- This extension requires registration to download.
Features at a glance:
• More than 70 payment processors built in (Manual Transfer handling, Paypal (& Pro!), Google Checkout, 2Checkout, Authorize.net (& AIM, ARB, CIM!), iDeal, CCBill, Worldpay, Moneybookers...)
• Extensive Registration & Subscription workflow handling
• MicroIntegration API to attach PHP code to payment plans
• Already features more than 80 MicroIntegrations, including: emails, htaccess, mysql queries, assignment of Docman or VirtueMart groups and many more
• Multiple payment plan options (Paid, Free, Lifetime, Trials...)
• Integrated Registration and Subscription process with JomSocial and CommunityBuilder (amongst others)
• Professional features: Tax handling, Shopping carts, Discount Coupons, Plan Groups
Please check out our Tour - It will give you a much better insight into what AEC can do for you!
First, to the naysayers and bad reviews...this is not some simple install-and-go module with 2 or 3 settings and wham, you're done. But therein lies the real power of this component - once you learn your way around, you can do anything.
As far as the MIs being buggy, I had some trouble getting PayPal to work, but this was a "me and PayPal" issue, not the extension. I am going to suggest, or post myself, some of the PP troubleshooting that the author of this software provided me...I think it would be a big help to folks.
I have this integrated with DocMan and NOIX ACL, and it works like a charm. I have sections of the site blocked off, documents protected for subscribers, and an easy payment process. Upgrades and downgrades of subscriptions are easy using the MIs once you learn it, kicking the subscribers to different ACL or DocMan groups for access to different sections and documents.
It was not EASY, but with a little perseverance and thought, it's really an awesome solution for my purposes, and I would bet that with some help the CB integration and other problems on these reviews could be solved.
If you are a novice at this sort of thing, but really need a powerful solution for a pay web site with different types of content, I would definitely recommend getting a support plan, it will be well worth the small cost.
All I can say is that I am extremely happy with the decision I made to go with AEC, and if you are looking for a super solution and aren't scared of a bit of a learning curve, give it a shot - I think you will really like it.
Granted you can set up numerous plans at various prices etc etc, but should you wish to have a full integration with Community Builder, it simply isn't up to the job!
I wasn't looking for massive integration, just the ability to have 3 plans, one free and 2 paid, but I wanted the free plan to require admin approval, this side can be managed, but will the component send an email to a user once admin has approved, not a hope!
I spent days trying to get this to do some very simple things, checking the valanx forum for any hints and tips (not much use due to the refusal of the developer to even look at it) and searching the net for any clue as to how to sort this out, all to no avail.
Not a component I'd recommend for a stress free existence.
For a stress free existence, I would encourage people to get professional support if they cannot work out how to make software fit their application.
As for your case: We do not do support on our forums, but if AEC does 90% of what your use case and the last 10% is sending out a simple email, I wonder why you decided to jump ship and give us a 1 star review. What you want to do could probably achieved with a small workaround and the email MI.
I have reported this review for removal as it says very little about the software and a lot more about your use case.
*SETUP - Very complicated and not at all user friendly. The tooltips are vague and required me to go through the trial and error routine.
*MicroIntegration - Granted I did not use every MI available... The ones I did use appear buggy.
*Processors - Again I didn't use all of them... I did use the PayPal processor and wasn't able to get it to function properly.
*Documentation - There are videos available which I didn't find very helpful. I would have preferred a manual, but they do say it's in the works which is a plus.
*Support - My experience with support wasn't the best and I ended up having to look elsewhere for the solution. They did at least respond to my support request in a timely manner though.
I realize not everyone has had a terrible experience. Unfortunately I cannot claim the same and DO NOT recommend AEC at all.
Thanks for a review with a little more substance! To reply to the points raised:
SETUP - Do make sure to watch our Video Tutorial which runs you through the usual setup procedure and should cut away most of the trial & error that some people resort to.
MicroIntegrations - "appear buggy"? Software either works or fails, right?
Processors - We have especially PayPal working straight away on hundreds of servers, if it fails for you, the most likely cause are restrictions by your hosting provider.
Documentation - Yup, in the works for the next version.
Support - Not really in scope for a review of the software, but you didn't clarify - seems like we did respond timely, but could we actually help you out?
There support is also fairly good. I had one issue with a micro integration and they fixed it for me. Granted the total turn around time on the fix wasn't the fastest I've seen but none the less they didn't ignore me like some companies.
So in my book they are A. OK :)
I had some few problems with the installer, but first of all I DO NOT RECOMMENDED anyone to setup a website one a mobile net at 200kb :) That was my first prob not AEC.
Then when I finalize got my broad-net I was rdy to install AEC and I only experience few problems and it was mainly user stupidness. After some time study the AEC video helper and read some few dok everything was just setup perfect. Thanks for a great Extension valanx.org I can only recommend AEC for everyone who needs a powerful extension.
after 1 month working with this component, I found that the component is intelligently designed, everything is so flexible, who ever deigned it must be highly skilled and experienced!
regarding the support, its equally as impressive, quick and effective response.
nothing else to say I am an AEC convert.
highly recommend it to anyone :)
I don't know if Jake sleeps or if there are a dozen guys named Jake, but I received timely responses to my ticket requests. Sometimes a response seemed like it was delayed but it was because Jake was logged in to my site finding the solution (usually I had checked the wrong box or unchecked the right box) and then he emailed what he had done or what I should do so I would know for the future.
When I compared what I would pay for Valanx support to what I'd pay on a Joomla-programmers-for-hire site, the fee was a bargain! Look at other payment systems: Amember Pro costs $199US, doesn't offer as much, and, if you're in the U.S., you'll wait at least a day to get a response from Alex (though he's a great guy). Compare CB Subs that starts at $134US with fees adjusting upwards based on number of members and number of sites! We're spoiled as Joomla users and expect everything to be free but AEC's competition isn't free. Why should they give it away?
I think the switch from free to commercial has been rough on this company. They lost all the great reviews they had as a free extension plus they get complaints because they don't give free support and don't give out an "AEC for Dummies" manual. They're currently offering a tiered fee system so if you're smart enough to figure it out, you don't have to pay the higher fee for help. If you're not clever enough, you need to pay for the support and stop your whining. Personally, I believe if they ditched the tiered fees, charged one flat fee for the product (like the competition) and included support for 6 months or a year, no one would complain. I highly recommend AEC with the paid support!
I’ve looked at all available subscription managers for Joomla (and have even purchased and tested the leading commercial solutions) and finally chose AEC as the most versatile and feature-rich one.
The AEC Tour on valanx.org (including the video tours of frontend/backend) was very helpful during the component selection/comparison process – it provided a comprehensive and clear overview of all the key features and capabilities – something that most other websites lack when presenting their software.
I found the cost of support subscription more than reasonable – and a great value for money. The software itself comes free even with the cheapest plan. After that you can choose the period of support that would suit your particular needs. I ended up choosing the two months option, as I knew I needed some custom work done. For those who do not require customizations (and most users will not), AEC will actually end up being cheaper than any of its main competitors.
There are a number of features that make AEC stand out among other subscription managers, but I will focus on the ones essential for a business website like mine. First of all, it is very important that Valanx team can themselves develop additional payment gateways, instead of referring you to third part developers. I have had problems with the latter in the past, and felt more comfortable letting David develop a gateway for HSBC ePayments (my company’s online payments processor). The initial choice of supported processor is also rather impressible, given that 80% of other subscription managers only support PayPal.
Secondly, the number of built-in integrations in AEC is more than sufficient for any project I can think of. DocMan, JUGA and Google Analytics integrations are most useful for my purposes – but there are 40+ more to choose from.
Finally, AEC has built-in tools to customize invoices, tax rates for different regions, system emails (allowing to modify/replace the standard Joomla ones) and even a shopping cart feature. Most other components either do not have these features at all (especially invoices and tax rates), or provide them as commercial add-ons or compatible components. Thus, not only will AEC save you money, but it will also enable access to all functions from within a single (and very user friendly) control panel, saving the hassle of installing multiple components/modules and then struggling to integrated them with each other.
Setting AEC up was really straight forward – I followed instructions in the Support Videos. The latter are a great way to get a solid understanding of how the component works – and they guide you through all the potential scenarios. Furthermore, I found the help tooltips in the AEC’s admin panel incredibly useful – pointing over any setting immediately gives you an explanation of what it does etc.
The level of support I have witnessed after purchasing a support subscription was absolutely great. I received regular responses to my support tickets from David – sometimes 4-5 responses per day. I am yet to fully explore the forum, but it looks reasonably well supported by the developers as well as experienced users. Also, to address one of the concerns below (post dated January 2, 2010), there is in fact a contact email on every page of the valanx.org website – which I successfully used for pre-sales questions in December 2009.
I further understand that a User Manual will be available soon. With that in mind, and given the recent addition to valanx.org’s team, I am confident that they will continue to provide fast and efficient service.
now the reason i only give it a 4 star rating is because of the theme support, which is lacking to say the least. There is a blog on their site about setting up a new theme sub page, but that was lacking in detailed information about what documents to edit in order to do this, ok , the CSS file(s) are a give in, but the layout is not.
It would be nice to see a full/proper theme document and/or something similar to joomla's theming system (click - upload - set as default)
other than that the system itself is pretty easy to follow and use.
I for one will be doing a subscription with Valanx for AEC. Great overall extention, recommended highly.
The best thing about it is Micro Integrations - little scripts that can talk to different components. This has allowed us to create rules for downloads, content items, etc. on the basis of the user's plan settings.
Since AEC does a lot of heavy lifting, sometimes it can be difficult to wrap your head around it. But is quite well documented (although there is always room for improvement) and once you understand how it works, you will appreciate the methodical thought process of the developer.
Another advantage is that I haven't had to change any of the core files after installation. There is a UI for almost everything. This is a HUGE plus for a non-programmer like me.
One area I would like to see some improvement is the reporting platform. The nuts and bolts are all there and it is only a matter of time before this improves.
The developer's website has had recent posts suggesting a shift in direction, which many of us agree is for the better. Looking forward to some great improvements.