Recently I was in the process of migrating a Magento webshop to a SaaS webshop solution. Normally I would access the product and other data by using the API. In this case this was a problem as there was a lot of data that I was not able to access. I needed the output of blocks and some custom modules which where not exposed to the API.

I had 2 options:

  1. Write code to expose those data to the API.
  2. Access the data from Laravel.

As I already needed Laravel for this specific project I tried the second approach. From this point there are 2 possible paths: Access the data directly in the database, or access the Magento code base and access the data that way. The latter has my preference as blocks needs parsing before I can transfer them. For example, an image is saved in the database in this way:

<img title="image404" src="{{media url="wysiwyg/404.jpg'}}" alt="Page not found" />


Before we can get to the fun stuf we need some preparation. For this approach to work we need 2 environments: a working Laravel environment and a working Magento environment. You don’t need to be able to access the Magento environment from the webbrowser, this can be Headless™. You could even connect the environment to the production database if you wanted to, but I would not recommend that. The 2 installations must be on the same system as we need to include the Magento source files into Laravel. My setup look something like this:

— /Laravel
— /Magento

Magento and Laravel has an overlap in 2 functions which will give you a fatal error: __() and now(). As I don’t need that functions I commented them out in staging/app/code/core/Mage/Core/functions.php.

Service Provider

The most logical approach for this is to use a service provider which binds to the container. This way Magento is only bootstrapped when you actually need the data and not on every request. I did add this Service Provider:

namespace App\Providers;
use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;
class MagentoServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
     * Bootstrap services.
     * @return void
    public function boot()
     * Register services.
     * @return void
    public function register()
        $this->app->bind('Magento', function () {
            require_once '../../path-to-your-magento-installation/app/Mage.php';
            return \Mage::app();

Now we can access the block contents in the same way we normally would do when working in Magento:

$blockid = 'main-image-404-page'; 
$layout = \Mage::app()->getLayout();
$block = $layout->createBlock('cms/block')->setBlockId($blockid)->toHtml()

How safe is this?

I did test this only in a closed environment. I made a copy of the Magento code and database and setup a local copy. I then transferred the data to the new SaaS webshop which was not online yet.