Navigating Module Installation: Composer, Artifacts, and App/Code Installation


Installing modules is an essential aspect of modern software development, particularly in frameworks like Magento.

The process of adding new functionality or extending existing features can vary depending on the platform and the preferences of the developer.Module Install Comparison Chart 

There are a few options when installing a module: Composer, Artifacts, and App/Code. 

Composer: Streamlining Dependency Management 

Composer has become a staple in PHP development, revolutionizing the way dependencies are managed, which is why it is Briteskies’ preferred method.  

For those of us who aren’t developers, dependency management refers to the process of handling the relationships between various software components or modules within a project.

In software development, dependencies arise when one component relies on another component to function correctly. These dependencies can include libraries, frameworks, modules, packages, or other external resources. 

Effective dependency management is crucial for the successful development and maintenance of software projects. It helps minimize compatibility issues, reduce development time, improve code maintainability, and enhance overall project stability and reliability.   

Here are some pros and cons of using Composer for module installation: 


  • Dependency Resolution: Composer excels in managing dependencies, automatically resolving version conflicts, and ensuring all required packages are installed correctly. 
  • Version Control: By defining dependencies in a composer.json file, you gain precise control over which versions of modules are installed, making it easier to maintain compatibility and stability. 
  • Community Support: Many open-source projects in the PHP ecosystem provide Composer packages, fostering a vibrant community and making it easy to integrate third-party modules into your projects. 


  • Complexity: Composer's powerful features come with a learning curve. Beginners may find the syntax and workflow daunting initially, especially when dealing with more complex scenarios like custom repositories or version constraints. 

Artifacts: Simplifying Distribution and Deployment 

Artifacts are pre-packaged bundles containing all the necessary files for a module, making them easy to distribute and deploy across different environments. When Composer is unavailable for a module this is your next best option. 

Here's a closer look at their pros and cons: 


  • Portability: Artifacts encapsulate all module dependencies, ensuring consistent behavior across different environments without relying on external package managers. 
  • Simplicity: Installing artifacts typically involves copying files into the appropriate directories, making it a straightforward process even for developers with minimal experience. 
  • Offline Installation: Artifacts are ideal for scenarios where internet access is limited or restricted, as they don't rely on fetching dependencies from remote repositories. 


  • Dependency Management: Artifacts don't offer the same level of dependency management as Composer. If a module relies on external libraries or packages, ensuring compatibility and resolving conflicts becomes the developer's responsibility. 
  • Version Control: Without a standardized versioning scheme or dependency resolution mechanism, managing multiple versions of artifacts can become challenging over time, potentially leading to compatibility issues. 
  • Maintenance Overhead: As projects evolve and dependencies change, updating and maintaining artifacts can become cumbersome, especially in large-scale deployments with numerous modules. 

 App/Code: Direct Integration Into the Codebase 

Some businesses prefer to integrate modules directly into the codebase of their applications, bypassing package managers altogether.  

Here's a rundown of the pros and cons of this approach: 


  • Full Control: Integrating modules into the codebase gives developers complete control over how they're implemented and used, allowing for fine-tuned customization and optimization. 


  • Dependency Management: Managing dependencies manually within the codebase can be error-prone and time-consuming, especially as the project grows in size and complexity. 
  • Code Maintainability: Directly integrating modules can clutter the codebase and make it harder to maintain, especially if proper organization and documentation practices aren't followed consistently. 
  • Compatibility Issues: Without a standardized way of managing dependencies, integrating modules into the codebase can lead to compatibility issues, especially when multiple developers are working on the same project. 

The list of critical cons with limited pros is why Briteskies’ does not recommend installing modules this way if it is avoidable.  

When it comes to module installation, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Each approach—Composer, Artifacts, and App/Code—has its own set of pros and cons, and the best choice depends on factors such as project requirements, team expertise, and deployment environment. 

Composer offers robust dependency management but comes with a learning curve (luckily our team is composed of Composer experts), while artifacts simplify distribution but may lack dependency resolution capabilities. Direct integration into the codebase provides maximum control but requires careful maintenance and can lead to compatibility issues. 

Ultimately, the key is to weigh these factors carefully and choose the approach that best aligns with your project's needs and development workflow. Whether you opt for the convenience of Composer, the simplicity of artifacts, or the control of direct integration, thoughtful consideration and careful planning will help ensure a smooth and successful module installation process.  

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