MageBridge for Joomla! 2.5

Joomla! 2.5 is already out for some time now - hell, 2.5.2 has already been released weeks ago - but we found it still a good time to write about MageBridge and Joomla! 2.5. In short, the two are compatible, but there is also a bit more to tell about it.

Joomla! 2.5 compatibility

When Joomla! 1.6 was in development, we started to work on MageBridge for that new platform. When Joomla! 1.6 Stable was released, we could therefor quickly release MageBridge for Joomla! 1.6. Surely there were some bugs, but because the Joomla! architecture did not change much from 1.6 to 1.7 and from 1.7 to 2.5, we were able to get MageBridge stable under Joomla! 2.5 shortly after it was released. The MageBridge code is now supporting both 1.5 as 2.5, while for each platform separate XML-files are used for the 65 extensions shipped with MageBridge core.

Joomla! 2.5 improves the speed of the core, and MageBridge is also to benefit from this. We recently also released the MageBridge Preloader Plugin, which allows some libraries of MageBridge to be loaded pretty quickly in the Joomla! bootstrap, while some other tricks of the MageBridge System Plugin (content-cleaning, JavaScript filtering, etcetera) can then be applied almost at the end of the bootstrap.

Joomla! 2.5 features

Joomla! 2.5 (and 1.6 and 1.7) brings new functionality like improved ACL-support, extensible user-profiles, multilingual support. The way this is integrated with MageBridge requires explanation: ACLs of Joomla! can not be connected to ACLs of Magento, simply because it makes little sense to do this. However, MageBridge is able to sync a Joomla! usergroup A with a Magento customer-group B. Also, thanks to MageBridge Product Connectors, customers who buy a Magento product C can become automatically part of Joomla! usergroup D.

The Joomla! 2.5 extensible profiles are supported by MageBridge Profile Connectors while Joomla! languages can be bound to a specific Magento store-scope by using MageBridge Store Connectors. In general, we tried to integrate each Joomla! feature as useful as possible with Magento features, and we feel like the job has been well done so far. However, it requires diving into the subject to see its real use. That's why our documentation has becomes so extensive.

Finder plugin (or Smart Search)

Just recently we also completed a Finder-plugin for MageBridge, which allows Smart Search to also index Magento products (and quickly search for them in the frontend). With this Finder-plugin, we are happy to say we have implemented all 2.5 functionality that we wanted.

Roadmap of MageBridge

The roadmap also shows the next step: Dropping support for Joomla! 1.5 this summer. It will allow us to clean-up the MageBridge code big time, and get ready for the major rewrite of MageBridge 2 - this rewrite of MageBridge allows us to make the bridge leaner and meaner, allow it to be file-level based (because only HTTP-bridging is now supported) and allow MageBridge to be used for Magento 2 as well.

If you need some feature that is not our roadmap, please let us know - we need your feedback!

Written by Jisse Reitsma op 27 March 2012

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