FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

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FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:46 pm

After experimenting with several options and visiting about half a dozen forums, I think I have finally discovered a workable integration between the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) and Community Builder (CB).  Below you will find my notes on how I achieved this on my site www.girlscantwhat.com along with my suggestions on ways it could be improved in the future.

*** Before you attempt anything in this FAQ, please make appropriate backups! ***


Basics
I am running Joomla 1.0.10 and SMF 1.1 RC2. 

SMF will need to be installed on the same database as Joomla.  If you did not do this when you first setup SMF, use phpMyAdmin to export your SMF data and then import it into the Joomla db.

Download and install the latest version of the Community Builder component from Joomlapolis.com.  I am using version 1.01.  Configure it to your liking.  In the configuration on the user profile tab....make sure that username is set to "no".  You do not want your users to be able to change their username.  This will hose up their login and links to their profile.

Bridge
You will need to uninstall any bridges you may already have in place.  Download and install the latest bridge component from Joomlahacks.com.  (At this time I am using version 1.1.4.2).  Set up the bridge by following the instructions on the installation tab.

Next, click on the configuration tab.  Change the following settings to integrate with CB:

Redirect SMF profile link to CB/CBE: Yes
Registration module to use: CB
Login module to use: JSMF

Save your settings

Login Module
Next you will need to install and publish the JSMF login module which can also be found at Joomlahacks.com.  Configure it to your liking – it is highly customizable and there are a lot of options.

Private Messaging
I prefer to use the UDDEIM Component for private messaging because of it's integration with CB.  To integrate this into CB, you will need to download and install the UDDEIM component.  Again, configure it to your liking after installing it.  I am using version 0.5b (build 4).

If you use UDDEIM, you will need to disable the PM functions in SMF.  Go to SMF and login the admin area.  Under “permissions” select the appropriate group and uncheck the boxes next to “read private messages” and “send private messages”.  This will disable the private messaging and remove the links to the messaging system from the SMF menu and the login module.

You will also need to remove the “Private Message Options” link from showing up in the user's SMF profile.  To do this, go into your SMF directory and open /Sources/Profile.php.  Comment out this line:

Code: Select all

$context['profile_areas']['edit_profile']['areas']['pmprefs'] = '<a href="' . $scripturl . '?action=profile;u=' . $memID . ';sa=pmprefs">' . $txt['pmprefs'] . '</a>';
You can also have PM links in SMF be rerouted to UDDEIM instead of SMF.  I have not had a chance to add this hack yet, but it can be found here.

A Few Tweaks
I wanted a nice compact user “control Panel” of sorts so I setup my own little illusion.  If you login on my site you will see the login module on the upper right side.  Underneath it you will also see a link for private messages and a link for CB actions pending.  These are just the UDDEIM module and the CB module stacked underneath the Login module.  I just set the bottom two modules to not display the title so it makes them look as if they are part of the login module.  I chose to keep the UDDEIM and CB modules vs. creating links in JSMF module because the UDDEIM and SMF modules will display a count when there are messages or actions pending.  This illusion of one module instead of three happens to work with my custom template and my CSS, but will not work for everyone.

One potential glitch I discovered during my initial setup of this integration was finding a way to allow users to edit their forum profile while still having all username links to their profile reroute to CB.  Normally, to change their forum profile, a user would click on the profile link from the SMF menu.  However, that menu link now points to their CB profile.  After some experimenting, I discovered a way to bypass the “rerouting” and get the user to their profile settings so they could change things like their signature and their board preferences.  To handle this issue, I created a new link on my custom user menu (a menu module just below the login module that displays to registered users) that I named “Forum Preferences”.  Its a simple Link-Url item that points to:
 
component/option,com_smf/Itemid,298/action,profile/ 

Now anytime a user sees the word “profile” on my site they will always end up in their CB profile.  Only the “Forum Preferences” link points them to the SMF profile to make changes there.  Any preferences/editing changes made in the SMF profile will show up in CB via the SMF plugins mentioned below.


Plugins

I have added several plugins to CB.  There are 3 new ones that work with SMF.  They don't seem to have a home yet, but the updated versions are being posted here (ironically, it was someone else's visit to my site that started that thread)  :D

They are called: 
SMF Info – shows basic info from SMF
SMF Profile – pulls in profile data.
SMF Posts – shows recent posts

To see all this in action, visit my site at www.girlscantwhat.com.  You will have to register and login to see the CB profiles.  My username is gretchen.

Comments
As far as I can tell, everything works smoothly between these components.  I do have a suggestion for future development.  I would eventually like to be able to make editing changes to the SMF profile fields from CB.  Right now there is a link that sends the user to the SMF profile page to make the changes, so it is at least possible for the user to make the changes.  It would just be more user friendly if it was uniform.

I have been over and over everything I can think of in testing this both with an admin account and a regular user account.  If there is anything I missed, please let me know.  I think this is by far the best combination I have seen for a community.
Last edited by drummergirl on Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by bohn002 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:01 pm

props
remember pillage...then burn.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by AtlasShrugging » Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:12 pm

Wow Gretchen!

You've done a fabulous job with integrating everything to look like one comprehensive, cohesive site from one developer. The layout, matching etc - superb!

I'm not at the point yet where I even necessarily understand how you've done it; my site still looks exactly like what it is - a hodgepodge of this 'n that from a bazillion different sources. ;-) But I can certainly appreciate the work you've put into it.

Ops, I did have one question for you though. Why did you elect to link/exit to your CP shop rather than wrap it?

Thanks & Great job!

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:04 pm

Thanks for the compliments.  In answering your question about cafepress, let me mention that I spent a lot of time experimenting with the best way to pull it off. 

My reason for going with it unwrapped is that I noticed quite a few visitors were landing directly in my shop via other links.  Mainly through the cafepress directory or links from their site.  I wanted my users to get the exact same display as they would if they visited my regular site. That was very important to me because I wanted them to see that there is much more to my site than just buying a T-shirt.  I especially wanted the header to match and the menu links to be identical.  So I just pointed the cafepress site to the CSS stylesheet on my girlscantwhat.com site, added a few lines of code for the menu, welcome box and intro text and *poof* I have an instant clone of my site (minus the side bar modules which I didn't want on my shop pages anyway so my product images have room to spread out).

The only change I might ever need to make to the cafepress code is that I would have to hardcode any menu links that I add/change in the mainmenu module, but that's an easy copy/paste job. ;)

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by AtlasShrugging » Tue Aug 29, 2006 1:29 pm

Ahhhh I see. I appreciate your response/clarification.

So as not to hijack your thread (tsk), I will thank you again & respectfully bow out now <):-p.

Back to the point ..

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:09 am

hi gretchen,

thanks a lot for sharing your know-how with us. did it the same way as you. so far it seems to work not that bad except one big problem.

1) i log in using the button "remember me" - works fine
2) closing browser and re-visit the site

now i am "kind of logged in". this means that joomla seems to be logged in as it shows the items for registred users only as well. but the smf-login-module doesn't know that i am logged in automaticall. therefore the username / password fields are shown instead of the avator picture etc.  somehow i got the feeling that is could be a bug in the smf-loginmodule. did you experience similar problems?

my page (in german only) can be found here:
http://www.tauchzone.ch/

would be interesting to know if others have the same problem.

cheers, marc
Last edited by marcd on Wed Aug 30, 2006 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:35 pm

Hey Marc - glad I could help.  I am not experiencing the same problem that you described.  Does this happen on my site as well as yours?

I closed my browser and when I reopened, it still shows me logged in - both to Joomla nd SMF.  If I log out, I am logged out of both.  The only glitch I see is that I have "remember me" checked, but it never remembers and I always have to retype my username/password.  Perhaps that is tied to this issue somewhere. 

Please let me know if you experience this on my site. 

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:44 pm

Oh yeah - and one other thing I wanted to add is this....

When setting up CB, in the configuration on the user profile tab....make sure that username is set to "no".  You do not want your users to be able to change their username.  This will hose up their login and links to their profile.  In fact, I will modify my first post to reflect this discovery.  ;)

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 12:56 pm

drummergirl wrote: Oh yeah - and one other thing I wanted to add is this....

When setting up CB, in the configuration on the user profile tab....make sure that username is set to "no".  You do not want your users to be able to change their username.  This will hose up their login and links to their profile.  In fact, I will modify my first post to reflect this discovery.  ;)
thanks for the hint - did that as well - good idea  ;)
drummergirl wrote:Please let me know if you experience this on my site.
nope - on your site this seems to work fine. means that i don't have to login again so it remembers my login correctly. strage - i would like this behaviour on my site as well  ???  :'(
drummergirl wrote:The only glitch I see is that I have "remember me" checked, but it never remembers and I always have to retype my username/password.
this is even better than beeing logged in "half way" but i do not have this problem on your site. hmm...

the only difference i found is that i use RC3 of SMF but this should not be the problem i think. maybe i find some workaround in the login-module. have to try some more hacks ;)
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:21 pm

marc - I registered on your site to see if I could figure out what's going on.  Imay have a German first name but I can't read a lick of your text.  :-[

I am remaining logged in when I close my browser, so may I suggest you clear your cache and your cookies and see if that helps?

Also, I thought about my "remembering" issue and I went into FF and removed all the saved passwords for my site and that fixed it.  Go figure.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 2:37 pm

what a shame ... that fixed it ! some saved form/password/cookie did mess things up. thanks a LOT for your help. will keep an eye on it if it is really fixed now.  :)
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:01 pm

enjoyed to fast...  :-\
it does work only once after i cleared the cookies. but afterward the same strange thing happen. same on IE and firefox. also cleared the cookie-setting in the smf-admin. what "Session Authentication Method" do you use on your site? i am using the default "level 3".

...wait wait.. i think now i found it !! did disable the smf-cookie usage in the advanced smf-server-settings. it looks like this helps.  ...at least that is what is is look for at the moment..  ;)
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:11 pm

hmm.... negative - still having this thing... strange: i don't get it  :-\
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:15 pm

Which login module are you using?  SMF or JSMF?

Oh - and I'm at Level 3 as well.
Last edited by drummergirl on Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:26 pm

i am using mod_smf_login. is this the right one?  ???  :-[
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Wed Aug 30, 2006 5:32 pm

I'm not sure as I have not used the SMF version of the login with the Joomlahacks Bridge.  I use the SMF login from Joomlahacks which can be found here.

Also, make sure you select the right login module in the configuration of the Joomlahacks bridge.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:03 pm

re-installed the login module from your link but it didn't change. i tried some things more. one thing was that i activated all three login-modules to see the different "login-states" (joomla, cb and smf) and saw that it is exactly the way i thougt: joomla and cb are correctly loggin in automatically but not jsmf. then i checked my jsmf-settings and took a screenshot as well. do you see something different to yours?  ???
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:32 pm

Marc - I tested my login modules side by side but they are all i sync.  I was gonna go look in Joomlahacks forum for some help but I see you beat me to it.  Hang tight - I'm sure they will offer some good advice there.  ;)
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:53 pm

asked that in the joomlahacks forum as well so here is the link....
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by kainelderan » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:37 am

Not to hijack this thread... but I followed your guide here before the 1.0.11 update came out, and things were working fine. When I tried to update to 1.0.11, there were major problems and I ended up having to totally reinstall Joomla. It was not until after I had reinstalled Joomla that I realized there were two different bridges, the one from Joomlahacks.com and the one from the SMF page, written by Ortisio (sp?). One of the biggest differences is that the Joomlahacks.com version actually changes some of the core Joomla files, while Ortisio's does not. This is a huge difference when it comes to updating Joomla, and I would highly recommend using Ortisio's. I don't mean this to demean the Joomlahacks.com version, as I was quite pleased with it up until I had all this trouble. I know part of this was my own fault for not researching more but it should definitely be something more people know.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:44 am

I *think* I saw somewhere that you should uninstall the bridge before doing an upgrade and then reinstall it.  I have not tried the upgrade yet and I won't until at least Tuesday due to a busy gig schedule this weekend, but I remember seeing notes somewhere to that effect.  I will research first before I dive in.  Thanks for the heads up.

PS - I was using Orstio's bridge but it wasn't as seamless as the Joomlahacks bridge.

AmyStephen

Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by AmyStephen » Fri Sep 01, 2006 5:12 am

Gretchen -

In only a few days, there are 20 replies! You hit a need in this community! NICELY DONE! You ROCK! ... well, i guess u know that!

Thanks! Amy :)

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by kainelderan » Fri Sep 01, 2006 7:29 pm

Hrm... something I noticed here that I didn't note before is you say you're using SMF 1.1 RC2... I have RC3 installed. Has anyone tried this using RC3, or know if there is an update for this? I really don't care to have to go through reinstalling a 3rd time...  ;)

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Sat Sep 02, 2006 5:31 pm

yep, i am using RC3 but as written above not completly done yet.
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by jomaco1 » Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:06 pm

marcd wrote: hmm.... negative - still having this thing... strange: i don't get it  :-\
I have been reading over this thread with particular interest because I am working on a high-profile e-commerce site that will depend on the use of CB as a user control panel and uses SMF as the forum component.

Two things I have not seen mentioned are:

1. The use of SEF extensions
2. Personal Firewall and Privacy settings

I have stumbled upon some discussions that mention unsuccessful dual login when using Open SEF, which is what we are using. What, if any SEF components are being used?

In the case of PC security settings, I know all systems are different, but sometimes with the McAfee software I am using, I must physically add trusted URLs through the software utility, even though my browsers are set to accept the cookie from the site...just something else to check during the process of elimination.

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:20 pm

i am using just the standard joomla SEF. no mcaffee or norton installed. instead i am using norman-av. the problem happening with different firewalls (hardware based) as well as with different browsers (firefox + ie6).

but now after a few days it seems to work ok for most of the users. got "just" one message where the problem still occured. for me it seems something to do with cached-cookies or so. when clearing the cookies all is fine for a least to browser-startups. so, something must depend on cookies here.

cheers, marc
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by onemak » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:39 pm

does it work with cbe too??

greets,
mak

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by drummergirl » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:49 pm

I don't have the first clue about CBE, but in the Joomlahacks bridge there are options to use the CBE login module and the CBE registration module.  I cannot speak for how CBE would work with SMF, tho.  Sorry. 

:)

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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by marcd » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:50 pm

don't know cbe. just using cb. this part seems to work quite well.

update on the login-issue:
the problem seems to be if the users do not check the "remember me" checkbox. then he is not logged in into SMF correctly. if this checkbox is checked works well. so the workaround for my users now is to clear the cookies and login again with that check set. hopefully i can check the code and maybe find why this problem occur and fix it.
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Re: FAQ: How to have a Seamless SMF + CB Integration

Post by onemak » Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:50 pm

i do not have "Redirect SMF profile link to CB/CBE: Yes" to configure


and thats my main problem. i want the cbe-profile to be clickable in the smf-forum ///:


how can i only solve that ///:


i m using cbe


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