Tutorial for Controlling Kunena Forums with CBSubs

7 years 11 months ago #178458 by JakeKnight
Congratulations to the Joomlapolis and Kunena people for some incredible programming in the Kunena, Community Builder, CBSubs, and GroupJive Components. We are incredibly happy with these products and have come up with some great solutions to make these work together.

Our issue is that CBSubs does not have a native way of controlling access to Kunena Forums. The work around that gets discussed on the Joomlapolis forum is to use the URL restrictions. The inherit problem with this is that it allows the users to see content on pages such as a Category overview.

This can include:
  • Private threads
  • Paid Subscription Threads
  • Categories available to post into that the user should’t have access to via CBSubs


Additionally, from a user stand point, there is a big difference between not seeing private content and being denied access to it. It creates tension between your users and your site, which is never good.

This morning we discovered a fantastic work around that allows your users to only have access to the threads you want them to, and it’s using the GroupJive plugin.

We had our doubts about this route initially but they were quickly overcome, and a level of flexibility was added that we have not seen to date.

Note: We also believe that GroupJive can be used purely in the background as a pass through for this process and not require that the user ever interact with it. This has not been tested.

For this to work you will need the following installed AND published:
  • Community Builder
  • CBSubs Plugin
  • GroupJive Plugin
  • CBSubs GroupJive Integration Plugin
  • Kunena Component


You will also need to have at least one CBSubs Subscription set up that would have restrictions within the forum. Generally more than one is recommended.

Community Builder and Kunena both have a ton of features and settings. Feel free to play with them to get them to the configuration you want. One key area of interest is in the Kunena Configuration > Integration Tab: We set these to pull from CB, although we have noticed that AutoDetect seems to work just fine as well.

Next we went to the GroupJive Configuration. If you’re not familiar with CB Plugins, this is found under Components > Community Builder > Plugins > CB GroupJive.

One important thing is to give your GroupJive a Title. This will be replicated as a primary category in Kunena Forum.

On the last tab (Integration), be sure to select your forum component from the Forum Integration (for us, Kunena 1.6) Also select the parent category for all of your controlled forum threads to go under. Each group will have one forum attached to it. Each subscription can add a user to as many groups as you’d like, automatically.

Note: We originally selected our MAIN CATEGORY here. It then created a cascading category structure: MAIN CATEGORY : GROUPJIVE NAME : GROUPJIVE CATEGORY : GROUP FORUM. This was a bit too deep for us, and we moved GROUPJIVE NAME to a top level category using the Kunena Forum Category manager.

Next we created our groups. For us, each one had a name, type set to invite, group access set to Registered, Invite Access set to Group Moderators, and users public se to no.

When you click save, the new group is created AND ALSO a private forum on Kunena Forums under the Group Category. At this point, only group members would be allows to view/post/modify threads within this forum.

So how do you automatically get users into the new group? Easy. Go to your CBSubs Plans area, and select your plan to modify it. Go to the Integrations > GroupJive Tab. Select to Join Group > Then a list of available groups will appear. Select all of the groups you want your user to join. Remember, each group has one forum.

Note: we use the Chrome browser on OSX Lion. The groups do not automatically appear after selecting Join Group. Instead we must hit APPLY and then return to the tab to see the groups.

Next: Accessing your allowed forums. There’s a couple of tricky things with this.

If you want to use the GroupJive interface, you’ll need to understand that GroupJive installed a new menu and module on your site called GroupJive Menu. You can access the items from there, and rename/move them to any other menu. This will allow direct access to your Groups.

Note: We haven’t tested it, but we don’t think the groups menu item actually has to be published for all of this to work. If it’s not published the user would never interact with GroupJive while still maintaining forum access controls (unconfirmed).

Next you will need a menu item to your forum. This is simple enough if you know how to make menu items. But I would recommend that you point the menu item to the GROUPJIVE NAME or GROUPJIVE CATEGORY forum so that one menu link will take your user to a list of the forums he/she has access to.

This way if you have a user who is not a paid user and your forum/groups were set up...

MEMBERS FORUM
. PUBLIC MEMBER
. PAID MEMBERS 1
. PAID MEMBERS 2

… a menu link to the MEMBERS FORUM category of kunena forum would show your unpaid user only the top PUBLIC MEMBER forum, and paid members would see all three.

Good Luck, and please let us know if this is helpful. We just figured this set up out a few hours ago, so we may not have all the answers. But that is why this community exists.
The following user(s) said Thank You: nant, prestoproducts
7 years 11 months ago - 7 years 11 months ago #178495 by nant
WOW!

THANK YOU for a fantastic post and sharing your special knowledge and experience with the community.

Making this a sticky.
The following user(s) said Thank You: JakeKnight
Moderators: beatnantkrileon
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