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Magento PayPal Express Checkout: Recoverable Failures

Background

Recently I had to respond to a new situation involving a PayPal Express problem on a Magento 1.7 install involving error code 10486.  Unbeknownst to me at the time, some checkout errors are actually recoverable if the application responds correctly.

Overview

As many readers know, the built-in Prototype JS validation library can handle a plethora of validation cases.  What some readers don't know is that many of these test cases were built all the way back in 2007!  The web has changed a lot since then!  One validation function that sticks out like a sore thumb is validate-css-length.

Administrator Notifications

If you've been working with Magento for as long as I have, you've undoubtedly noticed some of the 101 messages (at the time of this writing) that have appeared in the administration panel.  This article serves to demystify the mechanisms behind the notifications and also leads into extending the existing system to safely incorporate custom notifications into your own extensions.

Magento ships with a powerful, robust, and somewhat undocumented XML-driven back-end system configuration solution.  This article assumes that the reader is well acquainted with this system.  If not, a prerequisite crash-course can be found in one of Alan Storm's excellent articles.  This article looks beyond what the system can do and reaches into what the software developer should do with it in order to best serve their end-users.

By the end of this article, the reader should feel confident that his or her system configurations are bulletproof.  Please bear in mind that this article is going to seem a little "preachy", but there are some technical tidbits scattered throughout.

In this article, we're going to create a custom notification system that integrates into the existing notification inbox system. This is the continuation of Magento: Administrator Notifications article.

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