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SobiPro Component

SobiPro Key Features

Last updated: 26. January 2018
Content is outdated and needs to be revised!

Multi-content with only one SobiPro installation

SobiPro is an advanced component that has been originally designed as a directory extension with CCK features, but has been involved to a multi-content component.

SobiPro introduced a new standard for directory components for Joomla! - The multi-content feature!

Due to its extreme flexibility there are no limits in its usage. So it can be used to create any kind of content. As it does not necessarily have to be a directory, we call these directories 'sections'. You can create as many sections on your site as you need with only one single SobiPro component. You don't need to worry about maintaining, updating and learning many different extensions. It all can be done with only one component - SobiPro. Each section can be styled and configured independently.

The multi-content feature allows to create on the same website, various types of sections, such as...

  • Business Directory
  • Product Directory
  • Restaurants Guide
  • Real Estate Listings
  • Members or Profiles Directory
  • Conference Program
  • Documentation System
  • FAQ Area
  • Download Management System
  • Weblinks List
  • News Section
  • Blog
  • Showcase
  • Articles (like in Joomla)
  • and many more ...

Manage all these different sections, easily from one administration panel. Each section has their own categories, entries, fields, templates, ACL rules and advanced search and sorting filters.

Experience since 2006

SobiPro is the third generation of Sobi components. Starting with SOBI (Sobi1) in 2006, we developed a small business directory for Mambo, the predecessor of Joomla!.
Later in 2006 we developed Sobi2, which has been downloaded over 500.000 times.

Five years later in 2011, we released SobiPro, the first multi-content directory for Joomla.
In 2013, SobiPro 1.1 with a completely redesigned, Bootstrap driven administrator interface (UI) was published.
In 2015, we released SobiPro 1.2 which highlight was a complete new default front-end template which features several colour themes, a new ease-of-use template configuration and fully responsive out-of-the-box. The CSS for the new template is generated from LESS and thus SobiPro has an integrated LESS compiler.
Already in 2016, SobiPro 1.3 came out. As first directory component for Joomla! it featured the category fields, which allow to create a sophisticated and content-rich category page (Google will be happy!).
In 2017 we released SobiPro 1.4. It's back-end design was adapted to Joomla 3.8 und is fully responsive on mobile devices.

Under the hood

SobiPro is implementing the most advanced and well known web developments techniques. Its codebase is following the MVC (model view controller) software architectural pattern for implementing user interfaces. This is very useful if you need to extend the functionality of SobiPro.

Since the object-oriented programming functionality was completely rewritten for PHP 5, SobiPro makes use of OOP (object-oriented programming) and its design patterns to increase the re-usability and maintainability of the source code. Of course SobiPro is PHP 7 compliant.

Additionally SobiPro is using CSS3, HTML5 and XSLT to render its output. This makes it incredibly easy for designers to customise the output of SobiPro to their client's needs. As a designer you will be able to customise the output without the need to even touch the PHP code.

Views - Present your content in the way you want

Entries are the content of a directory. Previews of the entries, so called vCards, are shown in various different listing views. Thus, a listing view is a collection of vCards. Different listing views are available to present selected vCards. A details view of an entry normally presents the full content. Freely choose which of your fields should be shown in the vCard and/or in the details view.

The entry form lets your user add an entry to your directory and the search form lets your visitors filter the content.

  • List icons
  • vCards
  • details view
  • entry form(s)
  • search form
  • section view
  • category view
  • alpha listings
  • search results
  • user listings
  • listings by date
  • tags view 2

All views can be freely designed by the usage of the integrated SobiPro template system.

Structured content

SobiPro categories give you the ability to display your content in an unlimited nested category tree structure for easy organization and layout.
Content can be assigned to multiple categories at the same time.

You want to have un-categorised content? Simply assign your entries to a fixed invisible category.

The integrated category field offers four different category selection methods: use the well known SigsiuTree or select your categories from a multiple select list, choose only one category from a single select list or use the fixed category choice method.
Even it is possible to use the category field more than once!

Get the right content - Filters

Do you want to have your users to enter only a number or an email address or any formatted text? No problem with SobiPro. SobiPro lets you verify the content your users enter before it got saved. Select one of the 10 predefined filters or create your own customised filter using regular expressions.

Fields to classify your content

Of course you could just use a huge textarea and allow your users to add whatever content they want into your website. But is it really what you want? Keep control over the content that is being added on your site. SobiPro has a lot of different types of field and you have the power to decide what and how is being added there. You have not only the power to define how the data should be added but also how it should be displayed. You can even force your users to add the data in a very specified format.

Besides the standard input box, which can be used for all kind of single-line texts you have a textarea field type available which can be used with or without a Wysiwyg editor.
Use the single select list or the multiple select list field types to present pre-defined textual content.
With checkbox groups and radio buttons you can define predefined selections to choose from.
A specific email field type for email addresses and a URL field type for URL addresses is also available as an image field type.
With the category field type you can add one or more category chooser to your input form.
The information field type lets you add descriptions in the entry form and/or listing and details views. It is the right choice if you do not want to change the template only to add a view text snippets.
With the button field type a button can be added to the listing and details views.

SobiPro comes with a set of 12 core field types!

The list of the integrated core field types can be extended by installable field types 1 .
Install the calendar field to add date fields to your directory, let the date fields control the publishing states of an entry. Add a QR-CodeTM to the listings, or a geographical map. Let your users up- and download files, add tags to the listings or a contact form or a image gallery.
The possibilities are endless and new field types will be developed in future.

All field types have additional settings that let you configure the fields with many features! A field can be configured different for each section and each field type can be used as often as you want.

Let's find it - a powerful search

The SobiPro search function is one of the features that makes SobiPro a very powerful tool for site visitors. Almost each field can be configured to show up in the search form. The result of a search can be refined and filtered using different criteria like the selected category, the address or any other input.
Depending on the field type, you can choose between ...

  • single select list
  • multiple select list
  • checkbox group
  • radio buttons
  • range search
  • general search box

The range search for specific fields allow your visitors to search for numbers. E.g. to search for entries within a particular price range, like between 100 and 200 Euros, or having a particular area.

Use the general search box for a quick list of results for a specific word or phrase. Use the Category filter to restrict the search to specific categories.

Another great feature is the ability to give each field a priority. When searching, this priority is considered and the resulting entries are sorted according to the priority of the field where the search term was found.

To the letter

SobiPro features a comfortable Alpha Index, which let you filter your entries by letters. But not only the entry title can be used as a filter criterion. You can add each field of type input or select list to filter your content. Your users can choose the filter criterion from a dropdown box right beside the letters list.

Control access to your content - advanced ACL

You want to restrict the detailed view of the entries from being viewed by visitors? You want that only registered members may search within your content? You want a specific user group to be able to publish their own entries? You want ...

The SobiPro ACL is entirely based on the native Joomla! user groups concept. It does not override the Joomla! ACL, but instead, complements it by allowing you to create different front-end permission rules for specific user groups and for specific directories. This allows to control what users can do in your directories, from access to editing, viewing, searching, creation to approval, even allowing a specific group to edit admin fields or skip payments. In combination with a subscription component you may charge your users for access.

Let your users create entries through the front-end of your website using a designable input form. Once an entry has been submitted, you can choose to have it auto-publish or after an admin approves the entry.

An incredibly flexible template system

SobiPro features a unique template system that allows to choose between different ways to design your website, or combine all of them.

Design your directory with CSS!

SobiPro comes with a automated default template, which doesn't need to be changed when adding your own fields. All elements of SobiPro output are equipped with CSS classes. Additionally, in the Fields Manager you can assign your own CSS classes to each field.
With the integrated CSS editor, you can style the layout of your fields in the different views of your directory. No need to touch the template files!
Best suited for beginners - only basic CSS skills are necessary.

Flexible template design with XSL!

By creating your own SobiPro template, you can customize every single page of your directories. From the header of a directory main page, to the individual search form and listings. Every view has a template in SobiPro. No core hacks are needed to make your content look exactly like you want it to. The output of SobiPro is XML data, and uses a mixture of XSL, HTML and CSS to get styled.
As a web designer you would feel comfortable to edit the template files directly to make use of the flexibility of XSL and HTML.

Advanced template modifications with own PHP scripts!

But that's not all. If you are a developer, you can add your own PHP code to get executed within the templates. With this, the possibilities are endless and still no SobiPro core code needs to be changed!

Each of your directories (sections) has its own set of template files including their own CSS files, which means you can style them completely separately and different. SobiPro even has a built in HTML/XSL editor in the administration area so you can make changes to the template files without the need of separate code editing software.

Advanced optimisation techniques

To speed up your website, also if you have a lot of data, SobiPro has several integrated caching mechanisms. An SQLite based data accelerator, an XML view cache and separate Javascript and CSS files caches are available to improve the performance of your web site. All SobiPro caches use intelligent techniques to recognise changes.

According to tests of one of our hosting partners, SobiPro 1.1 is again faster than SobiPro 1.0, especially in combination with Joomla 3; and again much more faster with PHP 7.

Earn money with your directory

SobiPro helps you to earn money with your website on different levels.

The simplest method is to set some fields not to be free. Your users want to have their website addresses listed in your directory? Let them pay a few bucks for it. You can set almost every included or additional field to be free or to be a paid field.

On template level you can group several fields together to offer price packages. You can create membership levels such as Bronze, Silver or Gold. Using our SobiPackages Template makes that even easier.
SobiPro already includes a basic Paypal payment system. More payment systems will follow in future.

Combine SobiPro with a subscription component and sell access to your content on Joomla! user group level.

And many more Features!

Applications, or in short 'apps', extend the core SobiPro component to include additional features and functionality.

SobiPro comes with an built-in application manager which allows to install additional apps. With this feature, the possibilities are infinite. Use the application manager to install also additional field types, language packages, custom templates and modules.

You prefer a 1-click installation? Use the SobiPro repository. From a list of all available applications, just select your app 1 and you're done.

Get in contact

The Contact Form field 2 offers you the possibility to create any kind of contact form. Let your visitors get in contact with the entry's author, report a listing or claim a listing. If you provide a restaurants guide, show a reservation form.
This field gives you the possibility to create any kind of form and send the filled in form via email to the author of the form, to the author of the listing, to the site administrator or any other email address.

Context sensitive help

SobiPro features context sensitive help.
That means, if you are on a specific screen in SobiPro administration panel and press the 'Help' button, you will get redirected to SobiPro documentation with the right topics already found.
You do not need to search the whole documentation to get the description 4 of what you are looking for.

Mobile ready and responsive with Joomla! and Bootstrap

Due to Bootstrap powered templates, you can show your content on any device out of the box. Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive web sites.

Since version 1.1, SobiPro has Bootstrap integrated, since version 1.2, SobiPro comes also with Bootstrap 3 included.
The administration panel of SobiPro is completely built with Bootstrap 2, and the default template for the front-end lets you use even Bootstrap 3.

Design your SobiPro directories mobile friendly!
Since version 1.2, SobiPro's default template is mobile ready out-of-the-box! No need to add special code for mobile devices.

In your language

SobiPro features native multi-language support. Translate your content just as fields and categories easily within SobiPro administration panel. Front-end content is added automatically in the language of the registered user.

SobiPro is already translated to more than 30 different languages. New translations will follow continuously. If your language is missing, feel free to join our translation team and participate in translating SobiPro into your language.

SobiPro comes with English translation files. If other languages are installed, texts with missing translations are shown always in English language due to the integrated pre-load of the English language 3 .

SobiPro is Open Source

SobiPro Key Features - SobiPro is Open Source screenshot

Published under GPL, SobiPro gives you the freedom to use and modify it according to the GPL v3 license and ...

           ... SobiPro is free of charge!

If you want to know more about SobiPro, visit our demo site or simply install SobiPro for free. Also the content on this site is made with SobiPro. The article you are just reading is a SobiPro content article.

Video: SobiPro Features

1 Additional field types/applications are available for SobiPro club members.
2 Requires application available for SobiPro club members.
3 This feature requires to have the English Joomla! language installed.
4 To read the documentation an active subscription is necessary.

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This documentation and all images therein are copyrighted and protected by law. You may not publish, distribute or sell them or parts of it without explicit written permission of Sigsiu.NET GmbH.

Published on Wednesday, 23 February 2011. Visited 83914 times.
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