DrupalCon Denver: Commerce extravaganza - Part 2 - Commerce Contrib

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 10:14

Continued from part 1.

The second Drupal Commerce session I attended was presented by another member of the Commerce Guys team, Pedro Cambra. Pedro co-maintains several major Commerce contrib modules such as commerce feeds, commerce, Commerce Reorder and Commerce Extra Panes.

Many of these modules, while not technically required for the operation of a online store, make the online experience much better.  For example Commerce Reorder allows users to create a new order using the contents of an existing order. For B2B online commerce, this is a killer feature, since many businesses order the same set of products over and over again. Commerce VBO Views brings Views Bulk Operations into commerce, making mass deletion of products, profiles, and orders possible, this makes unclogging the order queue as easy as cleaning out old nodes from the content section.
 
Importing content from another system is a particularly thorny challenge. Luckily there exists a pair of solutions for this issue. Whether you're a Migrate or a Feeds user, Drupal Commerce has a module that imports data into Commerce automatically. One commerce contrib module that I have a particular fondness for is the Commerce Feeds module. This leverages the feeds module, which takes a feed in an XML, RSS or CSV format and turns the data into products. The feeds are exportable via features and new products can be added automatically as they're created. This obviates the need to manually import products into Drupal Commerce. Commerce Migrate takes a similar approach, but utilizes the Migrate module to create the product entities.
 
Another neat Commerce contrib module is the Commerce Physical module, which utilizes the Physical Fields module to give products physical characteristics such as dimensions and weight. These can be used in shipping calculations to return the exact shipping cost calculated by courier APIs.
 
Payment methods are probably the most important aspect of eCommerce. Drupal Commerce has this particular part in spades. The payment method modules run the gamut from PayPal to Purchase Order, and everything in between.
 
There also exists Commerce Contrib wishlists that adds a 'Add to Wishlist' button to products, coupons that offer discounts, addressbook that simplifies the checkout process, multi-currency support for international commerce, and so much more.
 
The Commerce sessions were just a few of the amazing and wildly varied panoply of concepts, companies and community that is DrupalCon.
 
It was quite the experience, especially with the backdrop of the sunshine and the warm weather. I loved being able to introduce myself to people I've only met in IRC previously, and reconnecting with old Drupal buddies.
As said previously, this was my first DrupalCon and I was very happy to have gone. I now having a greater idea of the depth of the passion and the breadth of the community. It's pretty amazing to pass groups of people between sessions speaking so many languages and yet, they're all talking about the open web, and Drupal's role in that ecosystem. I've always been a big fan of Drupal, but going to DrupalCon has definitely added to that appreciation.

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