mojoPortal 2.2.1.8 Released

I just released mojoPortal 2.2.1.8 and 1.0.6

No major new features but an important security fix for NeatUpload is included in both releases.

The 2.x release also has:

the new version of FCKeditor

a new feature to prevent friendly urls from masking real urls while still allowing virtual pages to link to physical pages if desired

a number of bug fixes for things reported in the forums since the last release

As always be sure and back up both your site and your db before upgrading, and post in the forums if you have any trouble and I will try to help.

e-commerce Testing/Demo Site

I just setup a site at http://storedemo.mojoportal.com/ that demonstrates what I have implemented so far for the e-commerce project.

I am still seeking sponsorship for continued development on this project so that I can make it a high priority. A few developers have expressed interest in learning more about it and at least one has offered to help with testing.

At the moment the demo is configured with 2 Offers, one is an mp3 album with 3 songs and one is an mp3 single.

Anyone can test the basic add to cart and proceed through checkout functionality.
If you are interested in seeing/testing the back end store administration please contact me and I can add you to a role with this permission on the demo site.

Any feedback from testers should be posted in the project forum here:
http://www.mojoportal.com/e-commerceforum.aspx

I am interested in hearing what it would need for you to use it for real e-commerce to meet your real business needs.

The project page includes a list of currently implemented functionality and a To Do list.

SVN Users should use branches/2.x

I know some users have been getting frequent svn updates directly from branches/joesandbox2

I've suggested using it in the past in some forum posts but I want to give a heads up to anyone working from svn code to use branches/2.x instead

Instructions for getting the source code from svn on Windows with TortoiseSVN can be found here:
http://www.mojoportal.com/tortoisesvn.aspx
and for those who want to experiment with mojoPortal on Linux, svn instructions are here:
http://www.mojoportal.com/gettingthecodewithsvn.aspx

You can rely on branches/2.x being relatively stable. I merge my changes from branches/joesandbox2 into branches/2.x when I believe them to be stable enough to share with other developers.
Use branches/joesandbox2 only at your own risk as I need to be able to commit changes there whether they are final/correct or not just to make sure I never lose work due to hard drive failure.

I mention this because I'm about to start working on some things that may make things bumpy in branches/joesandbox2 because I will be making changes in the core and will probably implement some things in MS SQL long before I get the other data layers implemented and therefore joesandbox2 will be broken for the other layers until I implement them.

I have a customer who is sponsoring a new feature, or really a variation on a current feature and this is what I'll be working on. The customer has been using mojoPortal for a few small projects and they want to use it on a larger planned project but to meet their needs they need the multiple sites feature to work differently than it currently does. Currently the site id is determined by the host name so mojoPortal can host multiple sites on a single web installation and db as long as each site has a different host name like this:
http://host1/
http://host2/

Note that on the internet the fully qualified host name is usually used so the pattern is:
http://hostname.domainname.topleveldomainname
like
http://www.somedomain.info
where www is the hostname, somedomain is the domain, and info is the top level domain

Of course you also often see the pattern:
http://domainname.topleveldomainname
like
http://somedomain.com
the reason this works without the host name is that the domain has a default host that is used when no specific host is specified

My customer needs the ability to create new sites in sub folders beneath the host name like:
http://hostname/site1
http://hostname/site2
or examples with fully qualified names would be:
http://www.somedomain.com/site1
http://www.somedomain.com/site2

So in these examples the hostname is the same and the site id will be determined by the first level folder.

I don't plan to eliminate the hostname driven feature but to add a config option to use the foldername instead.

The sites will be completely independent with their own users and content just as they currently are using hostnames.

Some of the challenges will be in making sure the friendly url re-writing adapts correctly and making sure sites aren't defined using folder names that clash with physical folders

This feature is being sponsored as open source development which means it will become part of mojoPortal and other users of mojoPortal who may desire this functionality will benefit.

mojoPortal Reviewed in aspnetNow e-newsletter

Anand Narayanaswamy, Microsoft MVP & Author of Community Server Quickly, has published a review of MojoPortal in April 2007 issue of aspnetNOW e-newsletter, which is the free e-companion to aspnetPRO Magazine.

Read the article here:
http://www.aspnetpro.com/Productreviews/2007/04/asp200704an_p/asp200704an_p.asp

Many Thanks Anand for providing some additional exposure to mojoPortal!

e-commerce Project Needs a Customer

For the past 2 months I've been working very hard to implement e-commerce as a new feature for mojoPortal. The project had minimal sponsorship from BrainBeacon who were my initial customer for this feature. They only needed to sell one downloadable product initially and they wanted to use the Authorize.NET payment gateway and they wanted to go live with their store in April 2007. After meeting their initial needs I planned to flesh out more features to support a broader array of e-commerce scenarios. Unfortunately, as I was about to work with them for initial testing they decided to dissolve their company and no longer plan to open a store or use the e-commerce feature.

Since I have no immediate need to use this feature myself I'm in a bit of a quandry as its hard to polish a feature that is not being used by real users and when no-one is available to provide feedback. So in short I'm looking for a new customer for this feature before I continue with any further development effort. I think having e-commerce will be a great feature and add to the popularity of mojoPortal but it will be hard to complete it until I have someone who wants to use it for actual e-commerce who is willing to provide testing and actual use and feedback. If you are interested in using this feature and possibly sponsoring continued development please contact me. Most of the feature is already built. If you need to sell a few downloadable products its pretty much ready for testing, if you have shipped products or additional scenarios I can work with you to implement the needed enhancements.

Update 4/4/2007:  I'm starting to get a few inquiries about this so I thought it best if I post some specific information about the kind of help that is needed to complete this project. The main point is that e-commerce is not a trivial feature, if it were a trivial feature it would be enough for me to test it to my own satisfaction but with a feature this complex I really need folks who can test it from a customer perspective and provide feedback until it meets their real needs. Developer's should not be the ones to do QA (Quality Assurance) testing on a feature they have built themselves, the more complex the feature the more validation is required from business users of the feature.

Ideally I'm looking for someone who can:
1. set up their own test environment using mojoPortal retrieved directly from svn branches/2.x and get it built with VS 2005 sp1 and running using MS SQL Server
2. Setup a test account at Authorize.NET so you can test your transactions against the Authorize.NET payment processing system
3. Test all aspects of the e-commerce solution administrative features and user features and provide feedback

I will respond to the feedback then the tester(s) will do a fresh svn update to retrieve my changes from svn rebuild the system and confirm improvements or submit additional feedback.

I am willing to do this with or without sponsorship but without sponsorship the pace of the process will be much slower because I will be fitting it in during spare time around my other customer work. If I get some financial sponsorship then it will be prioritized into my workflow along with other customer work but this will be substantially higher priority than without sponsorship. Sponsorship also means you can specify additional requirements and priorities within the project. If you need a different payment gateway than Authorize.NET I'm certainly willing to implement others for example.

Those who want to participate as testers and/or sponsors please contact me, then get started with step 1 above. I will then provide some additional instructions for setting up the store once your test site is working from the latest svn /branches/2.x