MageBridge 1.9 is out. It took some time before making this move, but it is finished. The new version brings a migration of the original MageBridge connector-architecture to Joomla! plugins, allowing for more cool features, quicker development and easier installation. Let's see what's new.
Previously relations between Magento products and Joomla! actions could be made using MageBridge Product Connectors, but this is now done through MageBridge Product Plugins. It is actually one of the more exciting features of MageBridge, because it allows to optimize after sales actions in a flexible way.
For every purchase a customer makes (through the bridged Magento checkout), you can automate a post sales action in Joomla!. For instance, you can add a customer to a specific Joomla! usergroup, making specific downloads or documentation accessible. You can also subscribe the customer to a product-specific newsletter, or email a customer more additional product information.
We are close to releasing a new Joomla! extension as well, called EmailScheduler. This extension allows you to schedule an email at a specific time. This is comes in handy when you want to contact an user while you're sleeping, or if you want to get notified when a new user is registering in your shop. A powerful EmailScheduler API will allow for other extension developers to use the EmailScheduler queueing system as well - it's even easier than the default Joomla! API.
MageBridge will integrate this functionality as well, by allowing you to send a customer a product-specific mail after a certain amount of time. For instance, you can send a greeting right after the purchase, but you can also followup on the purchase after weeks. Within Magento, there are already various commercial extensions offering the same functionality, but with the new MageBridge / EmailScheduler combo using those expensive extensions will no longer be needed!
Previously called Store Connectors, the Store Plugins provide the logic to load a specific Magento Store View at a certain Joomla! condition. The base functionality here is that you can integrate Magento multilinguality with Joomla! multilinguality, but there's much more to discover here. For instance, you can load a specific Store View during a specific period, allowing for selling products during a specific period of time. Also, Store Views can be made usergroup-specific, allowing for dealer-pricing or group promotions - it is extremely simple to configure. Note that this functionality is also available in Magento Enterprise (staging, private sales) but with MageBridge, these options are slicker and easier to use - for a much lower price.
With MageBridge 1.9 it also becomes possible to allow multiple Store Plugins in one single condition. For instance, you can configure things to load a specific Magento Store View for all German end-users, but then use another Magento Store View for all German dealers. It is much more flexible than the previous connector-functionality and we're sure much cooler scenarios will become available once more Store Plugins are created.
The core of MageBridge will be released on GitHub in a week time. This allows for even more developers to take advantage of our flexible e-commerce suite. MageBridge is not just a bridge between Joomla! and Magento, allowing Joomla! developers to build Joomla! webshops using the most powerfull e-commerce solution out there (yes, Magento), but it also takes bridging to whole new level by offering powerful marketing tools on top of the bridge. MageBridge offers a new way of building shops.