The Code007 shop has opened

It was a long time ago I have posted my last article, but this doesn’t mean that I’ve been on a long vacation in the meantime. In the last couple of months I was working on some Magento modules, which will be handy for many of you. These are already available in the Magento Marketplace.

Lately the Marketplace team has introduced a couple of quality measurements in the submission procedure of the Magento modules. This is indeed a very good idea, but there is a big drawback: they are testing each module manually. Lets not run that far away, let me write some details about the steps which needs to be passed in order to have a module in the Marketplace.

The first and most important step, to work hard and create your module. This can be achieved in a very short time if your module is simple or it can take much more if you are building a complex solution. The next step is to create a Marketplace account if you don’t have one. It is easy, just a few minutes and you are done with it. Now it is time to start creating your Marketplace product: add a new product… and then you get a simple form to complete your module’s name and a couple of description fields, where you will explain why is unique your module or why would someone buy it. Then your product is in “business review”. If you didn’t provide a long enough description, your product will be rejected and you can start over. But if you are lucky, then you’ll pass the business review in a couple of days and then you will be able to upload your module.

Shortly after you have uploaded your compressed module, an automated technical review will check your source code. A couple of months ago the warnings were also shown in the reports, but lately only the errors are included. These are really useful, because you will know in 5-10 minutes after uploading your module that it is at least syntactically correct, there are no huge mistakes.

In the meantime you can already fill in your product’s information: name, short and long description, upload images, logo, set a price, etc. Your product will pass the technical review even before finishing with these. You’ll see some optional fields as well, which could have been marked even as required. The document upload is marked as optional, but in reality it is a required field. It covers many document types (installation guide, user guide, etc.), all of them are optional, but at least one of them must be uploaded. Otherwise your product won’t pass the next step: the marketing review.

Some important things to keep in mind. Don’t forget to complete your developer profile, upload a profile image or a developer logo, because if your profile is not complete, then your first module will be rejected in the marketing review.

The marketing review is a slower process. I’m not sure how it works in the background, because sometimes it is passed in a couple of hours, other times it takes some days. But what I know is that at least partially the marketing review is done manually, by humans. I had many fights with them about my product logos. They have a basic idea about the ideal product logo, but I’m not sure if all the marketing review employees understand the same thing about it. It happened once that one of my products have passed the marketing review, but I had to upload a new version of the code with some bug-fixes. I didn’t change anything in the text fields or in the product images, so I expected an instant pass in the marketing review. Well, it didn’t pass. They didn’t like the logo, so I had to do some changes again on it. Sadly the feedback email, which you get after a rejection doesn’t always contain enough information about the problem. I’d insert some links which would open the edit product page and highlight somehow the problem, but instead of this, they are just summarizing the problems in a few words.

The time has come to pass the marketing review. You are happy that you have achieved something, you are almost there. Yes! It used to be like that a couple of months ago… And we are at that point where this article begins… One of the last steps is the quality assurance (QA) review. It takes very long. I’m not joking. I’ve uploaded my Shop Manager extension in February 15, and it was already February 18 when it has passed the marketing review. In that day they have started to QA it. In the mail I got the message that “The review process usually takes about 2 days”. Well… after a month and so I decided to ask them what happens. It has turned out that they have changed their terms and conditions from those “2 days” to “up to 90 days”. I remained shocked for a while. On March 27 I got the mail from the QA team that my product did not pass it. OK, it was my mistake that I didn’t test that one thing. I could reproduce the problem locally, created a fix for it and I thought that if my product was already QA reviewed, then it will have a priority. Nope. Now we wait… maybe it will pass or maybe not, but the amount of time you have to wait in the meantime… that is too long. Lets say that you have your module and you want to make it available in the Marketplace. It will take about 3 months or even more if you are not lucky.

Summa summarum, I decided to do an important step: to open my own webshop, to sell my modules for Magento 1 and 2. Most of the information about the modules are the same as in the Marketplace, the only difference is that if an important update will be released, then it will be done instantly and not after a couple of months. This is important from a security perspective. I’ll upload my modules also to Marketplace, just to prove that these are good, quality products.

And last, but not least, a quick summary about the currently available products.

Clear Cache is a handy tool for clearing cache quickly from the back-end. Currently it is available only for Magento 1. I recommend it to back-end developers, because it can clear your cache without navigating away from your current page. It is really useful when you work with AJAX requests.

Attribute Import-Export for Magento 1 and Attribute Import-Export for Magento 2 are modules, which can export and import attributes. Some product attributes can have a couple of hundreds of options, which is really difficult to maintain. In such situations you can export the attributes into a CSV file, then you can modify it and import it back. And if you have decided to take a big step and upgrade your webshop to Magento 2, you can import your attributes into Magento 2 even if the file is exported from your Magento 1 shop.

Shop Manager is my latest module for Magento 2. It is a graphical implementation of the Magento console application. Usually you must have SSH console access to your Magento 2 shop’s hosting machine in order to be able to manage Magento. But what happens if you – as a system administrator – don’t want to give console access to the site owner for different reasons (ex. in a shared hosting)? Then you can use this module and it will just work. Deploy static content, setup upgrade, reindex… piece of cake. Never have done it easier!

Some more toughts before I end this article. Magento Marketplace doesn’t have any kind of discounting system while purchasing modules. Another reason to open my shop. I’m planning to create in the near future bundles and different kind of black friday-like discounts.

That’s all folks!

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