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This course teaches web site designers how to take their sites to the next level with a few advanced techniques and the free and open-source Drupal software. Author Tom Geller shows how to configure the most popular add-on modules; use *nix commands and an FTP program to manage a Drupal site on a web server; change its visual appearance using the latest graphical tools; automate and speed through common tasks with Drush; integrate with social media sites; and see how "supermodules" like Panels, Context, Rules, and Features open up new worlds of code-free development.
Drupal 7 Advanced Training was designed as a follow-up to Drupal 7 Essential Training and it also dovetails nicely with our other Drupal courses, such as Drupal 7 Reporting and Visualizing Data and Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce.
One of the most popular distributions in Drupal's history is a shopping cart system called Ubercart, which you can get at ubercart.org. But a series of circumstances caused its original developers to leave that project, and start another shopping cart system from Scratch, rethinking everything that learned from making Ubercart. While the Ubercart is still around, and still quite active, its successor, Drupal Commerce, has become quite a contender. It's the one I personally prefer, but it can be a little tricky to figure out at first. Here are the basics.
The project homepage is at drupalcommerce.org. The way to download it is to click the Download from drupal.org link, and that takes you to the project page. I do want to mention, however, that I almost always use what they call Commerce Kickstart instead. If you click that, it leads you to another project page, where you can download, and then install it. I've already done so on my server; it's installed at commerce.tomgeller.com. I'll quickly run through the installer. It's mostly the same as a standard Drupal installation, except for some small things at the beginning, and at the end.
First of all, as is usual with an installation profile, make sure that you choose the radio button for the profile you want: Commerce Kickstart. As it loads modules, you'll see quite a few that are unfamiliar; for example, that Checkout module, and then you'll see it also includes Rules, and Views, which are essential to Drupal Commerce. Before completing the installation, you're asked if you want to create example content.
I strongly recommend that you do this. By the way, the company that mostly maintains Drupal Commerce, known as Commerce Guys, is very busy remaking Commerce Kickstart, so you might find these options to be quite different when you come to take a look at it. But I'll just say Create and Continue, and there we are. Because we used Commerce Kickstart, we have these three sample products. You will also notice that there's a new menu up here, Store, along with a few extra things here: Add product, Add product display, and so forth.
I will show you what it looks like from a customer's point of view by adding something to the cart, and completing the checkout process. The product that's added shows up in the cart, we can see what's in the cart by clicking View cart, and then Checkout. You've seen the sort of thing online many times, I'm sure. We see the total, and we can enter payment. In this case, it's a test payment system, so whatever we enter here will be accepted, as long as it's not a single character value. And we're done.
Now let's get back to the Store menu up here. The items you see in this gray shortcut bar are actually just taken out of that Store menu; they are the most often used things. You can get to them as well, by simply clicking Store. Now, as I'm making this video, I saw this warning as soon as I went into the administrative interface. This illustrates a point that I made earlier on in the course when I was showing you Acquia Drupal. That is, when it's time to do updates, I recommend that you do the updates for the entire distribution, not just for a single module.
We could go and look at the available updates, and just update the Chaos tool suite. And if your service is live, and you're concerned about that, what I would suggest doing is reading the release notes, and find out if it's a serious security issue. If it is, I would replace the module. If it's not, I would wait for Commerce Guys, or whoever the maintainer is of the distribution, to come out with a new version for the whole thing. Otherwise you might find that new versions break the site. But let's go back. I'm going to just ignore that warning for now, and look through everything else that's in the store.
First of all, we have Customer profiles. In this case, because I made that purchase as the administrator, there is no extra customer profile. However, it does record that I'm now not only a user of the site, but also a customer. And it links the user to the customer. Going on down the Store menu, we can see the orders that have been placed in the store, and we can create Products, and something called Product displays.
The interaction between Products, and Product displays is somewhat complicated. I go into that in a separate course on lynda.com. I'll tell you about it at the end of this video. And finally, you can configure quite a bit inside your store, such as Currency settings, Taxes, and so forth. Now I want to take a look at the Drupal Commerce from a slightly different view. If you go up to the Modules, we'll see how exactly it's built. Of course, we have our Core modules, and Chaos Tool Suite, which is used by views, and Rules, and several other modules.
We have specialized modules for the Commerce itself, and there are quite a few of them, and some other handy things. But the most important parts of Drupal Commerce are the Rules modules, and the Views modules. You might remember, for example, when we took a look at those orders, this is actually created in a view, and you see this little contextual menu up here; we can go up and change the view. That's really handy, because it means we can add some fields, remove some fields, and so forth.
The Rules module comes in, for example, when you do that checkout process. When we were completed with our checkout, it created that customer, and then linked it back to the person who'd created the order in the first place. You can change the rules, as usual, by going to Configuration, and then down to the Rules. If you have any questions about how to work with rules, see that section in this course. For Views, I recommend my course, Drupal 7: Reporting and Visualizing Data. The last thing I want to mention will show up when we take a look in our Terminal program at how this is installed on our site.
I'm already in the directory, and it looks like any other Drupal installation. However, as with Acquia Drupal, a lot of important stuff shows up in this profiles directory, so it's not enough simply to copy over the sites directory as it is for Core Drupal. See? There is the modules that you need. They're not in sites/all/modules. I'm personally a big fan of Drupal Commerce. It's a really deep system, and incredibly flexible.
I won't go any further into the details now, especially since lynda.com has a complete course on it. That course is Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce.
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