What is Composer?

    Composer is a new standard for the management of PHP packages and libraries. The official website describes Composer like so:

    Composer is a tool for dependency management in PHP. It allows you to declare the libraries your project depends on and it will manage (install/update) them for you.

    Why use Composer?

    Composer makes it much easier and far less time consuming to manage the extensions and libraries installed on a Magento site. Rather than having to log into our website, check for the latest version, download it and then install manually, you can now run a simple command:

    composer update

    All of the latest versions will be automatically pulled down for you. Composer also allows you to specify particular versions you want installed (so you don't have to upgrade to newer versions if you don't want to) and will also download any libraries required by an extension.

    Magento 2 officially requires Composer and will be using it as the recommended installation method for packages, so we're getting on board now and hope the change will benefit all of the developers using our extensions.

    How do I use it?

    You just need to add a new repository to your composer.json file, along with a unique key for your Fontis account which will authorise you to download extensions you've purchased. Simply log in to your account and copy and paste the code from the Composer Packages page in your customer account area on our site.

    Vinai Kopp has a great introductory article on getting up and running with Composer for Magento.

    Can I install any Fontis extension like this?

    Any extension which has been included in an order placed with your account will be made available to you in your personal Composer repository. Extensions you've added previously will already be available for use.

    Can I still use Magento Connect Manager?

    No, we will no longer be uploading our extensions to Magento Connect or providing them in a compatible package format, so they cannot be installed through Magento Connect Manager. Given that Magento 2 has been designed to use Composer for package management, the existing package format will soon be deprecated.

    What if I don't have command line access on my server?

    We recommend first installing our extensions using Composer into a development environment for your website, and then deploying the installed files to your live server from there. You can find some common ways of doing this on the PHP: The Right Way website.