A new program to certify extensions for the open-source content management system Joomla will benefit small Aussie developers, according to Jentla CEO Damian Hickey.
Jentla, the Queensland-based software company that develops extensions for Joomla, has worked with Joomla founder Andrew Eddie to develop a Software Development Accreditation program for the Joomla suite.
Jentla has provided multi-site CMS to the websites for organisations such as Mission Australia, the Australian Local Government Association and Urology Today. The company began back in 2005 with two partners but has now grown to over 40 staff.
Hickey said the decision to move to an accreditation system rose out of discussion with some of the larger companies Jentla had worked with that wanted better support for the extensions for the open-source content system.
"It's come up in discussion with larger customers of ours, they want to have a full life-cycle support for the extension, not just while we're working with them," he said. "It reduces the barrier of acceptance for open source compared to proprietary software."
In order to qualify for the Jentla Software Certification, developers must submit their Joomla extensions to be tested by a Jentla specialist development team.
"It tests around code quality and code security, extension design, usability and accessibility," Hickey said.
The code quality and security aspects can be tested for free via a self-service testing site, but getting usability and accessibility accredited will cost money, according to Hickey. Jentla will be charging on a costs recovery basis for the certification of Joomla extensions. Costs will be limited to the resources of the certifier and the company will also certify a selection of the most popular community extensions for free. Jentla estimates that certification will cost around $1000 for a medium-sized Joomla extension.
Hickey said the benefits for Aussie developers are enormous.
"Think of an Australian software developer building Joomla extensions. Joomla is largely from Australia. Having that accreditation process means that those software exports in Australia will be more widely accepted internationally," he said. "For a small developer, it gives them that degree of credibility — they know that if it has passed the accreditation it has been done right."
Led by Eddie, Jentla has dedicated five software developers to the accreditation process. The quality and security testing will be available in September with the rest of the certification process expected to be implemented by the end of October.
"Joomla and Jentla have deep roots in Queensland that demonstrate tangibly that Aussie products can achieve global uptake in a very short period of time," Eddie said in a statement. "This is an absolute milestone for Jentla, and sends a great message out to the market about the maturity and adoption of Joomla, and the Jentla suite of products."