Due to lack of activity on the site, I’ve been getting emails asking if Connections is still under development. The answer is, yes. Connections is actually always under constant heavy development. I have been neglecting the site a bit, which I’m going to remedy. To start, I’ll give you a little feature preview.One of the unique features in Connections is the ability to add as many addresses as you need to an entry. This was great, but there really wasn’t much of a way to manage them after they had been entered. Well, I’ve improved on this a bit. Addresses can now be reordered using drop and drag. They can be set as public, private or unlisted and you can even choose an address as the preferred address. Take a peek at the screen capture.
Now, if you have multiple addresses you can easily rearrange them in the order you want them to be displayed without having to delete them and reenter them. Another benefit is you can now store all the entry’s associated addresses in Connections while keeping addresses you specify from being displayed publicly.
Stay tuned for more updates. I’ll be posting more feature previews and how-tos in the near future.
We use your plugin as part of a company/department directory on our Intranet as it’s the only plugin that comes close to our requirements.
The only thing we’re really missing REALLY REALLY missing is a search function.
PLEASE add a search function… seems like a pretty basic oversight and I know many others have asked for it.
Looking forward to new releases…. thanks for the plugin :)
The lack of search wan’t an oversight. Th current data structure of the db just doesn’t lend itself to search. There are a couple of reasons which are based on the origin of Connections. One, it was based off the plugin Addressbook, which was simply extended to handle multiple addresses and email addresses by serializing the data. Two, the need for Connections was just a simple little address book plugin that was a little more flexible. Well, since then, many things have evolved, just not the db structure. The good news is that the db structure is being addressed. Since I had to muck with the db to enhance the input form, I decided now is a good time. What I can report as of now is that the new db structure is complete and the current data will be imported on a plugin upgrade. So right now I’m in the middle of rewriting all the code needed to support this without breaking any feature or backward compatibility. Trust me, it’s an under taking. Now the news that may disappoint some, search will only be available via an addon pro module which will be very reasonable priced.
Thank you so much for this plugin! It’s a great way for our clients to update their directories with ease (without having to mess with tables and divs).
I have a question that you may put into your how-tos. I’ve noticed on some of the live site examples, they have the drop-down select that will let you choose what category to view. I’ve looked at all of their code (I think three sites in total) and the code on the form (with the exception of the action field) is the the same. The select name is “cn-cat.”
However, I cannot get that functionality to work. Is there a setting I’m missing that tells WordPress to treat the entries as page categories to only display what is called? The URL looks like it is passing the correct information (e.g. page-name/?cn-cat=2), but it’s still showing everything.
Perhaps you can help me out or get me pointed in the right direction (I’m probably missing something very simple and the fact I played with the code for 2 hours doesn’t help :)
I’m sure a few of those samples are using one of the templates available for sale.
There are a couple ways you can do it yourself, but the easiest may be to create a custom theme template page in conjunction with the Connections theme template tag connectionsEntryList(). See the Connections : Help page for a brief overview. That should get you in the right direction.
Once you get the DB structure set in the new version, hopefully that includes being able to import categories as well as bulk category updating. Even if you offered that as a pro-paid plug-in (with the search), I’m on board with that and will gladly support it :)
I do have to update the CSV Import module to support this next version. I am planning on implementing a method to import categories or at least be able to map entries to categories on import.
Bulk category updating will not make this next release, sorry. But it is planned and will be incorporated into Connections.
Thank you for this plugin. It is an ideal way to store all our staff information within the company.
I was hoping for many some integration with Active Directory in the sense that if I was to update a name or job title within Active Directory then connections would automatically update the details.
Looking forward to upcoming releases. thanks again for the plugin :)
Awesome! I also looked at the difference between my custom template I did and the templates that have the drop-down select menu to show only selected categories and what I found is that the div with the class “cn-entry” also contains a unique ID for each entry, e.g
(I was looking at http://safefood360.com/partners/partner-directory)
I saw the CVS import module and may end up using that in lieu of phpMyAdmin CSV import.
Apparently stuff was stripped out..this was after the e.g.:
“div id=”entry-id-74e6e24cXXXXXXX” class=”cn-entry””
Indeed, a Search function would be great.
But Tagging is also missing! The categories are very useful, but when you have to make more complex queries it is not enough.
For example, when you use the categories to create a big directory for different countries, there is no possibility to filter the adresses in order to the line of business they are in, e.g. Automotive industry in China or Agriculture in Russia or Lawyers in India and so on.
In addition to that, it would be very helpful to have the possibility also to import categories and tags.
The underlining structure that supports categories was based on the same structure that WordPress uses so extending Connections to support tagging is possible. However, what you want to do is very possible with categories. For example you could create a parent category to hold all the categories for the countries and another parent category to hold the industry types. Lets say the category ID for Russia is 55 and the category ID for Lawyers is 83. You could use the following shortcode to show only Lawyers in Russia.
Since the addresses support the country field you could use that and add a filter instead. Like so:
[connections category=”83″ filter=”Russia”]
I’m developing a new site with a marketplace directory. I would really like to be able to add a front end form that allows a visitor/advertiser to add their own company information (after they’ve paid of course). Is there a way I can do this or will you develop it?
At this time this is not supported. The upcoming release of Connections will support moderation of submissions, a key feature required for a front end submission form. After this next release I will start work on a pro module for a front end form.
I am using the plug-in at the moment to enter a large database of organizations, and I’ve noticed that although I can enter Contact First and Last Names, they show up in no template. Nor are there any functions that create them. It seems they exist in the entry form only. Oversight? I would like to be able to use this data on the front end without have to go poking about in the code.
None of the supplied templates display the contact name. it can be added easily to any template with the following functions:
Thanks for working on this. I have Connections installed on a couple sites but have yet to activate it due to the database issues that are dominant. I understand that you’ll be releasing Pro Modules for search etc which I’m completely fine with, but would it be possible for you to release maybe a beta version of Connections (minus and pro module features) that would allow us to activate this plugin with proper database structure as per the changes you have indicated that you have made to it?
A beta release is planned, which I’m hoping at least several individuals will install. But right now, I’d say I’m still in an alpha state.
You can use Connections now, without worry. The new structure is more accurately stated as an extension of the current db setup. The current db fields that store the data for addresses and such are still going to be used, but as an object cache. This is to keep db queries to a minimum. Having the addresses and other data in separate tables will allow all sorts of new possibilities.
Has there been any progress with the search feature? I’d like to be able to do a geographical search as well as a search by category. Let me know. Thanks!
The core of the geo-boundary searching is in place. Work needs completed for the interface and caching of the result because those queries are fairly db intensive.