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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Customizing the admin itself...

    Hi,

    I'm building a zc155e and I'd like to customize the admin area.

    Here are the top things I want:
    1. Frequently used toolbar: This one I am *absolutely* going to do. Today. And it's simple. Basically, I just want a list of frequently used links to appear right on the index page. Primarily stuff I use over and over during development: Backup MySQL, Easy Populate 4, Dev Tool Kit, etc. I'm going to "Display:none" the 10 day "Counter History" box, then add my link box above "New Customers".
    2. Reorder some of the drop down menus: This has bothered me for YEARS. Why does Template Selection get top billing? Once you've committed, you (hopefully) won't need it again for a SUPER long time. I want to bump EZ-pages and Define pages to the first two slots, etc. Same on other menus.
    3. Reduce clutter, make more logical associations: To reduce drop menu clutter, I'd like to move rarely needed items to a new drop menu called "Other". By making more logical assoc, I mean, for instance, moving "Who's Online" from Tools to Reports and so on.
    4. Unique favicon / page titles for admin pages: When I am developing, I frequently have a zillion tabs open. If the cart and catalog pages had dif favicons, I could find admin pages with a glance. And if I have several admin tabs open, a page title would be helpful (because it shows in my tabs).
    5. My ultimate dream: Adding Tabbed Product Pro to the admin area. Man, that would be SOOOO awesome! A tab called "Store Activity" would show all the default stuff. Other tabs could be customized to show whatever you want. Really, having all those drop downs turned into preloaded content on tabs might be pretty awesome, allowing you to quickly flip around when you can't quite remember where whatever you're looking for is. It would be highly cool if the menus on tabs had their subitems preloaded as well. Like, under the "Configuration" tab, the list would appear cleanly. You could click on "Min Values" or "Max Values"---or both!---and all the subitems would flip out accordion style. That way you could quickly check what's there, without having to load a new page every time you look.


    I dunno. That's a lot, I know. And I don't want to muck anything up. But I do *really* want my quick list, right there on the index.

    Question: Is there an override system in place for the admin area? And if so, can you point me to a wiki or something that explains how to make template type changes to the admin section?

    Btw, I LOVE what has been done to Admin in the 155 update. I had a love/hate relationship with the fact that you could click on the parent item of those drop lists and then it would load a page displaying every drop menu with their sub items. Loved it because occasionally I would use that to quickly scan for things, but hated it because I usually arrived there on accident!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    N of San Antonio TX
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    6,342
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    You can strip out a lot on "extraneous" processes while creating a new profile that you could use on a day to day basis. When a lot needs to be done, just log in with your superuser account instead.

    Admin >> Admin Access Management >> Admin Profiles. Create your needed profile and add a user for it.

    Might get you close to what you're wanting without the hours of coding.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    11,629
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    Design75 has done something like this with the product information entry section of the admin area through this add-on/thread: https://www.zen-cart.com/showthread....Support-Thread

    The sorting/placement issue is relatively easy to correct through a few sql queries.
    ZC Installation/Maintenance Support <- Site
    Contribution for contributions welcome...
    Upgraded to Zen Cart V1.5.3 from V1.5.1 from V1.5.0 from V1.3.9h

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Amersfoort, The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    Using Bootstrap and a little Javascript should give you al relative easy way to achieve the desired layout.
    The sorting of menu items can be done in the database. That is where the sorting is managed

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    @dbltoe: Flipping brilliant! I've used zc for years and NEVER once bothered to try creating a unique profile. This doesn't satiate my quick link desire, but it's an instant fix for menu clutter!

    @MC: Design75's mod is sweeeeeet! I've wanted something like that for YEARS. Even though that wasn't even on my radar today, I'm going to install it.

    Regarding the sorting, wish I new how to compose queries. What I can do instead is connect to my store tables, figure out where the drop menus are getting sorted, and change 'em. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    I didn't see your comment, Design75, before my above responce.

    But, holy cow, I love what you did to the product data collect page. Awesome sauce!

    My big concern/reservation has to do with future upgrades, trying to minimize the load as we progress from zc155e-z. Is there an override system in place for admin alterations?

    Guess I'll see when I try your mod. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, especially regarding things that make upgrades easier.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Amersfoort, The Netherlands
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    Thanks, it was a nice chanllange, and I am not fished yet ;).
    There is no overwrite system in place for the current 1.5.x series. There will be atemplating system on 1.6, but that is for the long term. For now it is overwriting core files.
    Quote Originally Posted by Feznizzle View Post
    I didn't see your comment, Design75, before my above responce.

    But, holy cow, I love what you did to the product data collect page. Awesome sauce!

    My big concern/reservation has to do with future upgrades, trying to minimize the load as we progress from zc155e-z. Is there an override system in place for admin alterations?

    Guess I'll see when I try your mod. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, especially regarding things that make upgrades easier.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    Quote Originally Posted by Design75 View Post
    There is no overwrite system in place for the current 1.5.x series. There will be atemplating system on 1.6, but that is for the long term. For now it is overwriting core files.
    Bummer.

    I keep a list then, tracking any admin cores I overwrite.

    Design, I'm super glad to hear Admin *might* get some attention on 1.6. I'm actually planning to do a bunch of stuff on my own, though it will largely be cosmetic because I don't code. Thinking of packaging it up when I finish so others can play with it, and/or maybe submit my ideas/reworks to the powers that be.

    One of the things I desire most to change would be explanations given while updating admin configurations. I've been using zen for years, but every time I build a new one I turn into a complete noob. I get stumped by the most basic of basic things, have relearn where all the switches have been hidden, re-parse the cryptic instructions when I finally find the ones I want. I plan to find the language file controlling that stuff and translate it into English.

    The ones that kill me most are those set-it-and-forget-it things. Here is a tiny, silly, should-be-easy thing that stumped me for hours today (https://www.zen-cart.com/showthread....w-quot-buttons). I can guarantee you that the next time I go to set up a zc, I will have forgotten how to do that and will waste an entire figuring it out again.

    Anyway... would you have any interest in what I'm doing? Maybe you could keep tabs on this thread?

    Also, above you mentioned somewhere, somehow, somebody(s) are atemplating admin changes for 1.6. Is that behind the curtains somewhere or is there a forum thread you could point me at?
    Last edited by Feznizzle; 1 Nov 2017 at 11:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Stuart, FL
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feznizzle View Post
    ... Also, above you mentioned somewhere, somehow, somebody(s) are atemplating admin changes for 1.6. Is that behind the curtains somewhere or is there a forum thread you could point me at?
    You can participate in the v1.6.0 changes on the Zen Cart GitHub repository: https://github.com/zencart/zencart/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Customizing the admin itself...

    Ok, in case somebody else stumbles in here wanting to clean up their admin, I decided to follow up. If you decide to do any of this, make sure you backup your database and files first (duh!).

    Menu Clutter:
    Super easy! Everything I needed was contained in the admin_pages table. It's probably easier to export the table's contents, make your changes, then import. But you could also make your changes directly in phpMyAdmin (I used Sequel Pro). To get all the menu lists together, sort columns by menu_key.

    To alter the order of the drop-down lists, simply change the sort_order value.

    To move an item from one list to another, just change the menu_key. I moved "Who's Online" to the Reports menu by changing menu_key from "tools" to "reports". Easy!

    To kill an item entirely (never see it again), simply change display_on_menu from "Y" to "N". I killed Recording Artists, Record Companies, Music Genres on the Extras menus.

    Upshot is that now my Tools menu is tight little list of items I use frequently, and in an order that makes sense to me.

    Template/CSS changes:
    I tend to keep my browser windows maximized. I don't go "full-screen", but I keep the browser at max width/height. When I open config settings or go to the catalog to update products, it's not super easy to scan across to find the button that correlates to what I want.

    To fix that, I simply applied a max-width to the admin css (/admin/includes/css/bootstrap.min.css)
    FOUND THIS:
    body{margin:0}

    CHANGED TO:
    body{margin:0;max-width:1400px}

    Header clutter:
    Three things bothered me about the bar that runs across the top of Admin pages.

    #1. On the far right is a list of links that I simply do not need.
    Admin Home: I simply click on the ZC logo on top right for that.
    Store Front: I go there directly, never from admin.
    Support: Same as above.

    To kill these, I opened admin/includes/header.php, found that list, and deleted the unwanted items. To do that, find where the list begins (<ul class="nav nav-pills upperMenu">) and delete the ones you don't want (<li> xxxx </li>).

    #2. Information I don't need, dead center of the top bar (the date/time, my IP, etc). I killed this in the header file as well (admin/includes/header.php).
    FOUND:
    Code:
        <div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-12 col-md-6 col-lg-6">
            <?php
            echo((strtoupper(substr(PHP_OS, 0, 3)) == 'WIN') ? iconv('ISO-8859-1', 'UTF-8', strftime(ADMIN_NAV_DATE_TIME_FORMAT, time())) : strftime(ADMIN_NAV_DATE_TIME_FORMAT, time())); //windows does not "do" UTF-8...so a manual conversion is necessary
            echo '&nbsp;' . date("O", time()) . ' GMT';  // time zone
            echo '&nbsp;[' . $_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] . ']'; // current admin user's IP address
            echo '<br />';
            echo version_compare(PHP_VERSION, '5.3.0', 'lt') ? php_uname('n') : gethostname(); //what server am I working on? // NOTE: gethostbyname only available since PHP 5.3.0
            echo ' - ' . date_default_timezone_get(); //what is the PHP timezone set to?
            $loc = setlocale(LC_TIME, 0);
            if ($loc !== FALSE) echo ' - ' . $loc; //what is the locale in use?
            ?>
        </div>
    REPLACED WITH:
    Code:
        <div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-12 col-md-6 col-lg-6">
            <?php
            echo '&nbsp;';
            ?>
        </div>
    Adding Quick Links to my admin page:
    Removing the date/time/IP info in #2 of Header Clutter above opened up real estate. So I went back to that and inserted my list there.
    FOUND (same passage edited above):
    Code:
        <div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-12 col-md-6 col-lg-6">
            <?php
            echo '&nbsp;';
            ?>
        </div>
    REPLACED WITH:
    Code:
        <div class="col-xs-12 col-sm-12 col-md-6 col-lg-6">
            <?php
            echo '<p style="text-align:center;"><strong>QUICK LINKS: </strong><a href="backup_mysql.php" class="headerLink">Backup</a>, <a href="easypopulate_4.php" class="headerLink">Easy Pop</a>, <a href="developers_tool_kit.php" class="headerLink">Dev Tools</a></p>';
            ?>
        </div>
    Easy as pie!

    +++++++++++++++
    UPSHOT:
    Ok so I wasted a couple hours figuring all this out, but man o man am I feeling liberated! I'm no longer afraid of making changes to the admin. So long as I keep those changes cosmetic and make only very, very minor code alterations that affect *only* cosmetics, I can change thinks that bother me deeply.

    Another nice discovery was finding the language file (/admin/includes/languages/english.php). For years it has bothered me that the Tools menu and the bar above both provide a link to look up your server info, but each calls it something different. In the menu it's "Server/Version Info" and on the bar it's "Version". So I used the language file to change the title on the bar (HEADER_TITLE_VERSION) to "Server Info" to make it more instinctive for me.

    Next up (if I ever find the time for it), I'm going to rename/sort/move items around on the Configuration menu. Every single time I need something over there I have to relearn it all.

 

 
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