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On 19th December the much anticipated Virtuemart 2.0.0 was released. This is a great achievement by the Virtuemart team and we congratulate them.

The differences between 1.1x and version 2 are very substantial, and so our products will require updating to support the new version. This is something we will be working on over the next few months, we do eventually plan to support the new version with all our Virtuemart products.

Our first product to support Virtuemart 2 and Joomla 2.5 is VM Modcontroller Pro, the module which allows you to control the display of other modules on Virtuemart pages.

The New Virtuemart

If you download and install the new release on a test site, at first glance there appear to be a lot of similarities with the old Virtuemart. However don't be fooled: the new version is practically an entirely new e-commerce component, much of the code has been re-written from the ground up. The advantages of this are huge: for the first time Virtuemart truly is a Joomla extension. The shop pages are integrated properly into the Joomla menu system. The code now uses the Joomla MVC framework, which is a great for developers (it makes it much easier to find relevant code), and makes it possible for the first time to use template overriding with Virtuemart output. There also is a consistent Jooma compatible plugin framework for things such as payment methods. And of course it is compatible with the Joomla 1.6/1.7/2.5 release run.

There also are improvements to some of the more annoying features of version 1.1x: a more user-friendly system of custom product fields, and a new image manager. Further details are listed here:

There do seem to be some important features that are not as yet supported. So far the only payment methods are available are cash on delivery and Paypal. The only shipping module is the standard, which allows for shipping costs based on weight. The component does not support downloadable products, gift vouchers or coupons. For a new e-commerce site it is worth considering whether you want to use Virtuemart 2 yet: version 1.1.9 will give you more features for now. For existing Virtuemart stores the time to upgrade to version 2 is almost certainly not yet.

However the new Virtuemart gives us grounds to be optimistic for the future of this great extension.


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