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An easy MODX Installation Management Tool

Should we build it?

We are a web agency and build websites using MODX. As most of the users we are huge fans of MODX. But if you are managing a lot of installations things get messy and time consuming. You have to keep up with security updates, have to create reliable backups, must be able to revert false installations and so on. If you don’t have automated processes it takes a lot of time.

I know you have all been there. I think even the MODX team has been there, because they built MODX Cloud. So why aren’t we just switching over to MODX-Cloud?

The main reason: Flexibility. Secondary reason: We are a Swiss company and our clients want their data hosted in Switzerland. Not much to do about that.

Some of our clients have their own hosting accounts others are using our hosting service etc… We of course try to make everything as simple as possible but don’t always achieve it.

To the point:

We are currently building our own MODX Installation Management Tool. We take advantage of the powerful Command-Line-Interface (CLI) to automate processes to launch and update and backup modx websites.

Main functionality:

  • Manage all modx installations in one backend
  • Connect to multiple webserver (ssh always required)
  • One-click updates and backups of the installations
  • New installations from scratch, with predefined settings for modx
  • Snapshots and setting injections
  • Automated backup jobs, different backup strategies
  • Connect to external storage provides such as dropbox, s3, gdrive etc...
  • And more

The tool will not be as powerful as modx cloud but it gets the job done and makes our life’s easier. And we are not “locked-in” on modx cloud. There are similar solutions on the market but none for modx. Unless you know of one?

We are building this tool for us, but eventually also thinking of making it available as a service. Should we do it?

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Ultra early Mock-up
An ultra early stage mock-up

More Information

We first did a proof of concept where we put together mainly the CLI scripts to see if we can achieve what we want. Also we had to make sure that we use a php based SSH Library that works with multiple web hosting solutions. We had difficulties with timeouts etc. Therefore I think for most standard hosting environments our scripts and solution would not work. We must run it on a self-managed ubuntu server, where we have full control over the processes. Because we have a task runner in place that executes the jobs in the background. So I don’t think that a MODX CMP could do it all.

We are building this with Symfony 2 but the goal is to centrally manage MODX installations. We can distribute the load over all the web servers. For instance we can inject some files that then execute the backup on the remote server which for instance connects to dropbox and saves the zipped files right there. We hope to reduce the load on our server by doing so and only excute commands on remote machines and then gather and display the results.

Let me know what you think!

by cloudtec Veröffentlicht: Aktualisiert: 2. August 2017

An easy MODX Installation Management Tool cloudtec AG
Sandrainstrasse 17 3007 Bern Switzerland