My problem

I have spent some time now learning the basics of magento in order to create my first Module. This module has now being completed and I would like to improve upon it by adding some functionality for an administrator. for example add a link to my module in an existing menu option, let the administrator change text for fields, add/remove fields, add tabs to a page for different features of my module etc.

I have no idea how to start developing for the admin part of magento and there seems to be even less in the way of quality tutorials from which I can learn. I did find one series which I have mentioned in a previous question but I have found that not to be too helpful and has left me with more questions than it answered.

What I have done to try and solve it

Going through the Alan storm tutorial hello world revisited, has been a help in getting started and allowed me to add an option in the menu bar.

Checking the code of various files in the adminhtml folder has left me feeling lost as I could not work out what file completed what action and I cannot get the templates hint tool to work in the admin section.

Finally I have tried to review questions on this site, but I think my needs may be too basic as I cant find question which match any of what I am asking here.

My questions

1 - Is there some key concepts that differ significantly from developing for the front end? (my reason for asking this is the alan storm tutorial refers to the descrepency between <action>adminhtml/catalog_product/</action> and the actual url of admin/catalog_category also the other tutorial left me feeling that are a couple of other key differences too - i'm probably wrong)

1a - if there are some differences where do I find out more about these additional concepts I need to learn?

2 - Which files do I need to look at to learn how magento is creating the tabs and grids and appling data to the grids?

3 - I have only added a single table to store information for my module, is it a necessity to change this into magento's EAV structure in order to allow administrators to add and remove fields?

Please don't take this question as me asking for someone to tell me how to do my modules, I am simply looking for some guidence in getting started and a pointer in the right direction to help me on my way.

I don't want to blindly follow tutorials, but dont mind doing a couple if they help me understand as that is how I learnt how to do my module for the front end.

  • Can you simplify your question? Maybe start small, adding a section in System > Config Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 17:16
  • 1
    github.com/tzyganu/moduleCreator give this a try, create a dummy module, it will handle the Admin CRUD for you.
    – B00MER
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


Maybe start out by reading this artile as it gives a nice description on building your own extension with an Admin grid and edit pages. Please skip the part on the module creater as you'll learn much more from writing everything yourself.

  • Thanks. I had seen that tut, but as i talked about the module creator I clicked off. I will have a go. Thanks for the advice
    – tony09uk
    Commented Sep 2, 2013 at 8:51

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