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DLMan Pro 0.9.x

This script is a downloads management script that hooks into phpBB2 permissions and allows yet more integrated functionality to complement Calendar (lite/pro) and the other mods I'm working on.

As with Calendar Pro this script is still very much in development and will continue to be supported with the application of new features and improved functionality.

Requirements:

  • mySQL database (compatability with other DBMS's is being looked into)
  • PHP 4.23 +
  • phpBB2 installed (version 2.0.4)

Making Downloads Available

Providing downloads on a web site usually involves a link to a file that exists somewhere in your public web space and as such there's not a lot you can do to secure them, track who gets what, etc... DLMan actually handles a lot of this by...

Making Downloads Secure...

Downloads provided through the DLMan system are stored in a location that is not publicly accessible because the files are located in filespace outside of your normal web space. Instead DLMan provides a sort of front desk that checks your credentials and then passes copies of the file(s) you want through to you. This forces your users to actually validate themselves (unless you make your files publicly accessible) before they can get anything.

Easy Maintenance of multiple File downloads

One of the main benefits of the DLMan system is that it allows you to maintain multiple file packs without having to create your own zip or gzip files and then upload EVERYTHING each time. It does this by keeping a full set of the files you wish to include in your pack in a sub-directory of you filestore. Then whenever someone clicks on the appropriate download it creates the appropriate pack as a single gzip or zip file on the fly.

So, instead of having to upload all the files when just one changes, you simply upload the changed file to overwrite the old one, or just add new files, delete defunct ones, etc... and the next person to download the pack gets the new set as is. Simple!

Multiple Levels of Access

Because there will always be multiple levels of access for the wide range of people accessing your downloads DLMan allows you to specify restrictions for individuals categories (folders) of download and you can add/alter access according to your particular needs throughout. So, some files and folders can be open to all, while others may be restricted to specific usergroups.

 

Templates

All DLMan code uses the phpBB2 templating system and theme css values. This helps to ensure compatability and ease of customisation in line with various compliant phpBB2 themes. It also means that users can develop their own template set and offer them as alternative layouts.

Easy installation/upgrade

Thanks to excrutiatingly long experience in dealing with various mods for phpBB2 I've been able to develop a system of upgrading that mirrors (and admittedly borrows from) the phpBB2's own installation system. With the exception of some small edits required in the original phpBB2 files, installation is relatively painless compared to many mods.


..and more...

The overall script itself includes many more underlying functions and features including the following:

  • Logs of downloads, errors, trapped spoofing attempts, etc..
  • Ability to download files in Gzip (tar.gz) and Zip archives (to save on bandwidth and to allow Pack creation)
  • Ability to specify whether native formats are allowed (eg: full fat (non-compressed) word docs without zipping first)
  • Optimised SQL queries to avoid loading a server too greatly
  • Numerous sanity checks to ensure data is of the correct type, cracker spoofing traps and variable restrictions to enhance security.


Development

Development will continue to ensure that any security issues are deal't with plus to ensure compatability with phpBB2 as it too is upgraded and improved. In addition there are a number of additional features that will be added as time allows to improve the functionality of the system.

This mod is still a 0.9.x version so as per regular version numbering this indicates that it's not a FULL product as I'd like to call it... There is a lot of development work needed, particularly in terms of usability and logging functionality... Overall, the mod does a pretty good job of providing a secure environment for downloads and makes my job a lot easier here on Snailsource.