PHP-GTK 2 : integrating Drupal e-commerce front-office sites with back-office data

Submitted by Frederic Marand on

As many other developers of e-commerce sites using Drupal, I've had to solve the problem of integrating the "front-office" store maintained in the ecommerce module with the back-office data like the actual invoicing matching legal requirements, tax documents, product ordering from suppliers, and so on, and I've had to choose a toolkit for this.

Until recently I had been using Delphi with XML-RPC to upload content and remotely monitor my sites, but I was looking for a cross-platform solution, and one that would preferably have sources available. Using Kylix for other projects and it *does* work, even with SOAP and remote data stores, but the level of support and lack of upgrades from Borland regarding it left me rather skeptical about using it for new projects. And this was not even taking into account the fact the XML-RPC for Delphi and Kylix is a poorly supported Open Source project. So what ?

Enter PHP-GTK 2. I had done a few tests and even some writeups about it on Riff News in 2003, but GTK has been through a major overhaul since then, the widget has improved a lot, and the Gnope installer helps a lot with installing and packaging. So would it be usable in the context ?

In short, it's a resounding YES. The install works smoothly on Windows XP and, judging from various comments, just as well on current Linux distributions. Adding the missing XML-RPC support only requires copying php-xmlrpc.dll from the current PHP 5.1.x distribution, and uncommented the line importing it from php.ini. And it only took a few hours to set up a usable UI for the product uploader and remotely load the products into Drupal ecommerce once I had gathered how to create products in code (hint: node_save with a lot of fields in $node).

So it looks like I'll be doing a lot more work with PHP-GTK 2 again. Maybe some tips for it too, along the learning curve.