The good people at Packt Publishing have asked me to review their new book ‘Magento 1.3: PHP Developer’s Guide‘. Hopefully this will be the first review of many. I have previously been in contact with Packt Publishing many years ago, Packt is actually a Birmingham based company that has been around since 2004, they focus on promoting open source and have written books on e107, WordPress, Joomla!, jQuery and many more topics.

After a while away from Magento Development it is great to see that the system is increasingly being used by developers for ecommerce websites, as well as seeing the system evolve and improve. I have previously posted a review of Magento itself from a developers point of view, back then Magento was at version 1.0. As of writing this book review Magento is at version 1.4, so the book is 0.1 version release out as of writing.

The book written by Jamie Huskisson and was released in January of this year and covers many useful topics.

The book contains the following chapters…
Chapter 1: Magento: Developer’s Guide
Chapter 2: Installing/Upgrading Magento and Preparing for Development
Chapter 3: Magento’s Architecture
Chapter 4: Building a Shipping Module for Magento
Chapter 5: Building a Payment Method for Magento
Chapter 6: Basic Modules to Extend Magento’s Functionality
Chapter 7: Fully Featured Module with Administration Panel
Chapter 8: Integration of a Third-Party CMS
Chapter 9: Magento’s Core API
Chapter 10: Importing and Exporting Data
Chapter 11: Appendix A – Resources for Further Learning

The book is written for PHP Developers who want to get to grips with the architecture of Magento and want to learn how they can extend the Magento system. The book expects you to be a confident PHP 5 developer and isn’t for people who have no PHP experience. The book covers topics in such a way that you don’t need to have any Magento development experience but have a familiarity with the operation of Magento itself.

The book also includes a chapter about integrating a 3rd party CMS within Magento itself. This focuses mainly on integrating WordPress inside Magento so the store you are developing can contain a blog. It also talks about more advanced features within Magento such as the Core API and Magento’s Import/Export functionality.

The book looks to be fantastic for people who need to get their head around how to code custom Payment/Shipping modules, with basic examples included in the book. As well as a section on Basic and Fully Featured Magento Modules. At 233 pages (excluding the index) it seems to cover alot of ground in what I would call a short amount of pages considering the vast functionality and code base behind Magento.

I’d recommend this book for anyone who is going to be developing sites in Magento, it gives you a great overview of the architecture of Magento and goes through step by step the processes of creating custom modules. I will be using it shortly for exactly that. You can grab your copy in both eBook or Book format here.