[15]multisite capability

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[11]Easy access to multiple sites

Post by bpatient » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:57 pm

With the advent of 1.5, developers have now control in connecting to external databases.

Extending this concept one can easily see the practicality of using a single Joomla! Control panel, to manage multiple sites (multiple installations).

When the administrator logins to the back-end, can have the option (possible through Global Configuration) to select the site he/she wishes to administer.

This would need to be for different installations, so should accept the different types of configuration, like:
  • - server
  • - database name
  • - username
  • - password
  • - prefix (etc, _jos)
So, to illustrate, we can have the following.

Code: Select all

www.my-site.com 

www.my-clients-first-site.com 

www.my-other-clients-site.com 
The usual way would be to create a separate Joomla! Installation for each site.
So, to go to the control panel, the usual way would be:

Code: Select all

www.my-site.com/administrator

www.my-clients-first-site.com/administrator

www.my-other-clients-site.com/administrator
In an ideal situation, we could do this:
http://www.my-site.com/administrator
and have access to all 3, from the same control panel.

Depending on each developer's configuration, this may be on the same server, or different one. For simplicity, I will just base it on having different Database servers, but a single file server.

So, then we can have a configuration file, like :
*using an ini file, since it is easier to type and to access.

Code: Select all

multiple_dbs.ini

;site variables
[my-site.com]
server=db.myserver.com
database=db.dbname
username=theman
password=password
prefix=jos_


[my-clients-first-site.com]
server=db.myclientsserver.com
database=db.dbclientname
username=otherusername
password=otherpassword
prefix=jos_

[my-other-clients-site.com]
server=db.myotherclientsserver.com
database=db.dbotherclientname
username=anotherusername
password=anotherpassword
prefix=jos_
Thanks for reading,

Antonis

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[15]Single - install, dbase, users & sign on. + Shared data!

Post by mirage22 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:49 pm

This white paper is written by a non IT person, keeping in mind some needs that cropped up. So please excuse me!

Today, we happen to manage more than one related websites. Some or most of them use the same set up components, yet try to work as if they are independent.

Can we get the following implemented in Joomla?

Let me give an example.

Site name: www.beta-universe.com – config file name – site1.ini
Site name: www.beta-earth.com – config file name – site2.ini
Site name: www.beta-antartica.com – config file name – site3.ini
Site name: www.alpha-animals.com – config file name – site4.ini

All of them have their independent look and feel.

1) Each site has its own folder – site1, site2, site3 and site4 under the default installation folder.
2) All sites use the same database, and installation base.

However, whenever a component is installed, you have to choose if that particular component will be used by a particular site or not. – something like placing ticks in a check box - site1, site2- site4.

For example – fireboard will be used only on site1 (www.beta-universe.com)
Perhaps, the statistics or calendar component would be used on all sites.

Hence we ought to be able to use a particular component for a particular site, as it pleases us.

2 things are important here.

a) There ought to be a main config file that defines that if the called url starts with www.beta-universe.com or simply beta-universe.com then the config file residing under site1 folder will be called.
b) If a particular URL is called, then the sql table called will be of the type site1_fireboard_customParameter.

Now some things like users might be the same for sites 1-3, but not for site4. Hence such things need to be either replicated or a parameter needs to pass, to refer it from ONE site.

Also, when anyone registers, he ought to automatically go to the registration on a particular designated site and get registered there, and then come back. Something like how google works.

Next….

In article manager, instead of just choosing the section>category of the site into which we are typing the data, we need an ajax option to keep adding more section>category options. Both, within the site and in other sites – site2 or site3.

Let me elaborate.
If I am talking about galaxies, today, it comes under sectionX>categoryY. That’s it. I cannot place the same under sectionA>categoryB too, without re-creating the entire page once again – a waste of space!

Hence, if an ajax method allowed me to add more sections and categories it would be great.

Similarly, I ought to be able to choose a section and category from another site too. Like, site2 or site3, where the same data can be displayed.


Hence what is achieved is
1) Single install
2) Single database
3) Same users – on chosen sites
4) Sigle sign on.
5) Shared data – not just the database.

My hunch is, this needs more than just a minor update to joomla 1.5. Perhaps this could be placed in the bin for Joomla 2! But not later. This functionality will add killer power to the management side of joomla.

I don’t like giving this idea, but joomla could be spun off into two!
A) Joomla 2 and B) Joomla 2 Pro. With the Pro version supporting multi-site and other capabilites, YET MAINTAINING ITS FREE STATURE !!! GNU-GPL!!! :) Hope no other idea creeps in! ;D

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[15]multisite capability

Post by mreiter » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:37 am

Advantages:
* install and upgrade joomla only once for several sites
* install and upgrade components only once for several sites
which means
* reduce used server space
* reduce work when upgrading

I would therefore suggest to include for example the Joomla Multisites component to Joomla Core:
http://extensions.joomla.org/component/ ... Itemid,35/

I don't consider the multisite capability as the most urgent feature (access to content according to user groups certainly is more important) but I would like the Core team to decide two things - maybe when changes for 1.6 are decided :
* if you consider to include the component into Joomla Core (commitment)
* Joomla version where to include it (roadmap) .

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Re: multisite capability

Post by df23 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:41 pm

I would support an enhancement for multisite capability. We have two needs which would be met by this

a) our main site has restricted (offline) membership criteria but we also run an online shop (open to all) on our site. We currently have two joomla installations on our site because of the different requirements of the user table.

b) we wish to create multiple (sub-domain) sites which use single sign on from the main site to gain registered access. We would like each domain to have additional access rights e.g.
'www.mainsite.com has registered users 1 thru 10
sub1.mainsite.com has registered users 1 thru 10 (mainsite) + sub1.a thru sub1.f
sub2.mainsite.com has registered users 1 thru 10 (mainsite) + sub2.a thru sub2.c

we would then like the super improved ACL expected in 1.6 to enable us to grant content authoring, editing and publishing access to be managed within each sub-domain

Administrator access to all (sub) domains could be controlled by the administrator rights in the mainsite configuration

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Re: multisite capability

Post by wshealy » Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:54 pm

Only one of the three most common request seems to be being discussed here.

The three approaches which came to my mind are:
1. Completely separate sites managed from/on one code base. This is most commonly web designers/developer with multiple diverse clients.
2. User sub-sites possibly on different domains. The two common examples I have heard are user blogs and employee sites within a larger company. Real estate agents' sites with possibly separate domains which are sub-sites of the firms sites is an example.
3. Landing pages with a lead generating domain name for a special promotion.

None of which are currently easy to implement in J!
W

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Re: multisite capability

Post by hotnuts21 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:43 pm

I also back a Multisite capability in Joomla, Typo3 has this and is one of the reasons it is used by so many larger organisations.

However I dont back the inclusion of an existing component into 1.6 particularly as its built for the 1.0 release cycle, so would need a lot of work. I think the great thing about joomla is that it is lightweight. I think providing the ability to create Multisites through the admin and API are a good idea, with sufficient hooks for a range of components supported by the core, which allow you to add the multisite capability in the way you want with a specific component and also allow the API to allow components to take advantage of multi sites natively with no special adaptions.

I am no great coder, but I have been thinking seriously of creating a multisite component which is essentially just an addition to the API to allow other components/users to create their own multisites and hook into the API easily.

But in principle I back a multisite layer in Joomla 1.6 (after ACL of course, which is intrinsicly tied with multisites)

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Re: Easy access to multiple sites

Post by masterchief » Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:33 pm

I like the idea in principle. Talking with Anthony I think all we need is an "array" of sites and configuration files, eg:

Code: Select all

$SITES = array(
      'sub1.site.com' => '_sub1',
      'sub2.site.com' => '_sub2'
    );
And you have the following configuration files in the root folder:

Code: Select all

configuration.php (the default one)
configuration_sub1.php
configuration_sub2.php
On the frontend we need something like:

Code: Select all

$SITES = array();
require 'sites.php';

if(isset($SITES[$_SERVER['HOST']])) {
  required 'configuration'.$SITES[$_SERVER['HOST']].'.php';
  //(thanks Anthony)
} else // load the deafult
to select the appropriate file.

For the administrator I would propose that the login screen also tries to detect whether multi-sites are defined, and it gives you a list box to log into either the default site or, in our case above, sub1.site.com or sub2.site.com. This gives you the advantage of having complete configuration settings for each site.

Template, Language and Module installation is handled ok as these are not stored in the DB. However, the installation of Plugins and Components gets a little tricky. I think we'd need a multi-site manager component that allows you to effectively "copy" at least plugins and components from one site to another, and also maintain a "sites.php" file.

Funnily enough, I recall playing with very similar code when working on one of the ethereal Mambo 5.0 versions.
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Re: Easy access to multiple sites

Post by pointri » Thu Mar 20, 2008 3:02 am

Ha! This multi-site conversation's been in fits and starts for years.

This all reminded me of this grandiose notion I had of multi-sites being just another taxonomy, implemented so that any JObject-derived entity (extensions, models, etc.) on a master site can be exposed to an instance of JApplication found on another web domain, or even an app transacting data on some non-HTTP protocol.

I agree that it would require a component to deploy the taxonomy itself and create and manage the app instances, but it would be great to find some way to prevent the need to duplicate extensions on slave sites in the process (maybe XML-RPC?), then provide ways as is currently available through templates to override output on slave domains.

EDIT: I should probably add that I have no delusions of seeing anything like this implemented in 1.6, but I'd rather see it happen using this kind of approach.

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Multi Domain configuration

Post by snicers » Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:11 am

Mult Domain configuration means that you are having for example 5 domains without having 5 Joomla! installations.
Multi Domain should make it possible to have a infinite set of Domains and Subdomains while having only one Joomla! installation. There are hacks around for 1.0.x but I think that these should come up in the next versions.

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Re: [15]Single - install, dbase, users & sign on. + Shared data!

Post by AmyStephen » Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:07 pm

This would be so wonderful to have.

For starters - it would help keep multiple servers up-to-date and safe. It would also save a great deal of time in site administration functions.

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by arthurhanlon » Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:09 am

I think this would be a welcome addition. We currently have v1.0 with OpenSEF installed providing quick and dirty multisite functionality with URL re-writing:

http://www.medea.co.uk/ (Main site)
http://www.inkrite.com/ (Secondary site)
http://www.lightscribe.uk.com/ (Secondary site)

Now, these work well but i'm pretty sure it wasn't designed to be used to the extent we are using it (perhaps it was?), it works for us though. No doubt as we continue to build on this we will notice more of it's limitations and it's the only major hurdle in stopping us switching over to 1.5.

I agree with hotnuts21 however with the need for ACL before multisite.

Arthur

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by AmyStephen » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:00 pm

As was mentioned, this is an often requested item and something I would be interested in, as well. But, there is really no white paper here. If someone wants this to be seriously considered, I suggest taking a bit of time to flesh it out into more detail (somewhat quickly as the deadline has passed.)

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by newart » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:31 pm

I do agree with Amy, the topic is interesting and could be interesting to evaluate the Pros and Cons in the actual joomla framework... I think it'd useful to see also who's already used Typo3 for this type of experience in order to know if it is possible to see something similar for a 1.6 version, well, maybe better than Typo3, of course! :)
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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by mrmunka » Mon May 05, 2008 5:29 pm

I too would have a huge need for this feature in Joomla. Right now we are using Joomla as an internal site for one department. It's a huge hit and has gained notice company wide, now and my superiors have began asking about creating the same thing for every dealership (I work for an Autogroup with 14 different stores in 3 states). Just the thought of creating and maintaining this many sites is enough to make me sick to my stomach. :'(

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by perandre » Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:27 am

Very interested. It could make Joomla a hit with governmental projects.

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Re: Multi Domain configuration

Post by chas » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:32 am

snicers wrote:Mult Domain configuration means that you are having for example 5 domains without having 5 Joomla! installations.
Multi Domain should make it possible to have a infinite set of Domains and Subdomains while having only one Joomla! installation. There are hacks around for 1.0.x but I think that these should come up in the next versions.
would love to see joomla have this feature to catch up to drupal and WP

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by mahagr » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:25 pm

Why the config files cannot be in the document roots of every site? Every site needs it's own loader (index.php), admin panel (administrator/index.php) and directories for images and tmp anyway.

Multisite capability isn't the easiest feature, because of you need to rethink admin permissions, configuration file handling (local vs global) and component installation (local / glogal / both / both with override).

Can a subsite admin change database settings?
Can he override global settings for every component?
Can he install new / update existing components?
Can he remove default components?
Etc..

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by torkil » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:58 pm

Just a small tip for those who can't wait:

I have implemented multisites for an organisation with 10+ branches. They wanted completely separate sites, but with identical functionality all across the sites, meaning identical installations filewise, but with separated databases.

Simple yet effective solution in three steps: Separate databases. Separate configfiles with one common config file. Files/folders that are the same are just symlinked to a root site. Easy 1 hour setup! Easy to update too, except when components require database changes, whereas all 10+ databases must be patched :P

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by micheas » Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:58 pm

My solution for the moment is to use a hybrid symlink, directory, and hard link tree and one code base.

I use mostly symlinks but I use hard links for
  • webroot/index.php
  • webroot/index2.php
  • webroot/administrator/index.php
  • webroot/administrator/index2.php
  • webroot/administrator/index3.php
This allows me to install custom templates (and remove default templates) while using the version in svn.

I keep one copy of my symlink tree that I copy over to new sites.

This is much easier with drupal, but overall it wasn't too bad to set up.

The advantages:
  • low traffic sites are mostly cached as all but the template and a component or two are shared between all the sites.
  • reduced memory usage.
  • Updates are simpler but each site looks like it is its own Joomla site. My typical Joomla site takes up about 6megabytes of disk space.
  • I do not have many common extensions, but when I do my expectation is to check them out of svn into their own home and link them.
  • Forensics on a cracked site is much faster as there is less to look through.
  • Backups (and restores are much faster (restores being fast is the big deal.)
  • Fast updates of Joomla! core. (sudo svn up -- wait -- all sited updated)
  • Pristine source

Downsides
  • Still have individual components to maintain.
  • Installer cannot fully work unless you make installation a directory instead of a symlink. (really minor problem just cut and paste the configuration.php file.
  • Hard to downgrade a single site. (pull the old source code and modify symlinks to it. (about 450 but a lot of the links are trivially scriptable))
  • Third party components, modules and plugins not really designed for installation from the command line.
  • Hard links require an archiver like tar to reliably copy them.

TODO (All the time in the world)
  • make a custom installer that checks if the module is a white listed module and create symlinks instead of copying the files.
  • write a one click installer for white listed apps.
  • write a script to recreate the base tree pointing to an arbitrary location specified on the command line.
If people are interested I can put up a tar ball someplace

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by pschwisow » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:04 pm

micheas, this sounds a lot like what I attempted (unsuccessfully) a few months ago. I'd love to see how you made it work.

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by micheas » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:47 am

what I did was
cd to /home
svn co http://checkouturl joomla15

mkdir baseinstall
mkdir baseinstall/public_html
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/administrator/
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/cache
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/components
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/images
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/language
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/logs
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/media
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/modules
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/plugins
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/templates
mkdir baseinstall/tmp
mkdir baseinstall/cache
cd baseinstall/public_html
ln -s ../../joomla15/includes
ln -s ../../joomla15/installation
ln -s ../../joomla15/libraries
ln -s ../../joomla15/xmlrpc
ln -s ../../joomla15/CHANGELOG.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/COPYRIGHT.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/CREDITS.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/INSTALL.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/LICENSE.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/LICENSES.php
ln ../../joomla15/index.php
ln ../../joomla15/index2.php

you then need to go into all the directories and repeat. I wound up using some minishell scripting, but you need to make sure that you hard link all the files that are entry points or configuration.php will not be found.

An alternative is to do a second checkout and remove files and directories and replace them with links.

It was about a two hour process for me but I learned my way around the source code a lot better.

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by nbazz » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:04 am

micheas wrote: but you need to make sure that you hard link all the files that are entry points or configuration.php will not be found.
Well It seems I've missed one or two. The administrator section works just great w/ finding the proper config file, but the site it self is still using the baseline config, any sugestions?

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by AndytheT » Fri Mar 06, 2009 7:03 pm

hi, i want to run multiple joomlas in the same domain, with the same component program installed on them all seperately and different databases.

i installed to seperate joomlas to 2 different directories, created databases for them both and changed the paths in the config file to point to the correct place. they both seem to be working ok (tho i havent played around with them much yet) except for one problem i just cant figure out: the main menu for them both seems to be linked, so when i go into the menu editor and change the url it changes the url in both installs- so when i click the menu buttins in one its takes me to the page i want but in the other joomla install.

everything on both installs appears to be completely seperate as i want then to be completely independant, they have their own files and databases but somehow the menu's are connected. can anyone please help?

Also i want to run identical websites (franchises) the only difference being the database and the url/links the menus link to. Am i going about this the best way?

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by torkil » Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:07 pm

The menu is stored in the database, so it sounds like the sites are using the same db?
Are you talking about the whole mainmenu, or just the main (default) menuitem?

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by nbazz » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:22 pm

micheas wrote:what I did was
cd to /home
svn co http://checkouturl joomla15

mkdir baseinstall
mkdir baseinstall/public_html
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/administrator/
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/cache
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/components
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/images
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/language
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/logs
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/media
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/modules
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/plugins
mkdir baseinstall/public_html/templates
mkdir baseinstall/tmp
mkdir baseinstall/cache
cd baseinstall/public_html
ln -s ../../joomla15/includes
ln -s ../../joomla15/installation
ln -s ../../joomla15/libraries
ln -s ../../joomla15/xmlrpc
ln -s ../../joomla15/CHANGELOG.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/COPYRIGHT.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/CREDITS.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/INSTALL.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/LICENSE.php
ln -s ../../joomla15/LICENSES.php
ln ../../joomla15/index.php
ln ../../joomla15/index2.php
UPDATE:

Using the above works just great. I had just forgotten to link the modules directory, but since that has been fixed all is well.

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by torkil » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:17 am

So everything is fine then?

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by nbazz » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:20 pm

As far as symlinking joomla installs goes, yup! Im currently working on a component that will allow registration on the main site and will create a subdomain, symlink a baseline joomla install, copy database tables with a new prefix and update the configuration.php file to reflect as such. It should be pretty cool once its done.

Im not sure whats wrong with AndytheT's situation however.

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by fenixwww » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:28 pm

I use vertrigo web server for testing joomla )
I think...

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by nbazz » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:13 pm

fenixwww wrote:I use vertrigo web server for testing joomla )
Well that would work great just for a simple install. The thing Im working on is a bit more complex and is ment to be used on a linux hosting provider so you could offer custom joomla installs as a service or whatnot. As far as my development enviroment, i use XAMPP (http://www.apachefriends.org/en/xampp.html). Its a complete package as Vertrigo is, but offers a bit more in the way of features.

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Re: [15]multisite capability

Post by msdexter » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:59 pm

Denver vebserver it's too good for this


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