How to upgrade/update PHP on a windows dev server

This article is about how to update your PHP version on Windows, specifically when using EasyPHP dev server. For the average developer, this can be a daunting process, but it’s really not that hard.

My reason for posting this article is that EasyPHP server has stuck any upgrade components behind a paywall, or ‘warehouse’ as they call it, which costs $10/year, which seems crazy when it’s so easy to do yourself.

This guide should work for other servers running on windows as well, you’ll just need to modify certain steps depending on how your specific set up is configured.

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How to dump CSV files to MySQL (the easy way)

Sometimes, the only option for dumping data into a database is using CSV files – they’re easy to use for non-technical people, they are a fairly efficient way of storing data and can be easily exported from Excel files.

There’s one huge problem with them, though…they’re a real pain in the arse to work with.

So, I decided to create a reliable, easy to use way for dumping CSV files, no matter how big or small, to a MySQL database. I will, however, show some alternatives along the way.

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FIX Magento Patch SUPEE 6285 Access Denied using third party extensions

Magento released a new patch yesterday called SUPEE 6285 along with a new version of the CE (

You can find good summaries of the changes here or here.

This patch introduces some really annoying bugs though, especially regarding 3rd party modules/extensions. Basically, any third party extension that introduces Adminhtml pages needs a new _isAllowed method in it’s controllers that sets up proper access control layers for its functioning.

Any person trying to access anything to do with a third party extension that has a user role with anything less than administrator permissions will not be able to access those pages, no matter what permissions they have!!

I’ll show you how to fix those issues, particularly pertaining to the Ebizmarts Sage Pay suite.

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How to deploy a Magento site using GIT

There are many ways to deploy a Magento site to your server. Many would argue that a simple FTP upload is fine, while others swear by version control.

The problem with the version control + Magento combo is that, necessarily, Magento stores a lot of information about its state in the filesystem – this can lead to a lot of trouble if care isn’t taken when creating the staging and deployment mechanisms.

I’ll walk you through with a tried and tested method I use for the deploying a Magento site using GIT.

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How to update the browser on the status of an AJAX process

Websites with AJAX elements are a defacto standard on the web and have been for quite some time. AJAX allows you to run a request on the server without actually leaving the page the user is on, executing it asynchronously while the browser waits for a response.

One big problem with this is that if the process takes more than a few seconds, there’s no built in methods in the AJAX standards to receive content before the entire request is complete, so how do we let the browser know the status of the process on the server, if we can’t stream information to the browser using AJAX? We’ll be addressing this problem in this post.

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Product Attributes in Magento – A Beginners Guide

Product attributes in Magento are quite complex – with Magento using a fully realised EAV attribute system on the backend, there is a great amount of flexibility and customisation available to the website ownner when creating new products and product types.

Attributes are so core to Magento products that in fact, you cannot create a product without it having an attribute set. When you first encounter attribute sets, they may seem quite daunting, so we’re here to help you along the way.

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