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DTO Garage Plus Pre-sales questions regarding our Garage Plus product for vBulletin.

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Old 08-22-2009, 12:19 PM
MGSteve MGSteve is offline
 
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Default Easy to get user data out of DB?

Hi, I'm looking at buying this as its good value for money (unlike the Vendor Tools, which I've posted a reply about in that forum!)

However, how easy is it to get information about members garages out of the DB? I want to have a list of 'featured members' on the home page and have a list of cars on there that people can view.

Obviously I don't mind doing the leg work to pull the info out, but just need to know how easy is it -i.e. is the data easily extractable out of the DB.
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Old 08-22-2009, 12:57 PM
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Steve,
Thanks for your post. Do you use vBadvanced on your site? If so, we have already developed modules that provide random garages, garage statistics, and featured garage (day, month, year) functionality. While the featured module is not currently automatic it is our intent to provide a fully automatic selection process in the next release (late September).

There are a couple of sites I'll point you to so you can see how these modules are being used:

Motoring Alliance - random garage and statistics modules
TrueStreetCars - featured garage of the month

I'll be releasing these as another modification on vBulletin.org sometime next week as they work with both Garage and Garage Plus.

In the next release of Garage Plus we'll also be including an "index" page. This will include random garages, stats, as well as featured garage of the day, month, or year. If you have used Photopost and seen the index page they include ours will be somewhat similar but addressing the needs of Garage.

Let me know if you have any additional questions regarding Garage Plus.

Best regards,

Mark
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:03 PM
MGSteve MGSteve is offline
 
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Thanks for the quick reply - we don't use VBa, so I guess that means doing it by hand!

tbh, I'm torn between this and showcase for this specific use (i.e. Garage), what would you say the advantages of Showcase was over Garage?

Also what aspects of both are controlled via Usergroups - i.e. for basic and paid memberships. Obviosuly the more we can 'switch on' or expand for paid members, the better.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:21 PM
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It doesn't mean that you would have to necessarily do it by hand. We obviously already have code to do something like this. If you aren't using vBa where are you thinking of having this information displayed? If you can show me an example of placement I can provide some ideas on how we could help make it happen.

As for differences between ShowCase and Garage have you had a chance to view the ShowCase video demos? The main differences are:

  • with ShowCase you can configure all types of information and share it between users
  • with ShowCase you can create "Finders" that allows users to contribute to a database, share that information, and do fine-grained searches against that information (ie - the Supplements Finder in the bodybuilding demo and Wheel Finder on MotoringAlliance.com are great examples of this use)
  • ShowCase can support multiple sets of information (ShowCase types) while Garage only handles a simple collection of information
  • ShowCase also provides a moderation workflow for ShowCase types based on usergroup by usergroup configuration
  • ShowCase and Garage Plus allow different quantities of showcases/garages to be assigned on a usergroup-by-usergroup basis. An example use of this would be to provide premium members more showcases/garages based on a membership fee. In ShowCase you can also set whether premium member showcase creation/updates are moderated which Garage Plus can not.
There are more but these are what I see as the biggest differences. ShowCase can definitely replicate the ability to deliver a "Garage" to your members but it can go well beyond that and support other needs as well.

Thanks!

Mark
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:35 PM
MGSteve MGSteve is offline
 
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Hi again :)

Ok, this is fundamentally what I'm designing literally as we speak!



The big photo will be chosen at random each say, Sunday. The site will then save a copy of the photo (incase the user goes and deletes the original) and will save the required info to overlay ontop of the image too.

The list on the right of the image would be changed daily, same as above would apply and clicking on either the photo or the username would take you to the user's garage / Showcase.

btw - is it easy to pull out the number of images a user has uploaded to a garage / specific showcase?
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:39 PM
MGSteve MGSteve is offline
 
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Hell, I've just thought of a solution to this....

If we had the Car of the week as a specific Showcase that people uploaded the images to. We could then set a specific image size for that showcase (if you can, otherwise is it easily hackable in code, even if its as simple as (for example)

Code:
if ($ShowCaseID == 3) 
{
  $max_height = 250;
  $max_width=650;
}
Or to that effect? Until an option to set different image dimensions per showcase is added?

I forgot to see if its a global setting or not, but can you choose to hide a particular showcase on the postbit? Obviously we wouldn't need to see 'Car of the week' as a showcase in that way.

Last edited by MGSteve; 08-22-2009 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:40 PM
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Very nice look! I only wish that the MG could have come to the states again ;(

For Garage the ability to pull images out via SQL is very easy. For ShowCase it is a bit more complex given that we have an object-oriented representation of ShowCase data that allows use to configure ShowCase types and capture user data easily. Regardless we could easily provide functions or SQL code to facilitate the retrieval.

Mark
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGSteve View Post
Hell, I've just thought of a solution to this....

If we had the Car of the week as a specific Showcase that people uploaded the images to. We could then set a specific image size for that showcase (if you can, otherwise is it easily hackable in code, even if its as simple as (for example)

Code:
if ($ShowCaseID == 3) 
{
  $max_height = 250;
  $max_width=650;
}
Or to that effect? Until an option to set different image dimensions per showcase is added?
As I mentioned above we have an object oriented manner of capturing and storing data (attribute data as well as images) for ShowCase so there will likely be a little more involved in supporting this. Regardless a solution could be developed to support this fairly quickly.

Thanks!

Mark
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Old 08-22-2009, 01:49 PM
MGSteve MGSteve is offline
 
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Excellent :D To be honest I don't mind it being a quick hack for now as its a pretty much required feature for me, I appreciate everyone ideally wants a bespoke solution, but showcase really does work well for me.

As for MG being Stateside, I suspect it will be within a decade, just need the new owners to get their act together!
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:03 PM
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Whatever we decide on as providing a solution we want to insure its something that is easily maintainable over time. There is nothing worse than having a new upgrade come out and it breaking some customization. It only leads to the customer being unhappy.

If you choose to move forward with ShowCase we would need to work with you to figure out how to support the feature you need. It might be something as simple as a file you would include so you can easily pull down the information you need and reformat it for the use you've outlined. Regardless how we go about it understanding your requirements is key. With these we can figure out how to provide the most robust and expeditious solution to meet those requirements.

Thanks!

Mark
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