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Lack of 'suite' applications - Feedback from xenForo please?

Rob

Well-known member
#1
At the moment, my site is using many different applications to make up the whole.
XenForo - for community
SilverStripe - for CMS
Prestashop - for store front
AddOnChat - For live chat room

Ideally, I need to add blogs and a gallery also.

The way things stand right now, all these applications are not integrated and do not communicate with each other particularly well - it leaves one hell of a resource footprint on the server also to be running all these fully blown applications.

My solution to the headache is to migrate to IPB which can handle all of the above in one integrated application that has far less of a server resource footprint and in addition the applications can all communicate (where needed).

I doubt for a second I am the only person in this position and whilst it is good that IPB solves the issues and brings these critical site modules under one umbrella there are downsides - namely that the UI of IPB isnt that modern or that nice to use.

I know the question of 'when will xenforo do this' has been asked many times before so I will not ask it but would like to know the opinions of KAM on this topic and hopefully gain an insight into whether or not they feel that 'suite' type applications will EVER be developed in house.

I would love to carry on using xenForo but realistically it is not a viable option for me at this time, although I very much wish it was.

Does any of the xenForo team have any feedback regarding any of the above?
 

Luxus

Well-known member
#2
Don't expect a 'suit' anytime soon. If you use forums and stuff for a business and not as a hobby, I suggest moving now to IPB and migrate later back to Xenforo.
 

surfsup

Well-known member
#4
i cant ever see myself leaving xenforo, even though I run the forum as a business im still in need of few features that hasnt launched yet but are in the works, example: storefront (Mythical), classifieds (i use photopost), gallery (waiting on robbo?), etc.

ipb? lol...
 

Luxus

Well-known member
#5
I recall someone in the same situation as Rob. He too asked this community for advice because he loved xenforo but needed a complete package because he makes a living out of his forum. In the end, he ended up at IPB and I think even got hired there.
 

Rob

Well-known member
#6
Well, leaving behind xenforo and moving to a new software isnt a decision that has been taken lightly I can tell you.
 

AlexT

Well-known member
#7
I may be in the minority, but I prefer xF to focus on its core product, which is the forum.

vBulletin used to be very successful as a stand-alone forum product. Their suite, however, never felt like a finished product to me. In contrast, there are many advanced players out there for the various markets - in particular the CMS market. How should xF stand a chance to compete here with its few developers?

Haven't heard of Silverstripe before. But I know that Drupal, for example, is a very strong CMS. For Drupal, you have all sorts of extensions that enable things like a store front or a live chat. So instead of creating your world around the forum software, why not start choosing a powerful CMS and consider xF only as an add-on for the forum part? This way, you only need to integrate two softwares, and honestly, if it is done properly, I don't see how it would cause any more strain on the server than if everything came from one software.
 

Rigel Kentaurus

Well-known member
#8
I may be in the minority, but I prefer xF to focus on its core product, which is the forum.

vBulletin used to be very successful as a stand-alone forum product. Their suite, however, never felt like a finished product to me. In contrast, there are many advanced players out there for the various markets - in particular the CMS market. How should xF stand a chance to compete here with its few developers?

Haven't heard of Silverstripe before. But I know that Drupal, for example, is a very strong CMS. For Drupal, you have all sorts of extensions that enable things like a store front or a live chat. So instead of creating your world around the forum software, why not start choosing a powerful CMS and consider xF only as an add-on for the forum part? This way, you only need to integrate two softwares, and honestly, if it is done properly, I don't see how it would cause any more strain on the server than if everything came from one software.
I thought that vBulletin always lacked the "one man in charge" for the different products.

At some point Freddy was doing a hell of a job with blogs. We got draggable blocks, pages, personalization ... plenty of goodies. Let's not forget linkbacks, trackbacks, support for privacy ... but even he got pulled over to do the asset manager (good idea) and work on the main branch of vBulletin

And nobody worked on the blog for months
... and months
.... and months
....... and months

So, for add-ons to get really serious I feel they needs one person focused. Even on XenForo now most likely Mike is splitting his time between Resource Manager and Xenforo (90-10% maybe?), it would be really nice if one person was the Resource Manager guy, listening to suggestions, improving it, having a consistent plan, and not feeling tempted to do a feature for the forum because that is not his job. Maybe someday.
 

whynot

Well-known member
#9
I may be in the minority, but I prefer xF to focus on its core product, which is the forum.

vBulletin used to be very successful as a stand-alone forum product. Their suite, however, never felt like a finished product to me. In contrast, there are many advanced players out there for the various markets - in particular the CMS market. How should xF stand a chance to compete here with its few developers?

Haven't heard of Silverstripe before. But I know that Drupal, for example, is a very strong CMS. For Drupal, you have all sorts of extensions that enable things like a store front or a live chat. So instead of creating your world around the forum software, why not start choosing a powerful CMS and consider xF only as an add-on for the forum part? This way, you only need to integrate two softwares, and honestly, if it is done properly, I don't see how it would cause any more strain on the server than if everything came from one software.
I don't think that you are in the minority.
A good bridge to a CMS would be better than build a new one from scratch.
 

principia

Well-known member
#10
Mike has told often that there are no plans to this kind of addons in the near future.
This makes sense, because they dont have the manpower for this and they have to focus on the core.
This is just 1.1 with 1.2 coming. A lot to do in the future.
How will they be able to manage a cms and all the stuff ?
 

Luxus

Well-known member
#12
It would be better if XenForo provided an addon to better bridge between existing CMS software as opposed to write their own.
No, that would make them work for those CMSes while they should focus on their own software. Besides, CMSes tend to break bridges by each update.
 

AlexT

Well-known member
#14
First you'd have to define what you mean by "full integration". For some users integration means using single sign-ons - which is already easy to realize with xF's fully pluggable authentication system. For others it is important to have content from the forum appear in the CMS and vice versa. This is already a very specific integration and won't be easily dealt with through a single interface. Specific bridges are the solution for that and the more integration you want the more likely it is something is going to break with future updates. Hence my earlier suggestion to build your side with an existing CMS (Drupal, or even Wordpress), and limit xF to powering the forum of your site. Large sites do exactly this, like ign.com, for example, who uses Wordpress as its CMS I believe and xF as its forum software.
 

Weppa333

Active member
#16
You have to actually buy and (try to) use IPB's CMS to know this is not a solution.

It is bloated in many ways, only a handful of people know how to use it properly, and unless you're willing to pay someone to create your own CMS, you're gonna end up nowhere with IPB's CMS
Either you're an average user like me and you'll be stuck with the "CMS blocks" ( and XF widget framework or xenportal do the same if not better ); or you want something more specific and you'll be forced to endure one of the few "power users" that literally took over IPB's forums, and if they agree to work for you, will send you their bills.

The update process of the CMS is a nightmare. The slighest minor relase can kill your CMS modules forever, SQL backups are mandatory each time you dare to upgrade anything on this thing. It'll also more than likely require you to modify your code at each release.

IPB's CMS is also killed by it's editor. Just try to create an article with inline images, and you'll see what I mean. This thing CAN NOT be used by freelancers, journalists or anything else than powers users.

But much more than that, everything IPB3.x related is going down the drain for IPB4 so... I'm not sure this is the right time to invest anymore time devving for IPB.

That's just my opinion.
 

Sean James

Well-known member
#18
Would love to see XenForo release a product like IP.Nexus which has storefront and support tickets, when this happens I will be converting my main forum to XenForo.
But like someone mentioned above this sort of addon would need more manpower, but fingers crossed for one day!
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#19
I like that KAM focus on doing well whatever they do.
But its a major weakness that XF misses a good CMS, groups, blog, gallery, store, wiki, tracker, helpdesk.
Hopefully some quality addon developing companies will jump in to bring the XenForo platform to a more complete level.
Its pretty hard for webmasters who run a suite website to migrate to xenforo. Even if the forum software is great.