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Expanding User Account Information (The LUM_User Table)

edited February 2008 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I've recently inherited administrator responsibilities for a Lussumo Vanilla Community which maintains information for a professional organization. I would like to expand user information to include elements such as: "Dues Payment Method" and "Date Dues Paid". I'm a novice at PHP scripting, but I notice that fields can be added using the "PredefinedAttributes" add-on. However, can't I accomplish the same task by using the mysql "Alter Table" command? It seems to me that adding additional fields to the predefinedattibutes element will complicate database searches. I am overlooking something? Are there benifits or pitfalls that I am not aware of? Thanks....

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    Simply adding new columns to the database table with the ALTER TABLE command won't do anything unless you somehow tie those into Vanilla. I'm pretty sure there's an extension that will handle this for you but I can't remember what it was called.
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    Vanilla already lets users add custom info to their profile. The Predefined Attributes extension will let you specify some that should always be there.
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    I think users can redefine their predefined attributes. This might not be a good idea if someone doesn't want to pay dues.
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    After giving this some more thought ... and realizing that user should be restricted from editing their dues status... I'll add a mysql DuesHistory Table and link to it via the UserID Field in the LUM_User table. I'll pick through available PHP code to figure out how to display this information on the "Account" page. Any hints on an easy way to do that?
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    I think there's a delegate for the 'Account' Control that comes right after the rest of the stats. Just have look in the account page template for it
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