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Difference between MetaModPro and Advanced Module Manager

Difference between MetaModPro and Advanced Module Manager

We are redesigning our website, and one of the new ways the new website will work is that modules on the left and right side of the content pages will change on a regular basis. Managing which modules apply to which pages will become an increasing problem for us, as Joomla by itself really doesn't do this (at least doesn't do this well).

We will want to assign different modules to different pages, and change those modules on a regular basis (but make the decision on a page-by-page basis). Going forward, we will also want to change what modules appear based on GeoIP so, for example, if the customer is located in Japan, there might be information specific to our business in Japan located in the modules. If the customer is located in Europe, there would be information specific to our European business in the modules, etc.

I'm trying to determine whether we should use MetaModPro, Advanced Module Manager or both. Based on website descriptions, it's a bit difficult to discern how to proceed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

Joe

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Re: Difference between MetaModPro and Advanced Module Manager

I have not actually done the GeoIP part, from all I have read you will want to use both.  Both modules seems to play very nicely with each other and while there is some overlap in functionality, for the most part they solve different issues in a very complimentary manner. 

MMP seems to have the GeoID part nailed.  It also has the most powerful options for implementing very complex schemes for when modules display based on a lot of criteria including other modules displayed on the same page.

AMM makes your page variations easier to manage, not just in how the changes are implemented (both modules do that well) but what sets AMM apart is the enhanced UI that makes your Admin screen much more friendly, specifically descriptions in list view - a/k/a at a glance notes to yourself about why the module is loaded, activated and settings - and color tagging to mark the Good-to-Go modules Green and ones needing configuration yellow and ones that break the layout red. 

Each brings a lot to the table and I am very pleased with how well MMP works - I'm still working my way up the learning curve for making work with K2 - jury is still out in that department.  It works great on Joomla content.

A newly converted novice modder,
Duke

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Re: Difference between MetaModPro and Advanced Module Manager

Thanks Duke for your contribution - I agree with what you say about the differences and strengths of MetaMod and AMM.

Joe: In your situation you're looking at relatively complex decision-making about what to display on certain pages. It's not just a matter of "should I show this module or not?" on a module by module basis, but more like "in this space on this page, which module do I want to display?"

AMM has a great GUI for making each module either display or not display, and that's great for 1-off criteria such as "should this module display on this component". MetaMod's way of looking at it however says "which module should I display here", and that may be better suited to your situation, where the decision may have to take into account the GeoIP country of origin.

If you're wanting to change your modules regularly, then easy management is the key. The colour coding (and comments in each module) that AMM offers would be useful for that. In situations like this I also tend to structure the names of modules and names of module positions so it's easy to filter by these.

i.e. you can assign modules to module positions that don't even exist, by typing a new name into the module position "dropdown".

Here's an example I use:

In one advert position in my template (lower-right) the modules to be displayed there are GeoIP driven. So I assign modules to be shown in Switzerland for German-speakers to a position called "lower-right-de-ch", to French English speakers in "lower-right-fr-en", to French French speakers in "lower-right-fr-fr", etc. Lastly, there's a backstop position called "lower-right-backstop" that will be used if none of the others are used.

Then in the actual "lower-right" position I have a MetaMod that looks at the GeoIP country and browser language, then pulls in all the modules from the appropriate "virtual" module position, using the backstop if none of the others match.

In this way, the management is really easy - you don't have to edit the PHP code in the MetaMod. All you have to do is assign modules into the appropriate virtual module positions.

If you manage modules like that, MetaMod can still do the heavy lifting, but you can train people to just put modules into the right "virtual" positions, and the mechanics are more or less hidden.

I hope that helps,
Best regards,
Stephen

Stephen Brandon
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If you use MetaMod or Chameleon, please post a rating and a review at the Joomla! Extensions Directory: Chameleon | MetaMod

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Re: Difference between MetaModPro and Advanced Module Manager

Stephen and Duke,

Thank you very much for your detailed and informative replies. I think the ideal solution for us is to purchase both MetaModPro and AMM. I was pleased to see that last year you worked with Peter to ensure that the two modules would work seamlessly with each other.

The only downside is that we are planning on doing our redesigned website in Joomla 1.6. (Our current website is in Joomla 1.5.) Given that our redesign needs this more robust module placement and management, we're starting the redesign process now but won't implement until MetaModPro and AMM are available for Joomla 1.6. I've seen on both the MMP and AMM websites that both you and Peter plan on doing versions of your extensions for Joomla 1.6, so put me down in the category of users eagerly awaiting the results!

Once again, thank you very much for your thorough response, and we look forward to using MetaModPro.

Joe

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