[Resolved] Implement Toolset Messenger or not?

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Last updated by simonM-5 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

Assigned support staff: Beda.

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#1450573

Tell us what you are trying to do?
We are looking at implementing Toolset Messenger as a communication tool between our Nannies and our Families (the two groups of people we are trying to connect on our site). However we are reading conflicting information on the net and on your support site.

One support post said it was not to be used because there were other hidden plugins in use on that site. Another said the implementation on the Classified Site could not be easily replicated on other sites.
https://toolset.com/forums/topic/need-full-code-of-the-message-system/

I have seen several support tickets with more recent dates for the Messenger system, so it would appear that people are actually implementing it.

Our basic requirements would be something like this:
1) Messenger access is only visible to Families who have paid a Subscription via WooCommerce
a) These Families change their role from "family" to "paid_family" when their Subscription is active.
2) Nannies (role "native_nanny") should always have access to the messenger functionality
3) There should be a button, eg "Message Nanny" on the Nanny posts, which allows Paid Families to write a new message to the Nanny they have found
a) This button should be either invisible or greyed out if the user viewing it is not a Paid family
b) If the user viewing the Nanny post is a Paid Family, the button should trigger Send a new Message
4) Nice-to-have, but not must-have: it would be nice to be able to have both the Nanny post and the Messenger visible at the same time. I appreciate this could be difficult as different parts of the webpage would be accessing different posts and therefore have different URLs. However with other sorts of chat programmes or messengers this seems to be possible (maybe they are using browser frames or JavaScript or similar).

We like the idea of the Toolset Messenger for several reasons:
1) avoids additional non-Toolset plugins
2) access control could be handled easily via Toolset Access for paid members or unpaid members
3) we are familiar with how Toolset works

However, we are unsure about whether or not the Toolset Messenger is mature enough to cope with our requirements or whether it is worth looking at other 3rd party Messenger plugins, which of course will bring their own problems.

Therefore, I would appreciate an HONEST response from a qualified support representative about whether Toolset Messenger is fit for purpose or still in its infancy, as we don't want to waste time implementing something which is hard to handle, likely to be buggy or not offer the user a rich experience.

Thanks in advance for an honest, straightforward response (and not a marketing response for Toolset Messenger).

Best regards
Simon

#1452517

Beda
Supporter

Languages: English (English ) Spanish (Español ) German (Deutsch )

Timezone: Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh (GMT+07:00)

What I wrote in the other thread is still true, but meanwhile, we developed further things, you could do this https://toolset.com/2018/11/introducing-toolsets-communication-system-for-professional-listing-sites/ https://toolset.com/learn/how-to-create-a-messaging-system-with-toolset/

Now, this is not a WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.
It's actually nothing else than Toolset Forms creating posts and sending emails about those posts to respective users, whereas the users can respond to messages in a web interface instead of writing an email, but there is really not much fancy about it.
I think the above links will clarify this.

If this is enough for your requirements related to messaging then we could concentrate on all other aspects of your project which mainly would involve access control and subscription models

Toolset can handle both, to a certain degree, using Toolset Access mostly to let users see or not see/do or not do things on your site, along with HTML conditions and Access ShortCodes this allows to control most of the content on the site, inclusive forms, messages and alike.
Here are two great starters to read (each links as well further):
https://toolset.com/documentation/user-guides/views/conditional-html-output-in-views/
https://toolset.com/documentation/user-guides/access-control/

Related to subscription control you could work with WooCommerce and Toolset's integration for it both in design (WooCommerce Views) and content control/creation with Toolset Forms Commerce.
This again is a good start:
https://toolset.com/learn/create-membership-site-wordpress-using-toolset-plugins/
You'll use forms to register users and let them purchase certain products before they can proceed.

You can use even some 3rd party subscription software like this https://toolset.com/learn/create-membership-site-wordpress-using-toolset-plugins/how-to-use-the-woocommerce-subscriptions-plugin-with-toolset/

Now, I am not sure how evolved your messaging system should be, depending on that (please refer to the first article shared) I then suggest to either proceed with the Toolset solution and open a ticket for each issue you encounter (if any) during the building process, or if you require more sophisticated messengers, I'd suggest having a look at WP Symposium Pro or similar:
hidden link

#1452941

HI Beda

Thanks for your response. I had already read the https://toolset.com/learn/how-to-create-a-messaging-system-with-toolset/ site and indeed had already started implementing it on our site to a certain degree.

It feels like the right solution for us, due to its tight integration in Toolset and its utter simplicity. We don't need any fancy stuff and the plugins seem like bloatware to me or are too tightly hooked in to Facebook etc. Like I mentioned in the requirements, it should be a simple messaging client to enable users to chat to each other via our site, without going directly to WhatsApp, (which they are obviously free to do if they share their WhatsApp numbers), however many customers in Germany rightly will not give their WhatsApp number out freely, as privacy still has some value in Germany. The screenshots shown on your link seem to cover what we would need:
- a subject
- message from
- message to
- date of message

- Is there anywhere I can see it in action and test if out myself? Is it on one of your reference sites?
- Are there any screenshots anywhere? The ones in that link seem to be just fake pictures.
- I'd love to be able to assess the product in a live environment if possible and test it out with my business partner.

On the topic of privacy - if the Messenger is simply creating posts, that would mean that we as Admins would be able to look into all the conversations being had between Nannies and Families, correct? This could pose a problem for us with data protection laws in Germany.
- Or are the message encrypted somehow so they can only be read by either party at either end?

Many thanks and regards
Simon

#1457423

Beda
Supporter

Languages: English (English ) Spanish (Español ) German (Deutsch )

Timezone: Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh (GMT+07:00)

We don't have backend access examples of that particular messaging system.
Only frontend, which is what you see at the contractor's page.

The messages are accessible by admins, yes, because that's how WordPress (and even Facebook, technically) works. The admins always see everything.
This will be even if using messaging software that is "made" for it. The one with access to the database will see everything.
It may be that a CMS is used to administrate the database (such as WordPress is, in fact) and then you'll see those as posts, for example, or any custom content such plugin would use to store the data (messages).

To assess this particular chat or messaging system you'd have to build up a small copy of it according to the DOC shared.
This would also allow you to see eventual bottlenecks or issues.

Of course, you could always encrypt and decrypt a message in a post so only sender and receiver can see/read it, but that is not something you could do with Toolset, you'd need custom solutions for it.

#1472819

OK Beda, thanks for all the info. I'll give it a whirl and see how it goes. No doubt we might need one or two more support tickets to get it running smoothly.

I think this thread has been closed automatically.

Kind regards
Simon