In the last weeks several times the question popped up on twitter: What is the best commerce solution for TYPO3? Another reason is that WireCard is a new industry partner and offering a commerce solution for TYPO3. Time to create an overview about the currently available solutions around.
Basically there are three types of commerce extensions available for TYPO3:
- Widget solutions
- Native extensions and
- Integrations of third party software.
Widget solutions include extensions and content elements that rely heavily on thord party services. These run the complete shop and just linked with TYPO3.
Native extensions run the complete shop, odering and user handling within TYPO3 itself. Depending on the architecture other services like payment or delivery can be connected.
The third type of commerce solutions is about integrating third party software, namely Shopware, Magento or Oxid.
Wirecard is the new industry partner of the TYPO3 GmbH and offering a commerce solution. They provide a TYPO3 extension, which makes it easy to place links to the shop, which is run completely on their systems. With basically four steps, it is possible to start a shop:
- register with tem
- add products
- select a design
- install the widget on TYPO3
- add links to your products on supr
If an item is sold, the make the payment processing for you, but all the other stuff like shipping and handling is up to you.
Maintainer TYPO3 GmbH
To be honest, this is no extension or something special about TYPO3. Amazon offers a wide variety of widgets, which kann be integrated in any website, whether to make just some money out of their affiliate program or to promote your own products.
Amazon also offers the FBA program. FBA is the abbreviation for “Fulfilment by Amazon”. With these services Amazon also offers billing, shipping, handling and even the handling of return shipments.
Native TYPO3 extensions
This is the good old dinosaur of TYPO3 shopping extensions. I used it for my first shop with TYPO3 back in 2008. This project had some quite hard challenges, like different VAT depending on the destination and shipping cost regarding region, weight and price. All that was possible to configure, but was a pain. (Don’t know whether this would be easier with any other shop system, though ;-) )
From the architectural point of view, the extension is quite outdated. It still uses marker based templates on the on hand. On the other hand the well known “t3lib_div::” functions still work with TYPO3, thanks to “wrapper” extensions provided for this case.
But the maintainer Franz Holzinger is still very active to keep it up and running. At the time of writing the last commits in the repository are just a few days old and focusing the current requirements regarding the GDPR.
Maintainer Franz Holzinger
The extension “commerce” is a native TYPO3 shop system with also a quite long history. The maintainer Sebastian Fischer is working on two parts currently:
- refactoring / reworking the product tree to a up to date implementation
- moving away from marker based to fluid based templating.
Both goals require much dedication and efforts to complete. Last year Sebastian invested over 100 work days to achieve this. But it is still a long way to go. This cannot be done only with volunteer work. Therefore he set up an “Early Access Program”. This program provides access to the current state of the code and enables him to invest more time on this project. If you use the extension and want to foster the development, don’t hesitate to contact him!
The “cart” extension keeps the focus on smaller installations and product numbers. At the same time it provides a complete shop, with products, billing, payment and shipping integrations. The configuration is (mainly) done in TypoScript and is very flexible. The templating is done via fluid templates, giving you the full power and flexibility coming with TYPO3 itself.
Furthermore it can be extended at nearly any level with own extension providing additional products, payment providers or delivery options. Several example implementations are available on github.com.
EXT:cart is actively maintained by Daniel Lorenz, a very kind and helpful TYPO3 fellow.
Aimeos is a special thing regarding the shop extensions in several ways. It is based on the arcavias core, a project which aimed to deliver a high performance library for shop systems, even in complex environments. The arcavias project got stale in 2013. Aimeos took over the code and developed it since this time.
The second speciality of aimeos is, that it also provides packages for other systems and frameworks like symfony, laravel or flow. All are based on the aimeos-core and add dependencies to make it compatible with each framework.
Regarding TYPO3 this means, that (f.e.) the database naming scheme does not follow TYPO3 standards with “ext_tables.sql” and the “tx_” prefixes. This leads to the dangerous situation, that a database compare recommends to delete all aimeos tables.
The good thing is, that it can handle quite complex product and pricing structures. The mass and variety of attributes are overwhelmingly. A sneak peek is possible at the demo instance on aimeos.org (http://typo3.demo.aimeos.org/).
Shop system integrations
The third type of commerce solutions is to marry two systems, which are not primarily designed to work with each other. The main challenge is to provide a consistent user experience between the two regarding content, navigation and login / sso.
Shopware: px_shopware by Portrino
Axel Böswetter (Portrino GmbH) presented their TYPO3 – Shopware integration at the TYPO3camp in Dresden. TYPO3 acts as the main system providing navigation, content and login. A successful login is handed over to Shopware using the HybridAuth API. There are authentication providers available for both directions.
The principle is to enrich TYPO3 content with links to one or more products or products categories. Editors insert them like any other content element coming from an extension.
A current example is the site https://www.octopus-office.de/ The section “How To Refill” is content coming from TYPO3. The links to the products in the right column are links to the Shopware based shop.
Maintainer Portrino GmbH
Magento: “Mate” by MaxServ
This Magento – TYPO3 integration is quite young. Richard Haeser presented the solution at the last developer days for the first time.
Mate uses Magento as the lead system and fetches content from TYPO3. If TYPO3 can serve the full page of an URL, only TYPO3 content is delivered. If not, the content delivered by Magento and can be enriched by content from the CMS. The slides from T3DD17 provide more technical insight on the architecture.
A nice thing is that they won the “Dutchento Award” for the best Magento in the Netherlands last week. Congratulations.
Magento: “Mage – UniTY” by web_vision
The agency “web-vision.de” developes their Magento – TYPO3 – integration “Mage UniTY” since several years. They are using also Magento as the front system, but whenever data is available on TYPO3 is takes precedence over the settings in Magento. The reason is that the content editing options and flexibility of TYPO3 is much higher than in Magento itself.
Another feature is that it allows seamless hybrid navigation on the website, so that the customer does not know, where the page comes from … Magento oder TYPO3.
Version 2 is the currently available release, but I have heard “from well known sources” (Hi Boris ;-)), that an new major version is on it’s way and just hit the internal feature freeze date. The slides from the talk at the “Meet Magento 16” give an impression what might come with the upcoming version (slide 48ff).
Oxid: “TOXID” by marmalade
TOXID integrates the shop software OXID eShop with TYPO3.. Unfortunately I have not much information available on this integration. The best is probably to get directly in contact with Joscha Krug, the owner and founder of the agency, maintaining the TOXID integrations.
There is a wide variety of commerce solutions for TYPO3. The range is starting with simple and limited widgets, just linking to existing service providers. On the other end of the spectrum are powerful integrations with systems like Shopware or Magento. In between there are some native shop extensions with different audiences and concepts. If you know and used another solution, please do not hesitate to add it to the comments.
I want to thank my supporters, who make this blog post possible. This week there is no new sponsor to mention here, but I want to thank all, who are here from the beginning and supporting me since nearly a complete year.
If you also appreciate my blog and want to support me, you can say “Thank You!”. Find out the possibilities here: