With OXID2CON Portal any content of the Open Source Content Management System CONTENIDO can be displayed in the OXID eShop.
The free module can be downloaded via the marketplace OXID eXchange. The current development of the module supports the OXID eShop in versions 4.5 (OXID2CON Portal 1.5.1) and 4.6 (OXID2CON Portal 1.6.1) in all editions CONTENIDO 4.8 and since version 4.7 and 5.0 respectively of OXID also the new CONTENIDO version 4.9 (each OXID2CON Portal 1.7.1).
OXID2CON Portal offers the integration of content in the shop area. So you can extend your shop with additional information for example, support information, news about your company and your products, exclusive information for your customers, FAQs, glossaries and user reports. Content which is not managed in a shop per default.
CONTENIDO is one of the leading Open Source Content Management Systems in the german speaking area and is developed by the four for business AG in Offenbach. To use the system correctly, besides a PHP installation with at least Version 5.2.3 (PHP 5.4 recommended) also a MySQL database is required. These requirements are the same which are valid for the installation of OXID eShop – therefore the CMS can be installed on every server, where OXID eShop can also be installed on.The CMS is easily managed via the browser and is extendable with programming standards like PHP, HTML and CSS in a modular structure. In summary it can be said, that whoever can develop a OXID extension is able to write modules for CONTENIDO.
About four for business AG
The four for business AG in Offenbach am Main is an E-Business service provider and devellops since 1998 web based solutions – including webshop with OXID eShop. Since 2007 “4fb” is a certified Business Solution Partner of OXID eSales and has launched and realized many online shops successfully. Besides the interface between OXID and CONTENIDO the company has developed further solutions for data exchange between OXID and the ERP system Bäurer Trade and PointerBasic.
Beyond that, 4fb provides the modules “Bestellhistorie Plus”, “Adress-Verwaltung Plus” and the anti-warning plugin of the AGB Hosting services Janolaw. By request, 4fb also develops individual modules or extensions, which are specially designed to the customers needs.
Why CONTENIDO instead of the CMS pages of OXID?
Beyond that there are no other, deeper functions in the CMS system of OXID, which a classic CMS provides. To these belong, the strctured filling of content in categories, upload managements, individual teaser or other article and data lists or management of user and its privileges, that can be regulated für each user individually and for certain actions.
With certain plugins CONTENIDO can be extended with extra functions like checking outgoing links in your content. It is also possible to implement a workflow for the publishing process, that means before publishing one or several instances review the content.
Architecture of the interface
The module is based on a SOAP webservice, which retrieves the data from CONTENIDO and delivers it to the shop. Therefore the backend – the editorial system – can be installed on a separate server. As long the shop server can access the webservice of the CONTENIDO server, which is provided with the OXID module, the proper operation is guaranteed.
A SOAP client, which is integrated in OXID2CON Portal, controls all requests to the SOAP server of CONTENIDO, which processes the request and sends it back in XML structure to the client. The integrated caching feature is able to reduce performance intensive request like requesting the navigation hierarchy and stores the results on OXID side, so there is no need to call the webservice and request the data each time a user visits the page.
Options for use
The classic way of use is the integration of article content with a second navigation box, through which a whole category structure of CONTENIDO can be displayed and navigated. A category tree is a category which contains sub categories with content to display. In addition to this method categories also can be manually fetched by the shop component which is integrated in the OXID module. So you can display only chosen or explicitly requested categories. A CONTENIDO article with its content is displayed completely in the current shop theme.
With the „Directload“ called method it is possible to retrieve the complete source code of a CONTENIDO article instead of returning its single content entries. This entries also can be fetched with a special Smarty plugin and every desired content can be integrated at any position of your choice, like basket or the account area.
With the frontend users in CONTENIDO it is furthermore possible, to grant a group of users access to certain categories of your page. OXID2CON Portal can register every shop customer as a frontend user and therefore offers the possibility to restrict the access of certain areas of your page to special customer groups. Every time a customer is logged in the shop, he gets logged through the interface in as frontend user in CONTENIDO, too.
OXID2CON Portal needs an already installed system of OXID eShop and CONTENIDO. The download package contains all files needed, to activate the module in the shop. We recommend the installation on a local development system.
After copying the new files for both systems, the SOAP server must be configured in CONTENIDO. Also the new frontend user group has to be created, in which afterwards all shop customers are assigned to later on. For the “directload” it is also required to mark the page layout with HTML comments. OXID2CON Portal then later will return and display (if wanted) the whole HTML code of the page between the HTML comments <!– BEGIN:CONTENT –> and <!– END:CONTENT –> via the interface.
The OXID eShop is extended by an installer script with additional database tables and columns. In addition the admin area is slightly changed. After the activation of the module it must be configured accordingly. In the OXID backend the user credentials for the interface user must be entered. After the configuration each shop can be assigned to a CONTENIDO client and each language is mapped with a language of that specific client in the OXID backend.
There is a detailed installation guide included in the download package of the OXID module.
Backend configuration options
OXID2CON Portal offers a variety of configuration options. To configure the interface a backend login is required. In the left eShop admin menu there is a new menu item called “OXID2CON”. This menu item contains different configuration levels of the interface.
On this page all important configurations concerning the functionality of OXID2CON Portal are done. First of all, the SOAP user credentials for the CONTENIDO user are added. Then the general settings follow like the start category of the menu, the level depth of the navigation, a switch for activating the automatic registration of frontend users, the group for the frontend users, the session timeout and the switch for the debug mode. Further explanation of these settings are available in the installation guide of OXID2CON Portal.
The configuration of the WSDL webservice is an essential part of the module configuration. Only with a correct entered address to the SOAP server the communication between OXID eShop and CONTENIDO will work. The SOAP server is located – depending on the CONTENIDO version used – at different places. In addition, the logging of SOAP request can be activated.
OXID2CON Portal provides a cache for data intensive requests. It can be activated or deactivated and a general cache lifetime can be configured. All existing caches can be invalidated ahead of time on this page, so that the content is requested the next time and filled into the cache again.
OXID2CON Portal provides different logs. The log files are very important during troubleshooting or monitoring. The backend view shows all log-files which are placed in the folder ‘log’ and have prefix ‘o2c’. The file ‘o2c_soap_calls.log’ contains all SOAP call logs. The file ‘o2c_soap_exception.log’ contains all exceptions related to the web service.
Frequently asked questions
Can I install the CMS on a different server than the one from the shops?
Yes, with the SOAP webservice it is possible to install the CMS on a different server. It is important, that both servers cann call each other and are not blocked by access controls or password requests.
Can I display exclusive content for certain shop users?
Yes, with the so called frontend users CONTENIDO provides an easy way, to display protected categories only for a certain group of customers. OXID2CON Portal can register all shop customers automatically as frontend users, who later can be assigned to a group with special rights to view a category.
How is the content displayed in my shop style?
For each template it can be individually configured in CONTENIDO, which content is integrated as a title or as content on the page. Per default HTML templates are delivered for the Azure Layout from OXID, which are seamlessly integrated in the shop layout and use the same CSS properties like other content boxes. Optionally there is the possibility to mark certain areas of the website with the so-called “Directload”-method in CONTENIDO in order to transfer a complete HTML markup to the shop. In this way the markup for the shop can be built together within CONTENIDO, which is then displayed in the shop.
The provided standard-data for the Azure theme require the template-blocks, but can also be integrated in the own theme by the developer. The provided data only provide a sample integration in the standard Azure theme.
There is the possibility to add own navigation trees e.g. as service navigation at the footer besides the main navigation tree. Furthermore there is the option to show through a Smarty Plugin any content from CONTENIDO on all parts in the OXID templates. Usage of the function is described in the installation guide.
Can shop product information be accessed in the CMS?
Not with OXID2CON portal, but with the full package OXIDCMS basing on the OXID ERP interface. With this products can be integrated in the continuous text, and also regulate the product presentation next to the content (right/left).
Does the module use a cache?
As a standard feature, all navigation trees and all requested content by the Smarty Inline Plugin are cached in the OXID2CON portal. Complete content pages that can be reached by the navigation structure, are NOT cached, but on the CONTENIDO side are loaded from the available cache (if any) in the version.
OXIDCMS – the powerful total package
four for business offers with OXIDCMS a powerful total package. It contains a set of ready-to-use modules and templates as well as an installation and support service. In addition, products of the OXID eShop can be included directly into CONTENIDO pages with the integration of the OXID ERP interface. The author can also control the display of products besides the content articles. Also, CMS based microsites with product integration can be realized with the CMS.