Control Panel Overview

Introduction

The jDownloads Control Panel has been significantly enhanced compared to those in earlier versions and provides many more facilities.  An overview  following a new install is typically as shown below.  This article gives an overview and references other articles as appropriate for more in depth details on specific topics.

There are five basic sections on the control panel.  Some are self explanatory.
  • The main jDownloads configuration is accessed using the Options button.  This is the standard Joomla! method for accessing  a Component's configuration. 
    Further details on configuring jDownloads are given in a separate document [NEEDS REF]

  • There is an Overall Status indication.

  • The left hand side is a set of links to the other parts of jDownloads (except configuration which uses the Options button).

  • The central part, the Information Area, provides various views such as Statistics, Latest Downloads, and so on.  The default view is the Statistics page.

  • The bottom of the main page is the Monitoring and Checking Download Area.  Using this allows directories and files to be converted into Categories and Downloads respectively.


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The following notes describe each of these in more detail.

Options (configuration)

The button options button at the top right hand side of the Control Panel gives access to the main jDownloads settings.

As the picture opposite shows there are multiple tabs for the various sections for setting the jDownloads.

There are more details on each of these sections in the Options & Configuration part of the Documentation.

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Overall Status

This section is very simple and it just shows, as the name suggests, the overall status of jDownloads.
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Shoud there be a change such as setting the Front End to Maintenance mode in the Options then the status would become as indicated opposite.
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Backend Access to Other Parts

As well as the Options settings, there are ten other principal parts of jDownloads as noted below together with the 'Terms of Use'.
  • button categories - Categories and sub categories form a tree like structure of directories that hold the actual downloadable files together with numerous associated information in the database.
  • button downloads - a Download consists of various information such as Title, Status, associated images and previews, and other information plus the actual downloadable file.
  • button files - these are files uploaded into a special directory in the jDownloads section that may be made into Downloads.
  • button licences -this section is a library of available licences that may optionally be part of the information associated with a Download.
  • button layouts - these are cutomisable views of how the Categories and Downloads are shown in the front end.
  • button logs - this link gives access to the various log files maintained by jDownloads.
  • button usergroups - this section allows selecting what information and questions will be requested when Downloads are created or edited in the front end. It also allows setting what limits apply as to when and how much a user may download.
  • button fields - this allows user creation, editting and populating of Joomla! Fields associated with a Download.
  • button fieldgroups - allows creation and editting of Joomla! Field Groups to be used in jDownloads
  • button tools - a collection of useful utilities.
  • button terms - the legal bits!
There are several articles in the jDownloads documentation covering the differerent parts.

Check Downloads feature

One of the many ways of adding multiple directories and files to create Categories and Downloads automatically is to use the 'Check Downloads' feature.
This assumes that you have uploaded the directories and files into the jDownloads 'region' whose default root directory is called 'jdownloads' and whose default location is in the joomla root directory: <joomla-root>/jdownloads.  This region is often refered to as the Download Area.  The directories and files could have been uploaded using with say an FTP utility such as FileZilla, or by using your c-panel file manager or similar.

As shown opposite, there are five options for checking the Download area.  These are designed to allow the checking process to be carried out in stages if appropriate.  Such a situation arrises when there are a large number of directories and files to be converted into Categories and Downloads respectively.  This is because creating the database entries may take a noticeable time and there is a possibility that the time allowed in the php.ini file may not be sufficient.  Hence the need to do in two steps. control panel03A
Further you may set up the Monitoring function to do a test run to see if there are any problems.  Note: The default setup for the Check Download Area is to do a  'test run'.  Should you need to change this setting then go to Options (top right on Control Panel) and choose the Monitoring tab. Then ensure entry 'Use Test Run First' is set to Yes or No as appropriate.

At the completion of a monitoring run a View Details button that will show the 'log' of the items added.  It is advised that you examine these details to confirm all is well.

Actually it is nearly always advisable to do a test run as if it completes successfully then you will be offered the option to make the changes permanent.

For more detailed notes please see the article  Monitoring and Checking the Download Area. (opens in a new tab/window)

Information Area

This area allows a quick access to multiple sets of information.
  • Statistics - theses give an overview of the number of Categories, Downloads, Featured and Tags, and the number as either published or unpublished state.
  • Quick look at Latest, Popular, Featured, Most Rated and Top Rated Downloads.
  • Monitoring, Restore and Installation Logs.
  • Relevant Server settings.
Two of the many possible views are shown as examples below.

Monitoring log example



The image opposite is a typical monitoring log taken after running a Full Scan after uploading a number of Directories and Files into the jDownloads area.
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Server Info Example


The picture opposite shows some relevant server settings.

Note the details shown opposite are from an XAMPP based test site so limits such as max execution time are much larger than those of a conventional website server
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ColinM November 2018

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