Custom Magento EAV Attributes

Magento has an Entity Attribute Value system in the db, neaning you can easily add custom stuff by adding rows and not columns! But that’s all done for us, so here’s how we set it up. In this example I’m wanting a home page image radio button.

In the config.xml you’ll see something like


So in this example we would bump that up to 0.3.0. Also, check you have a setup key in the xml:


Next, in the sql folder of your module, create a file called madskull_homepage_setup/upgrade-0.2.0-0.3.0.php (thats upgrading from v0.2.0 to v0.3.0) and I put the following:


/* @var $installer Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Setup */
$installer = $this;


        'frontend'                      => 'catalog/product_attribute_frontend_image',
        'global'                        => Mage_Catalog_Model_Resource_Eav_Attribute::SCOPE_GLOBAL,
        'visible'                       => true,
        'used_in_product_listing'       => true,
        'filterable'                    => false,
        'filterable_in_search'          => false,
        'used_for_price_rules'          => false,
        'searchable'                    => false,
        'comparable'                    => false,
        'visible_on_front'              => true,
        'used_for_sort_by'              => false,
        'is_visible_in_advanced_search' => false,
        'type'                          => 'varchar',
        'input'                         => 'media_image',
        'group'                         => 'Images',
        'label'                         => 'Homepage Image',
        'user_defined'                  => true,
        'is_configurable'               => false,
        'required'                      => false


When you next visit any page, Magento will see the version has changed, and attempt to upgrade it. If successful, it will appear in the eav_attribute table. Clear your caches,  and reindex. Now if you go into your products in the admin panel, and select any product to edit, click on the Images option, and you should see our new attribute in there as a radio button! 🙂

Now you can use your variable by doing things like $collection->addAttributeToSelect([‘name’, ‘price’, ‘special_price’, ‘homepage_image’]);  and so on! 😀

Magento Admin user variables

The magento admin user can add custom variables which can be used in static blocks, the CMS section of the admin panel, and also in the transactional emails. To use these, we go into System > Custom Variables, and click add New Variable. You give it a code like store_city, and in the ‘name’ field put a description (yes, i know). Then you can set an html representation and a plain text representation of what you want the value to be.

Now when editing a CMS page or transactional email, we can do stuff like this:

<p>We are based in: {{CustomVar code="store_city"}}</p>

Nice and easy.

Passing variables to a layout from the controller in Zend Framework

This is easier than it seems, and pretty cool too!
A great use for this type of thing would be for instance a Navigation Breadcrumbs section.

In your controller, you would add something similar to the following:

Zend_Layout::getMvcInstance()->assign('nav', '<a href="/home">Home</a> | <a href="/something">Something Else</a>');

Then in your layout.phtml or view partial, you can say:

if(isset($this->layout()->nav)){echo $this->layout()->nav; }

More awesomeness! We hope you enjoyed your meal. Be sure to drop by again!