Author Topic: Wordpress and VAM integration  (Read 107 times)

adanesh

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Wordpress and VAM integration
« on: August 26, 2017, 11:56:07 PM »
I wanted to ask the community if anyone has faced the desire/need to more tightly integrate VAM back-end VA management capabilities with Wordpress (or another full-fledged Web CMS) front-end to build and manage the entire web experience for end users including pilots?

As I see it, VAM brings to the table a well-developed model for managing a VA and the admin tools to support this including managing pilots, fleets, hubs, routes, flights, ACARS, pireps, finances etc.

However, it doesn't provide the means to build a rich, custom front-end user experience tightly integrating data-driven components (like the many visual widgets in the VAM user interface) with a rich content site. At least, it doesn't enable this without direct coding "under-the-hood". And, inherently, VAM is not naturally extensible in my view to make this a standard, straightforward process.

For a VA site/platform I am helping build for my son -- a serious virtual aviator who is building a VA for a school project -- I am working on building a Wordpress plugin that provides two main features:

1. a class for accessing data from the underlying VAM database, and
2. a set of widgets which can be used in any standard Wordpress site, with any theme, to create an entirely custom user front-end

The widgets would allow you to recreate all the data presented in the pre-login VAM interface such as airline statistics, latest flights, newest pilots, hubs, fleets, routes, etc. These widgets are standard WP widgets so can be integrated with any Wordpress theme or plugin in any combination to create a richer end-user experience.

Additionally, because we will have the full capabilities of Wordpress at our disposal, it is easy to use the content management capabilities to built deep content hierarchies of documentation, learning materials or any other reference materials natively in Wordpress and even move management of some of the other content elements such as NOTAMs from VAM to native Wordpress (possibly through the creation of new content types/post types in Wordpress).

It also would allow an airline to integrate Wordpress third-party plugins for managing event calendars, forums, blogs or social media integration into the virtual airline web site experience.

If this is successful, I actually plan to extend the implementation further to move the pilot actions tools front-end into Wordpress widgets and leave the VAM UI only for the administration of the airline. This would allow the entire end-to-end experience of a VAM airline site for regular users and pilots to be delivered through a native Wordpress site interface and user experience.

I am sharing this to get a sense of the appetite in the VAM community for this type of integration plugin. If there is interest, I will look at releasing this freely for download and use once the initial build is further along.

OAV001

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Re: Wordpress and VAM integration
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 05:14:22 PM »
Hi,

I like this, perhaps that's a way to make it even more personal. My biggest point however is the fact that you must make a note of all the code you change so you can redo it after an update.


Cheers,

Peter Faase
CEO / Webmaster OAV

adanesh

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Re: Wordpress and VAM integration
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 09:48:32 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.

The premise of what I am currently building is that it is independent of the VAM code base itself. This is a separate set of PHP code for the Wordpress plugin that directly interrogates the VAM MySQL database but doesn't rely on any actual VAM PHP code or alter it -- so there is no code-level upgrade dependency when VAM upgrades.

Of course, if VAM upgrades alter data structures then there will be the need to upgrade the Wordpress plugin to support those new data structures.

VAM

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Re: Wordpress and VAM integration
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 10:31:54 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.

The premise of what I am currently building is that it is independent of the VAM code base itself. This is a separate set of PHP code for the Wordpress plugin that directly interrogates the VAM MySQL database but doesn't rely on any actual VAM PHP code or alter it -- so there is no code-level upgrade dependency when VAM upgrades.

Of course, if VAM upgrades alter data structures then there will be the need to upgrade the Wordpress plugin to support those new data structures.

I like alot your interest of develop an WordPress interface /template. I really donot have time for this, but i am eager and happy that you can colaborate with the project. I am at your disposal to give youinformation if needed and test new features before they are released. Also you can count with space in my hosting to publish your work.
thansk again
VAM Creator and programmer.

adanesh

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Re: Wordpress and VAM integration
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 07:37:40 AM »
I like alot your interest of develop an WordPress interface /template. I really donot have time for this, but i am eager and happy that you can colaborate with the project. I am at your disposal to give youinformation if needed and test new features before they are released. Also you can count with space in my hosting to publish your work.
thansk again

Thanks for the feedback and offer of support and collaboration. I am still progressing with this and will get to the point where I open up the work on github for broader community engagement and support.

One of the things that I've already done is stepped back and reconsidered my plugin architecture and I am working on a RESTful API for VAM using the Lumen PHP framework -- so that I don't tightly tie in my Wordpress implementation into the VAM DB. This way someone can drop the API onto their VAM server and deploy their Wordpress site/plugin separately if they want. Plus, it allows the Wordpress plugin to not be dependent on changes in VAM -- only the API itself needs to track changes in the VAM DB structure etc.

Anyway, I don't feel I've made enough progress yet in the base design and architecture. When I feel comfortable to release the API and plugin to Github, I'll post further updates.