Magento module development with application deployment through Magento Composer


    The article describes the experience of deploying a development version of Magento-application using Magento Composer. The structure of a typical Magento application in our company:
    • Magento
    • Third-party modules used in the project
    • Modules developed by us, used in more than one of our projects
    • A module we are developing that contains functionality specifically for this project
    • Theme for a specific project

    The development version of the Magento application should allow us to develop the code of our modules and upload changes to the corresponding repositories, allowing the code of common modules to migrate between projects.

    In connection with the start of a new project for the deployment of Magento applications, we decided to try Magento Composer . At the moment, we have the code for each project stored in its SVN repository, plus in a separate one, all the modules we develop (both general and specialized):
    • Magento installation and third-party modules for project 01;
    • Magento installation and third-party modules for project 02;
    • ...
    • our modules;

    To use Magento Composer, the project was divided into the following parts (each in its own git repository):

    Environment preparation

    In the process of experiments, it turned out that Windows is not suitable for deploying a development version of the application. Magento Composer offers two deployment strategies: copy (copying module files to the structure of the Magento application) and symlink (creating symbolic links to module files in the structure of the Magento application). The development version can only use symbolic links, because you need to keep the source code of the modules compactly in your folders in the vendor directory(the place where Composer places the files of the modules used). Symbolic links in Windows do not work out well enough - changes made to the original file are reflected by the link with a long delay (both in the PhpStorm IDE and on the web server itself). Plus (or rather, minus) - the approach used by Magento to find templates and description of layouts ( app / design / frontend / [default] / [default] directory) does not work on Windows (you need to modify Mage_Core_Model_Design_Package :: validateFile and Mage_Core_Block_Template :: fetchView), but this is more of a problem at the PHP level than at the Magento level. In general, after long attempts to deploy the development version of Windows, it was recognized as not the most convenient development option (although possible), so Linux remained for further continuation (Ubuntu 14.04).

    There were no problems with installing Composer itself:
    curl -sS | php
    mv composer.phar /usr/local/bin/composer

    Everything else (including installing Magento Composer) is done through setting up the project in composer.json.


    I bring only the settings that are significant in this context (the full version of composer.json ):
      "type": "magento-module",
      "require": {
        "magento-hackathon/magento-composer-installer": "*",
        "magento-hackathon/composer-command-integrator": "*@dev",
        "composer/composer": "*@alpha",
        "magento/core": "",
        "magento-hackathon/hackathon_magemonitoring": "*",
        "connect20/nmmlm_log": "*",
        "praxigento/z_mage_composer_mod_01": "*@dev",
        "praxigento/z_mage_composer_mod_02": "*@dev"
      "repositories": [
          "type": "composer",
          "url": ""
          "type": "vcs",
          "url": ""
          "type": "vcs",
          "url": ""
      "extra": {
        "magento-root-dir": "mage",
        "magento-deploystrategy": "symlink",
        "auto-append-gitignore": true

    Require section

    • magento-hackathon / magento-composer-installer : directly Magento Composer itself;
    • magento-hackathon / composer-command-integrator : module for incremental updating of Magento modules during development (to create symbolic links to new files when adding files in the module);
    • composer / composer : an exact alpha classifier is needed for composer-command-integrator to work;
    • magento / core : the actual Magento code;
    • magento-hackathon / hackathon_magemonitoring : a third-party module loaded from the Magento Composer repository (for example);
    • connect20 / nmmlm_log : module freely available through Magento Connect (fetch from store Magento Connect to store Magento Composer)
    • praxigento / z_mage_composer_mod_01 : one of our own module, whose code is in the github repository;
    • praxigento / z_mage_composer_mod_02 : our second own module, the code of which is also in the github repository;

    Repositories section

    We close composer to the repository of Magento-modules:
          "type": "composer",
          "url": ""

    ... and specify the addresses of the repositories where our own modules are used in the project:
          "type": "vcs",
          "url": ""
          "type": "vcs",
          "url": ""

    Extra section

    • magento-root-dir : set the directory in which we will deploy Magento ( mage );
    • magento-deploystrategy : set deployment strategy - symlink for development version;
    • auto-append-gitignore : indicate that the files of the Magento modules that will be linked to the Magento application (the mage directory ) should be added to the mage / .gitignore file in order to get out of version control;

    Project deployment

    $ git clone full
    $ cd full
    $ composer install

    console messages
    Loading composer repositories with package information
    Installing dependencies (including require-dev) 
      - Installing justinrainbow/json-schema (dev-master 87b54b4)
        Cloning 87b54b460febed69726c781ab67462084e97a105
      - Installing icecave/isolator (2.3.0)
        Loading from cache
      - Installing eloquent/pops (3.1.1)
        Loading from cache
      - Installing eloquent/liberator (1.1.1)
        Loading from cache
      - Installing eloquent/enumeration (5.1.0)
        Loading from cache
      - Installing eloquent/composer-config-reader (2.0.0)
        Loading from cache
      - Installing magento-hackathon/magento-composer-installer (dev-master 38e6c01)
        Cloning 38e6c01e6252fa408fbe63ef0b5b632b154f421b
      - Installing symfony/console (2.7.x-dev b2d63b9)
        Cloning b2d63b962688615d9b895a3d0be8bca7c3acf2fd
      - Installing praxigento/z_mage_composer_mod_01 (dev-master 73ac1b0)
        Cloning 73ac1b00c04eeb7037a5fb4bcea2502d06c588a0
      - Installing praxigento/z_mage_composer_mod_02 (dev-master ae7f96c)
        Cloning ae7f96cb757a971e95d23f4ce6141bb441315075
      - Installing seld/jsonlint (1.3.0)
        Downloading: 100%
      - Installing symfony/process (2.7.x-dev 3131373)
        Cloning 3131373c59f463709b04e39ae0818a2b84d01d38
      - Installing symfony/finder (2.7.x-dev 3163e33)
        Cloning 3163e335375f3433569996fd68c89887e4a82d29
      - Installing composer/composer (dev-master 095dc61)
        Cloning 095dc6129550de93cd98170c8e6c6ccd4558e983
      - Installing magento-hackathon/composer-command-integrator (dev-master 826aa5a)
        Cloning 826aa5a2a68d10d991b457c397b98773793f0f4c
      - Installing magento/core (
        Loading from cache
      - Installing magento-hackathon/hackathon_magemonitoring (dev-master 393fd28)
        Cloning 393fd2851597ed7e1a9ab87dae7f05feab455e3b
      - Installing connect20/nmmlm_log (0.3.0)
        Downloading: 100%
    icecave/isolator suggests installing eloquent/asplode (Drop-in exception-based error handling.)
    magento-hackathon/magento-composer-installer suggests installing colinmollenhour/modman (*)
    magento-hackathon/magento-composer-installer suggests installing theseer/autoload (~1.14)
    magento-hackathon/magento-composer-installer suggests installing zetacomponents/console-tools (dev-master)
    symfony/console suggests installing symfony/event-dispatcher ()
    symfony/console suggests installing psr/log (For using the console logger)
    Writing lock file
    Generating autoload files

    As a result of the project’s deployment, the source codes of our modules fall into the vendor directory (screenshots were taken from a local Windows station)

    ... link to the mage Magento directory :

    ... themes and modules that are not installed through Magento Composer are poured directly into the mage directory :

    Mount points of various source code repositories:

    There are two .gitignore files in the project :
    • .gitignore : manually populated by developers;
    • mage / .gitignore : populated automatically by Magento Composer when deploying Magento itself and modules;

    Features of the development of modules

    All module files must be registered in the mapping of modman's registry :
    path/to/file/in/module path/to/file/in/magento

    You can create a modman file with this command :
    for i in `find . -type f | grep -v \.git | grep -v "^.$" | grep -v "modman" | sed 's/\.\///'`; do echo ${i} ${i}; done > modman

    After adding a new file to the module, you need to run command integrator so that the new files are linked to the Magento root directory:
    $ ./vendor/bin/composerCommandIntegrator.php magento-module-deploy

    In order for the module to be deployed in a form suitable for working with the version control system, you must specify in the composer.json file of the module:
      "name": "praxigento/z_mage_composer_mod_01",
      "config": {
        "preferred-install": "source"

    When editing a file by reference in the IDE (PhpStorm), there is a discrepancy between the "apparent" ( mage / app / code / community / Vendor / Ext / Model / Observer.php ) and the "available" (vendor / company / module / app / code / community / Vendor / Ext / Model / Observer.php) - editing the "available" version with a delay is reflected in the "apparent" (and the Refresh function in PhpStorm is not provided for this case - you have to add a character to the "apparent" version, press Ctrl + S and do the update via “Load File System Changes”). Breakpoints for debugging can be installed in both versions of the file, but step-by-step tracing is done only according to the “existing” one (sometimes the stop appears as if from scratch - in the “apparent” version there is a breakpoint on the corresponding line).


    " Using various VCS repositories in PhpStorm "

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