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Effective Joomla business processes

Published on Tuesday, 26 May 2009
The codebase that is known as Joomla has been talked of implementing business processes, through access rules, since 2003 back when the product was known as Mambo 4.5.x. Now with the advent of Joomla 1.6, the real question is how to simplify such a complex model of behaviour, and business intelligence, into a software design.

The answer may be simpler than you would think.

Most business managers cannot grasp complex technical terms or behaviours in order to implement something. Therefore the bar has to be the lowest common denominator possible. Visualisation, the art of representing technical data in a visual form, either for statistical purposes, or to understand a system's function, layout or structure, would be an appropriate solution. Managers, by and large, like and understand visuals more than modal behaviour.

The creative brief would be simple. Allow the administrators of a site to have a list of their users, groups and site areas on a blank visual canvas. Javascript, Flash or Flex would do; however the technology itself is by largely irrelevant here. What matters is that they have the freedom to create a visual model, a mind map of the rules they want for their site, in their own way, with their own logic.

Allow them to visually link users to actions for certain areas of their site, to do certain things. Allow them to retain the layouts they create, even if they accidently delete the key user, most likely the site superadministrator, from within the action tree. Version control would help as well, just in case they make an unintended change.

Once they have created a visual layout of what they want of their users, groups and site areas, render the visual structure into an XML file. This file is then run through an interpreter for checking, before being imported in situ into the PHPGACL functionality that's hopefully going to be present in Joomla 1.6.

Problem solved.
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