I’ve made some serious progress today on a Joomla 1.5 component that will integrate with an existing VirtueMart installation to provide instant file downloads and tracking WITHOUT having to go through the shopping cart checkout process.
The instant downloads will be available only for free items, and they can be restricted to certain shopper groups. This means in order to use the instant download feature, a user must be logged in and a be assigned to one of the designated shopper groups.
This particular application will be used on a website that offers subscription access. Users who are subscribers have discounted( e.g. free) pricing on many of the products. It’s burdensome to go through the checkout process just to get a free file, so this component will help to cut down on the headaches and improve the subscriber experience.
Once I have completed the component, I will post it for download with detailed instructions on how to implement it. It will require you to edit your VirtueMart template files to check the pricing of items and either show the price if it’s not free or a download link if it is.
This could probably have been developed as a plug-in, but I think there will be a fairly robust admin area as time goes on.