Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Croogo, you yummy little CakePHP tart

I've been working with CakePHP for a while now.  Certainly not in at the ground level, since my first recorded usage is with CakePHP 1.2.1.8004, back in January 2009.  Since that time, I've been involved with the development of 7 projects that use the PHP MVC Framework, with most using in wholesale, and a couple to drag their legacy or CodeIgniter based butts into a land of comfortable OO MVC.

Most of these projects have involved providing basic CMS capabilities, from which I've ended up copying improved portions from one project to the next.  I've never bothered with plugins before, since portion of functionality had to be ready for anything that the particular project required.  It was always easier to copy what worked in the main application than develop a plugin that may or may not get used without taint from the application that required it.

At the start of this week, a team member referred me to Croogo, an open source CMS written with CakePHP.  At first, I was a little curious.  I'd only heard of one other CakePHP CMS, and that was Wildflower.  At the time, it was early days for Wildflower, and I needed something that worked out the box.  I guess with the CakePHP knowledge I have these days, I'm probably a little more at ease with third party CakePHP software.

So, this morning, I decided to take a little bit more of a look at Croogo, and its inner workings.  Oh my, I'm impressed.  It seems to have all the basics that I'm looking for in a CMS, and none of the cruft.  Content, menus, authentication, roles, contacts and a template system that any PHP developer would be comfortable with.  And by the looks of things, extensible!  You can create a regular CakePHP plugin, add a few file descriptors here and there, and you've got a Croogo compatible plugin.

I'm very impressed, and very excited.  Already, I've got two potential projects that I'm thinking of implementing Croogo for to provide basic CMS functionality, and then I'll create plugins to handle the parts that make the applications unique.

No doubt I'll have a few articles before the end of the year for things like extending the authentication, and adding application functionality to the CMS.  There are probably articles out there that do this already, it's just very early days for me.  Did I mention I was excited?

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