by the SMARTY template system stored in the /tmp/ folder on a regular basiss.  It makes sense to keep this setting unchecked during development stages of the shop.  If Productive Mode is checked on, the temporary files are preserved, which increases shop performance/speed.
Note that I’ve said only some of the temporary cache files are emptied if this setting is off.  Indeed many of the tmp files are preserved, which cause unexpected behaviour during the development stages and cause panic to developers sometimes.  If you are an active developer, use this module from Musterdenker for emptying all cache files from /tmp during the whole development phase.