CMS Integration – KonaKart Tiles

There are many live examples of KonaKart integrated with various content management systems including Adobe CQ5, dotCMS, Hippo CMS, Magnolia CMS and Open CMS. Links to some of these web sites including Liferay integrations can be found on the Customers page.

Since its conception, all KonaKart functionality has been available through APIs in order to facilitate integration with front and back end systems. However, the work involved in integrating a full featured eCommerce application through the APIs into a CMS is not to be underestimated. In version 7.4.0.0 of KonaKart we introduced KonaKart tiles in order to greatly facilitate the integration process. In version 8.0.0.0, Admin tiles were introduced to allow you to also administer KonaKart functionality (e.g. product maintenance) using tiles.

What are tiles?

KonaKart tiles can be regarded as building blocks for creating an eCommerce application which can be easily integrated into a front end system such as a CMS (Content Management System) or portal. Each tile (or aggregation of similar tiles) has a template, a style sheet and a JavaScript file which control the look and feel as well as the functionality. The tiles communicate with a KonaKart server using the KonaKart JSON APIs called asynchronously from the JavaScript using AJAX.

What’s the purpose of tiles?

KonaKart has been designed to provide loose coupling between the storefront application and the eCommerce server. The eCommerce server is a service (which may also be cloud based) that provides all eCommerce functionality through JSON APIs. This architecture lends itself well for the integration of the functionality into existing front end systems. A typical approach for displaying products and adding a shopping cart into a CMS is to call the KonaKart APIs from the CMS and to manually integrate the data received from KonaKart. KonaKart tiles greatly simplify this process because they provide an integration point at a higher level than the pure APIs. They provide functional widgets that already have a template based UI design and that autonomously capture events and communicate with the KonaKart server.

How can tiles be used?

In the case of a CMS, the tiles may be placed anywhere on a page in order to provide seamless integration with the other content on the page. For example, in one page you may wish to provide a carousel of scrollable products that match the content described on the page. The first CMS specific integration module developed using tiles is for Magnolia CMS.

Documentation

Full documentation for KonaKart Tiles guide may be downloaded from the Documentation page.