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Billot

Reviews(5)
 
byBillot, September 2, 2013
J2Store
After an extensive search for a simple but powerful e-commerce component (webshop) for J3.x I’ve found J2Store, suitable for J2.5 and higher.

One of the most important things was my (Dutch) need to have the possibility for Ideal payments through SISOW beside Paypal, together with the need to have an user friendly and easy product for management at the backend for my customer, but with every thinkable possibility to manage, sell and ship products in a flexible way.

Ideal payments were only provided through an existing plugin for another payment provider (mollie) and not for SISOW, but after testing J2Store itself I was so positive about J2Store that I really wanted THAT component for my needs.

I contacted the developer Ramesh and provided him with some documentation about SISOW Ideal payments, without any hesitation he started to work on it and one day later I had a fully working plugin for IDeal through SISOW. We’ve tested it, he repaired one small bug and after that it was working 100%.

One of the specialties in J2Store is the possibility to make products from articles! Very well overthought: define everything you want for the product(s) in an article, short or long description, pictures with it, links etc., just name it and make it!

Then activate the special J2Store button in the article to embed shop functionality for the article and if needed make also product options within the article with user definable fields for sizes, colours, specialties etc. This way you can not only sell physical products but also arrangements, gift cards etc., very, very powerful and flexible and a very special and creative approach from the designer, just call it unique!

A fast and robust system, I’ve set my shop up in less then 30 minutes after component installation, tested it and brought it live where the J2Store made the first weekend big sales for my customer.

Chapeau!

Together with all this and all the shipping methods you can think of, sizes en weights, coupons, geozones,taxes AND some easy but powerfull statistics and reports it’s a system I truly and highly can recommend for those who need a no nonsense, flexible, cheap (start from zero $ but I’ve bought a support subscription because this component will be used in a professional environment) webshop that works great and gives everything you need to sell everything online (and get paid :-)).

A Breeze….

Five stars without any doubt for the product and TEN stars (if it was possible) for the support.
DPCalendar
Sometimes you think that getting a free component will do a cheap upgrade on your site. In some cases the product is fine but support is poor, there are cases where the product is poor but the support is fine and there are also cases where both are fine (or bad), but as far as I have noticed there are not so many situations where the product and the support are stable and acceptable (short or long term) with a minimum of effort.

O yeah, of course I see the blessings of Open Source software, and despite the things I’ve said before I usually try some free products when I’m searching for new functionality on a site I’m building, but many times I’ll end with a commercial product and wondering myself why I’ve spend so many hours with struggling getting the free products to my needs, stable and workable.

I promised myself to take some time to review a recent implementation of a calendar component. Calendars are widely used on Joomla websites and a lot of flavours are available when searching the JED. In the past I’ve tried (again :-)) a few free flavours, but in all cases there was no 100% satisfaction for me. I’m not a programmer myself, but fully professional involved in IT matters and able to find my commercial, technical and functional way in website development, an additional part of my IT skills.

Basically I was looking for a way to connect Microsoft Exchange data to the Joomla environment, especially: connecting Exchange calendar data to a Joomla calendar. With this functionality I could make it possible for my customer to link all events from a specific Exchange account and display them at the front end in Joomla.

I’ve searched a long time, but I did not found any component with this functionality. In a search with the search string ‘Outlook’ on the JED (the nearest chance to get possibly to Exchange) I’ve found DPCalender from Digital-Peak , and after reading their information about the calendar and the existing plugins for integration of external sources like Ical, Jomsocial, CSV, Google calendar, JEvents, JCalPro and Facebook it wasn’t too difficult to conclude that these guys must have professional knowledge of integration!

I’ve contacted them with my question about my Exchange needs and before I knew it I had an positive answer from a guy called Laoneo with a proposition to work together on this as a custom job.

The whole process of development took about a month before I could install the first version of the Exchange plugin, and that was for me also the first time to make myself comfortable with the DPCalender component.

Wauw! Rarely see a component that was installed and built so professional, stable and intuitive. A very well done Dutch translation (and may more), immediately available after installing the component. Very functional modules like a mini calendar, a count-down calendar, Google maps module and upcoming events module besides the plugins for Ical, Jomsocial, CSV, Google calendar, JEvents, JCalPro, Facebook and…. Exchange! Note: you can link a total of nine Exchange calendars!!

Furthermore I’ve tested that their software is really fully responsive, great for mobile use! Everything is highly customable and there are a lot of views to display information on your website. The most important I can ‘feel’ when working with the software is how stable it is, very well programmed, very well documented and working flawless.

The developer is from Switzerland, speaks English very well and he has made with this calendar and all the modules and plugins a real Swiss army knife, a must have for your site if you need a calendar component!

I’m not saying this too often, but I’m serious when I say that if you need a professional calendar component with all thinkable options than get your hands on a copy of DPCalendar. For a very decent amount of money (from as cheap as from $39) you have it all.

And if you need a professional built Exchange plugin based on the professional SOAP-api to view your Exchange calendar data in DP calendar: as far as I could find Laoneo is the only one who has it for Joomla this way!

No (positive) critics at all? Oh yeah, two!

1. The developer is sometimes a little short in his answers, but I recognize that kind of behaviour from professional high IQ’ed developers, they are great in doing their technical job but doesn’t talk too much, they rather work, eager to find a solution for your question instead of circling around the question with a lot of words….. The best part is however: you will get an answer on every question and more important: a professional solution!

2. Because my question meant custom work for them I have paid a part of the development costs (worth the money for me), but the good news for all you readers of this review is that this mean that you can have the Exchange plugin for free when buying a DPCalendar Premium subscription and believe me, I give it to you wholeheartedly!

Chapeau, five stars fully worth and therefor my pleasure to write an extensive review here !

Frank
Owner's reply

Thanks for the kind words. Was nice to work with you together!!

byBillot, January 17, 2013
Latest Tweets Anywhere
Found their site after Googled for Twitter in Joomla and found the product 'Latest Tweets'. Module looks like what I needed and bought it for as cheap as 10 dollars! Very nice and good looking module, a pity that this module could not display Tweets with #text in it. E-mailed them and the respons was great, almost directly! He tipped me to use %23TEXT instead of the username, but that would not work... Bought the Tweets Anywhere module (only 15 dollar) and due too a lack of good documentation I had to mail again, and all questions and problems where solved RAPIDO! Chapeau for the this perfect and awsome support, my tip for Prakash is to get some good/better documentation for the modules (demo's are fine but not enough) and if that's allright I would give SIX stars. Module is great Tweets on text and Tweet on username, work perfect in FF and IE, a tip for having Tweets on your site!
byBillot, November 23, 2012
Jtag Members Directory
Looking for a people-, employee- or member directory for my intranet site I've found the JTAG site with a lot of other great extensions. For a low price as from 39 euro – 59 euro’s you’ll have full access to ALL their extensions and templates AND having fanatical support from them!
I'll write here in Dutch what I was looking for: - Smoelenboek -. This is because translated in Dutch 'Smoelenboek' is 'Facebook' and Facebook is not what I mean when searching for a people, member or employee directory.
There are not much extensions with this functionality (except installing Community Builder, too heavy for only this function) and really, I've searched a very long time to find this extension and finally I've got it!
I've downloaded and installed JTAG Member and it was exact what I needed: having people displayed on the site, extra fields (10!), the option to edit from front end by the member, having a photo book per member and very flexible search and display options.
Translation into Dutch was easy, not much text and very well formatted language files.
With one click you can import all your users to the member extension and start editing them to your needs (or let the user do so!). Twitter and Facebook links are provided, even as a per-user photo book with a nice presentation technique.
Nice thumbs for the presentation on your site and a flexible detail view.
One little point: there was no support for using HTML to edit the story for the members, but with one e-mail Kirti has made this for me in less than two hours. For a next version this has to grow, because it was pre-made for me by meaning of using the HTML view in the editor, and that's too much for a regular user….
This will be optimized in a next version, even as the possibility to distribute the extra fields you make to all other members (sure, you can define extra fields (10) for a user, if you need the same fields for others you have to define them again per user).
So a great, clear and powerful extension if you need something like this, but a very warm and important part of this review is for the people of the JTAG support, very prompt, quick, nice, alert so in fact real FANATICAL support! I had a few questions and small issues, every question and e-mail from my side was answered very quick and prompt, every time with a solution.
Thank you JTAG people, Chapeau!!!
Frank
byBillot, November 16, 2012
JomWALL
I've bought this extension after a long search for a communication tool in an intranet I'm building.

All of the functionality I needed for this part were provided by Jomwall, including the definition of events.

Highly customable and above all great support from the team in Ireland who provided me not only with information in needed to set it up, but also with hands-on support by themself by tuning, correcting and modify the specials I needed and wishes I've had. It helped me not only to understand the extension on a short term, but also have it working for me in my own Dutch language. Chapeau!