Advanced Features

Exam proportion: 13%.


Widgets are customisable frontend blocks that can be included and configured in CMS blocks or pages. The widget architecture is primarily driven by the Mage_Widget_Model_Widget model while the frontend blocks used by widgets implement the Mage_Widget_Block_Interface interface.

Widgets are defined in a module’s widget.xml configuration file using the following syntax:

    <{widget_identifier} type="{grouped_class_name}" translate="{fields}" module="{module_name}">
            <{parameter_identifier} type="{type}" translate="{fields}">
                <type>{parameter type}</type>

Depending on the type, widget parameters can have a single value, a selection from multiple values or can include complex procedures e.g selecting a gallery image, to determine their value, driven by a helper block.


Magento includes built-in SOAP, XML-RPC and REST APIs for managing the store remotely.

The SOAP API is default and the most widely used. The WSDL for it is located in:

The API resources are defined in api.xml or api2.xml configuration files. In these files a model is specified for each resource to handle the calls. API methods are published by defining them in the wsdl.xml or wsdl2.xml configuration files. The methods map to the methods on resource models. API resources include ACL, to restrict API methods to specific users/roles.

The wsdl.xml configuration files are loaded using Mage_Core_Model_Config model. This is also responsible for Magento module configuration loading, so it works exactly like loading config.xml does when it comes to extending and overriding API method configuration.

The API methods are defined by API models, which are instantiated using Magento’s class factory methods. Therefore, they can be overwritten like regular Magento models to override the API methods. Additional methods can be added to overwritten classes or by adding new API models to wsdl.xml.

API versus API2

The difference between the two SOAP API version is that in version 1 all operations are executed by passing them to the call() and multicall() methods, e.g.

<?php $client->call($session, "sales_order.list"); ?>

Meanwhile in version 2, every operation has its own method defined, e.g.

<?php $client->salesOrderList(); ?>

Internally, the version 2 API handler uses the same API method configuration as version 1. When a version 2 API method is called e.g. catalogProductCreate() the handler searches for a prefix that matches the method in


section of the config, e.g. catalogProduct to find the method resource and then calls the {resource}.{method_suffix} API version 1 method.