AMember and vBulletin 4 Integration

Discussion in 'Integration' started by amember83, May 17, 2012.

  1. amember83 New Member

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2012
    Message Count:
    Hey aMember forum members!

    I was under the assumption that integrating aMember and vBulletin was a fairly simple, straightforward procedure; it seems I was wrong. I did search the forums before posting this, but came up (really) short.

    I found this:

    .., but I'm not sure to which plugin it's referring, and if it's still valid for vB 4. I've been waiting for quite some time for the web designer to hook all this up, including, if it's not too difficult, integration with aWeber, so that it's as seamless and intuitive as possible. Unfortunately, due to communication errors made by both him and I, he was not as on the ball with this as I previously assumed. This lack of integration has caused a significant delay in our business for weeks now, since I've had to accept payment manually (i.e., "Please Paypal X$ to Y email address") and I'd like to finally get everything set up as quickly as humanly possible. Though I'm sure I'll set some time aside to begin learning relevant programming once things get moving, unfortunately my technical knowledge is very limited at this point.

    Relevant aspects of our business:

    - We sell two types of products:

    1) Login codes for software that we develop. Basically, the software is downloadable to everyone, and, since the software code is stored server-side, in order to use it, users must first open the GUI, then log in. We sell codes in various time intervals which countdown beginning from first login, such as daily, monthly, and 3-month. Right now, we just have these, though we may do 6-month codes (or longer) at some point.

    2) Random products, like you might buy anywhere. These could be services, like leveling up a character in an MMO game (our industry), or even t-shirts.

    - We run a membership forum to support the software. We need certain parts of it accessible to users based on which code they purchased, and when. If someone buys a 1-month code, he might have access to a certain related sub-forum for, say, 35 days. Having specifics customizable would be ideal.

    - All people should be able to register for free, as they can do now, and have access to basic sub-forums like "Off-Topic," or "Introductions."

    - If someone buys one of these so-called random products -- i.e., not tied to a specific countdown time like with the login codes -- they might then get access to an additional X or Y sub-forum.

    - All this needs to be tied in so it's as seamless as possible for affiliates, who will be pushing a lot of sales, and making a percentage of everything sold on the site.

    - I'll need pretty darn good statistics and payment tracking, especially (and mostly) for accounting, in terms of which login codes were sent to which member, when, and with which Paypal transaction #(s), net revenue (after Paypal fees), and so forth.

    - As I mentioned, aWeber integration would be ideal, since it seems like this is one of the industry standards for membership site email.

    - This may be stating the obvious, but I'll need to be able to constantly check several different variables (looking up X member's Paypal transaction info/history, looking up codes sent based on transaction # or member name, and so forth) as easily as possible, and keep track of it all in a way that doesn't make me go looney toons :) In other words, user friendly.

    Can people with related experience please chime and let me know what I need to do specifically in order to accomplish this? Do I need to hire a programmer, and if so, any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. karyng01 aMember Pro Customer

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Message Count:
    I'm using the latest version of vBulletin 4.2 (patch level 2) integrated with vBulletin 4.2.6 and it works great. Ask the Helpdesk for the latest aMember vBulletin plugin. Setting it up did take some reading around the forum threads but it does work well. I'll give you the overview of what I did, if you need more detailed help aMember's Helpdesk team are great.
    1. Install the vBulletin plugin code via FTP
    2. Follow the vBulletin plugin setup instructions provided, you can auto-redirect vBulletin to aMember when a customer selects to edit their username or password information or logout inside of vBulletin user interface. These auto-redirect settings are controlled from within the vBulletin Admin Module.
    3. Inside aMember Admin Module...
    4. Configuration > Setup/Configuration > Plugins > Integration Plugins > Select vBulletin
    5. After saving you should now see the top menu option now shows "Vulletin"
    6. Click this "VBulletin" menu
    7. If you have a separate MySQL database setup for vBulletin enter the connection information (username, password, hostname) then enter your choice of "Vbulletin Integration Settings" how you wish usergroups to integrate & your vBulletin license key etc.
    8. Products > Protect Content >Integrations > New Record
    9. Add how you wish vBulletin connected to each of your products by giving each aMember product access to your selected vBulletin usergroup(s). You can add access to one or multiple vBulletin usergroups based on the aMember product purchased or aMember category defined. You may wish to setup custom usergroups inside vBulletin that allow only access to particular forums or sub-forums, these will then show up as choices inside of aMember to select.
    10. This gives you the sub-forum access you are after based on the customer's purchases
    11. When the aMember subscription expires you can chose to have the vBulletin subscription expire and remove access in both places or you can leave the customer subscribed to vBulletin but unsubscribed from aMember
    Once setup it all works as advertised but its not 100% "user friendly" as you asked for, meaning you have to do the configuration work both inside vBulletin & aMember and it is somewhat confusing at first, took me a while to figure it all out. Definitely worth the effort for the results.
  3. amember83 New Member

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2012
    Message Count:
    Hey Karyn, thank you very much for taking your time to respond. Unfortunately, while your advice does indeed seem like it would have precisely my problem, I am no longer using aMember or vBulletin.

    I definitely agree about the Helpdesk support. Alexander, with whom I had the vast majority of contact, was very nice and helpful in all our communication.

  4. affcrusher aMember Pro Customer

    Member Since:
    Oct 15, 2012
    Message Count:
    How do you allow a free product? I have everything set up just cannot allow free registrations. I am wanting to not charge for the main forums but will charge for access to my VIP areas.
  5. karyng01 aMember Pro Customer

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Message Count:
    Haven't setup a free product with vBulletin integration but I don't see any difference with the aMember / vBulletin integration steps paid or free. Using the sidebar menu of aMember.
    1. Products > Manage Products > New Product
    2. While editing the product details set the 'First Price' to zero dollars, 'Rebill Times' = No more charges
    3. Products > Protect Content > Integrations > New Record
    4. Assign the vBulletin usergroup & access permissions you wish associated with the product
    Free or paid it makes no difference to the setup and vBulletin integration steps. If that doesn't work you will need to seek help from the Help Desk. Hope this helps.
  6. karyng01 aMember Pro Customer

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Message Count:
    One more thought, to link main forums to free and VIP areas to paid, just setup different login/user groups associated with each of the forums in vBulletin. These login/user groups can then be selected inside of aMember (if you have the setup done right) when you are choosing integration for products.

    You can link more than one vBulletin group to a product, if desired, for example giving access to both free & paid combined if that's useful to you, or access to a main and a secondary forum just from buying a one product.

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