Why Miva Merchant is the Ultimate Ecommerce Platform for Developers and How It Just Got Even Better

Brennan Heyde is the Technical Director of the Professional Services department at Miva Merchant.  The PR8 Update 9 release includes many exciting and powerful new features for web developers and store owners alike.  Here, Brennan reviews the new features and explains how developers can use the new update to optimize the Miva Merchant platform..

Miva Merchant is absolutely the best eCommerce platform for developers. Give it a try, and you’ll quickly see for yourself.  It gives you the most design flexibility and can be customized to do nearly anything you can think of. However, having worked at Miva Merchant for the past 5 years, I’m a bit biased so let me give you some examples to back up my claim.

I have personally built and worked on hundreds of eCommerce stores. This includes Miva Merchant stores as well as eCommerce stores on other platforms. As a Web Developer, the most important thing to look for in an eCommerce platform is the Toolset available to you to customize and build powerful, robust and secure eCommerce websites.

I want to highlight two new tools Miva Merchant has added recently that put it head and shoulders above other eCommerce platforms.

Robust Template Language

As of the 5.18 Empresa Engine, a new template tag was introduced named <mvt:assign>. This tag now gives you the ability to create variables, perform math functions and opens the door to all the built in functions available in the Miva Engine. This one tag turns the Miva Template Language (SMT) into an incredibly powerful Tool to customize your Miva Merchant store.

The Miva engine has over 180 built in functions you can now leverage using this new template level tag. This allows you to do things like file read/write, encryption/decryption, external file/url retrieval, substring, length, encode, decode, time, and many more powerful functions. (A full list can be found here, under Function Index)

Custom Fields

Custom Fields are arguably the single most powerful tool for any eCommerce developer. The platform you’re developing on, must have the ability to be flexible when it comes to adding new custom fields to store data and perform tasks. With the new version of Miva Merchant (PR8 Update 9), we released a completely updated custom fields module that takes the power of Miva Merchant custom fields and exponentially expands their usefulness, power and flexibility.

This includes a brand new admin interface, as well as 16 new functions to read/write custom fields from any page in Miva Merchant. It also includes the ability to create custom fields that are text areas, radio buttons, drop down lists, checkboxes and file upload dialogs.

We also introduced two new custom fields: Custom Basket Fields and Custom Order Fields.

Custom Basket Fields allow you to track data about individual shoppers. Where they came from, last viewed , questions during checkout, etc. They can be used to store data that would normally be stored in browser cookies.

Custom Order Fields, allow you to save information with each order. This allows you to create custom fields such as order notes to save notes with orders after they have been placed.



Both of these new features are incredibly powerful, and as a Miva Merchant Web Developer, I am very excited to get to use these fun and creative ways to build great functionality for our clients.

More information about PR8 Update 9 can be found here.