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License Manager for 3rd Party Extensions Discussion and Feature Request #10807

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coolcat-creations opened this Issue Jun 13, 2016 · 14 comments

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coolcat-creations commented Jun 13, 2016

This is a discussion from the enduser perspective. I´m using some extensions, which are not using the native Joomla! updater. I don´t know why but i guess they have their own updater to add "license" options into it? - Correct me if i´m wrong...
That disturbs the usability a lot and so i want to share a solution with you i saw in a shop system.

They have a seperate option called "licence manager" - I can manage there the installed plugins and extensions with their license codes and have also an overview when the license is expiring.

Additionally i see in the update-manager if i have a current license and if the update is flagged as a feature update, bug or security release and if the extension developer marked the update as compatible to the current installed framework version.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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What do you think the chances are of developers who dont use the extension updater using this - OR do you mean this is somewhere that the site owner can record "support" dates for the extensions they use

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brianteeman commented Jun 13, 2016

What do you think the chances are of developers who dont use the extension updater using this - OR do you mean this is somewhere that the site owner can record "support" dates for the extensions they use

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I think we can argument that it´s a lot more userfriendly, and of course ask the extension developers what features it needs to have that they would use it instead of an own environment. Extensions like RegularLabs, Plugin-installation from JCE, Jomsocial, Seblod Updater,... sure there are a lot more using their own updater instead of the Core Updater). I don´t mean it for the site owner to record something additionally.

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coolcat-creations commented Jun 13, 2016

I think we can argument that it´s a lot more userfriendly, and of course ask the extension developers what features it needs to have that they would use it instead of an own environment. Extensions like RegularLabs, Plugin-installation from JCE, Jomsocial, Seblod Updater,... sure there are a lot more using their own updater instead of the Core Updater). I don´t mean it for the site owner to record something additionally.

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brianteeman commented Jun 13, 2016

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zero-24 Jun 13, 2016

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It is allready possible for the extension devs to use the core updater with non free extensions:

#2508

#2769

Since 3.2.x i think.

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zero-24 commented Jun 13, 2016

It is allready possible for the extension devs to use the core updater with non free extensions:

#2508

#2769

Since 3.2.x i think.

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brianteeman commented Jun 13, 2016

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Would be great to know the reason and how to make them using the core updater...

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coolcat-creations commented Jun 13, 2016

Would be great to know the reason and how to make them using the core updater...

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I know why JCE didnt (they were not true joomla plugins) and they are now being converted so they are.

For other extensions they have many varied reasons although a common denominator for some is that they use a company wide library to support their extensions and this is a way to manage that dependency. For others I suspect its nothing more than a commercial oppotunity

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brianteeman commented Jun 13, 2016

I know why JCE didnt (they were not true joomla plugins) and they are now being converted so they are.

For other extensions they have many varied reasons although a common denominator for some is that they use a company wide library to support their extensions and this is a way to manage that dependency. For others I suspect its nothing more than a commercial oppotunity

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Presumably it's a mix of the lack of features in the update system before 3.2 and cross version compatibility (unless you're maintaining duplicate code for different Joomla versions or can do some simple if statements you typically have to limit some features to whatever the lowest version you're supporting has). Also is probably going to be dependent on how those developers have integrated their "external" update mechanisms into their own workflows and what effort is required to make a change like converting to only using the core system. For example the Regular Labs manager has the possibility to show all his company extensions (including not installed ones) and install them from the manager versus having to go to his site or use Install from Web to locate and install the extension.

At the end of the day, all core can really do is give folks the tools they need. I doubt though that you'll give everyone the tools they desire that makes them abandon their own systems in favor of the single Extensions -> Update screen.

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mbabker commented Jun 13, 2016

Presumably it's a mix of the lack of features in the update system before 3.2 and cross version compatibility (unless you're maintaining duplicate code for different Joomla versions or can do some simple if statements you typically have to limit some features to whatever the lowest version you're supporting has). Also is probably going to be dependent on how those developers have integrated their "external" update mechanisms into their own workflows and what effort is required to make a change like converting to only using the core system. For example the Regular Labs manager has the possibility to show all his company extensions (including not installed ones) and install them from the manager versus having to go to his site or use Install from Web to locate and install the extension.

At the end of the day, all core can really do is give folks the tools they need. I doubt though that you'll give everyone the tools they desire that makes them abandon their own systems in favor of the single Extensions -> Update screen.

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Thanks for clearing this up for me. But anyway the License Manager and especially the "flag as compatible" feature are really useful for enduser...

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coolcat-creations commented Jun 13, 2016

Thanks for clearing this up for me. But anyway the License Manager and especially the "flag as compatible" feature are really useful for enduser...

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brianteeman commented Jun 13, 2016

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coolcat-creations Jun 14, 2016

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With license i mean the updatecodes / subscription codes from the extensions - to manage them all in one place...

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coolcat-creations commented Jun 14, 2016

With license i mean the updatecodes / subscription codes from the extensions - to manage them all in one place...

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Which assumes that all commercial extensions work that way - many do not. You would also need a way to manage the different subscription periods

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brianteeman commented Jun 14, 2016

Which assumes that all commercial extensions work that way - many do not. You would also need a way to manage the different subscription periods

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The core update component just needs to be able to plug in whatever data is needed to ping the remote source, find an update, optionally validate a license or whatever extra data is necessary, and make a decision on that. That mechanism exists. Whether or not developers use it is entirely up to them. There's no mandate (nor should there be) that all extension updates must go through the core update system (which it would certainly be nice if they would, but also realize there are situations where this isn't as practical).

As for license data, IMO core should not have a com_licenses to keep track of this stuff. Just like the update system, it's going to rely on the extension developers to write their code in a way that's compatible with whatever interface is provided. And considering many developers use their own systems, there's no simple way to tell it "check here for field X and show that data".

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mbabker commented Jun 14, 2016

The core update component just needs to be able to plug in whatever data is needed to ping the remote source, find an update, optionally validate a license or whatever extra data is necessary, and make a decision on that. That mechanism exists. Whether or not developers use it is entirely up to them. There's no mandate (nor should there be) that all extension updates must go through the core update system (which it would certainly be nice if they would, but also realize there are situations where this isn't as practical).

As for license data, IMO core should not have a com_licenses to keep track of this stuff. Just like the update system, it's going to rely on the extension developers to write their code in a way that's compatible with whatever interface is provided. And considering many developers use their own systems, there's no simple way to tell it "check here for field X and show that data".

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coolcat-creations Jun 15, 2016

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okay, understand... :-) thank you all for your feedback and explanation!

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coolcat-creations commented Jun 15, 2016

okay, understand... :-) thank you all for your feedback and explanation!

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