How do I install a contribution or add on?
This gets asked quite a lot and having checked I couldn't find any complete answer in one place, so this, I hope, will resolve that.
- Finding the right one:
When looking for a contribution look for ones that are supported (ie have a support thread) and are current for your version of osC. The better ones will say what version of osC they have been tested on, if they require register globals on or off (off preferably) and maybe what versions of PHP/SQL they have been tested on.
Search for contribs with google, put site:http://addons.oscommerce.com then query.
Search the forum with google by putting site:http://forums.oscommerce.com then query.
- Which Version of a Contribution should I download
Ideally you should pick the latest full version by the original author, unfortunately not everyone states when they have provided a Full Version, so you have to download 1st before you find if you have the right one, sometimes you will find on the support thread which is best to download (ie Ultimate seo urls 2.1d original updated is a good case in point).
Take care if the contrib. has lots of fixes, it can be a real pain if you have to install the main package, then go through a load of 'fixes', an addition important note is some find an issue, fix it for their install the rush to post their 'fix' without regard to that 'fix' being peculiar to them.
- Editing your files
Do not use inbuilt editor in filemanager, its a security risk & damages files, best removed. Edit your files with a proper text editor, such as html-kit or notepad++ after downloading all your files to your PC with ftp such as filezilla.
Before you do anything, BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP
There is no set method, the procedure depends on each contrib.
Within the download there is normally an installation file that describes the procedure. This may be to replace existing files or make modifications to them, if replacing files check your using the same version of osC the contrib. was written with and that your files have not already been modified. Often the easiest way is to use a file compare tool, like WinMerge or Beyond Compare.
If the installation just has instructions on modifying your existing files, follow these with great care, making sure you don't miss any. Remember osC has files within the catalog directories and admin directories with the same names, make sure you are editing the correct ones, and you upload your modified files in the correct places.
It is likely that the contribution has new files to add, make sure you place them in the correct places.
Some contribs have auto-installs, Pektsekye seems to have taken it upon himself to add these to quite a few contribs, this makes thing a lot easier for you but take care your system is compatible first & don't forget to backup first.
- The contribution has a SQL file, what do I do with that?
The SQL files are there to modify you database so it will work with the contrib., so first backup your database, I suggest you look at AutoBackup Database in Admin AND Database Backup Manager to make this easier. You can also backup your dBase from within your cPanel.
To apply any SQL:
Log into your site cPanel, click on phpMyAdmin, if your database doesn't come up automatically, select it, click on any item in the dBase, say address_book then click on SQL, paste the query provided into the box, removing what's there by default, click on GO, you should get confirmation that everything was processed OK.
- I'm not sure what version osC I'm using.
This thread in Tips details the method to find your osC version, don't forget in Admin, under tools you have Server Info, that will provide a lot of info about your store & server.
- I've completed the install but now my site has errors.
First don't assume there is a problem with that contribution, the most likely cause is you have made errors during the install, so don't rush to post your problem, double & triple check your install, you probably missed something, or put something in the wrong place. If you still have errors, do a search of the forum (tips above) with the error message you get.
If you still can't resolve things post in the contributions support thread, don't create a new thread unless you are sure there is no support thread, as that is likely to annoy those supporting & will probably be ignored.
- I have a template & can't match the code given with mine.
Unfortunately templates often contain non-standard usually out-dated code that is generally somewhat modified from the core version, so are rarely compatible with contributions, you need to talk to your template supplier if you really need the add on.
For the most part you need to be good at coding to fix/modify templates, but if you were you probably wouldn't have bothered with one in the first place!!
Have fun installing, you will likely find it a learning experience.
Edited by spooks, 21 August 2009 - 18:39.