DHL Shipping & Magento - Going Down The Rabbit Hole | PART 7
Going Down The Rabbit Hole: Comprehensive integration with Magento core features
The Magento platform offers a few features that are not widely used but play an important role to some merchants. With DHL Shipping version 1.0.0 we were striving for a more thorough support of such core functionality.
One of these features is load scaling using the split database performance solution. It allows to separate the Magento schema into three master databases, each one being responsible for a different functional area. The new extension fully supports multi-master setups by extending the schema and data according to the rules: Configuration settings and product attributes are accessed via the main database, customer selections made during checkout are stored in the checkout database, the order’s label status is managed in the sales database.
On Magento Open Source, where this scalability feature is not available, everything still works as expected with a single master database.
Another aspect affecting performance is asynchronous updating of order management grids. Instead of updating the grid tables when the change happens (e.g. when a new order is being placed), Magento allows to decouple write operations using scheduled grid updates. With this core feature enabled, Magento periodically polls grid data providers for updates, which are then applied to the respective database table. The new extension version interacts properly with this process and announces label status updates when they occurred.
Magento Commerce comes with a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) feature that allows customers to request return shipping labels for their orders on demand. While our DHL extensions offered the booking of return shipment labels for a long time, it has always been a custom feature. The new extension version on the contrary is able to interact with the Magento RMA module, giving the merchant full control over returns authorization. This process however is very tedious. Not to worry: As soon as the core RMA feature is turned off for the store front – or unavailable on Magento Open Source – the leaner standard process provided by the DHL Shipping extension gets activated: Review the shipping address, select the items to return, confirm, download the label.
The latest version of the DHL Returns API does not only allow to download a printable label, it also offers a QR code that the customer can show at a post office or parcel shop to have the return shipment label printed and attached to the parcel.
DHL Shipping does not only come with significant updates to shipment processing in the admin panel. The last part of the series will put emphasis on improved features in the store front.