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ddburton

Reviews(3)
 
byddburton, January 27, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
ChronoForms
i find this an AMAZING little component. If you are building a simple form - GET THIS! Took a little while to get used to but this really does the job well for simple forms.

if you are building a complex form and want to add scripting or things like paypal pro GET THIS! this is a shockingly amazing program that can be used simply or be used to add complex scripting too! I am just blown away by how much you can do with this component... or not - your choice!

Also, I needed some custom scripts added because I didn't know how, they had it down for me in a week! at a very fair and reasonable price. I can't say enough - THANK YOU CHRONOFORMS!
byddburton, January 26, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Event Registration Pro
I am new to joomla. I have been developing a site for 5 months to deal with hundreds of events in a dozen categories. I never knew that it would be so difficult to find a component that works. I started w/ Event Booking (EB) by the Ossulation team; I spent months putting it together and was nearly ready to launch when i discovered some fatal flaws which led us to Registration Pro (RP).

Overall the features list between EB and RP are very very similar, but unfortunately, many of features don't work on EB out of the box.
I found that compared to RP, the EB program is not well thought out; many small things added up to huge problems. Many of the most important features really don't work, at least for our needs.

So what are the pros and cons? here's the comparison:

Support:
EB - if you have anything slightly complicated you can expect to wait days for a response or not at all. just look through their sight and you will see what i'm talking about.
RP - generally within 12 hours, occasionally 24 hours (but lacks a user forum). In the wee hours of the night it would be nice to be able search a user forum for my answer rather than having to wait for an answer via a support ticket system.

Reminder Email:
EB- Although you can create a custom reminder email, it lacks the ability to dynamically add many fields (like the location!!). So it doesn't really work. In other words if i need to send a reminder that tells the user where their event is I can't. Also how does reminder emails work?? you have to install a patch to your server - which doesn't work! Something called a chron job. So reminder emails? for me and others, doesn't work!
RP- Reminder email is highly configurable because it has many many dynamic fields you can add to the email. For instance we do not use the short description field on the site but in the back ground we have added a special equipments list for each event which reads "for this event you will need a shovel". In the email we just add the tag "{short desc}" where ever we want to add this message and voila! You can also specify when you want a reminder to be sent for EACH event. NO PATCHES. IT JUST WORKS out of the box.

Email Confirmation:
EB - although you can create a "custom" email confirmation where you can pull information from various fields in dynamically, there are not enough field tags available to make this particularly useful. The program will present an html email to the user with all the events an registration information; the specific event details are presented as a link from the event title in the email. This is problematic because if the user is using a text only email system they will only get code. You can not send text only emails. If you are trying to add information that is specific to the event but is not public on the site you can but can't do it. 1. Not enough fields are available to make it useful. if the user registers for more than one event the confirmation will only display information for the first event, if you are adding custom information. Among the many many missing tags? a location tag! I know this is a bit hard to explain but, when you get into the system it will easier to see the failure point.
RP - can send fully html OR text only emails; you can use html code or not. Most fields in the events page (if not all) can be added dynamically to the confirmation email. This didn't seem important in the beginning but has proven to be a huge time saver in the end.

Calendar Sold out Events:
EB - In order to show events as "sold out" you have to install a patch but it seems to be breaking people's sites.
RP- Out of the box. You can tell the calendar to mark events as available or sold out on the calendar.

Coupon Code:
EB - can specify only one event or all events that is all.
RP- can specify multiple events for any one coupon.
*neither can specify a category :(

Calendar links:
EB - calendar has no way to point to a category of events only specific events. (but code was easily modified)
RP - same problem. (code was not easily modified and had to pay for customization)

Cart -
EB - has a cart module
RP - does not, but you can easily add this to a menu item.

Paypal Pro
EB - I did not get far enough to test whether or not this really worked.
RP - will need to pay for a third party plug-in ($25)

Design & CSS
EB - easily changed; overall fit my aesthetics better than RP.
RP - also easily changed but some were much more difficult to find (but they were very good about telling me where to look...via a support ticket)

Tiered Price structure:
EB - a little bit more easily dealt than in RP. i can just put in a price for if they buy 1, 2, 3, tickets etc.
RP - can't seem to put in prices but can put in a percentage. This is not ideal.

Adding Attachments to Emails
EB- you can add an attachment to you confirmation email but not the reminder (but then again reminder didn't really work). and if user is purchasing multiple events only the first attachment will go.
RP - not available at all.

Registering for multiple events:
EB - Users can register for multiple events with just one form.
RP - users has to fill out a form for each event and check out all at once. Had to pay for customization so that the user only had to fill out just one form for all events.
Note: Although the EB system is better for the user, I believe this is why their confirmation emails have so many problems - so in the end it's a problem for the site owner.

Registration information:
EB- from what I remember and it has been more than 3 weeks since I was in the program, you can not get a list of attendees for JUST one event. THere is a list of all attendees for all events that are organizable by event - how often do you need that?
RP - NO problem with the above. You can get information per event.

User Support Forum:
EB - has one (but many slightly complex questions go unanswered), for complex problems forget it.
RP - does not.

HTML descriptions
EB - you have to add a patch if you want to use html for an event or category description
RP - for events works out of the box. No category description out of the box.

The longer I used EB the more problems i found and the more people i found with other problems! I think if you have a few events and simple event needs then EB will work. Otherwise SERIOUSLY fork over the extra $50 and get Registration Pro. Fewer headaches. Although the features list is similar, RP's actually work the way you would expect them to work. I would definitely recommend Registration Pro.

This review was posted on the Event Booking page as well with a 1 star rating, would have given them less if i could have.
byddburton, January 18, 2012
Event Booking
I am new to joomla. I have been developing a site for 5 months. I was creating an event site where hundreds of events in a dozen categories will be posted. I decided to use Event Booking (EB)initially because of the following features:
1. Price (you get what you pay for)
2. Automated Reminder emails
3. Automated confirmation emails
4. Overall layout and design
5. integration with paypal
and many others!

From the surface it seemed to offer everything the we needed. And for the most part it kind of does. Their feature list is very impressive, but when it came to actually making it work - that's another issue (lots of patches were necessary). I found that the program is not well thought out; many small things added up to huge problems. Many of the most important features really don't work, at least for our needs; if you have a very basic event site this should work for you. In the end i went with Registration Pro (RP) by Joomla Showroom. I wish I had done that from the beginning - it would have saved me about 3 months work.

So what are the pros and cons? here's the comparison:

Support:
EB - if you have anything slightly complicated you can expect to wait days for a response or not at all. just look through their sight and you will see what i'm talking about.
RP - generally within 12 hours, occasionally 24 hours (but lacks a user forum)

Reminder Email:
EB- Although you can create a custom reminder email, it lacks the ability to dynamically add many fields (like the location!!). So it doesn't really work. In other words if i need to send a reminder that tells the user where their event is I can't. Also how does reminder emails work?? you have to install a patch to your server - which doesn't work! Something called a chron job. So reminder emails? for me and others, doesn't work!
RP- Reminder email is highly configurable because it has many many dynamic fields you can add to the email. For instance we do not use the short description field on the site but in the back ground we have added a special equipments list for each event which reads "for this event you will need a shovel". In the email we just add the tag "{short desc}" where ever we want to add this message and voila! You can also specify when you want a reminder to be sent for EACH event. NO PATCHES. IT JUST WORKS out of the box.

Email Confirmation:
EB - although you can create a "custom" email confirmation where you can pull information from various fields in dynamically, there are not enough field tags available to make this particularly useful. The program will present an html email to the user with all the events an registration information; the specific event details are presented as a link from the event title in the email. This is problematic because if the user is using a text only email system they will only get code. You can not send text only emails. If you are trying to add information that is specific to the event but is not public on the site you can but can't do it. 1. Not enough fields are available to make it useful. if the user registers for more than one event the confirmation will only display information for the first event, if you are adding custom information. Among the many many missing tags? a location tag! I know this is a bit hard to explain but, when you get into the system it will easier to see the failure point.
RP - can send fully html OR text only emails; you can use html code or not. Most fields in the events page (if not all) can be added dynamically to the confirmation email. This didn't seem important in the beginning but has proven to be a huge time saver in the end.

Calendar Sold out Events:
EB - In order to show events as "sold out" you have to install a patch but it seems to be breaking people's sites.
RP- Out of the box. You can tell the calendar to mark events as available or sold out on the calendar.

Coupon Code:
EB - can specify only one event or all events that is all.
RP- can specify multiple events for any one coupon.

Calendar links:
EB - calendar has no way to point to a category of events only specific events. (but code was easily modified)
RP - same problem. (code was not easily modified and had to pay for customization)

Cart -
EB - has a cart module
RP - does not, but you can easily add this to a menu item.

Paypal Pro
EB - I did not get far enough to test whether or not this really worked.
RP - will need to pay for a third party plug-in ($25)

Design & CSS
EB - easily changed; overall fit my aesthetics better than RP.
RP - also easily changed but some were much more difficult to find (but they were very good about telling me where to look)

Tiered Price structure:
EB - a little bit more easily dealt than in RP. i can just put in a price for if they buy 1, 2, 3, tickets etc.
RP - can't seem to put in prices but can put in a percentage. This is not ideal.

Adding Attachments to Emails
EB- you can add an attachment to you confirmation email but not the reminder (but then again reminder didn't really work). and if user is purchasing multiple events only the first attachment will go.
RP - not available at all.

Registering for multiple events:
EB - Users can register for multiple events with just one form.
RP - users has to fill out a form for each event and check out all at once. Had to pay for customization so that the user only had to fill out just one form for all events.
Note: Although the EB system is better for the user, I believe this is why their confirmation emails have so many problems - so in the end it's a problem for the site owner.

Registration information:
EB- from what I remember and it has been more than 3 weeks since I was in the program, you can not get a list of attendees for JUST one event. THere is a list of all attendees for all events that are organizable by event - how often do you need that?
RP - NO problem with the above. You can get information per event.

User Support Forum:
EB - has one (but many slightly complex questions go unanswered)
RP - does not.

HTML descriptions
EB - you have to add a patch if you want to use html for an event or category description
RP - for events works out of the box. No category description out of the box.

The longer I used EB the more problems i found and the more people i found with other problems! I think if you have a few events, taking place in one location without any specific information you will need them to have later AND don't think that your customers will be signing up for multiple events. Then this program will work. Otherwise SERIOUSLY fork over the extra $50 and get Registration Pro. Fewer headaches. Although the features list is similar, RP's actually work the way you would expect them to work.

Honestly? I don't just want my money back, I want my time back! I kept on holding out hope that this thing would work and it never really did. I got suckered into very quick responses to questions in the first week. And then more and more time lagged in between questions. So my impression is if you can't get up and running the way you want quickly you're going to be out of luck for support. :(

Judging from when questions got answered and the developer's time zone (Vietnam) he clearly has a day job and does this on his off time.

I can not recommend it.