Moodle / Joomla / JFusion – best development platform for e-learning, communication and information portal?


I've been asked to develop an information and e-learning website with an emphasis on community aspects that will also encompass a lot of other areas. There is a tight budget to this project, so I'm looking to use off the shelf products where possible – but I need to make sure I pick the best possible platform to begin with.

I am a php developer with extensive database knowledge, so I'm envisioning a degree of active development.

The main requirements are:

  • User Contribution / Community Building
  • General Content
  • E-learning
  • Forums
  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • eCommerce
  • Listings Directory
  • Wikis

Future areas that have been discussed by the organisation include social networking, so there is a definite emphasis on the community and user contributory aspects.

I know that Moodle is regarded as a leader when it comes to developing e-learning solutions, but I'm fearful it will fall short in the many other areas that the site requires (I'm aware there are plugins / modules available for Moodle, but I'm not sure if generally there is enough development in these areas).

A solution which looks promising to me is JFusion, which is an open-source bridge to combine several different systems (in terms of structure and user authentication) – this is built around Joomla, but supports Moodle and several forum software products, along with Magento eCommerce. This would also open up the massive world of Joomla extensions, which I think would cover all the requirements above.

So, to summarise, my question is – should I try to stick within the confines of Moodle, or should I look to other solutions to cover all angles?

I'd be very interested to hear from developers who've used both platforms – or perhaps know of more suitable platforms on which to base things.

Best Solution

Is your primary task to provide a featured LMS, custom social-type extension around an LMS, or merely content?

Moodle is an excellent product, and I think it's likely that you can do what you need around that, but the JFusion solution you're outlining sounds promising to me on the face of it. At that point I'd go with whichever suits your teams technical skills and comfort better.