Event Import Plugins for Smart Countdown 3
Automatic event date and time import is one of the key features of Smart Countdown 3 module. It makes the life of site administrators much easier when there is a lot of scheduled events and countdown timer events have to be frequently updated. Of course, if your countdown shows time left to a single event you are just fine with a plain countdown – you decide what to do when the event time arrives (switch to count up or hide the counter), save the configuration and forget about it. Later when you do not need the counter any more or after it is already hidden from your page you can remove the module and you are done.
However there is a bunch of scenarios when you need a countdown to the next scheduled event, could be a concert of your band, online seminar or a special time-limited offer on your site, etc. Manually updating module settings each time your current event is over is a time-consuming and error-prone task: you have to keep track of your events, update event titles and dates and do all this in real time. Nowadays people tend to organize their schedule using event management applications and services, so why not to make a countdown timer work together with an existing events calendar?
Each installed event import plugin adds an extra pane to Smart Countdown 3 configuration screen, where you can enable, disable or configure import settings. If at least one event import plugin is enabled in a module instance, its "Event date and time" setting will be disabled and will have no effect - from now on event dates are controlled by import plugin(s). It is possible to enable more than one event import plugin for the same module instance, events from all enabled import plugins will be merged into the single timeline.
The previous version of Smart Countdown (2.5) also supports event import plugins and there are a few plugins already available for that module version, but they are not compatible with Smart Countdown 3. Unlike animation prfiles for Smart Countdown 2.5 which can be installed on Smart Countdown 3.0 after a minimal but required modification, event import plugins need a more significant refactoring (due to the change of events query strategy - events queue in 2.5 vs AJAX event queries in 3.0). However it doesn't mean that thay have to be rewritten from scratch (in fact Smart Countdown 3 design model makes writing event import plugins easier).
All currently supported event import plugins are already available for Smart Countdown 3.
JEvents import plugin adds support of the popular open source event management component for Joomla - JEvents - in Smart Countdown 3.0 or later.
This plugin requres that you have at least one instance of "Latest Events" module published (it may still be invisible, e.g. published to "none" position). Then you will have to configure this module (refer to JEvents documentation) to show events from a category of your choise. When this module instance is selected in JEvents import plugin configuration, Smart Countdown module will automatically show countdown/count up to/from the current/next event, according to "Show Module" setting.
Sample 1: Recurring events from all JEvents categories
JEvents Bridge for Smart Countdown 3.0 is not compatible with Smart Countdown 2.5. See this page if you are still using old module version.
Purchase JEvents Bridge for Smart Countdown 3 - €4.90
Smart Countdown 3 module supports event import plugins. These plugins connect the module to popular event management components and services thus making site administrator's life much easier - she doesn't have to manually update event deadlines in module configuration each time a current event is in past. Event import plugins pull events from external applications to a sort of events queue (timeline) and switch module counter to the next event automatically.
However there are cases when a simple event recurrence can completely describe the desired bahavior of your countdown. Of course it is possible to implement a recurrence using an external application, e.g. JEvents and then connect it to the module via JEvents Bridge for Smart Countdown 3 plugin, but this method requires unnescesary effort - extra component installation and configuration, etc.
Recurring Events for Smart Countdown 3 plugin was designed for these cases. It doesn't depend on external applications and requires minimum configuration.
Recurring Events for Smart Countdown 3 plugin is not compatible with Smart Countdown 2.5