The Bob Bloom Show #32: I’m Specializing In Tienda-Nooku

Thursday April 28th, 2011


Welcome to episode 32 of “The Bob Bloom Show”, on this 28th day of April, 2011.

This is Bob Bloom from Toronto, Canada.

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… or this sound:

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You need features.
An unending stream of features.
Features for today.
Features for tomorrow.

Powerful features that power your profits.


You know your buyers.

You know where they live.
You know what products they buy.
You know when they buy.
You know what triggers their buying.

You need buyer-centric customizations to power purchases.


Your eshop needs glitz and pizazz. It needs to look sharp.
Your buyers demand a smooth buying experience.
You need raw templating power.


You need to upgrade your e-shop over time.
New features, new customizations, new glitz.
You need to continuously improve your site without breaking it.

You need power. Power that is accessible. At your fingertips.


I have surveyed non-Joomla independent PHP carts. There is no silver bullet. There is no magic solution.

Each independent PHP cart has it’s good points and bad points. There is choice out there.

But I am unsatisfied with these choices. Because I am greedy. Because I do not want to choose. Because I do not want trade-offs.

I want it all!

I want power!

Because, people who come to me want power.

People who come to me want an ecommerce platform powering profits.

You want templates.
You want customized business rules.
You want integration with Joomla.
You want features galore.

That is why I am rejecting all the independent PHP carts. All of them!

These PHP carts do not relieve me of the issues that drove me into their arms. Oh no, these carts confront me, and us, with their own particular variations of the issues we face with Joomla ecommerce. And, frequently, present us with new issues we did not have with Joomla ecommerce.

I have three core issues with the independent PHP carts:

  1. templating wrestlemania;
  2. no Joomla integration;
  3. feature freeze.

There are independent PHP carts that do templating and Joomla better than others. Some have nicer feature sets than others. There’s a wide range of independent PHP carts to choose from.

Once I left Joomla, I realized how much I need Joomla. All the extensions. The flexibility. The templating. Joomla is powerful.

No cart is a feature nirvana. Each has its feature set. Each has its development road map. Each has its ability to customize the source code.

What about new features? New features are published when they are published. Third parties may have what you need, or someone can program something for you. Or maybe there’s something in the forums. Or maybe you are just plain SOL. Sounds just like the Joomla ecommerce I came from.

The independent PHP carts are not compelling enough for me to leave Joomla ecommerce. In a way, it’s better to fight than flight.

I am specializing in Tienda and Nooku together.

Tienda’s development is coming along. I will push it along, starting with my Canadian Edition of Tienda.

There’s a Canada Post shipping plugin sitting unfinished in the development version. I will finish that up.

I’m 90% sure that the Canadian retail taxes – HST/PST/GST – will work out-of-the-box, in part due to my multiple tax line modification request I submitted a while ago. I will test this out and see. If all I need are extra SQL statements in the installation, great. If it needs more than that, fine. I will also create a tax reporting extension using the Nooku Framework.

There’s a Moneris payment plugin sitting unfinished in the development version. I will dig into this as well, when Canada Post and the Canadian taxes are done first.

I want to point something out to you. The Tienda shipping and payment plugins are regular Joomla plugins. Some extensions have their own plugins. Well, not Tienda. So I can polish up the Canada Post shipping plugin without touching Tienda itself .

My tax reporting extension will be done using the Nooku Framework. I will not have to touch Tienda at all. This will be a regular extension installed via the regular Joomla installer. Of course, it will be pre-installed in my Canadian Edition.

I have a sponsor to build a Tienda California Edition. California has approximately 1,200 municipal tax rates.

Tienda does have a PayPal Pro payment plugin included in the current “7.1” version. However, it does not install, as this plugin is not included in the installation’s XML file. I will definitely add this to the XML in my packages. However, I want to take the PayPal Pro plugin through its paces first.

I will avoid touching Tienda’s source files as much as possible. But, at some point, my scalpel is going to make precise incisions in the Tienda source code. No way I’m going to take the liberties with the source PHP I was compelled to make with Virtuemart. No need to take such liberties with Tienda. Still, there will be some surgery at some point.

Some of the things I programmed in Virtuemart — such as gift wrap, very involved custom coupons, dynamic pricing, and dynamic add-to-cart and delete-from-cart — I have on my radar. I’m already getting murmurs about programming gift cards — which involve a transactional sub-system. Get that baby in by American Thanksgiving, eh!

Just like my Virtuemart add-ons, I will seek feature sponsors to fund feature development.

I will set up a web site to distribute and support my handiwork. However, at this exact moment, I’m not completely sure how I want to go about it. So first things first. First, I will seek feature sponsors and get my first editions of Tienda done. Then, I will set up a web site.

Two things I am sure of: there will be no free downloads; and, no free support. The profit margins on free are really thin!

Sign up to my new Tienda-Nooku email list on my Media site.


This is Bob Bloom, wishing you a profitable week.




Monthly commentary and interviews about websites, technology, and consulting. Produced by Bob Bloom, founder and developer of LaSalle Software.

Produced 57 podcasts from 2010 to 2016.

Currently on hiatus.

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