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I installed the free version of this component. Afterward, I had issues with the creation of SEF url's for Docman Component child categories. I posted on their forum just over two weeks ago for support, and was given basic instruction after three days of waiting which included:

"Make sure the JoomSEF metabot is active and ordered first among system metabots. If you need any additional help, we might do a check directly at your site, if you purchase paid support."

The JoomSEF metabot cause my site to lock me out. So I posted a reply about this issue after I had to disable the metabot through phpmyadmin. Then like a fool I bought the paid version of JoomSEF hoping to get more support by them taking a look at my site configuration.

After over two weeks of waiting, and even offering to pay them again if they'd take a look, the only reply I have gotten was to ask if I was running in legacy mode. I replied within an hour of that question, and have heard nothing since.

I'm fairly frustrated by the vendors which charge you for a component. Even more frustrating was being told to purchase it in order to get support (That part I understand) only to get basically no support after money had changed hands.

I have since asked for a refund. We'll see if I get it.

Right now I'm very disappointed. Having seen how slow the responses were in the forum for others, I should have known better than to pay for the 'unbranded' version.

$35.00 USD out the door, and lesson learned.
Owner's reply

Hello Marcus,

well, let me be a bit more clear on the facts.

1. extension for DocMan is free, not paid
2. there is no official DocMan released for Joomla 1.5, the version 1.4.0 works only in legacy mode and is having some issues
3. we have released our own DocMan2 native compatile with Joomla 1.5 that works fine
4. however, on out own site, we run DocMan 1.4.0 + the extension and it works fine

byMarcusJ, May 26, 2009
If you only need a very basic forum with basic permissions then this will do.

If you require complex user groups and permissions for a large forum with private areas and multiple administrators and moderators then you'd do well to test other components.

I've spent the two months testing different forum softwares and bridges for Joomla 1.5. For years I've been running a site based only on an SMF forum. When I launched my site I used JFusion to bring my forum and site together. JFusion is a nice alternative with frameless integration. It is only in RC status, but I have it working on a live site with thousands of users right now.

If you want to remain native to Joomla then I suggest testing out AGORA. I read that the next release is not far off. With that release it should be powerful enough to stand with software like SMF and phpbb3, in my opinion. If this is indeed the case, I will be switching to this component after the next RC... I also read that there are new design templates in development for it so the outdated look will be remedied.

Again Kunena fits the bill if you have a small forum, and your administration needs are minimal. Beyond that I would recommend testing other alternatives. JFusion and AGORA seem to be on a role. I know some will argue that Kunena has only been going for a couple months. But in that time I've watched two other options grow by leaps and bounds, all while providing top notch support in their forums.
Owner's reply

Thank you for your feedback. The Kunena Team is working hard to bring Kunena up to the standards of other standalone forum software like the ones you mentioned. We already have a pretty solid beta version that works natively under 1.5 and very high-traffic sites. Considering the rate of progress before the fork, we've made leaps and bounds in just a few months.

Please make sure you submit your feature requests and feedback via our forums so we can improve Kunena. We hope that you'll re-adjust your rating in the future if you find that it meets your forum needs.

byMarcusJ, May 25, 2009
Akeeba Backup
A very useful tool. My favorite feature is the simple ability to exclude files and directories from the backup. The option to add additional database backups is fantastic as well. A very useful component!
byMarcusJ, May 25, 2009
I don't know why this feature isn't part of Joomla from the start. I'm just glad that someone put it together. Best of all it's free. Just install the module and read the directions on the developer's website. It works, it's simple, it's a must have for content management.
This week they released JFusion 1.1.3rc. This is by far the best version to date. I have tested it with SMF, and now PHPBB3. If you follow the documentation for installation the software will work right the first time. It is fantastic, and the only limitations I've ran into are a result of the license SMF uses. Therefore I've decided to switch to PHPBB3.

The support on JFusion's website is above any I've encountered for a free extension. Their support is actually better than most of the sites I've bought extensions from! Fanno was very patient and helpful with every issue I had. Even when it was my fault for overlooking something in the documentation.

This is one component I would not want to be without. I'm running it on a live site with no issues. (It's a release candidate still so that isn't recommended) However it is working perfectly!

Thanks to the JFusion team for a great, and free component.