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OrderFlow Magento Integration Guide

Realtime Despatch Software Ltd

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OrderFlow Magento Integration Guide



OrderFlow is a Warehouse Management and Order Processing System that specialises in eCommerce fulfilment.

OrderFlow helps retailers and fulfilment specialist performs key 'back office' functions, from managing their warehouses, to handling picking and packing processes,

In order to fulfil these roles OrderFlow needs to integrate with eCommerce systems. Magento is the world's leading Open Source Enterprise eCommerce Platform. This document covers OrderFlow's integration with Magento.

Integration Operations

There are four main operations that are covered in the integration between OrderFlow and Magento.

  • export of products from Magento to OrderFlow. Magento has a rich product model which makes it ideally suited to managing a retailer's product catalog. The product export operation allows products defined in Magento to be exported to OrderFlow.
  • export of orders from Magento to OrderFlow. Magento is a public facing application, the 'shopping cart' software that members of the public use to find and purchase products online. Orders received in this way need to be passed through to OrderFlow for fulfilment.
  • notification of inventory changes from OrderFlow to Magento. As the system responsible for stock management and fulfilment, OrderFlow needs to keep Magento up to date with changees to product inventory levels, to ensure that products are neither oversold nor undersold.
  • notification of shipments despatched from OrderFlow to Magento. When shipments have been despatched, OrderFlow needs to inform Magento to ensure that the appropriate orders are marked as complete, and to assist the retailer's customer services in keeping customers up to date with the delivery of their orders.

These operations are all covered in detail in this document.

OrderFlow Magento Extension

OrderFlow is a web based warehouse management and order processing environment specifically designed to support high volume B2C pack and despatch operations.

Our integration with Magento is a very important part of our strategy to provide the best fulfilment environment for merchants using this eCommerce platform. On the OrderFlow side, we make use of the Magento web services, On the Magento side, RealtimeDespatch provide a free and open source extension which can be installed in the Magento environment.

The OrderFlow Magento extension aims to provide a robust integration between OrderFlow and Magento that addresses known issues with an OrderFlow/Magento integration that relies solely on natively available Magento Web Services.

The extension has been developed by the Magento agency SixBySix, based in Glasgow, and wholly funded by Realtime Despatch. It is hosted on the GitHub realtimedespatch/orderflow-magento-module>` open source project repository.

The extension includes the following features:

  • Event based despatch of configured data from Magento to the OrderFlow API (including products, quantities, prices, shipping values, order id, discount codes etc).
  • Partial stock pushes from OrderFlow to Magento API.
  • Scheduled and on-demand pushes of product definitions from Magento to OrderFlow.
  • Requeue and retry of failed updates, with error notifications visible in the Magento administration console.
  • Context sensitive links in Magento Admin that allow users with the necessary rights to navigate directly to the OrderFlow environment to view the details of shipment or products within the warehouse environment.
  • Configurable schedules for product exports and order export retries in addition to general configuration settings.
  • Extensible, open codebase to allow further customisation for merchant specific requirements.

This document aims to cover everything that merchants and their agencies need to know about installing, using, configuring and receiving support for the OrderFlow Magento extension, both from the OrderFlow and the Magento administrator's perspective.

Licensing and Compatibility

The OrderFlow Magento extension is released under the Open Software Licence v3.0. The Licensor is Realtime Despatch Software Limited.

The module is compatible with the following Magento versions:

  • Magento CE 1.6, 1.6.1, 1.6.2, 1.7, 1.8, 1.8.1, 1.9, 1.9.1
  • Magento EE 1.11, 1.12, 1.13, 1.14

Support Arrangements

The OrderFlow Magento extension is designed to be easy to install and configure.

However, Magento is a complex environment, and each installation typically includes a number of other third party modules that need to work alongside the OrderFlow extension and may interact with it. Merchants manage their Magento installations either through the use of an in house support and development team, or by contracting a Magento Agency.

In these kinds of environments, additional support effort is often required to install and configure the module to work successfully.

This chapter explains the support arrangements available for the OrderFlow Magento module.

Key Parties

For the avoidance of confusion, it is worth pointing out who may be involved, and what their responsibilities are likely to be in the process of installing, configuring and supporting the OrderFlow extension.

The Merchant

The Merchant is the 'owner' of the overall process. Typically, the Merchant is also a Realtime Despatch customer.

Extension Developer

The Extension Developer is SixBySix, also a Magento Developer. They do not have any direct responsiblity for administering the Merchant's environment.

Their efforts may be required to support specific issues relating to the functioning of the module, to develop additional module features, etc.

Any chargeable work incurred by the Extension Developer is covered by Realtime Despatch. In some cases, depending on the issue concerned, the costs incurred are passed on to the Realtime Despatch customer (normally, the Merchant).

If any conflict occurs between the OrderFlow extension and any other third party extension, the Extension Developer may be brought in on a chargeable basis to address this.

Note that if the Extension Developer is required to provide rapid response support for the module to coincide with a new launch, then advance notice will need to be given for this in order to ensure their availability.

The Extension Developer should typically not have direct access to the live Magento server. They will however require direct access to the test Magento server (including SSH access) to perform support tasks.

Primary Magento Agency

The Primary Magento Agency is responsible maintaining the Merchant's Magento environment, administering their live and test servers, etc, and for developing custom Magento features for the Merchant.

The Primary Magento Agency will be responsible for all deployments, including those to both test and live environments.

The Primary Magento Agency will be responsible for maintaining a test environment that closely represents the features present in the live environment. If necessary, the Primary Magento Agency may be asked to replicate the aspects of the live environment in test, in order to reproduce live issues and to allow the Extension Developer to access to a technical environment in which these issues can be debugged.

Support Process

All support for the module is coordinated through the Realtime Despatch ticketing system. For each Realtime Despatch customer, a Magento module-specific project will be set up, to which each of the above-named parties will have access.

Realtime Despatch plays a coordination role in this process, providing the following services:

  • leading the initial induction process to ensure that the module is installed correctly
  • ensuring that the relevant parties have access to the shared Merchant-specific project on the Realtime Despatch support ticketing system
  • ensuring that the necessary system access is available to the relevant parties
  • if an issue has been raised, doing the the initial triage to verify that the issue is valid, and to identify a possible cause
  • if additional chargeable work is likely to be incurred, or if further investigation is required by the Extension Developer, to arrange for this to happen

Realtime Despatch will charge for support work undertaken on the same basis as support work for OrderFlow itself. Typically, this means that work is chargeable unless it is the result of a bug which has not been introduced by a specific change made to the Magento environment by the Merchant or the Primary Magento Agency.

Note that neither Realtime Despatch nor the Extension Developer (SixBySix) will take any responsibility for configuring or maintaining any Magento environment, or for deploying changes to this environment, apart from configuration changes made through the Magento Administration Console.

Required Access

The table below indicates the level of access that will be required to support the Magento module.

|Access Required|Primary Agency|Realtime Despatch|Extension Developer| |Test Admin Panel|Yes|Yes|Yes| |Test SSH|Yes|Yes|Yes |Test Database|Yes|Yes|Yes| |Live Admin Panel|Yes|No|No| |Live SSH|Yes|No|No |Live Database|Yes|No|No|

Note that where access to the live system is required for either Realtime Despatch or the Extension Developer, this will need to take place via a TeamViewer session with the help of the Primary Agency, arranged between the parties concerned.