Integrating Amazon aStore with Drupal

13 Nov 2010
Drupal and Amazon

Reader BWH asks a good question: How to integrate an Amazon aStore with a Drupal site?

In Checking out Amazon on Drupal 6, Part 1 and Checking out Amazon on Drupal 6, Part 2, I looked at the capabilities of the Amazon module and the Amazon Store module. I didn't touch upon the aStore, though, Amazon's offering for building custom, branded online stores with hand-picked products. I didn't see any special features within the modules for handling aStores – and, as far as I know, there is no special modular approach for integrating an aStore with a Drupal site. The only solution I know of would be that suggested by Amazon:

aStore is a new Associates product that gives you the power to create a professional online store, in minutes and without the need for programming skills, that can be embedded within or linked to from your website.

Those would be the immediate options for a Drupal site: either link to the aStore (boring!) or embed it. For embedding purposes, the solution I've used in the past (with fine results, thank you) is the Iframe module, which allows embedding of an external page within a Drupal node.

Take a look at the aStore embedded within this page at Drupal Books. I don't know whether that page is using Iframe or some custom code, but Iframe should allow similar results. The frame in question (at least on my browser) is too narrow to hold the aStore page's width and should be made wider, but that issue aside, seems to work nicely in allowing normal shopping operations (product display, searches, etc.) without leaving the parent Drupal site page.

There may be other, simpler answers for integrating an aStore with Drupal. I'm not experienced with aStores, so I'll ask the world: Any better suggestions? 

But until I hear otherwise, my answer to the original question: Based on my shallow experience, I'm thinking that an embedded aStore sounds like a superior solution to the Amazon and Amazon Store modules, if the resulting store-within-a-site meets your needs, and assuming that Amazon's aStore tools make creation easy. I have my quibbles with the modules (see earlier links), and am guessing that it's easier to build and maintain an aStore the Amazon way. Plus, the resulting aStore can not only be embedded within the Drupal site, but can be visited as a stand-alone site (useful for when the Drupal site is down!).

I welcome any other thoughts on the topic. It's all fascinating but still largely unknown territory for me.

Comments

Ashley Forrester's picture

This is quite an interesting blog. Drupal has come a long way. i feel it is one of the best open source CMS that developers have come up with. 

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