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Magento Online Store Integrations

Custom Magento Development

Over the past few years Syncrony Digital has performed a number of custom integrations into Magento 1 and 2.

Our philosophy is to always try to leverage existing extensions for any system integration, if at all possible. This is because in the world of software it is always better to use proven, working code instead of building new, with all the inherent pitfalls of untested logic.

Some of the areas that we have done work in, are listed below.

Order Shipping Integrations

There are many touch-points where courier integration can smooth the checkout process. These include:

  • Pricing – working out a exact quote for shipping the items in a shopping cart to the address (or postal code) provided by the customer. This cost calculation can be complex and may need to take into account volumetric and weight factors of the items to be shipped
  • Waybill generation – where a parcel of items is entered into the shippers systems and given a unique code from that system
  • Parcel tracking – usually driven from events triggered into the couriers system (like parcel collected, parcel en route etc.) and bubbled up into email or other communications method used by the customer.

We have created custom integrations into a number of courier systems, usually by developing a Magneto 2 extension, with observers that watch for specific Magento events. When an event occurs the observer will connect to the courier’s API and perform the appropriate actions.

ERP and Accounting System Integrations

The world is awash with ERP and accounting systems that need to communicate with online sales platforms like Magento. We have connected many different erp systems to Magento, in many different ways.

In general ERP integrations can be driven from either side of the process. From changes inside the ERP systems such as product changes and from Magento, usually as a result of product movements.

Integration points include:

From ERP:

  • Price changes
  • Stock level movements
  • New products
  • Discontinued or superseded products

From Magento:

  • Sales
  • Orders – processed or cancelled
  • Returns and RMA’s

E-Book and DRM Systems

We have worked with a few e-book digital rights management systems. In principle, they all work in a similar way. Once a title has been selected, added to a shopping cart and paid for, a mechanism needs to be in place to create the customer a link to a licensed version of the work. And like everything in ecommerce, it sounds easy but is decidedly not.

For example consider an online book store, where a customer has a physical book and an electronic book in her cart. The checkout process needs to:

  • Ship the physical book, taking dimensions and weight into account
  • Add pricing for the delivery of the physical book to the checkout price
  • Understand that the e-book needs to be provisioned via a DRM system
  • Split the final checkout process to fulfil both types of the product in the cart

This is a basic workflow for a title purchased under DRM:

  • Take payment
  • Contact DRM system (via API)
  • Send book title details
  • Receive a token or some form of acknowledgement back from the DRM system
  • Notify the purchaser via email link or bubble popup in e-book reader app
  • Add the purchased title to the purchasers Magento profile (so that it can be available later if necessary)

This kind of e-pub rights management fulfillment is in use for this customer (which is part of Penguin books).

Membership Systems

Sometimes it become necessary for a Magento store to connect to another application or system in order to verify details of a shop user for one reason or another. Some reasons for user verification include:

  • Is shop user a valid member of a group or a role
  • Discount level of the user (which is maintained in another system)

We have done a number of these kinds of custom membership integrations. You can read more about one of these here.

 

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