MageBridge and Magento CE 1.7
Magento CE 188.8.131.52 is around the corner and we finished off testing it with MageBridge. It simply works, but Magento 1.7 also brings new features - so another question is: How to integrate those features into MageBridge as well?
Some new features of Magento 1.7
Magento 1.7 ships with a bunch of new features, but actually those features can easily be used together with MageBridge. For instance, VAT validation is added, but as this is integrated smoothly into the Magento frontend, it will also work under the Joomla! frontend of MageBridge. (The same applies to the DOA functionality added to 1.6.)
Magento also adds a CAPTCHA-ability to the frontend. This also works fine in MageBridge. (Alternatively, we also have a reCAPTCHA implementation available for you.) Within the Magento configuration, there is an option of Cookie Restriction Mode, meaning that Magento can be instructed to not set cookies in browsers when instructed. This will definitely not work in MageBridge - MageBridge needs to sync Joomla! procedures with Magento procedures, and keeping track of the sesisons is vital for this. We will certainly work on making the no-cookie situation work - assuming that the Joomla! core will offer a solution for this one day - but till then, the Magento restriction-mode is pointless for MageBridge.
Within the Magento backend, the menu-options under Webservices has changed. Instead of having just one type of API-role and API-user, there are no two: One original API-method (SOAP and XML-RPC) and a new API-method (REST). For MageBridge, the original one should be picked.
The REST API itself is certainly something we will focus on. But as for now, it probably has less use for MageBridge. One of the main benefits of the current MageBridge API (based on JSON-RPC) is that it bundles numerous API-requests into 1 single HTTP-request - this makes sure that Magento is only started once, so that performance is optimal. The REST API however would suggest numerous Magento startups, which is not an option for MageBridge.
Persist shopping cart
Another cool feature (actually added already in Magento 1.6) is the feature of persistent shopping carts. Just like the Cookie Restriction Mode it deals with sessions - but in this case, a seperate cookie is used to track a session that is maintained across different browsers (on different devices in different places). We have actually just allowed that specific cookie to be set, and while we have not thoroughly tested this yet, it should just work.
Some more bits
Within the customer-options of the Magento configuration, there is a setting Generate Human-Friendly Customer ID - this will just work with MageBridge without problems. Magento 1.7 also adds a new HTML5 template for mobile use - we are still evaluating whether mobile is something we - as MageBridge developers - should focus on, but the template is for sure something we will be testing out.