Should I Dive In?

Discuss and receive support for the integration of CiviCRM and Joomla!
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Should I Dive In?

Post by driggins » Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:14 am

Greetings All,

I'd like your advice on whether I should enter unknown waters in order to install CiviCRM and CiviMail.

My primary goal is to utilize CiviMail as my e-newsletter solution. I'm not satisfied with Acajoom or the other solutions currently available. Any opinions on CiviMail as a e-newsletter solution would be most welcome.

Let me state that I'm a resourceful, techy kinda guy, but I know nothing of PHP. I've faked it thus far in my ventures with Joomla and it hasn't bitten me yet.

My site ( is hosted at pair Networks. I investigated if my host would support the needs of CiviCRM. Following is their response on PHP.
PHP5 is already installed on our servers; you usually do not have to compile and install your own copy.  You may enable it by giving a script a .php5 extension. It would be possible to enable PHP5 parsing for other file extensions as well, if you are interested.  You can do this by use of the following text in a .htaccess file in your web directory:
"AddType application/x-httpd-php5cgi .php"

In the above example, PHP5 is enabled for a .php file extension.  If you use .htaccess to change the PHP setup, it will affect the directory where you do this, as well as any subdirectories.

Generally, PHP is backwards compatible, but this isn't necessarily the case.  You should be careful in implementing a new version without adequate testing.  Really, the best thing to do would be to check with the makers of
any software you are using to see what versions of PHP can be used.

If you use .htaccess to enable PHP5 for another extension, undoing this would be as simple as removing or renaming .htaccess, or "commenting out" the relevant line in the file.
I inquired if the available installation of PHP has SOAP and DOM. Here's the answer:
It looks like we have DOMXML (presuming that is what you mean by DOM) but not SOAP.  To get the latter, you might in fact need to compile your own.
I received instructions from pair on how to compile PHP 5.1.1 as a CGI. I have no idea what I'm talking about here, but I do have instructions to do it.

Here are the challenges as I see them:
  • I do not want to do anything that will screw up my current website. It seems like toying around with PHP versions might very well toss a bomb into my otherwise stable site. Yes, I'm nervous here. Any input?
  • My read is that I'll need to compile my own PHP as a CGI (whatever that means) if I want CiviCRM. Sound correct to anyone else? If so, would anyone like to hold my hand through the process? Is it reversible?
If you made it this far in this post, congratulations.


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Re: Should I Dive In?

Post by lobo » Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:02 pm

If you just want to use CiviCRM for CiviMail, I probably would advice against it. CiviCRM's strength is combining managing your contacts database along with fundraising / membership management AND sending broadcast email. Setting up CiviMail is not for the faint hearted (IMO) and requires a fair amount of skills and the right tools at the right version etc



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