Flexicontent has flaws as well. This section lists the areas where the CCK could improve.
Lack of Advanced ACL Functions
ACL are access control lists. They are used to restrict user access to some parts of a website. Flexicontent uses the core Joomla ACL, with predefined article access levels and user groups, which cannot be customized. Other CCKs, such as K2 and jSeblod, have many ACL options. They allow creating custom user groups and access levels and restricting access to certain fields. Permissions can also be set for each category separately.
Flexicontent doesn't have the ability to create custom forms. You cannot add custom fields for user registration or build a custom form directly from the backend. JSeblod has this feature, supporting all default form fields (text field, password, select, radio, etc.) and allowing you to even add a calendar picker or a CAPTCHA image. Search fields can also be customized, so you can create an advanced search that suits your needs directly from the jSeblod admin panel.
Back-end Functionality Could Be Better
This is not a significant flaw, but it is something that the Flexicontent developers could improve. Other CCKs -- especially K2 -- have better back-end design than the Flexicontent. Also, it seems that the K2 backend loads slightly faster than the Flexicontent counterpart. Furthermore, K2 has an advanced image-editing script, while Flexicontent supports only automatic thumbnail creation with small customization options.
But I must point out that the Flexicontent team achieved great balance between simplicity and the available features, unlike jSeblod, which is very powerful and has many options but is really complex to use effectively.
Flexicontent vs. K2, jSeblod and Sobi2
Flexicontent vs. K2 -- If you need to work on the content with many people, require faster front-end content loading, and want a simple-to-use CCK, choose Flexicontent. However, if you prefer advanced ACL options, a slightly faster and nicer backend, and an advanced image editor (Splashup), K2 should be the CCK you choose.
Flexicontent vs. jSeblod -- JSeblod definitely has many more options than Flexicontent, but it is a very complex CCK, even for advanced users who are very familiar with Joomla. If you value teamwork, simplicity and higher productivity more than rich features, pick Flexicontent.
Flexicontent vs. Sobi2 -- I suggest using Sobi2 only if you plan to create a directory, link farm or phonebook type of website. It has predefined fields for sites of these types. Features are also adjusted to fit the needs of these websites.
About the Author
Voja Janjic is a PHP programmer with more than four years' experience.