Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Changing Forum Software

NCover asked the question: Does anyone have any advice for me for migrating the old forum posts? in his Site Redesign posting.

I tried to post a comment on his blog posting but Community Server (CS) generated an error and considering that I though that the end of my response was somewhat interesting I decided to post it here in my blog:

CS accepts forum posts by email right? (Or is it DotNetNuke that supports that?)

Well you could write a script that loops through the old forums and emails the contents of each post to the new forum. Not sure if you could regenerate the threads this way or if you'd have to put all the contents of each thread into 1 new thread...

You may also need to throttle the the script so that it doesn't flood the CS server with incoming mail. Also you might generate spam alerts along the line through ISPs etc - unless they are on the same server and you don't go out to the Internet.

Another idea:
There should be a common bridging format developed to allow people to move from one forum to another. For example, most contact lists can be imported and exported from one system to another by using a CSV file as the intermediary. So all forums should allow the importing of forum postings from a structured XML file. Likewise, all forums should allow the exporting to the same XML structure etc.

(or am I just dreaming of Utopia?)

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