Development news - CMF - Jomres2jomres thin plugin
I thought I'd do a quick development news update while everybody is in lockdown due to Coronavirus.
Like everybody else my activities are severely restricted however I've been able to take advantage of this by working on the new Jomres2jomres thin plugin for the channel management framework.
First, let me refresh your memory about thin plugins. These are plugins for the Channel Management Framework that are designed to translate external data sources for importing remote properties, availability and pricing into a server, and for exporting bookings from a child installation to the originating installation.
Most thin plugins (still in development, however due to covid-19 most dev is on hold due to outside services going a bit quiet) are for interacting with Channel Managers, however Jomres2jomres is a little different. The plugin is designed to pull properties from a parent Jomres site into one or more child Jomres installations. The goal is to allow you to build networks of sites with one parent Jomres installation and multiple child installations. This gives you the opportunity to build entire networks of Jomres based sites that properties are shared between without needing to be connected to a Channel Manager. One site for example could be tailored for, for example, nature holidays and themed appropriately with relevent articles, and another site tailored for region specific content. These entire networks can be built for the cost of just one Jomres license, without any extra costs.
Another potential use for Jomres2jomres that I'm giving more and more thought to is the possibility for individual site owners to import bookings from parent Jomres sites that they don't actually own. I'd like to make it possible for A.N. Other site builder to create their own sites and then import from parents and allow them to use those properties to populate their sites. In return they'll be able to earn some kind of commission from bookings on those properties. To achieve this we could use the Jomres Syndicate Network as a central hub of listing Jomres based sites, but I think that actual policing of bookings would probably have to be done by me and (somehow) I'd have to ensure that individual site owners were paid. I need to give this a lot more thought, however.
The actual dev news
Because other thin plugin development is on hold for now I decided to make a start on the Jomres2jomres plugin during lockdown. As it now looks like the lockdown is going to be going on for a few more weeks I have a feeling that I'll be finishing Jomres2jomres before any of the other thin plugins.
Right now the plugin can import properties from the parent server, and I'm just finishing exporting bookings to the parent server when a booking is taken on the child installation. Once booking export is working then I'll work on handling webhook events in the child so that the child is able to import changes made on the parent.
There are lots of changes to both Jomres Core, the CMF REST API plugin, the Channel Management Framework plugin, and of course the new Jomres2jomres plugin. Before I do a formal release of these I'll do a complete article on the manual describing the steps required to install and configure parent and child installations and then beta testers will be able to go ahead and start working with the new functionality and feeding back their results.
Fingers crossed, assuming that we don't contract the virus ourselves (we've only been out of the house once in the last 2.5 weeks so so far I think we've managed to avoid it) I'm tentatively hoping to have a new release out by latest the end of next week, maybe before then. I'm really excited about this new functionality, because we're going to need it. Once holiday movement starts happening again those travel agencies and OTAs that have been able to weather the storm and are small enough to be agile are, I believe, going to recover the fastest. It's my goal to give you, my users, the tools to achieve that.
That's all folks, I hope you're all staying well. Remember to keep up some form of daily exercise if you can, we will beat this thing!
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