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Four Way Integration in Joomla

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The Wordpress Bridge

There's a Joomla-Wordpress bridge released by a Joomla developer called Marko Schmuck. Crazy name, crazy guy. It's a great bit of kit and quite simple to install for a fresh site by following the guidance in this post on the Joomla forum. Basically, it can be uploaded via the Joomla menu item Installers>Components and then linked via an entry in the menu.

To merge the content from the existing wordpress system is slightly trickier and can lead to problems if not handled carefully. Use an adapted version of the .sql file you exported from wordpress as part of your initial backup process. In the case of the Conker Exchange, the sequence followed (after some experimentation) went like this:

Having migrated the data you should login to the Joomla back end and go to Components>JD_Wordpress to make some extra changes to the configuration such as tweaks to general functionality, the name of the site and (most importantly) sorting out which users are to be authors and editors. By default only the original Joomla admin super-administrator ID (ID 62 in jos_users) is administrator in the Wordpress add-in, while all the others have fairly basic level access. You may also want to add spam blacklists and other items from the original setup.

After installation you can safely delete your original wordpress directory since the entire blog system is running inside a Joomla component.

The Coppermine Bridge

The Coppermine Bridge and the phpBB bridge are both maintained by a developer named Mehdi. The Coppermine one is quite simple to install but there are quite a lot of things that can go awry with it, so refer to the FAQ.

To begin, download the main file from Mehdi's page, unzip it and install the com_coppermine.zip archive using installers>components on the main Joomla menu. Upload the remaining .php files to the relevant folders - joomla.inc.php and joomla.integ.php to the bridge folder and the hacked versions of bridgemgr.php and functions.inc.php to, respectively, Coppermine's root directory and /includes directory. A script ("Quickmerge") is provided to merge users, although this wasn't done in this instance, for reasons stated above.

Once everything is in place, log into Coppermine as admin, go to the Admin Tools screen and run the bridging wizard. The path to the Joomla installation needs to be entered exactly as it is in the Joomla configuration (specifically, the $mosConfig_live_site variable in the Joomla configuration file) - the presence or absence of the "www." at the beginning makes a real difference. Fortunately, if you get it wrong you can fix it later but it's a nuisance. The details are on Mehdi's FAQ page.

The link to Coppermine should be a url link to the coppermine index page, not a link to the component itself.

Coppermine's css file doesn't tend to sit well with the rest of the site once it's squeezed inside Joomla's .maincell. Mehdi has provided a tool that processes css files and resolves these conflicts. Unfortunately, it still leaves some layout problems, as far as I can see; see "Tidying Up" below.

After integration I found I needed to change the method for resizing images (which can be found by logging into Coppermine as admin, clicking on "Config" and then selecting "Files and thumbnails - Advanced Settings") from ImageMagick to GD version 2, and I also needed to reset all the permissions on all the user galleries too.

The phpBB Bridge

Download the bridge from Mehdi's site and unzip it. Install com_php.zip using the Installers>Components menu item in Joomla. Now create the table required for interoperability between the two applications. This is done using a script called joomphp.sql which can be pasted into the phpmyadmin sql window. It creates a table called joom_php_bridge which makes links between php and joomla user accounts.

Upload the 26 files to the phpBB root directory. Edit the joomphpbb_conf.php file to include your site's url (Again, it needs to be exactly the same as the one given in the Joomla config file to work properly) and upload it and joomphpbb_engine.php to the root directory too. Finally, upload the "hacked files" in the subsilver folder into the equivalent folder in phpBB's templates directory.

To promote the phpBB users into global site users, transfer the users table from the phpBB database to the Joomla database. To do this, find the .sql file corresponding to the phpBB database you created as part of the backup process. down at the bottom will be a large block of text starting with
CREATE TABLE `phpbb_users` (
... and continuing for a couple of dozen lines, followed by another large block of lines, all beginning
INSERT INTO `phpbb_users` VALUES (
These two blocks create a table called "phpbb_users" and populate it with all the user information from the posting board. Copy both blocks to the clipboard. Now go to phpmyadmin, select the Joomla database, paste the whole lot into the SQL window and run it. Now you're ready to run the quickmerge.sql script. The script will fail for any user names that already exist in the Joomla database so if you're planning to keep the phpBB users and their passwords for the sake of uniformity, delete them from Joomla first. Also, see the previous page's section on users and the compatability of usernames between applications. phpBB seems to be much more lenient than Joomla! You'll get a report of all the failures after you run it so you can manually fix any anomalies if you need to.

See the "Users" section on the previous page for a discussion of compatibility between name formats in Joomla and phpBB

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