i am really tired of Joomla...it is not complicated but very unflexible for me. I have an already functional database that is working just fine.

1. registration field: i have a custom registration field that works excellent and meets my requirements. Its hard to edit and expand with Joomla's registration system.

2. it comes with its own 37 tables which is the last thing I want.

So, now, my concern is I don't have the time to develop a custom CMS and nor I think it will be good enough. Is there any CMS that can read existing database (or told to read or configured) and allow me to manage my website?

any idea is welcome. am bad at english, sorry.

CMS's have their own database tables and application databases in specific formats that the system and the applications expect. A database needs the code that understands the database format. If you have both the database and the code that uses it, then your problem is then to integrate both of them with a CMS (presumably because the CMS provides you with other functions that you need).

The three most logical approaches are:
1.Customize the "registration" / login function in Joomla or some other CMS. If your need is strictly limited to having a custom, more flexible user registration and login function but after they login you want to use (mostly?) standard CMS functions, then this probably makes the most sense. This is certainly a lot less work than creating your own CMS. It will require knowledge of the CMS internals. You may be able to get some help through the Forum for Joomla (or whatever CMS you choose).

2.In Joomla (and some other CMS's) there is a "wrapper" function that allows you to run a separate application but have it embedded within a Joomla page. The application and the database can be totally separate but they appear to be part of the CMS. There is no real integration, it just gives that appearance to the user. If you have a separate application then this is probably the easiest approach. If you are doing logins through this facility, that's ok as long as this only allows access to your application. If you want the login to control access to any other Joomla functions / applications, then you will need to have shadow accounts within Joomla and your application will have to mark these accounts as logged in (or logged out) to control access to these other functions.

3. If you have an application, then the more difficult approach would be to convert your code to run as a proper CMS Application (Joomla or something else). If your "registration" function is intended to replace the standard CMS user registration and login functions, then that would be pretty complicated. This would be a lot more difficult and take much longer than the other approaches.

Hope that helps. If you clarify what you are starting with and what you want to accomplish more clearly, you may be able to get some additional ideas.


Thanks for your full answer. What I like about Joomla and other professional CMS is they have wonderful look that customers like and they are already used to using it. Plus my website is big, with 45 tables and lots of pages. Say I got a custom table that is structured like news, polls or articles. How can I make joomla understand such custom built tables? Or any other CMS for that matter?

It sounds as if you want the best of your existing site and the best of what a standard CMS can provide but it might be a lot of work to get that. One of the benefits of a CMS is that someone else is supporting and developing it and you get the benefit of fixes, new releases, new templates and new applications. If you heavily customize it, then you have to look at any problems as being potentially the result of your customization. You may not be able to easily implement new releases because your customization may have to be adapted and everything re-tested every time. If I was in your shoes, I would:

1. Make an assessment of the functions that are in the existing site versus what Joomla or some other CMS can provide you using the native functions. Where possible, I think that you would want to convert to the native functions if you can. Existing data would be a problem so you would have to consider the effort needed to convert it or even re-enter it. There are automation tools that could potentially help if there is a lot of data.

2. For existing function where #1 doesn't work, see if you can leave the site / application running as it is and use the "wrapper" approach that I explained in the previous post.

3. For anything that's left, consider doing something custom but try to avoid this if you can. You can build custom applications that access your existing database if you have to. You can also do a bit of outboard work and use the wrapper approach to do a very loose integration.

If the difficulty of converting is too great then you always have the option of spending your efforts on upgrading your existing site. The best long-term result would be to convert to a CMS without any customization of the CMS. I don't think that you will be happy with the result in the long-term if you build yourself a maintenance and upgrade albatross.