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Localhost Downloading of marketplace apps/plugins (manually)


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As recommended, I'm creating this topic to reinstate the option to download files manually from the Marketplace.

It's bad enough you don't allow the download of apps we purchased when our licence has expired. But, to completely change the way file downloads are handle is a little much.

Please don't get me wrong, I love the idea that we can now do it all with ACP, but you shouldn't disable/change the way that a lot of us download files for localhost setups to test our sites before going live.

Please, please, please allow the option to download files manually like we've done for so many years!

 

(Edit: Happy 600 posts to me, woo!)

Edited by Dean_
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As recommended, I'm creating this topic to reinstate the option to download files manually from the Marketplace. It's bad enough you don't allow the download of apps we purchased when our licenc

Absolutely a necessity to support multiple localhost development environments and to support the download of application/plugins directly from the IPS marketplace as existed in 4.4 and earlier. The in

To be honest, apps and plugins that get abandoned are one prime reason we need a way to sensibly obtain the files to fix issues ourselves if we want. I know many wont have the skills to do that but as

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Absolutely a necessity to support multiple localhost development environments and to support the download of application/plugins directly from the IPS marketplace as existed in 4.4 and earlier. The inability to download files directly from the marketplace limits severely limits those that have installations that are not accessible from the outside internet, whether that be an internal corporate install or various development / virtualized environments.

It also prevents administrators and security folks from being able to audit applications and plugins prior to installation in any environment. At present, one must install an application/plugin prior to being able to review. In the past, we've purchased plugins/applications that upon inspection of the downloaded file, we found that there were breaking changes that did not follow IPS development guidelines and that would have resulted in a degradation of service in our production environment. Without inspecting those files in advance, we would have not been able to identify these issues.

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There is nothing stopping you using the Marketplace locally, you just need to point a URL to your test install (that's registered as the -TESTINSTALL license key) for the authentication system to work. There are plenty of 'dynamic' DNS type services you can use for this if you don't have the ability to set up your own DNS.

I appreciate the fact that it's a change from how it used to work, but you can still test resources from the Marketplace.

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18 minutes ago, Stuart Silvester said:

There is nothing stopping you using the Marketplace locally, you just need to point a URL to your test install

I don't think it's the issue that you can't point to the marketplace. It's the issue that you can't download and inspect the packages directly from IPS any more. There's now a requirement that the test install have internet access and that you install things before inspecting them, and for localhost installs, you can't install and test applications and plugins published by the community (without a roundabout process of installing in test and then extracting the resource).

For many communities, plug and play is probably just fine. But it's not serving the needs of those clients that have more stringent policies or requirements that they follow in the development lifecycle. Now, there's an extra step of using a test install to acquire files rather than being able to download and inspect them as before (or put them in a virtual localhost environment).

The IPS marketplace should have a download button for 4.5 resources, and have its current integration as well. Go install from your ACP, or download here. That would be ideal.

Just to add for context, we've purchased, downloaded, and installed a few applications and plugins from IPS Marketplace that, when tested in our local environments, we quickly identified conflicts, issues, and breaking changes that would degrade our member experience and/or simply not work at the scale of a community the size of ours. We identified issues that would have otherwise taken down our production copy and/or production installs due to things like altering the core_members table rather than having an application/plugin specific table. Whatever checks of things (if any--I'm not sure) happening at IPS, they're insufficient for our needs, and we have a duty to our stakeholders to test things and ensure they're ready for our environment and configuration.

This change is an obstacle to that process. We have a workaround, yet it's needlessly causing us to install things in test and have to revert that environment after the fact when our workflow of installing in a local dev first and doing comparisons was much preferred.

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5 minutes ago, Paul E. said:

I don't think it's the issue that you can't point to the marketplace. It's the issue that you can't download and inspect the packages directly from IPS any more.

Not directly, however the original bug report was reporting a different 'issue' where _Dean couldn't log in to the Marketplace.

7 minutes ago, Paul E. said:

There's now a requirement that the test install have internet access

You only need the install to be accessible for the initial login, it doesn't need to be online 24/7.

9 minutes ago, Paul E. said:

...like altering the core_members table rather than having an application/plugin specific table. Whatever checks of things (if any--I'm not sure) happening at IPS...

Along side these changes we did also introduce stricter submission guidelines (you'll like point 2.2.8) and we now review all updates -- previously we would only review the initial first submission.

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28 minutes ago, Stuart Silvester said:

Not directly, however the original bug report was reporting a different 'issue' where _Dean couldn't log in to the Marketplace.

This is correct, but now having been told that I cannot login via a localhost (obviously, my mistake), I went to download or EVEN redownload some apps to test, but I cannot... I don't want another live test install on my server. I now prefer to do it in a localhost.

I do not have a live test of 4.5, so how am I meant to install files now that I cannot access them... I really don't think it's such a big ask to allow us to download files directly in the marketplace.

So now you have two issues, 1 people can't inspect files, and 2 you cannot download locally.

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I presume like many many others, I have a test/development copy installed on my local PC using xampp. Here I do all my testing and development of any changes to suit my live site first. I have this development/test environment for unit, system etc testing, I have a pre-production test environment on my live dedicated server for integration etc testing and then I have my live production environment. Nothing, I mean NO ADDONS, NO TEMPLATE CHANGES etc gets to a pre-prod environment until it is completely tested on my local PC first...this is the way I am sure even IPS do it. So why in hell can't I download and test addons etc in my development/test environment on my local PC...why has IPS stopped this with v4.5 especially when everyone is developing and testing v4.5:

1.png.98678550c8ca2c5d5b7ecc22d6f8c843.png

It seems like as IPS progresses further it becomes even more frustrating to use...it seems along with other licensing things IPS is trying their hardest to drive people away from IPS and straight over to Xenforo who make it easy to create what you need and manage your installs.

Edited by ibaker
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It stops me and probably many others from doing any pre-work

In fact their whole licensing arrangements stink...I have 2 licenses and only use 1 live install. I wanted to check to see if I could migrate a site from XF to IPS easily by installing a test version of IPS in a sub folder of the XF site but it didn't migrate well but it ties that test install to that domain and trying to get them to remove it is darn near impossible to the point I was near threatening legal action to overcome their arrogance. This just drives people away from using IPS in my opinion...you can see my extreme frustration with them 😡

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I believe I understood that the applications were tested by IPS before being published.

I have different client accounts, only one in use today with the intention of renewing the license.

I made a mistake once by purchasing a few apps with the account I don't intend to renew. I hope that I will be able to transfer these applications to my user account.

some developers have their site where you can directly download the application. get in touch with them or ask them to provide you with the downloadable version.

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5 hours ago, annadaa said:

I believe I understood that the applications were tested by IPS before being published.

IPS may be doing some testing and review of the code individuals submit on the marketplace. IPS also undoubtedly does review of their own code. Yet, as we are all imperfect humans, and as we run these applications in a multitude of environments and in an multitude of configurations, best practices say that we should be testing and performing user acceptance in controlled circumstances that mirror our production communities.

Just as IPS tested 4.5 prior to releasing it to us for beta testing, and just as talented developers do due diligence prior to release offerings on the marketplace, we too will continue to find unforeseen issues in spite of their best of intentions. A healthy development and integration ecosystem is dependent on the ability for thorough review of any modifications we make to our communities prior to our deployment on production environments. Having the ability to run local analysis and testing within a localhost environment furthers our ability to mitigate against unforeseen consequences for the individuals that have come to rely on our communities to simply just work, and to work well. No software company, given a near infinite resources (think Microsoft, Google, Apple) is successful at anticipating and eliminating critical bugs prior to shipping code. Any software company that thinks they can get this right in advance and offers that as a reassurance that things will just always work isn't taking the best perspective on the matter.

Limiting the mechanism to install and test things in a local development environment, as well meaning as it may have been, and for all the positives that may have been considered surrounding licensing, piracy and ease of use, ultimately hinders self-hosted communities from following these best practices and puts them at a disadvantage. It discourages the best practices of a thorough testing plan that, in my opinion, should be strongly encouraged by the vendor. A good portion of IPS customers use their cloud offerings and likely never touch code. They don't want to, and this works for them.

However, the ability, even if in some sort of controlled opt-in mechanism (i.e. the distribution of the IPS dev package), to download resources directly from the marketplace is a need for self-hosting communities that follow best practices. The vendor's willingness to enable and encouragement of development best practices, by extension, furthers their brand and reach as the stability of the platform on the various sites that run their solution is noted by others who ultimately end up becoming new customers.

I don't think IPS is trying to do anything other than to minimize the support overhead for existing customers. I'm sure, in their best of efforts to simplify things, they missed the use case for those of us who use a similar methodology to their own, and I'm hopeful they'll acknowledge this oversight and course correct quickly. We are, after all, imperfect humans, and this is just the sort of thing beta testing should highlight.

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3 hours ago, Stuart Silvester said:

@ibaker I have merged your topic with an existing one that had similar questions and already has responses.

And what has the internal discussion conclusion come to? Is this something that will be changed? 

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22 hours ago, Dean_ said:

And what has the internal discussion conclusion come to? Is this something that will be changed? 

Unfortunately this has already been decided. Who didn't like it to go away. 😟

IPS more and more plastered!!!

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On 8/15/2020 at 4:00 PM, Dean_ said:

And what has the internal discussion conclusion come to? Is this something that will be changed? 

I merged the topic with an existing topic on the same subject, it was nothing to do with any internal discussions.

I touched on above how to login to the Marketplace on a locally hosted install, there's nothing stopping you doing it providing that you meet the technical requirements for it. That is, pointing a resolvable URL to your local machine and using your TESTINSTALL license key.

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I figured there would have been a way to manually grab and install marketplace files post 4.5 as I like to archive old versions and track changes but I wont be able to do that any more?

I love the marketplace integration and it makes sense for a lot of users but a manual fallback should still be in place as well.

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1 hour ago, Stuart Silvester said:

I merged the topic with an existing topic on the same subject, it was nothing to do with any internal discussions.

I touched on above how to login to the Marketplace on a locally hosted install, there's nothing stopping you doing it providing that you meet the technical requirements for it. That is, pointing a resolvable URL to your local machine and using your TESTINSTALL license key.

Seeing as you lot are making it so awkward, I found a way to access and download without the pointing URL or signing in. However, again you're missing the points, some people will not have any access to the internet on a development local server as pointed out above.

I can't fathom as to why you will not allow us (your paying customers) to download manually like we have always done for years. I don't wish to go around the houses to do something as simple as downloading a file.

localinstall.thumb.JPG.ecc3dd0b1535d42e2dd3d228c587e240.JPG

localinstall2.thumb.JPG.7e2bb4e831322bd0ba748ff46628fab8.JPG

localinstall3.thumb.JPG.2934c403706c75d8d41997372c47787d.JPG

Edited by Dean_
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If you had copied your access token to the right place (without modifying any code), it would also show you signed in. As I've noted earlier though, there isn't an issue with installing things locally and we've said that in the past. The technical requirement is for the login process only because we need to securely transmit data to your community and currently there is no other way to do that without potentially compromising your community account.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Stuart Silvester said:

If you had copied your access token to the right place (without modifying any code), it would also show you signed in. As I've noted earlier though, there isn't an issue with installing things locally and we've said that in the past. The technical requirement is for the login process only because we need to securely transmit data to your community and currently there is no other way to do that without potentially compromising your community account.

Exactly that, but it's a bit of a hassle.

I get what you guys are saying and understand. Actually I fully support what you say. But, manual download from IPS Marketplace should stay intact. That's all. I appreciate what you guys do and that's why I've chosen IPS as my go to and it's always recommended friends. So please don't think I'm being a nuisance.

Edited by Dean_
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Hi guys. I'm sorry for any confusion and frustration. This is something I personally insisted upon and it was done for a multitude of reasons. 

First and foremost, we want to really promote more harmony within third party applications. 4.4, because of its looser standards that did not require authors to use versioning/update notifications, ultimately allowed a hodge podge of current and outdated resources that would collide with one another (and the core) leading to unnecessary issues, customer frustration and support overhead. With everything managed within the AdminCP, you have easy access to updates - the same as the core software. 

Requiring Marketplace apps be installed through the AdminCP also helps ensure that what you're installing is the latest the author has uploaded, it was been reviewed by IPS (our process for this has changed and improved with 4.5 and we also screen upgrades now.) If we were to permit downloads and manual installation, you would get the warning that it is an untested resource (there are no provisions in the file itself that indicate it came from the marketplace), it would be installed outside of the Marketplace management/upgrade system and things like the support tool would warn you every time you use it that you're using an untested third party application. 

I understand the use case for 'localhost' development and testing. I would consider that a niche case at this point, but later down the line, we would be happy to, if demand dictates, explore potential ways to allow manually saving a file in a manner that ensures the file and account are validated and the file operates within the Marketplace framework.  We have no immediate plans to consider that development expenditure at this time, however. 

You could reach out to the author as well with these rare circumstances, but to be honest, this change also helps them from a piracy standpoint, so they may not be willing to give up files to customers so easily and again, if they do, it would not be installed within the new Marketplace framework. 

I'm sorry again for the frustration and @Dean_ you're not being a nuisance at all. I completely understand your position. Again, should circumstances change in the future, we can re-evaluate. At this point, just slapping up the file again would defeat the entire purpose of the 4.5 Marketplace, so that's unfortunately not under consideration at this moment. 

@Paul E. I'm sorry that happened to you and we've found similar. Because of that, there are new development guidelines in place that authors must adhere to and we have become very stringent in what we will approve. 

@ibaker XF, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't even have an App Store/marketplace and they don't review any third party resource. That's respectfully an apples and oranges comparison. As a point of clarification, although you find things from Invision Community creeping into XF, we on the other hand have no interest in competing with XF. If I were to simplify the comparison in this case, they adopt more of an Android approach and we prefer the Apple approach. You can hack your Android up to pieces if that's your thing, but the beauty of an Apple device lies in its balance between power, simplicity and stability. Our core demographic has demonstrated time and again, they prefer and expect the Apple-esque approach from us. Respectfully, if Android is your thing, please don't make yourself angry and miserable by shoehorning your expectations into an Apple device and/or trying to turn Apple into Android. 🙂 

Thanks for your understanding!

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17 minutes ago, Lindy said:

I'm sorry again for the frustration and @Dean_ you're not being a nuisance at all. I completely understand your position. Again, should circumstances change in the future, we can re-evaluate. At this point, just slapping up the file again would defeat the entire purpose of the 4.5 Marketplace, so that's unfortunately not under consideration at this moment. 

Thank you for taking the time out to reply. I was actually going to tag you earlier, but in the end it's kind of childish and it didn't want it to come across that I was throwing my dummies out of the pram.
 

19 minutes ago, Lindy said:

You could reach out to the author as well with these rare circumstances, but to be honest, this change also helps them from a piracy standpoint, so they may not be willing to give up files to customers so easily and again, if they do, it would not be installed within the new Marketplace framework. 

This is nice to see, I've seen many sites that clearly abuse authors works. But I do have a question regarding the upload of files (if we have them already downloaded). For instance, if I had a file owned and downloaded (marketplace) from another IPS licence, does the marketplace detect that I shouldn't have this installed file installed on a second licence, despite that fact it's been removed from the original installation? I noticed that we have to confirm files now (the process), so I thought it's worth asking as I certainly wouldn't want to be seen in a 'different light' or 'accused'.

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3 minutes ago, Dean_ said:

Thank you for taking the time out to reply. I was actually going to tag you earlier, but in the end it's kind of childish and it didn't want it to come across that I was throwing my dummies out of the pram.
 

This is nice to see, I've seen many sites that clearly abuse authors works. But I do have a question regarding the upload of files (if we have them already downloaded). For instance, if I had a file owned and downloaded (marketplace) from another IPS licence, does the marketplace detect that I shouldn't have this installed file installed on a second licence, despite that fact it's been removed from the original installation? I noticed that we have to confirm files now (the process), so I thought it's worth asking as I certainly wouldn't want to be seen in a 'different light' or 'accused'.

You're welcome and again - it's no problem. That's what I'm here for. 🙂 

To answer your question, it would not prevent you from installing. That aspect is on the honor system (and who wants to risk losing their license from breaking the rules??), however, we would like to provide authors with the ability to determine how this works for their individual resources. 

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