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 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.
I had tried Fabrik over 3 years ago and it didn't really meet my needs then. So I kind of put it to the side.
Then I met Rob C. at a Joomla devs conference in NYC and got to know him. Great guy! (He even bought me supper one night, but that's not why I am writing the review, just wanted to point out the kind of guy he is).
EVEN STILL I didn't use the latest version until last week when I decided to see if it would solve the need I had for a small custom app. I started playing with Fabrik and was VERY IMPRESSED to see how it had evolved. He really has thought of almost everything and what he didn't think of can be added as a plugin, or with a mod to the templates.
Fabrik adheres to the latest and greatest Joomla file conventions and layouts (proper use of MVC) which makes it so easy skin and extend.
I think a newbie will need to read the documentation and maybe get a support contract, just because there are so many things you can do, but experienced devs will quickly see the power to create what often takes hours of code to accomplish, be it an actual 'app' or just a simple to complex form.
Kudos Rob and Hugh on a great product. I think I will be using Fabrik for many more future client requests.
Hi Just to clarify, there is a free registration option as well as paid registration options. This gives you access to some of the extra plugin downloads, where as paid subscribers get access to all possible downloads
there are a couple of sugestions i will log into the forum but i'm very happy with this product, it is worth testing
keep the good work
The documentation, while quite sufficient, needs to be read and fully understood before beginning development. There are enough quirks peculiar to this tool that you cannot dive-in without reading first and expect good results. Experienced database application developers will appreciate the depth of detail and planning that has gone into this tool.
Installation instructions are detailed and easy to follow for the complete novice. Usage instructions assume a good understanding of database application development techniques.
If you need a tool to rapidly prototype or deploy basic database applications, this is a must.
The two guys behind Fabrik are simply geniuses.
I really apreciate the work that this team has done, I'm impressed and I think for all the developers this kind of tools show us how powerful tools can be developed in Joomla.
Altough I know there are some bugs that you are fixing, I want to congratulate this team.
I've been working with CMS's for many years, right from the start with "Mambo", the transition and now Joomla! and over those years I probably used, tried and tested dozens if not hundreds of extensions, but when I first discovered Fabrik it blew me away. It is so much more then just another "Joomla! extension". At first hesitant as it sees a bit daunting, but it doesn't take long at all to catch on to the basics, which in no time lets you conceptualize, design and build highly functional Web-Applications!, which was just unthinkable for me before with my limited skills in php and sql. It is not only THE most powerful and flexible extension, but also THE most Empowering learning tool. I actually started now doing Database and Application design and that's only after just getting a bit familiar with Fabrik, I haven't even scratched the surface yet and can already see the possibilities are endless.
My highest regards and respect to those guys for such a great product, and mainly their dedication, passion and seemingly tireless support.
Even initially just using the free version lets you do amazing things.
I did purchase a subscription now and it is worth every penny and more then that!
Also the support is great, just looking through the forums shows that those guys really try to answer every question, and not just telling you "read the manual" but actually working with you for Your specific need and beyond that often adding some extra explanations that help you learn the application even more.
Additionally if you look at the SVN they are bringing out new features, improvements or fixes almost daily if not several a day, which makes you wonder if those guys ever sleep.
In short HIGHLY Recommended!! If you want to take your web development with Joomla! to a higher level, Try Fabrik!!
Noxidsoft has been using Fabrik for about 6 month's now and I can't recommend any other application builder for Joomla 1.5. Sure beats hours of from-scratch component/module development that I can spend on other things like dreaming up ideas.
Hope the developers are keen to continue production through into Joomla 1.6.x series?
Excellent job Hugh and the rest of the Fabrik team!
The support is excellent and I recommend signing up for a subscription as it gives access to additional plugins, training materials and support (various levels).
In short a great tool.
I plan to subscribe to get the more advanced plugins and access to the advanced tutorials. Fabrik appears to be the tool of choice for anyone who needs to build vertical market solutions without coding.
After looking for an extension to customize my contacts EXACTLY the way I wanted, I realized the only exact approach would be my own, and this tool let me do it. And that's only the beginning. If you need data entered, displayed, edited, chartered, mapped, calculated, manipulated, searched, etc., this is the extension for you! The extension is free; support if you need it is reasonable!