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Glossary of common terms

Component

We refer to what you’re coding as components. (Composer refers to them as packages; the terms component and package are equivalent.) A Magento component can be classified into the following types:

  • Module (extend Magento capabilities)
  • Theme (change the look and feel of your storefront and Admin)
  • Language package (localize the storefront and Admin)

You can package your components as follows:

  • Individually
  • As a metapackage, which is a Magento Marketplace requirement if you’re developing a product that has more than one component.

    A metapackage consists of shared packages. Examples: a metapackage that consists of a module and a theme, two modules, two themes, and so on.

    More information about metapackages can be found in the next section.

Magento Marketplace uses the blanket term product to refer to a component or a metapackage .

Metapackage

Magento Marketplace requires more than one component to be packaged as a metapackage, which consists of only a composer.json that specifies individual components and their dependencies. (Magento Marketplace also refers to a metapackage as an extension.)

A metapackage requires or suggests components that we refer to as shared packages. You can use a shared package in multiple metapackages if you wish. (If you use shared packages, Marketplace requires that all components in a metapackage be shared packages.)

For example, you might want to list two metapackages in the Magento Marketplace—a standard package and a premium package. All of the standard package components could be shared packages used by the premium package. Among other things, this enables merchants to easily upgrade from your standard package to your premium package using the Magento Component Manager.

Merchants do not need to understand that, under the covers, some packages are shared.

You can upload to Magento Marketplace as many shared packages as you want but you must specifically give components access to them. Failure to do so means your components won't work properly after they're installed by merchants. For more information, see the Magento Marketplace User Guide.

For more information

Component Manager

Merchants use the Component Manager (part of the Magento Admin) to do any of the following:

  • Install, uninstall
  • Update
  • Enable, disable

If you package and upload your components as discussed in this guide and in the Marketplace User Guide, merchants can easily update your components after you publish them.

For details, see Supported actions for each component type