Review of Magento 2 Development Cookbook

Category: Reviews
Review of Magento 2 Development Cookbook

Magento is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms on the market. In my opinion it’s the best platform for building e-commerce websites as it contains a lot of e-commerce functionality, it is stable, and it is free.

Yes it’s huge! And yes it is resource hungry but with the correct Apache and MySQL configuration and caching Magento is the best.

And yes its learning curve is steep, that’s why you need good resources to get you started. Magento has been very well documented, and Magento 2 documentation is even better. Community is large. You can find lots of online content dedicated to Magento. But when you get to learning, in my humble opinion, it’s essential to put everything together in a book so you follow along, cover the basics and have examples of code that work.

Some stats here by Google Trends:

If you would like to dig more into statistics on Magento and other e-commerce platforms visit Creative Minds and E-commerce Platforms.

With the release of Magento 2 developer beta I started to learn more about it. Lots of things have been changed and rewritten. It has become more modern and even more flexible. As already mentioned when you start with Magento you need a good handout, all-in-one resource that gets you started. So I decided to take a look at Magento 2 Development Cookbook.

I have already worked with Magento, have built custom themes and developed shipping and payment modules for it. I’m aware of how Magento works. I got familiar with Magento’s XML based configurations. All I needed for Magento 2 was how to accomplish specific tasks and have code examples. That’s why I chose Magento 2 Development Cookbook.

After reading Magento 2 Development Cookbook, checking how the example code works I would like to share my thoughts and opinion with you. Before starting I have to mention that the author has done quite a good job. At the time of writing this article I can assure you that it will be very hard to find this much examples and recipes on all Magento resources altogether.

When starting with Magento 2 – yes, you need to install it first. What if you have a store that is running on Magento 1 and you want to upgrade it to Magento 2? The first chapter of this book has got you covered. As a developer I would like to offer my clients an upgrade to the latest version of the system and I think this one is a crucial part of a good book. It’s hard to find good resources on the web on how you do clean upgrade and not to mess things up.

When you are new to the system, before you dive into code and development you need to take a look around the back-end, check out the features, and perform some essential setup. And again Mr. Delvaux has considered this and dedicated one chapter to setting up products, highlighting some new features in the catalog and system configurations.

Couldn’t you do it yourself? Yes, you could do it yourself, play around for hours, and probably many hours. But the author has done it already for you and all you have to do is read it and test it. After reading this chapter I felt more familiar and more comfortable with the back-end.

Probably another very important part is the front-end development of Magento 2. Working with Magento theme development has always been a bit overwhelming. Well this is Magento, with its XML files. So by reading the third chapter of this cookbook I was looking for the code samples, XML configurations that would make my life easier when I start building new custom themes for Magento 2. The author has covered many essential parts of Magento 2 theme development such as theme inheritance, widgets, customizing html, extending default theme with custom CSS and using LESS and managing translations. This chapter has been another exciting part in this book.

Up next, the book dives into even more deep into Magento 2 development – modules. Couple of chapters will give you a very good start in extensions development for Magento. It will get you started with Magento’s MVC pattern, working with database.

As you might know or will probably find out when you start dealing will Magento is its database. It’s really complex. When you want to grab an entity you probably expect to have it stored in one or two tables. But in case of Magento, for example catalogue and products you will deal with massive number of tables. That means that a very complex query is required to get the data. Magento has created a system called collections. A collection is a set of entities of the same type where you can add filters to it to customize your result. Collections are made to make working with tables simpler and easier. You’ll be glad to find “How to Do” example in this amazing book.

You can always think of more and wish for more content in one book. But as far as Magento is huge no one can fit all recipes into one book. Topics covered in Magento 2 Development Cookbook will take you to a level where you start understanding how Magento 2 works so you can experiment yourself, as it was the case with collections.

Magento 2 Development Cookbook includes other great recipes. It was very important to take a look on how to build a shipping module for Magento 2. Most of my clients use Georgian Post as their primary shipping method, hence I need a custom shipping module. And once again I would like to thank the author. None of the articles I have read have bothered to explain as much as this cookbook does. And the part I loved most was having ability to add Tracking Number. Actually it’s all you need with the shipping module.

When developing for Magento, you need to perform at least some optimization. It’s a huge topic in the Magento world. It is so huge that separate books have been written on Magento 1 optimization. And this book has got your back on this one too.

In my perception a great book is the one that covers all the basics, gives you good solid ground and code that will help you get started.

This book gives you all of the ammunition that is required. Then it’s all up to you. You are ready to go out into the Magento battlefield and earn your medals. Yeah, I’ve been playing Battlefield a lot, lately.

I also believe that this is a kind of book that has to always stay on your desk or desktop, depending on whether it’s a hard copy or PDF. I’ll be using this as a handout which I’ll refer to in every single project, every time I’ll be building a theme or a module from ground up. I think that this one will be a good investment for anyone who wants to get started with Magento 2. It will help you right away, and will be helpful each time you are cooking for Magento 2.

And last but not least, I have to mention - “who is this book for”? Well, I previously I wrote that I have worked with Magento and all I wanted for Magento 2 was “how to do” certain stuff to get me started. I believe this book is for anyone, for beginners and experienced developers. This book concentrates on code and specific examples. For me, as a developer it’s always more efficient to take a look at the code and read it. Eventually this book will save you time, a lot!

Happy Magento 2 development!