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Site Integration

Discussion in 'XenForo Pre-Sales Questions' started by Kradorex Xeron, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Kradorex Xeron

    Kradorex Xeron New Member


    I have been working alongside a client in determining the best forum software for their usage and therefore posting this on their behalf.

    What the specification indicates is that they need a forum software with mechanisms for a main site and subsequently possibly multiple subdomains to be able to:

    1. Pull data from the forum software, including whether the user is an administrator, moderator or regular user
    2. Handle login sessions utilizing the forum authentication system with ease (directing users to login via the forums, but their cookies being valid and usable on the main site)
    3. NOT require extensive frameworks (be something simple to integrate like SMF's API[1] where authentication checking is simply done with 1-2 functions, not require enough code that may as well completely developing the authentication system or other mechanisms from scratch)
    4. NOT require the forum software to be THE site framework (Where the forum becomes the dominant mechanism for the sites since it is desired that the sites be partially operational when the forum software is unavailable for maintenence, updates and database server maintenence so the site can continue to work based on "cached" filesystem based data)

    From what I have researched around here is that there are many posts saying "Yes, it is possible", "No", "Yes, but you need to use xfsite/third party module","Use nodes", "Why do you want this?" but little to no actual doumentation aside from undocumented code snippets throughout various threads on these forums.

    For clarification: I understand that the forum software doesn't have a "make this site for me" button, I am not expecting this. I just don't want to advise the client (and possibly other clients in future) to purchase a license and then the forum software requires us to re-invent the wheel that another software package may already provide out of the box. I want to be able to go back to the client and tell them how many hours/days of work will be needed to unite both a separate item of custom software and the forum software together.

    [1] http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=453008.0
  2. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    You have your answer.

    • YES, this is possible.
    • YES, you can use other modifications to help you make this happen.
    • YES, XenForo is customizable and easy to use to make this possible.
    • YES, this has been done before.

    The question though that you seek...

    How long will it take?

    .... That is impossible to answer and anyone else who tells you that if you use X product is will only take Y time, is lying. There are far to many variables to give an exact moment in time.
  3. Kradorex Xeron

    Kradorex Xeron New Member

    Thank you for this affirmative answer which brings me close to be able to provide my client a "go ahead", however I wasn't expecting an answer for how long it'd take, what I was anticipating was information to allow me to determine this. For instance, API documentation (is there any official documentation on the backend code/API).

    I don't expect the answers to be simply handed to me however since the demo is restrictive (very understandably for security reasons) on Xenforo Ltd's servers, I cannot use that to determine these answers since it just provides access to the forum software front-end. I thus need some form of documentation on the API functions, the arguements they can take, what it takes to initialize the API in a script, so forth.

    Consider this like a customer of a car dealership asking what's under the hood so they can determine how they can add things onto the car in a specific way to determine how long it would take. The various answers around here have been largely "Yes, the car can do 50 MPH" but not providing what kind of engine is there to determine if it can be upgraded/modified.

    Thank you.
  4. Lilie

    Lilie Member

    Hello, I'm the aforementioned client and I would like to clear a couple of things up, more specifically, what exactly we want to achieve.

    This site is to be a roleplaying site with the focus to be on the characters created for roleplaying. As such, we were hoping to add a feature called "character pages".
    This feature would allow the creation of characters in a manner that shows multiple instances of characters through tabs. While not required, it would be a nice thing to have members be able to comment on the characters.
    No, the character pages shouldn't be treated like accounts, but rather... sub-profiles? You won't be able to post with them, but they're there to be viewed for reference. (I hope this makes sense.)
    Here is a rough plan of what we wanted. Bear in mind this is before we considered Xenforo and that we've scrapped the "relationships" idea (for now).
    Before we even consider purchasing the software, I'd like to know if we can work in a characters system.
    What we're looking to do is....
    • An avatar to represent the character throughout the site. (more on this when I cover the Character Cloud)
    • Multiple instances of characters as represented through multiple tabs on the same page, namable by the member. You'll basically get an "about me" box to write about the character freely. (BBcode too, we want pretty pictures to express ourselves.)
    • The tabs can be as many (we may need a limit on this so the pages don't break) or as few as the member pleases. The member can rename/re arrange them as they please.
    • A picture to represent that instance 0f the character.
    • While not essential to our decision, it would be nice to have a gallery with the ability to tag characters, and it show up on the character's profiles. Also, with a notification when your character is tagged in a picture. (this way you can know that your character was drawn or something without any further troubles)
    • Character Cloud- A page that's automatically updated with the characters, lists them all by name or date created (perhaps their creator.), with their avatar and name. There will probably be a side box (staff editable) for features or to list a random character/new characters. (think of it like a secondary member list.)
    • A new tab on the member's profile showing all of the characters they have created and linking to their pages. Updated automatically.
    We were planning on building our own site software complete with a user dashboard initially, but we decided it may be a good move to invest in a Xenforo board. We don't want the core of the site to be the forum, rather, the creation and discussion of characters along with having a "social network" (so to speak)of members working together to create a community of roleplayers.

    Is this possible?
    (if I need to explain further or reword anything for better understanding please don't hesitate to tell me.)
  5. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    YES, this can be done on XenForo.

    XenForo is very easy to customize and uses little resources to get the job done. :)
    Lilie likes this.
  6. Lilie

    Lilie Member

    Thank you so much, I've been considering Xenforo for quite some time (since this time last year I believe?) and I must say that I have my heart set on it. It makes me very happy to know that the customization is possible.
    Mmm, I have a few other questions but since they're off topic I should probably make my own topic. (if I don't find the answers through a simple search.)
  7. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Feel free to ask away.

    We're a friendly community and eager to help whenever possible :)

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