Wednesday, July 15, 2015

MAMP - Install MSSQL Extension

Recently in one of my project I was trying to connect to MS SQL server from PHP and it was showing error  "Call to undefined function mssql_connect()". That means you are missing MSSQL extension and you have to install it. In this blog I am going to explain how to do this.

First of all you will need FreeTds. FreeTds is the library for linux and unix to communicate with MS SQL server. You can download latest stable release from this link

After downloading it, extract it and go to that directory in terminal and run following command.

$ sudo ./configure --prefix=/private/etc/freetds --with-tdsver=8.0 --sysconfdir=/private/etc/freetds/conf
$ sudo make
$ sudo make install

This will install FreeTds on your system. Now we have to compile MSSQL extension for your PHP version. For that first check which PHP version are you using in MAMP. That you can check in Server -> PHP tab

Check your version and download source code of that PHP version.

Extract it and go to this directory in terminal.

Now run following commands in terminal

$ ./configure --with-php-config=/usr/bin/php-config
$ make

Now go to MSSQL extension directory in PHP source code.

$ cd ext/mssql/
$ /usr/bin/phpize
$ ./configure --with-php-config=/usr/bin/php-config --with-mssql=/private/etc/freetds
$ make

Above command will generate MSSQL module so now go to module directory.

$ cd modules/

Now we have to copy this generated module to MAMP's current PHP extension directory. For that open the ini file of your PHP version. In my case I was using PHP 5.5.3 so my ini file was located at.


Open this file and search for "extension_dir" and you will find following line.

extension_dir = "/Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php5.5.3/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20121212/"

so this is your extension directory. We have to copy module here. So now go to terminal and run following command.

$ cp /Applications/MAMP/bin/php/php5.5.3/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20121212/

This will copy in your extensions directory. Now we have to add this extension in php.ini file.

Now in php.ini file find for the word "; Extensions" below that there are list of extensions. Add following line to the end of the list.

Save the file. Restart your MAMP and run the phpinfo(). You must see following section there.

But wait it won't be there. That means there is something wrong. After wasting almost an hour I figure out that MAMP is actually using different ini file.  So we have to update that. For that go to 


Right click on your MAMP or MAMP Pro icon (if you are using MAMP Pro) and select "Show Package Contents" Now go to Contents/Resources  and open ini file of your PHP version. Now in that file find for the word "; Extensions" below that there are list of extensions. Add following line to the end of the list.

Save the file. Restart your MAMP and run the phpinfo(). You must see following section there.

That's it and now you can connect to MSSQL server with following code.

$con = mssql_connect('MYSQLSERVER', 'username', 'password')
or die('could not connect to server.");

I hope this helps you and saves your time.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Android ClassNotFound Exception

Today when I was working on my Android project, I ran into strange issue. When I start my app, it crashes with ClassNotFound exception. It was unable to found Main activity class.

I tried so many things like clean - rebuild, removing all the references and add them again, changing target APIs. But it was not working. App never started.

After doing failed attempt for almost half an hour, it came to my attention that src folder in project was a simple folder. There was no package sign on it and when I explore it, all my packages where turned into folders and sub folders and that was the issue. My src folder was not a sources folder and because of that it was unable to found a class.

So to solve this issue.  Right click on src folder Select Java Build Path - > Use as a source folder.

And that's it all the folders and sub folders in the src folder turned into packages and application was working fine. Hope this helps you and save your time.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Magento Get All Products With Special Prices


Recently in one of my projects we were working with Magento APIs. Where we have to fetch a list of all products with special prices to display hot deals on site. There are no APIs for this in Magento so I decided to write custom logic for that.

Here is how you can fetch it.

First get product collections.

$productCollection = Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->getCollection();
 ->addFieldToFilter('visibility', array(

Then apply filter on product collection to get products with only special prices.

$productCollection->addAttributeToFilter('special_from_date', array('date' => true, 'to' => $todayDate))
                        ->addAttributeToFilter('special_to_date', array('or'=> array(
                        0 => array('date' => true, 'from' => $tomorrowDate),
                        1 => array('is' => new Zend_Db_Expr('null')))
                        ), 'left');

That's it and now it will give you collections of only those products for which there is a special price set.

Now just loop through it and add to array.

$hotDeals = array();
foreach ($productCollection as $product){
        $product = Mage::getModel('catalog/product')->load($product->getId());
$name = $product->getName();
$productPrice = number_format($product->getPrice(), 2, '.', ',');
$specialPrice = number_format($product->getSpecialPrice(), 2, '.', ',');

        $hotDeals[] = array(
"product_id" => $product->getId(),
"product_name" => $name,
"product_image" =>  ($product['image'] == 'no_selection') ? $skinUrl.'frontend/default/default/images/catalog/product/placeholder/thumbnail.jpg' : (string)Mage::helper('catalog/image')->init($product, 'image')->resize(60),
"product_price" => $productPrice,
"special_price" => $specialPrice

And return it as JSON array.

$resultArray['success'] = true;
$resultArray['hot_deals'] = $hotDeals;

echo json_encode($resultArray);

Hope this helps you.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Magento Load Quote Generated By API on Frontend


Recently in one of my project we were using magento to implement checkout process for third party website. Basically we were using Magento APIs to create quote. Now for the paypal payment we were redirecting users to magento url and start checkout process by redirecting them to paypal and on successful payment redirect back to magento site, place and order and redirect them back to their site. Now the problem is when we redirect user to magento site to start checkout process there is no customer or checkout session hence checkout can not be started as shopping cart was empty. In this blog I am going to explain how to load quote generated by API on frontend and start checkout process.

First of all let me explain why we have to this changes. Magento has its own session management on front end. It will not load cart of there is no checkout session found on front end. So we have to store everything in frontend session so magento can remember it.

First of all you have to pass three params when user is redirecting to magento site. Following are three params required.


As on front end we have to set specific store and create customer session with customer_id and load shopping cart. I was using following URL for redirection.


As you can see above we are directly starting checkout process and redirecting user to paypal. But before that we have to set store and generate customer session and load quote. So lets go step by step. First of all open following file.


and find following function.

     * Init Front Controller
     * @return Mage_Core_Controller_Varien_Front
    public function init()

This function is called first for any magento URL request. So here are going to do some initialization steps.

First let's set up the store for which quote id was generated. Add following code to start of init function.

$storeId = '';
//////////////////////////////////////Setting up store id///////////////////////////
        $storeId = $_REQUEST['store_id'];

if( Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->getStoreId()){
$storeId = Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->getStoreId();
case "1" : Mage::app()->setCurrentStore('store1');break;
case "2" : Mage::app()->setCurrentStore('store2');break;
default: Mage::app()->setCurrentStore('store1');break;

First we are checking if there is store id in request then first we are storing it to magento core session. Later we are getting it from session and storing respective store. Please note this is required if you have multiple stores, else you can avoid this. In my case there were multiple stores. 

Now next step is to create customer session. Add following code after above code.

////////////////////////////////////////Setting up customer id////////////////////////
if( Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->getCustomerId()){

Now next step is to store quote id in session so it can be used later.

/////////////////////////////////////////Saving Quote Id//////////////////////////////

Now open following file.


And check following function.

     * Get checkout quote instance by current session
     * @return Mage_Sales_Model_Quote
    public function getQuote()

Add below code to the function after following line.

Mage::dispatchEvent('custom_quote_process', array('checkout_session' => $this));

//////////////////////////////////////////Returning quote stored in session////////////////////////
    $this->_quote = Mage::getModel('sales/quote')->setStore(Mage::app()->getStore())->load(Mage::getSingleton('core/session')->getQuoteId());
return $this->_quote;

That's it and now you can start checkout process with this quote. Hope this helps you. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Magento Cart Payment List API, Paypal Not Available


Recently we were working on Magento API. Where we were implementing checkout process for a website using Magento platforms. Since we were integrating in third party website which was built on ASP.NET, we were using Magento API. Here we have faced an issue on Select Payment Method step, that Paypal was not coming in list. In this blog I am going to explain how to solve this issue.

Magento API cart_payment.list is the API we were using for this and Paypal was enabled but still were not getting it. The reason was because we were using Paypal Standard Checkout where user is redirected to Paypal website for Payment. Since API is called on backend and there is no UI for that, so there is no point of redirecting to site. Hence this Payment method was ignored in API. Check the following function in app/code/core/Mage/Checkout/Model/Cart/Payment/Api.php file.

     * @param  $method
     * @param  $quote
     * @return bool
    protected function _canUsePaymentMethod($method, $quote)
        if (!($method->isGateway() || $method->canUseInternal())) {
            return false;

        if (!$method->canUseForCountry($quote->getBillingAddress()->getCountry())) {
            return false;

        if (!$method->canUseForCurrency(Mage::app()->getStore($quote->getStoreId())->getBaseCurrencyCode())) {
            return false;

         * Checking for min/max order total for assigned payment method
        $total = $quote->getBaseGrandTotal();
        $minTotal = $method->getConfigData('min_order_total');
        $maxTotal = $method->getConfigData('max_order_total');

        if ((!empty($minTotal) && ($total < $minTotal)) || (!empty($maxTotal) && ($total > $maxTotal))) {
            return false;

        return true;

Here as you can see It's checking if Payment method is Gateway or can be used internally. Since Paypal standard checkout can not be used in internally as user is redirected to Paypal site. So to solve this issue just comment following code in _canUsePaymentMethod function.

/*if (!($method->isGateway() || $method->canUseInternal())) {
            return false;

That's it and now cart_payment.list will return you Paypal in list. Please note ideally you have to override this code and should not change in core code.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Android BroadCast Receiver vs Service


Recently in one of my project we had a requirement to perform certain background task and I Was confused what to use for this. I was confused between BroadCast Receiver or Service. So I thought of digging more into it and here I am sharing my thoughts on this. After long time I am writing a blog without any code.

First lets understand what is BroadCast Receiver

BroadCast Receiver is meant to respond to certain events and intent. For example phone restart, or GCM message or certain other system events. So when this event occurs an intent is created and broadcast receiver are notified through this intent. Broadcast receiver will get this in onReceive method and then we can perform certain tasks.

Now let's understand what is service.

Service is meant to perform certain tasks in background without affecting user's activities in foreground. So for example a downloader. User started downloading and that can be handled in service so user don't have to wait for it to be finished. While the background service is running user can do his other activities.

So we can see both BroadCast Receiver and service do the same thing. They perform certain task in background so what shall we use for background task? The answer depends on how much time do you need to perform background tasks.

Broadcast receiver has time limit of 10 seconds. If the tasks is not completed in 10 seconds then this process is eligible to be killed or terminated by systems. So it could be chance that it gets terminated before process is finished.

While service has no time limits it can perform as long as possible and would be terminated only in extreme conditions. Android system will kill services at last only.

So the concept is clear for the time consuming tasks you have to use Service and for less time consuming tasks you shall use BroadCast Receiver. So for tasks like connecting to internet or downloading something so synching data to server a Service is recommended. While for the tasks like adding to local database or storing something to shared preferences or updating UI on certain events a BroadCast Receiver is recommended.

I hope my blog clears your doubt and helps you in choosing right thing for you. Do share your opinion in comments. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Create Buy 1 Get 1 Free Promotion in Magento

Recently I was working on Magento admin where we have to create promotions like Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Initially I had a trouble setting it as I don't know much about Magento admin. So In this blog I am going to explain how to do it in 10 simple steps so it can save your time.

Step 1:
First of login to Magento Admin and Go to Promotions -> Shopping Cart Price Rules

Step 2:
Click on Add New Rule. (Button on top right corner)

Step 3:
Add a rule name and descriptions. Select customer groups.

Step 4:
Go to conditions tab.

Step 5:
Click on green + button and select option "Product Attribute Combination"

Step 6:
Now it should show you "If an item is FOUND  in the cart with ALL  of these conditions true:" Now click again on new + button at bottom of this text and select SKU from the drop down.

Step : 7
Now it should show you "SKU  is  ... " Click on three dots and Search the SKU of the product for which you want to set offer.

Step: 8
Now go to actions tab and select option "Percent of product price discount" from the Apply drop down.

Step: 9
Set 50 as value in Discount Amount Textbox.

Step 10:
Set two as value in Maximum Qty Discount is Applied To Textbox and save the rule.

That's it basically we gave 50% discount on total if there are product with 2 quantity in cart. This is how user has to pay for only one item and they get other item as free. Hope this helps you.