J!DIA – Joomla and Democracy in Action together in harmony

J!DIAOne of our most interesting projects in the PICnet Labs is J!DIA, which brings together Joomla with the Democracy in Action database in ways in which we’ve never been able to achieve before.

Imagine the following situations that could make your members and supporters lives easier when interacting with your organization through your Joomla-based Web site:

  • allowing users to login and edit their DIA profile directly within Joomla
  • enabling members to be able to search a member’s only directory stored in the DIA database, all within Joomla and without any wrappers
  • adding new supporters in DIA database using Joomla, without needing to do so through the DIA headquarters
  • allowing users to login to Joomla and view all their past donations and events attended that are stored in DIA

One of our fearless Joomla developers, Chris Garvis, is very close to putting together what we call J!DIA. This component will provide never before seen access to the Democracy in Action system directly through an organization’s Web site. Before J!DIA was developed, most of the display of data in DIA, for most organizations, would need to be presented in the DIA headquarters via wrappers.

We’ve changed this paradigm for Joomla users, enabling the Joomla CMS and your Web site’s stylesheets control the output, look, and feel of the DIA data in a format you completely control.

We’re eager to get this out to the community as soon as possible, and once we have a proof of concept, we’ll let you know. But right now, know this: we’re about to make life much easier for Joomla administrators that are also using DIA.

And Non-Profit Soapbox users, you’ll be happy to know this will be included in all our Non-Profit Soapbox sites in the near future.

More details coming soon.

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This entry was posted on Monday, October 16th, 2006 at 8:16 pm and is filed under DIA, Joomla, labs, nptech. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “J!DIA – Joomla and Democracy in Action together in harmony”

  1. Mike Williams says:

    this is exciting – lots of potential probably; my experience however is that DIA has been *excessively* buggy — you might want to consider diversifying who you partner with for solutions since you’re limiting your market? or perhaps it makes sense if you’re trying to get all those dia clients? for me, I would consider a Joomla site but won’t ever touch dia again

  2. Ryan Ozimek


    We’ve had many good experiences with DIA, including information from our numerous clients that use them directly as well, so I’ll have to counter your comment. At the same time, however, our goal isn’t to simply pair only with one CRM solution. We helped bring CiviCRM (www.civicrm.org) to the Joomla world, and are currently also looking to see how we can better bridge the gap between Salesforce and Joomla.

    At the end of the day, we don’t profess to be CRM experts; however, we follow client demand in that market, and we know that DIA has a very large following. Our goal is to serve these organizations and clients in a manner that makes their lives easier, and J!DIA helps meet that goal.

    Mike, maybe you can share some other CRM options that you think would be helpful to have better integrated with Joomla as well?

  3. Mike Williams says:

    Thanks for the quick response, Ryan. Good to hear you have had good experiences with dia. For myself and some colleagues the general consensus is that the platform is robust but on usability is down right problematic. Maybe its a get what you pay for thing – its a great value for cash strapped orgs but if you have the money go elsewhere, IMHO. But I guess that’s where we differ.

    As for potential other CRM solutions – I have heard good things about CiviCRM so its great you folks are tied in and active there. But the unfortunate reality is there is just not a lot of options on the CRM front. Its desperately needed, that’s for sure.

    Great blog, Ryan. Keep up all the good work!

    p.s. why is your blog not connected to your website at all?

  4. Ryan Ozimek


    We agree with you that the more options small to mid-sized non-profits had, the better for the entire market. It would apply an upward effect on competition, which should drive down prices and increase the usability of all the tools. I know that DIA will be releasing an update to their system, which might include new UI, in the next few months. We’ll be keeping our eyes open for this.

    In the meantime, thanks for the kudos on the blog. It’s not directly connected to the main PICnet web site because we’re in a massive overhaul process of the main site, so that we have press releases posted that are more recent than 2004.

    Plus, we could use a little more on the usability side with some new features we’re adding soon. Thanks for your comments!

  5. Great news!!! It’s so exciting to hear that you guys are making so much headway with the DIA System… If you can release a component that does all the things you describe – that’s just brought our plans forward by a whole 3 months!

    I’m sure the DIA system is less than perfect – but it seems to have the robustness and stableness that has been supporting our organisation for it’s needs…

    Next on our list is eTapestry… Any chance of seeing Picnet in the list here(http://www.etapestry.com/partners/prodpartners_fs.html) anytime soon?

    Thanks for all your important work! How soon do we get to manage our events in DIA, through Joomla? Once that functionality’s in there – our entire organisation will be able to start working much more organically – internationally… And I’m sure that might helps others to run events, in a more localised way!

  6. Ryan Ozimek


    Event management coming soon…hopefully within the next few months. Meanwhile, we’re definitely looking to be able to work with other CRMs and databases that organizations are using. Our goal is always to move towards the market’s demand, and right now it’s in the open source world with DIA and CiviCRM. There is an open API debate happening on Oct 20, and I’d highly recommend people submitting their comments about Joomla and how it can integrate with the participating firms. More details regarding the debate:


    Live Debate: Friday, October 20, 10:00 am Pacific. Check our blog later this week for details on how to call and listen in. http://www.nten.typepad.com/newsletter/

    Written Rants: Send us your take on the debate in 150 words or less by Tuesday, October 24, to make it into the newsletter. Don’t forget to send in a photo of yourself! Send them to bonnie@nten.org.

    Briefly write up your opinion and send it to us at bonnie@nten.org. We’ll select rants to post on our blog and feature in our next newsletter.


    Let them them know you want more accessibility to your data!

  7. [...] I’m really hoping Nick Ballenger of DIA will come through as well on the technical side and that he gets a chance to speak of the upcoming Joomla! – DIA integration that’s in the works. It’s not an open API in the sense that it can be used as a mashup but it’s wonderful news for nonprofits that are Joomla! users. [...]

  8. [...] We haven’t taken this issue lightly, and as we discussed two weeks ago, we’re heavily involved in building bridges between Soapbox and the leading CRM systems for non-profits, starting with Democracy in Action. [...]

  9. Claudia says:

    What is the status of this project?

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