Fabrik gives you the power to create forms and tables that run inside Joomla without requiring knowledge of mySQL and PHP. Then feed your data into Google Maps, Charts or an AJAX based calendar
With Fabrik you can create applications that range in complexity from simple contact forms to complex applications such as a job application site or bug tracking systems.
Fabrik is NOT a forms component. Its an incredibly powerful and highly customizable database design system. yes, you can create tables. Yes, you can design forms, but the power comes through the ability to link tables, filter them, link them to google maps, charts and other visualisations. For those who want their site to collate a range of data in forms/subforms and to relate the data to other tables, Fabrik is really the only extension I've come across that comes close. At its basic level, its a form creator, but at its most powerful level, it gives access to clever and powerful manipulation and presentation of data. Its so great that the extension is free, I have no idea why Rob and his team do this. Have a play at the demo, read some of the documentation and give it a whirl. Theres no other 'forms' extension that comes close. Thanks Rob. Outstanding!
Hi, can you report any bugs found in the forum please, we do fix things when reported and I'm not aware of anything seriously wrong at the moment!
I have been using Fabrik for a couple of years on a few sites, and I am willing to concede that it could do with a better forum/search system for help, but the guys who are developing the product are spending their time on fixing bugs/upgrading/helping users, not mending the search system.
It can be difficult to find the right thread to solve your particular problem agreed, but I have virtually never had to ask a question directly, and when I have, I have had an excellent response in a very good timeframe.
I have also never seen any rudeness on the part of the support crew, even when they are dealing with people who have wildly unrealistic expectations, and apparently more teeth than brain cells!
Like all really complex products which are highly customizable, the learning curve is steep, but the wiki and the video walkthoughs will show anyone with half a brain how to get started, and after that, it will take you as far as you want to go.
Any honest assessment of a random selection of support issues in the Fabrik forum will show that time and time again the developers and their loyal helpers are patient and generous in supporting 'freebie' clients.
The product does what it says on the tin, and the prices for premium support are negligible in comparison to commercial equivalents which offer far less capability.
And for those who are thinking I work for Fabrik or something, A) I don't, and B)Go look at the free support forums to see how much effort Rob 'n Hugh 'n crew put in and C)Read the rest of the review down below...
Have to say that searching at K2, Virtuemart or Sobi2 support forums is a piece of cake, compared to Fabrik support forum.
Support answers at Fabrik forum are confusing, chaotic. Developers are often rude to people that are only asking help with "free" part of extension.
It seems that they just write at forum to get more topics and posts. Quantity before quality.
When someone asks something they answer halfhearted and then they acuse topic starter that he/she wasn´t clear. And topic ends there, despite starter made himself clear after.
Whole feeling with Fabrik support team is that they complicate and confuse things maximally to earn money if someone needs help with extension.
That BTW is not wrong, but YOU HAVE TO give easy and free explanation to that you give for free. For paid parts od extension you can charge extra for support.
As i said, deliberately complicating things at support level (and whole philosophy behind extension) to get more money.
Sorry guys, i use to give excellent reviews.
Thumbs down this time.
I am sorry to hear that was the experience you had on the community forum.
Its not our intention to force people to upgrade to a better support level (although as you would expect we give preference to paying customers in both depth and speed of responses)
We most certainly do not make the product complex to force people to upgrade either. Fabrik IS and in depth complex and subtle component. It takes time and patience to get the most out of it.
I really don't think we are rude on the forums either.
Thumbs down to the idea we do all this for the money!
It is not one that you can pick up and utilise in hours or days, in my view it needs a long learning curve, but it is definitely worth it at the end. Support is great too and the developers are very helpful and go out of their way to solve any issues
Thanks to do this extension. Is incredible that is not Commercial (Thanks for that too! ;-) )
Check out www.spreadinternational.org. The client wanted the front page...and an admin area (not the Joomla Admin) but a complete different admin area between the front page and Joomla admin. Not a menu given with a special ACL status for articles but a complete menu system that works that needs to manage the database directly. With Joomla and Fabrik we were able to achieve this.
15000 records in an existing database needs to get ported....with a complicated DB architecture. The system was in MS Access and .Net. We were able to bring in data to a great extent using SQL Yog and part of it manually.
The team here is very very active....
The team here is very very responsive...
They have done a wonderful job with this component.
Cheers for their work.
I use it for everything, for mysql data connections, for googlemapping, for small applications inside joomla.
Developpers Rob and Hugh are very nice people and very competent.
it is a free component but not so easy to manage so "Bronze support" is necessary to use it correctly and to be able to download some wonderful extras...and to encourage them to go farther.
The tutorials make it easy to start so setting up a form and displaying the data is simple. Customising the look and feel is also possible and not really difficult as there's always help at hand.
This is not a component to grab and quickly make a form there are easier component available for that sort of task, If you want to build an application, save and retrieve data and display your data without compromising then this is the one.
There is a wiki,forum and tutorials but unfortunately finding answers in the forum is just tedious, the wiki is very interesting but if you need to find an answer to a specific question then you'll probably have to repeat the question in the forum. The support is great and they work hard but it would probably be a lot better if answers could be found.
It's definately recommendable to get the Bronze Support which is money well spent and not at all expensive, not sure how good the free support is as after installing and going through the first tutorial I knew it was worth paying for.
Thanks for a great component
Hi Sorry you had trouble installing the plugins, but Fabrik uses its own plug-in installation page, so installing via Joomla's installer page won't work, perhaps this is the issue you had? If you find an error please report it in the forum so we can fix it - but I've not heard of anyone else reporting issues with the module installation.
Support is very, very slow, and even then, not detailed or very helpful.
There are updated daily.. so a constant task to keep files updated. ** Warning** Do *NOT* get involved with this component if you are expecting a few quick mouse clicks.. There is a lot of work as well as a lot of frustration.
Yes, it could be a great product, however, the 'pay now and see how you go' attitude should be a warning that this component still has a long way to go before its a 'no-so-bad' product.
Find something else.. I am.
I don't mind most of your review, but I do take issue with you claiming we "just cannot (will not?) accept criticism". We listen intently to our users to try to provide the service and solutions they are after. It would have been better for other people reading your review and ourselves if you could have provided an example where we weren't accepting criticism. Perhaps you are confusing your own frustration with not being able to resolve your specific issues with an impression of how we behave in general?
Also I'm surprised you say our support is slow, we really do tend to reply to 90% of subscribers within 24 hours.
I also take offence at the "pay now and see how you go" snipe - that certainly isn't our ethos. The component is free, there are free tutorials, there's a free wiki. There are the resources available to get started. If you then need extra features and support then isn't it fair for us to ask for some kind of payment?
Fabrik is an extremely powerful tool with many additional tools to extend the core functionality to create nearly any web application you desire. I would liken it to Photoshop for editing photo's, there are so many feature's that making it do what you want can be a bit overwhelming at first. Investing a bit of time to get the basics down is well worth it because once you do, you can throw together amazing web apps and features for your website in a matter of hours.
Knowing now what I do, I am constructing a website community site and I have built a tool for a collaborative art project, using Fabrik to collect data and display it to each collaborator to build on. The collaborative project, took me 4 hours to do the art work and template and 4 hours to construct the collaborative application features with Fabrik. I have a new art project that I need to compile thousands of images, files, notes, various contributors and many more details. I laid out how to construct this with Fabrik in a couple hours and I expect to be able to actually construct this in 2 or 3 days.
Admittedly, when I first started working with Fabrik, I was lost. I paid for the membership and learned to search the forums for tips and samples. My skill with PHP and MySQL is very limited. For the most part, I've learned to construct a basic PHP query of the Database (there are tons of samples in the forum), how to use basic PHP if/else statements and utilized shortcut features included in Fabrik.
The price for Fabrik is very reasonable for the capability you get and most of what you need to learn is available in the forums. The core developers are just a couple of guys who are very committed to the project (Rob & Hugh) and I can't see them getting rich at these prices, but they should be compensated for their talent and the time they put in.
I agree with Joomdude007 that the video tutorials are a bit slow and could be updated, but I would note that you don't need audio for them so there's less of a language barrier and even if you don't speak the language, you can see very clearly what is being done in the same interface you would work in.
Regarding Joomdude007's comment about dealing with security issues and bugs - my experience in reading the forums has been that these are the highest priority. So I'm not sure where that's coming from.
Also, a community with well meaning community members is a good thing! Maybe the advice is incorrect sometimes, but the biggest problem with getting good advice is a good explanation of what you need help with. A lively community is one that can get you support, expecially for the easy stuff within minutes or hours rather than waiting a day or 2 for the admins to get through the volume of support they must handle.
Overall, I’m a big fan of Fabrik. The price is very reasonable considering you’re really just paying for access to some training video’s, a manual and a support forum that get’s higher priority. The product itself is free! Most extensions for Joomla offer some functionality and some customization options. Fabrik, is more like a Joomla Upgrade (I think of it as Joomla Advanced) and you will likely appreciate some support with fabrik because of it’s advanced nature, though you can get by without it. With Fabrik you can now collect as much data from your users as you want, you can present it how you want, you can manage who see’s what, who can change what, export data, import data, you can collect and categorize images and files, generate payments (both 1 off and recurring), you can generate invoices, transaction statements, and so much more - these are just some of the things I’ve done or am working on.
My only warning is that Fabrik is not simple. When you started using Joomla, you needed to wrap your head around how Joomla works. Fabrik will be like Joomla level 2. You will need to wrap your head around it, but just like Joomla, you can fall in love with how much easier things can be - Just stick it out a bit to start until you get it and see the results and the potential you will now have with this killer tool!
Happy Web app building - Jeremy
Another Fabrik Faithful!
I think i can say i'm an experienced webdeveloper and i am developing websites for the past 5 1/2 years with almost every web language and have been developing websites trough Joomla the past 2 years and it all works great. And just recently i discoverd the new update of Fabrik and i couldn't even dream about the functionality this Component offers.
I've seen Fabrik quite a while ago when i first touched joomla. But back then Fabrik was a component that needed to be developed more and more to get really interesting for the crowd. And sure it did got developed allot. I didn't even dare to dream about the functionality it has now. Almost anything is possible with the component. Infact if you have the skills you could even build a whole community with the component without breaking your fingers on the coding it would need if you did not use this extrodinary component.
For those who have a little experience with coding : You could see this component as something similair as Visual basic. It's just an online compiler wich works like a charm.
I'm so glad that it is opensource because this component is really unique and the posibillity's are endless.
If i can i will try to support this because i just fell in love with it! I can tell it's awesome but that would be an understatement.
But here's the thing. Fabrik isn't as intuitive as the creator would tell you. For the average Joomla webmaster, you'll find there's a limited amount you can do before you need to get your hands really dirty. At that point, you may struggle. And this is why:
* To get the Fabrik manual, you have to become a paid subscriber. Too bad if you just want to evaluate Fabrik to see if it will meet your needs. You either fork over your hard-earned money, *then* see if Fabrik is for you, or you just battle your way through as best you can.
* To get to anything other than basic tutorials, you need to become a paid subscriber.
* The free tutorials are woeful: you'll spend half your time watching a mouse pointer slowly move its way across the screen from point A to point B. Then you'll watch as the "presenter" does something, then apparently changes his/her mind. Sometimes this is done to illustrate a potential trap, but most viewers will find this just plain confusing. There are better ways to present a tutorial.
* You can take out a free registration, which gives you access to the "community" forum where you can post questions. These might be answered by the Fabrik team, but are more likely to be pounced on by well-meaning but unhelpful users (which has been my experience.)
* I won't go into the bugs and security issues here. I believe that the developer would at least investigate problems that could be replicated.
I've noticed that the developer responds to negative reviews like this very defensively, denying that problems exist, or suggesting that the problem is with the user. My message to the developer is this:
You have a *very* promising product that could be a GREAT product...but perhaps being close to it for so long you've lost sight that new users will find the learning curve very steep. Do *yourself* a favor; offer the documentation and tutorials freely so people can get up to speed quickly instead of deleting Fabrik because it is "too difficult". Make it easy for people to use Fabrik and *want* to use it. Improve those tutorials. Get some external feedback on the usability and effectiveness of the tutorials and documentation. When you receive criticism, take it on the chin, and use that to improve your product and business rather than being defensive. People who criticize Fabrik aren't necessarily wrong, but may actually be helping you!
Perhaps you need to offer a "trial" version of Fabrik (with full documentation but no support) and a "commercial" version that is fully supported. Then drop the subscriptions.