I've created a small template in which I need access to information such as the currency code, cart total etc.

I'm able to get them with the methods below, but which is the most efficient? Is there a better way?


$_store = Mage::app()->getStore();
$_currencyRate = $_store->getCurrentCurrencyRate();
$_currencyCode = $_store->getCurrentCurrencyCode();
$_currencySymbol = Mage::app()->getLocale()->currency($_currencyCode)->getSymbol();
$_cartTotal = Mage::getModel('checkout/session')->getQuote()->getGrandTotal();


$_currencyRate = Mage::app()->getStore()->getCurrentCurrencyRate();
$_currencyCode = Mage::app()->getStore()->getCurrentCurrencyCode();
$_currencySymbol = Mage::app()->getLocale()->currency(Mage::app()->getStore()->getCurrentCurrencyCode())->getSymbol();
$_cartTotal = Mage::getModel('checkout/session')->getQuote()->getGrandTotal();

Before I give my answer I believe you may have a problem in your code - sessions should always be called as a singleton. Thus, the line Mage::getModel('checkout/session') should be Mage::getSingleton('checkout/session').

In my opinion, neither approach is "most correct" but the first is likely most preferable.

My approach

The matter being that there should be a separation of concerns. A template, by nature, should style data that is available to it, not fetch the data for itself. This is the very reason we have a Block class - it's a model to render the view and provide data to the template.

I would propose this:

  • Create your own custom module
  • Use your own block class
  • Provide methods to get the cart total from the block class

It would look something like this:

The block

class Company_Module_Block_Cart extends Mage_Core_Block_Template
    protected $_store;
    protected $_quote;

    protected function _construct()
        $this->_store = Mage::app()->getStore();
        $this->_quote = Mage::getSingleton('checkout/session')->getQuote();

    public function getCurrencyRate()
        return $this->_store->getCurrentCurrencyRate();

    public function getCurrencyCode()
        return $this->_store->getCurrentCurrencyCode();

    public function getCurrencySymbol()
        $currencyCode = $this->getCurrencyCode();
        $localeCurrency = Mage::app()->getLocale()->currency($currencyCode);

        return $localeCurrency->getSymbol();

    public function getCartTotal()
        return $this->_quote->getGrandTotal();

This allows you to discretely call each method in your template:

<h1>This is my template</h1>
<p>My currency symbol is <?php echo $this->getCurrencySymbol(); ?> and I use currency code <?php echo $this->getCurrencyCode(); ?></p>

<h2>The current cart total is: <?php echo $this->getCartTotal(); ?></h2>

I wouldn't be worried so much about DRY (don't repeat yourself) code and non-reuse of code so much as the template being clean and a frontend developer being able to create semantic markup that makes use of the data without needing to know HOW to get that data.

  • thanks that's a really nice answer. I guess in my module config.xml I would only need to declare the block class? Something like <global><blocks><blockmodule><class>Holy_BlockModule_Myblock</class></blockmodule></blocks><helpers>... – Holly Jun 29 '16 at 14:04
  • Correct! You would also need to refer to it in your layout. – philwinkle Jun 29 '16 at 14:07

The first one is probably better than the other, here's why:

  • first, it avoids redundancy of code. You don't call the exact same code several times and that makes your code easier to read, that's the biggest benefit in my opinion.
  • second, it is slightly (understand it's negligeable in this case) better in terms of performance because instead of calling Mage::app()->getStore() three times you call it once.

I would choose the 1st method. However, it's better to move that logic to a block to not violate the MVC design pattern.

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