Written by Robert Vining | 09 March 2011
Today we will continue our review of the SobiPro Directory Component for Joomla. This time we'll take a brief look at the Sections, Categories, Entries, Configuration, Applications and Templates.
If you are at all familiar with Sobi2, then SobiPro should make you really happy, as it has many more features and is much more refined. As more Applications become available for SobiPro, it should surpass Sobi2 in every way. If you missed the first blog post of this 2 part series, you might want to click on over and read First Look - SobiPro Component for Joomla - Part 1. Alright, let's get started!
SobiPro allows the user to create separate sections within the same website that allow their own nested category structure, their own custom fields, their own template system and their own search function. This makes SobiPro one of the most flexible components on the market today. You can have a blog, a downloads directory, a contacts manager and much more, all from just a single component. It's really quite powerful, and something that will make SobiPro really shine once you wrap your head around what you can do with it.
If you are at all familiar with Sobi2, you will feel right at home in the Administrator for Entries and Categories. You can Add an Entry, Add a Category, View all Entries, and the familiar Sigsiu Tree navigation is back that allows you to drill down to a specific category to view it's subcategories. Another nice feature in the Category and Entry screens are the ability to click on each column header to sort by that column. For example, you can sort by ID, Name, State, Approval, Position and Owner/Author, which is a nice feature. We'll go a bit deeper into entries and categories in a future post.
The SobiPro Section Configuration contains the Custom Fields Manager and General Configuration for that section. If you know how to set up Custom Fields in Sobi2, it's basically the same process, but with many new features. We'll go in-depth into the changes in the Custom Fields in a future blog post.
The General Configuration has 4 tabs across the top, the first being Section Configuration which includes basics like the Section Name and Description, Meta Data and the ability to turn on and off the section completely.
The Options tab allows you to set the Entry Title Field, category settings and security settings, like Allowed Tags and HTML Attributes.
The Template Data tab houses the basic Category and Entry Listing settings, like how many entries to display per line and Alpha Listing settings. A cool new feature is the Additional Fields for Alpha Listing, which allows you to set extra fields that can be selected from the front end and accessed through the Alpha Menu. So let's say you want to sort by City instead of the Title of the entry. Just select City and then click a letter to view all cities beginning with that letter.
Finally, the Redirects tab moves a little known feature from the Sobi2 Registry Editor into the General Configuration of SobiPro making it much easier to use now. You can set the Error Message for Unauthorized Access to Categories or Entries in this tab, or redirect to a specific page on your site for them to register, subscribe or log in for example.
The Section Applications menu lets you set the details for the Applications used in the section you're currently viewing. By default the Paypal and Bank Draft Apps are installed and you can set your personal account information for these here. In addition, SobiPro already has a jComments App, Disqus Comments App and a Notifications App available for SobiPro Club Members.
Finally we have the Section Template menu item that allows you to edit the template that is used in this section. You will have full access to every template file used, including vcard, detail view, front page, search, category chooser and any other view you can think of in SobiPro.
Now you've had the opportunity to see what all is inside SobiPro. As you can see, it's quite a powerful piece of software that will make creating multiple directories a simple task inside Joomla. The real advantage is, once you get your head wrapped around how versatile SobiPro is, you will realize you can do many more things with it than just a simple directory.
The Sobi Templates Club will be offering several different custom template packages that will help you get different types of directories set up quickly and easily, while looking great at the same time. Be sure to sign up for the SobiTemplates Newsletter when you visit the site to keep up to date on the latest announcements.
Stay tuned to Roberts Web Design blog for more in depth information on SobiPro, including videos to help you get started and take advantage of the power in SobiPro.
Got questions or comments? We would love to hear from you!