Integrating forum software into a website

Emmac

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Integrating forum software into a website

I work for an organisation that runs a .net website and forum on the back of a sql server database. Some of the forum users want us to switch to vbulletin but we are getting conflicting views on whether it will be possible to fully integrate vbulletin into the website as vbulletin is php. Does anyone have any advice? Any examples of sites that have done this successfully?
Advice greatly appreciated!
Emma

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Anonymous

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Re: Integrating forum software into a website

Integrate is a large word...

Theres no reason why you couldnt have it running "along side" - providing you have php extensions running on your webserver etc.. .

But im not sure getting them to talk to each other is as simple. If you are thinking of having some company data coming out your sqlDB and talking to the the php via .net, you may be entering a wolrd of hate.

A .NET forum would be better imo, have you looked at http://www.yetanotherforum.net/ OR http://www.dotnetbb.com/

Both are great and fully .NET =)

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Lastnico

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Re: Integrating forum software into a website

Yes, indeed, these two .Net solutions are possible. vBulletin has probably some extensions that are language agnostic to support interconnectivity between the two softwares (yours + vBulletin), for log in and sharing accounts information. If you develop such integration, you'll then have only to duplicate your layout style to port it to the vBulletin architecture, and it will be done.

Nicolas

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Anonymous

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Re: Integrating forum software into a website

I have a similar situation to the above.

What if the current CMS was indeed .net supported by a large bespoke SQL database? There is categorically no chance of changing the SQL database due to cost hence the .net CMS choice.

Surely as Vbulletin is PHP and MySQL based it be almost impossible to have everything fully integrated? PHP and .net are opposites and MySQL and SQL are very different too.

Two things that stand out from the posts above are:

vBulletin has 'probably' some extensions - unfortunately i have seen no evidence of this have you?
If you develop such integration - how much development would be needed?

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Lastnico

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Re: Integrating forum software into a website

Well, if you have a bespoke SQL database, then you'll have several choices:

  • Write your own forum software... which will take too much time
  • Install in another database (even database server, MySQL and SQL Server) your forum software, and create a bridge between them through coding of hooks in your bespoke CMS (you'll then have to take into account correctly transaction management, with a global rollback in the two databases if something was wrong)
  • Use the same database - you'll then need a forum software that supports SQL Server (PhpBB and vBulletin are the first forum that come into my mind). At least you won't have to support transactions, but you will still have to write your specific bridge.

A general advice about forum software: never try to directly insert into their databases new information (new user account, new topics,...) for two main reasons:

  1. Some additional things could be done by the forum during insertion of new datas (think about cache system, callbacks for plugins,...)
  2. And of course, the database that could change in time: not only the schema, but also the meaning of fields).

vBulletin do have extensions. Many of them are on the vBulletin.org community website. But of course, it will take time - time to learn the API & time to develop with it, for your specific needs.

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Chrisadam

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Re: Integrating forum software into a website

I've searched around and haven't really found anything on this, so maybe someone here has tried this before. My company already has a website built with Zend, and we'd like to add in a forum as well. All I really need is something that will work with postgresql and has foreign language support (particularly Japanese, but if worst comes to worst, I'll just translate it myself). phpBB fits all my needs though. Is it possible to get the two working together? Or is there another forum software that'll work with Zend? Or is it better to just build the thing from scratch? Thanks.

______________________________________________

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Lastnico

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Re: Integrating forum software into a website

(back from vacation)

Hi Chrisadam!

Unfortunately, I don't find any dedicated forum software for the Zend framework, so you'll have to use the under layer PHP language. And in this case, if phpBB suits your needs, then you should use it additionally with some plugins to ensure a good interaction between your Zend website and your forum.

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