Today we will share another story on our blog. This week we had the chance to chat with Ryan C. Minnig. One of the founders of the company 3C Telemetry, LLC, located in Colorado, United States, that mostly offers different services of IT. They started using the Component Creator about two and half a year and since then, they have developed about 6 components. Component Creator has helped them to ease of use and the ability to very quickly prototype an idea and packaging and installer framework.

The name of the Company you work for

3C Telemetry, LLC (I'm one of the founders of this company)

Your company website

3CTelemetry.com (our customer portal is 3C Telemetry, LLC, but it is registered access only)

Number of employees in company


Where is the company based (country)

Colorado, United States

What does your company do?

We develop and end-to-end monitoring solutions for the rail industry. Our products start with the embedded devices gathering various sensor data and sending that thru a cellular gateway to the Joomla powered customer portal. We develop the custom hardware for both locomotive powered and solar/battery powered sensors and use our custom Joomla component for all aspects of device management and user interaction with the data.

How long have you been using Component Creator?

I have been using Component Creator for about 2.5 years.

Roughly how many components have you built using Component Creator?

I have built 6 components, and each of those has had dozens of iterations, adding new features or adjusting tables, forms, and options. We are building components exclusively for Joomla 4 and the forthcoming Joomla 5.

How much time do you estimate Component Creator has saved you?

Initially I used Component Creator as a learning tool because I had zero development experience with Joomla. With Component Creator it is easy to build variations of a component and test different functions. The time savings for understanding the framework is at least 600 hours. The time savings for our most important component, which is only used internally, is at least 250 hours.

Does your company have an hourly rate? (Calculate how much money it has saved)

It is difficult to measure the time savings, but I would put it at about 3 months, and that is based on going from zero Joomla development knowledge to a modest amount of knowledge 1 calendar year later. The cost saving with the specific component is probably $20,000 (US dollars) because we were able to use Component Creator to generate boilerplate code and use that as a jumping off point for more specific functionality like admin form layouts and configurable site views.

Can you give an example of a component that was built using Component Creator?

Our most important component is for custom IoT functionality and we have built the component to handle device management and provisioning, user configurable report generation, user configurable alerts, custom user overrides, integration with the Joomla users, groups and permissions and one of the most important parts, the custom webservices API plugin. I have a few other components in development, and one is available for free in the extension store called Simple Recipe. It is a very simple personal recipe management component. Another simple one is a bridge between RS forms and Hikashop that helps me automatically add new users when a form is submitted, and to generate quotes based on the products list in Hikashop that a user can then view on the site or via email.

Do you have any suggestions on how we can improve Component Creator?

One of the main items that I struggled with early on was when I would make changes to the component on the CC website, then build, download and install, it would overwrite any changes I made, for instance to layouts. Much of this was due largely to my inexperience with Joomla development. It may be helpful to present such information to a new user during account creation or in a short tips-and-tricks page. One other thing that may help new developers is to generate comments within the PHP code to explain what each generated section is doing. One other item would be to provide more functionality for modules and plugins, particularly the plugins dealing with webservices. We modified our api endpoints to remove the ability to delete items and it was not entirely clear how to do this initially. The same may hold true for that ACL control and privacy, but we have implemented our ACL slightly differently, based on usergroups and not individual items so as to avoid using the assets table. Another improvement would be the ability to automatically generate different layouts for a table list of items. For instance, the default.php file in the tmpl folder (Joomla 4) is a good starting point, but the ability to generate the PHP and XML code for adding layouts would be helpful, even if they were empty. We still have an issue with apparently missing links for a table view that has 6 different layouts. Each time the menu item is edited that points to our component layout, the menu items has to be recreated from scratch. I feel that if there were a way to generate additional layout code, that could be used as a model for additional customization after code generation. We are probably missing some XML somewhere.

What do you like best about Component Creator?

The first thing is the ease of use and the ability to very quickly prototype an idea. The packaging and installer framework is very valuable as well.

Anything you would like to add?

Component Creator has been an indispensable tool for both learning the basics of Joomla development and for functional development.

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