Mageworks Advanced Product Options Tutorial

Mageworks Advanced Product Options is a Magento extension that allows you to radically extend customization options for products. It provides the administrator with so many…
  • Elliot Toman
  • Customer Success Manager
  • March 11, 2016 Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

mageworx-advanced-options

Mageworks Advanced Product Options is a Magento extension that allows you to radically extend customization options for products. It provides the administrator with so many options. In fact the biggest challenge of using the extension is keeping complexity to a minimum.   This tutorial will take you through the process of setting up a few different product customization types.   We won’t cover every feature of the extension, so keep in mind that specific information about any given option can likely be found in the extension’s official documentation.

TEMPLATES OVERVIEW:

In Magento Admin, navigate to Catalog » Advanced Custom Options » Templates

In the Manage Options Templates overview, you can see all existing templates, edit an options template, Add an options template, or change the status of one or more templates.

Templates are not product-specific.

  • Each Options Template can be assigned to one or more products.
  • Any product can use one or more Options Template

Options Template

ADD AN OPTIONS TEMPLATE:

Give the template a descriptive Title that is specific and easy to identify.

SKU Policy determines how the product’s SKU is affected by this options template.  In most cases, Use Config is correct.  Assuming a typical setup, this means that the product’s SKU will not be directly affected by the application of the options template.

You may wish to select Do Not Restore Deleted Options.  When this is selected, the IDs of deleted options will be recycled for new options; this can help reduce the complexity of a template.

For more details on Stock and Pricing, see the Advanced Product Options documentation.

 

ADD NEW OPTION:

Each Option consists of one or more rows.  A row can be understood as a choice or selection within that option.

Let’s examine each of the above Option’s base attributes:

  • The Input Type determines how the option will be displayed in association with the product to which it is applied.  This Option is specified as a Drop-Down, meaning that the options will appear as a drop-down list in which only one choice can be selected at a time.  Radio Buttons could be used in a similar way.  Other types, such as Checkbox, would allow the user to select multiple choices.  It is important to consider the best method of displaying your Option.
  • This Option Is Required, meaning that the user must make a selection from this Option before proceeding to the cart.
  • The View Mode is Visible, meaning that the Option is not hidden.  Other modes allow the Option to only be visible to administrators, or to operate invisibly.
  •  Dependency is set to No, meaning that this Option always appears and is not dependent on another Option being activated first.   Dependency will be examined further in this document.
  • One-time is related to the quantity and stock options, which are explained more fully in the extension’s documentation.
  • SKU Policy determines how the SKUs placed in the rows of this Option will interact with the SKU of the product to which it is attached.
    • Standard will append the Option’s SKU to that of its parent product.
    • Independant will create a new product based on the Option and its children and add it to the cart along with the parent product.
    • Replacement will replace the SKU of the parent product with that of the Option.
  • Sort Order is used to position the Option above or beneath other Options in the template.  As much as possible, Options and their rows should be created in sequential order.  Though Sort Order is able to override a row’s ID, your template can become confusing if selections are created in a haphazard manner.

 

 

ADD CHILD OPTIONS:

An Option’s choices may have child options that apply when their parent is selected.   This allows you to create conditional options, such as:

  • Gloss
    • Red
    • Green
    • Blue
  • Matte
    • White
    • Black

When creating a child Option, it is important to determine its Dependency.   There are three Option dependencies:

  1. No: The Option is not dependent on any other Option.
  2. AND:  The Option is activated when all its parent options are selected.
  3. OR: The Option is activated when any of its parent options are selected.

To better understand how Dependency works, let’s imagine two scenarios.   In the first scenario, outlined above, the user can select from two paint surfaces, Gloss or Matte, and the two have different available paint colors.  In the second scenario, the Gloss and Matte have the same available colors.

In the first scenario, the appropriate dependency for the color options would be AND, because they only apply to a single set of Option selections.  In the second scenario, OR would simplify the selection process because, while only one surface can be selected, both surfaces have the same available paint colors.   This avoids unnecessary repetitions.

 

SCENARIO ONE (AND)

  • Gloss
    • Red
    • Green
    • Blue
  • Matte
    • White
    • Black
SCENARIO TWO (OR)

  • Surface
    • Gloss
    • Matte
  • Color:
    • Red
    • Green
    • Blue
INCORRECT

  • Surface
    • Gloss
      • Red
      • Green
      • Blue
    • Matte
      • Red
      • Green
      • Blue

 

To assign a child Option to its parent, place the child IDs in the Children field of the parent.   This can be easily accomplished using the menu icon to the right of the field.

ASSIGNING CUSTOMIZATION TEMPLATES TO A PRODUCT

Even a meticulously designed customization template can become very complex.  The best way to manage this is to make templates as modular as possible, limiting each template to a specific task.  This is possible because any product can have multiple templates assigned to it.

Example One is needlessly complicated because multiple groups of Options are combined into a single template.  In Example Two, each distinct Option set is given its own template.

 

 

Example One

PREMIUM PAINTED INGOT TEMPLATE

  • Material
    • Copper
    • Iron
    • Tin
  • Surface
    • Gloss
      • Red
      • Green
      • Blue
    • Matte
      • Red
      • Green
      • Blue

Example Two

MATERIAL TEMPLATE

  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Tin

SURFACE TEMPLATE

  • Surface
    • Gloss
    • Matte
  • Color
    • Red
    • Green
    • Blue

To configure a Product with Advanced Product Options, navigate to Catalog » Manage Products and select or create the product you would like to configure.   Then, in the Product Information menu, select Custom Options.

 

Under Options Template, select one or more templates that you would like to apply to the product and then select Save and Continue Edit to see them applied.  Once applied, the templates can be organized using Sort Order.

As you can see, it is possible to modify the Options and their choices at the product level as well.  However, it is generally best to modify the original Template instead so that the changes will be reflected on any product that the template is assigned to.

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