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What are some useful Magento scripts?

What are some useful Magento scripts? 

This article identifies a few of the most useful Magento scripts, defines them, and provides a link for more information.

Why use Magento scripts?

Magento users can often benefit from writing scripts to streamline, accelerate, or automate many of the platform’s common commands. These PHP scripts run from the command line and, if properly executed, can enhance Magento’s performance. 

This article acts as an introduction to helpful scripts; therefore, it will not provide detailed instructions on how to implement them. It will, however, provide general tips and specific links to such information. 

You can find more information about these scripts and instructions regarding their use on the Nexcess blog.

Partial list of scripts

Some useful scripts include:

  • Accelerated backups
  • Accelerated exports and imports
  • Built-in shell scripts with Magento 1.4 and later

Accelerated backups: backup.php

The script, backup.php, creates a compressed Magento database backup in the var/backups folder. It is functionally identical to running System > Tools > Backup, but faster and immune to the timeouts that often plague backup operations on very large databases. It can also be run as a cron job. 

Accelerated exports and imports

The script, “export.php,” addresses Magento’s notoriously slow import and export functions. This script runs the same export profile as the administrator control panel, but with significantly more speed and without the timeout issues known to affect browsers. 

Magento 1.4 comes with its own shell scripts. 

Built-in shell scripts with Magento 1.4 and later

Magento 1.4 comes with its own shell scripts. The MAGENTO_ROOT/shell/ directory contains four files:

  • abstract.php 
  • compiler.php
  • indexer.php
  • log.php

Abstract.php is the abstract class definition for Mage_Shell that runs the other scripts and gives you the ability to write your own.

Indexer.php is a command line interface to Magento’s index management.

Log.php manages the visitor logs. This is essential for keeping your database at a reasonable size, and by extension, your time-to-first-byte latency low.

The compiler.php script is the command line interface to Magento’s compiler. For every connection, Magento searches its categories in the following order of priority:

  1. app/code/local 
  2. app/code/community
  3. app/code/core 
  4. lib 

The Magento Compiler essentially copies all of the class and code files to a single path, include/src, and then changes the include_path accordingly. It also aggregates the most commonly used PHP files. 


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