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Moving forward with Composr

ocPortal has been relaunched as Composr CMS, which is now in beta. ocPortal 9 will be superseded by Composr 10.

Head over to compo.sr for our new site, and to our migration roadmap. Existing ocPortal member accounts have been mirrored.


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Posted
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#100165 (In Topic #19659)
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Fan in training

After redoing over 60000 pages to work with ocportal the payment gateway does nothing!

I am feeling like I just wasted 5  months or more, alienated those who were checking out my site in it's original state, and given misleading info.

Here's the skinney on what I was attempting:
    Everybody would be be free to browse an assortment of topics without joining or paying subscriptions
    Those who want to download software, construction plans, and proprietary content would need to subscribe and make payment through paypal.

Here's what I have found.
    Comcode pages take 1 to 15 minutes to display but html dhtml xhtml and php pages take .5 seconds
    The non membership pages work as expected but noticably slower.
    When you go to join as a paid subscriber, you are never sent to paypal to make the payment you are merely added as a paid subscriber without ever having to pay. In addition, you can sign-up as many other people as you like and they also don't have to pay because you were given free membership.
    Checked with Paypal and they say no transactions have occurred on my account at all.
    Tried to use the test-pay feature of ocportal and it comes back with error 404 and then redirects to page that says welcome to new member ... so I am assuming ocportal payment gateways aren't functional.

I tried to RTFM but have found only a few terse comments about gateways with no real information and definately no examples. I did find a notation that if your usergroup is marked open membership the gateway payment thing won't work. But since I have no usergroups and they don't know according to the documentation where you check or set 'open membership' I am at a loss.



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Posted
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#100166
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Okay, to preface my reply:
Being sarcastic like this is not likely to enamour people with you. You have been provided a free product that people have been working very hard on for 10 years. Please don't take those people (and it does include me) for granted or feel you have a right to be rude. We do want to take your feedback constructively and work with you to continue to refine the software. You would have been warmly received if you posted individual questions and bug reports in a calm and professional manner, rather than "going off on one".

I will now try and address what you wrote…

given misleading info

People often make all kinds of assumptions when they start using a software product. If they see a feature listed, and it seems to match what they have in their head, they assume it does exactly what is in their head. Obviously, that is not the case.

For example, you wrote about "joining as a paid subscriber". Joining in ocPortal, and subscribing to a usergroup, are two separate processes. At no point have we made a claim that these were unified, but if you're looking for such a thing, it is easy to fall into a trap of assuming how things would work.

The way it works is you join as a member, then you can subscribe to one of the configured subscribable usergroups.

The member block, which is on there by default, will show upgrade options to the logged in member. Alternatively, you can put in a link to the purchase module, where the user may choose the usergroup to subscribe to and proceed to payment.

(In actual fact we would like to implement the possibility to have it as a single process: 0000887: Integrated pay at signup - ocPortal feature tracker)

If members are automatically going into your subscription usergroup, perhaps you made the mistake of repurposing the default usergroup as a subscription group without realising people are always going to get put into it as soon as they join. Or, you may have set your new usergroup as the default group.

Comcode pages take 1 to 15 minutes to display but html dhtml xhtml and php pages take .5 seconds

Perhaps you have disabled caches, or are on very poor quality hosting. ocPortal is benchmarked to generate Comcode pages in roughly 0.1 seconds, on a well configured server.

If you submitted a bug report with an offer of temporary access to your hosting, we would probably run some tests at no charge, and report back to you. We have done this before for users, and sometimes have found there to be specific conditions that other users have not seen; or, sometimes it is a case of poor hosting (a lot of hosting really is terrible).

Tried to use the test-pay feature of ocportal and it comes back with error 404 and then redirects to page that says welcome to new member … so I am assuming ocportal payment gateways aren't functional.

If you submit a proper bug for this, it will be looked into. At this point, I don't know the exact sequence of pages you are clicking through.


We do have a paid support service for answering questions. There is no conspiracy to have poor quality documentation to support that, but it takes a lot of work to improve documentation and it's not necessarily even easy to know what to explain to people (especially as every user wants to achieve a different set of things). When we answer things via support that are common-enough questions, we typically will also update the documentation too, if we see the documentation would not have answered the question.

Steven Jarvis is releasing regular tutorials via Arvixe, perhaps he will write one for usergroup subscriptions if he has not already. A while back I invited people to make suggestions of new tutorials we could have written. I don't think anybody took it up, but there is a "project" on the tracker (My View - ocPortal feature tracker) dedicated to suggestions for new tutorials.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
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#100176
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Fan in training

"Being sarcastic like this is not likely to enamour people with you. You have been provided a free product that people have been working very hard on for 10 years. Please don't take those people (and it does include me) for granted or feel you have a right to be rude. We do want to take your feedback constructively and work with you to continue to refine the software. "

I am not trying to be sarcastic or rude, just honest reaction to the fact that my web host removed two other os commerce solutions in favor of adding ocportal as the goto solution for doing ecommerce.  Review of documentation on the ocportal site makes a point of stating 1) capable of membership, 2) capable of doing a catalog style storefront, 3) subscription handling, and both pay portal and invoicing style transactions. New software always has a learning curve and sometimes that curve can be steep but nowhere could I find a concise reference that states how the features fit together. If I could find such I could be faulted for not following the processes.

For example, you wrote about "joining as a paid subscriber". Joining in ocPortal, and subscribing to a usergroup, are two separate processes. At no point have we made a claim that these were unified, but if you're looking for such a thing, it is easy to fall into a trap of assuming how things would work.

You are right, you do not claim that Join and Subscribe are unified nor do you state that they are separate processes. Unfortunately, it is not stated the relationship between Join, member, Subscribe, main group, and user-group so people have a common frame of reference.

"The way it works is you join as a member, then you can subscribe to one of the configured subscribable usergroups."
Thankyou

The member block, which is on there by default, will show upgrade options to the logged in member. Alternatively, you can put in a link to the purchase module, where the user may choose the usergroup to subscribe to and proceed to payment.
Ok, makes sense. Where in documentation does it list all the modules, their purpose and limitations? That would be a very powerful addition to the whole package.

(In actual fact we would like to implement the possibility to have it as a single process: 0000887: Integrated pay at signup - ocPortal feature tracker)

You'd get my vote.

If members are automatically going into your subscription usergroup, perhaps you made the mistake of repurposing the default usergroup as a subscription group without realising people are always going to get put into it as soon as they join. Or, you may have set your new usergroup as the default group.

    To tell you the truth, I have no idea whether the software has moved / repurposed or in any way modified the behavior. When I go in the admin section and check out usergroups it tells me there are no usergroups. When I go under members it shows some as administrators, some as superusers and all others as members. You have answered what the problem is though, ocportal does not meet the necessary plan for my website. Those who do not join as paid subscribers are not to be let in to access the forums, chat room, downloads system, etc. Another way to put it is only pages accessed from the main page (free info) is to be available to non-paid members. 'Site' and 'Community' are to only show to paid members. Your software, in it's current state of documentation would prove to be too difficult to configure to meet my need.
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Posted
Rating:
#100178
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I am not trying to be sarcastic or rude, just honest reaction to the fact that my web host removed two other os commerce solutions in favor of adding ocportal as the goto solution for doing ecommerce.

Well actually I'd say if that's true you have a legitimate beef with your web host. We don't really pitch ocPortal as primarily an eCommerce solution. It's a CMS / community solution, with some eCommerce features included. The eCommerce features are generally used to provide extra options on top of an existing community.

it is not stated the relationship between Join, member, Subscribe, main group, and user-group so people have a common frame of reference.

This is what the documentation says on the matter:

Docs said

Set up a usergroup description as follows:
  1. Add a usergroup that members will be able to subscribe to. Make sure it is not 'Open membership', otherwise people could join it without paying.
  2. Assign additional access to this usergroup (or remove access from some of the other usergroups!).
  3. Go to the Setup section of the Admin Zone, then the eCommerce icon, then the 'Add usergroup subscription' icon
  4. Fill in the form. Be aware that a '5' 'monthly' subscription means someone pays 'every 5 months'. It does not mean a subscription is paid every month and lasts for 5 months – subscriptions last indefinitely until the user chooses to cancel them.
  5. Provide a path for members to visit the purchase page so that they may activate their subscription. By default this is possible via upgrade links shown in the logged-in box. You do also this via the site:purchase page-link, which can be inserted into a template, Comcode page, or most simply, onto your menu using the menu editor.

I know it's very concise and I fully agree we would be better to have more steps, but the information is here. In particular, it says "Provide a path for members to visit the purchase page so that they may activate their subscription".
I hope soon we will relaunch our documentation to make it all community-editable, so people can help contribute improvements to the main documentation. Additionally, we intend to integrate all the new documentation Steve has been writing - it is very conscious that we have set up a deal where Steve is writing all this new independent documentation, for us to then circle back to merge in.

I did make a change last night after reading your topic. I made it impossible to create a usergroup subscription on the default usergroup, for the reasons I set out in my last post. We very commonly tune the system as we get feedback on it.

Ok, makes sense. Where in documentation does it list all the modules, their purpose and limitations? That would be a very powerful addition to the whole package.

It doesn't, but that's a good idea. I will add that to the documentation project on the tracker.

In v10 we are hoping to simplify the blocks and menus a lot, to make things kind of manage themselves (optionally), placing links and blocks on the layout based on whatever features you've started to use.

When I go in the admin section and check out usergroups it tells me there are no usergroups.

Do you mean no usergroup subscriptions? Could you open a separate topic on this, with a screenshot? The system will normally prevent you deleting the default user group that new members are put in.

Your software, in it's current state of documentation would prove to be too difficult to configure to meet my need.

If you're not comfortable with configuring the software's usergroups/subscriptions/permissions to the way you need them, and don't have a budget for support, it may well be true that ocPortal is not for you. We don't try and push people into using our software if it's not going to work out for them. But that doesn't mean I won't defend our software for what it is good for, and the team and processes behind it.


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#100184
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Fan in training

1) My Web Host has been very good over the years, but last December they removed OsCommerce and Etrader in favor of osportal which they said looks to be a great product that provides CMS and ecommerce all in a single package. Then they have a link to your site for definitive info and another link that installs your package onto the users webspace on their server. They also offer Blog, Forum, Chat, MySql for those who only want those single features.

2) I did look all over for that documentation that you have provided to no avail. Where is it a search using "usergroup" provides me with "there are no matching topics to your search ... there are 0 search results" this is from with-in ocportal on my website under admin log-in.

3) As a system programmer of over 35 years the first basic rule has always been, "If you want widespread acceptance of a module and to avoid the pitfalls of end user support tickets make sure to clearly list the module(s) where the end user can read up on them and each module should have a short description, that states it's overall purpose, a detailed description that explains how and when to use it, and a requirement section that alerts a user as to steps the are required before the module can be used."
    Such exists for the 'c' langauge, assembly language, macro language, basic language, html, dhtml xhtml, Fortran, perl, python, even applications like word, excel, openoffice, so ocportal deserves the same level of consideration.

    Ok so my screen under usergroups said there are no usergroups, then I added a user and rechecked and I now get this screen. I log-out and log back in and get "no usergroups"


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Posted
Rating:
#100194
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I did look all over for that documentation that you have provided to no avail. Where is it a search using "usergroup" provides me with "there are no matching topics to your search … there are 0 search results" this is from with-in ocportal on my website under admin log-in.

I tried this myself and got 34 results, so I'm not sure what's going on there :S. Video to show how I tested:
2013-09-12_2333 - ocProducts's library

Thanks for your note on documentation :).

I couldn't find what could really cause the usergroups error you describe. Could you tell us the URL and show a screenshot, of when you see "no usergroups".
My only theory is you might be mixing up "Admin Zone > Security > Usergroups" with "Admin Zone > Setup > Usergroup subscription".
We will make some changes to clarify the difference between these screens.
(I'm assuming you're on 9.0.9.)


Become a fan of ocPortal on Facebook or add me as a friend. Add me on on Twitter.
Was I helpful?
  • If not, please let us know how we can do better (please try and propose any bigger ideas in such a way that they are fundable and scalable).
  • If so, please let others know about ocPortal whenever you see the opportunity.
  • If my reply is too Vulcan or expressed too much in business-strategy terms, and not particularly personal, I apologise. As a company & project maintainer, time is very limited to me, so usually when I write a reply I try and make it generic advice to all readers. I'm also naturally a joined-up thinker, so I always express my thoughts in combined business and technical terms. I recognise not everyone likes that, don't let my Vulcan-thinking stop you enjoying ocPortal on fun personal projects.
  • If my response can inspire a community tutorial, that's a great way of giving back to the project as a user.
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Posted
Rating:
#100197
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Well-settled

Rick57,
I understand how you feel, but I myself have been working with ocPortal for about 1 year now and I’m still learning it. There is a big learning curve to it.

I feel that if you already have spent 5+ months setting up your site and the subscribe/payment through paypal is not working correctly, then you are not finished with your site yet. With that, you are about 80% complete. Why would you quit now?
I found that the users here, will help you to getting the subscribe/payment working for you or at least direct you on how it can be done via third party code.

I would say that you should step back that a deep breath and then dive back in to finish the 20% of setting up your site. It’s better than starting over with other software and its learning curve.

Think of the time of it would take you to start over vs finishing what you have left.
Ask one question at a time and you will be surprised on how people here will help you.

1)      I would start with working on getting your user groups working correctly.
2)      Get the paypal working.

You will most likely need to create other pages for this to work? Also would need to make sure that your Paypal settings are correctly done.
 
Robert W
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Posted
Rating:
#100205
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Community saint

Yeah I think if you've been a system programmer for over 35 years it won't take much but a bit of patience and asking the right questions (in the right manner  ;)  ) to accomplish everything you set out to do.

This CMS gives someone with your kind of experience a lot of power to accomplish many things.  The documentation I agree can be a little easy to get lost in but there are lots of users here who can help point you in the right direction if you ask for the help so as Robert says take a deep breath and focus on getting one task done. If weird things are happening post some screenshots (or better yet a video ) and I am sure Chris or someone from the community will get you sorted out.
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