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Converting Invision Community in the Cloud to SMF

Started by Zapusto, September 17, 2021, 07:17:16 PM

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Zapusto

Good evening, everyone.

I've decided to try to migrate our community away from IPB's "Community in the Cloud" service. They were gracious enough to provide me with the site's files and the full SQL file. Placing them on the server, I merely had to edit the conf_global file to swap the S3 bucket and db host for my local ones.

I imported the database into a temp database on the server, downloaded the SMF 4.4 converter, and everything looked to be running smoothly.

Unfortunately, it hit an error.

Notice: Undefined index: convert_script in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 987

Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 990

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 990

Notice: Undefined index: convert_script in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 1002

Notice: file(): read of 8192 bytes failed with errno=21 Is a directory in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 1002
Successful.
Recalculating forum statistics...
Deprecated: strpos(): Non-string needles will be interpreted as strings in the future. Use an explicit chr() call to preserve the current behavior in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 2449

Notice: Undefined variable: result in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 2510

Notice: Undefined variable: result in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 2511

Notice: Undefined index: db_fetch_assoc in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 1401

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Function name must be a string in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php:1401 Stack trace: #0 /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php(1341): doStep2() #1 /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php(51): doStep1() #2 {main} thrown in /path/to/smf_domain/htdocs/forums/convert.php on line 1401

The server environment itself is running PHP 7.4.xx

Any assistance or insight is appreciated.

Thank you.


Zapusto

Hello Doug: it's the latest version, Invision Community v4.6.6

The "Community in the Cloud" is their hosted suite of all of their modules. We only use Gallery and the Forums. I understand we will lose the Gallery aspect of it. It's just the forums, posts, members, member groups, permissions, private messages, etc. that matter. Basically the board part of it.

Thanks.

Doug Heffernan

Quote from: Zapusto on September 18, 2021, 06:03:54 AMHello Doug: it's the latest version, Invision Community v4.6.6

The "Community in the Cloud" is their hosted suite of all of their modules. We only use Gallery and the Forums. I understand we will lose the Gallery aspect of it. It's just the forums, posts, members, member groups, permissions, private messages, etc. that matter. Basically the board part of it.

Thanks.

Looking at the Smf conversion, it seems like it is not compatible with the current version of Ipb, 4.6x, but for older version, 4.4x. If there are changes introduced in Ipb 4.6. then it might cause the converter not to work.

I can take a look at this if you want.

P.s. A bit off topic, but was the price increase and the changing of how support will be provided at Ipb that made you leave btw? I am asking because I have been contacted from a couple of soon to be ex ipb customers who want to convert to Smf as well. And the changes I mentioned above is what made them leave Ipb.

Zapusto

Hello Doug: Thanks for the offer of assistance.

Price isn't the primary reason I have decided to move on, though it becomes a factor with the removal of support option. I can relate how increases everywhere have affected business, but also understand it has affected consumers. The price increase has effected some customers, certainly. I do believe they could have handled it better -- and in fact they admitted they could have done a better job on that.

For me, it was indeed the change in support. The paid license allowed me to click and file a ticket directly through the admin and they'd deal with it while I got on with my day with work. With the removal of that option, it makes less sense to keep the license while paying more. If we're doing community support, then that invites people like myself to look around and discover other software. I was actually put onto SMF from an AVAST user. And I like what I see. (though I admittedly hate the captcha here for every post).

Having said that, I'm not so sure IPB will actually lose many customers to other forums. Certainly, they make it easy to convert to them as part of their migration offer. But it's not as easy migrating away, and at a cost that makes sense (the reason most would be migrating away is price, but they'd be less inclined to do so if the price to migrate exceeds the price to stay and keep their existing license).

Doug Heffernan

Quote from: Zapusto on September 18, 2021, 07:18:46 AMFor me, it was indeed the change in support. The paid license allowed me to click and file a ticket directly through the admin and they'd deal with it while I got on with my day with work. With the removal of that option, it makes less sense to keep the license while paying more. If we're doing community support, then that invites people like myself to look around and discover other software. I was actually put onto SMF from an AVAST user. And I like what I see. (though I admittedly hate the captcha here for every post).

Completely agree with you. What I find very ironic with the whole support system there is that up until a couple of months ago their staff was like open a ticket when one posted for support on their forums. Now it is the opposite. Do not open a ticket, but post in the support forums.

Regarding the captcha for every posts, it is a very good measurement against spammers. You will not have to enter it after a couple of more posts. I think the total here is 5 posts, but I am not sure.


Zapusto

Regarding anti-spam, I have not looked, but I wonder if there's an option to enter an API for StopForumSpam's website, or even Akismet which also does a decent job on pre-screening registrations.

Zapusto

September 18, 2021, 09:12:20 AM #7 Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 09:25:45 AM by Zapusto
This is important to note so that there's no confusion with my original post. IPB's Hosted Community packages still provide direct, initial ticket support. The change in support only impacts those who are self-hosting.

Certainly, I harbor no ill-will towards IPB whatsoever. Every business has to make decisions that they feel are best for their business endeavors going forward. And as customers, we make decisions that are aligned with what we're comfortable with.

To that end, I view this as an opportunity, or invitation, to explore other platforms. It may very well be that IPB is the right choice for me, I am not sure. To make that determination, what I am trying to do is convert and compare with our existing community install (IPB). Specifically:
  • I have identified 4 types of forum software I want to evaluate, SMF is one of them.
  • I have an original IPB 4.6 site's backup SQL and attachment/config files uploaded to one of my servers.
  • I have installed 3 of the 4 software packages in a format like /domain.com/smf/
  • One software package is not Open Source and there is no evaluation install. You can likely guess which one requires a license to attempt a test conversion before purchase

At this point, SMF has been the most responsive and their converter has gotten the furthest. I'd quite like to get it working completely so I can fully evaluate and make the decision if it is the right one for us to move forward with.

shadav

I can't help with the conversion however I can say that the anti-spam is an option, for your own forum you do not have to turn it on, though as mentioned it's helpful and you can set it or not or set how many posts are required before it's no longer needed, etc
basically everything is an option that you can choose to use or not on your own site :)

there are mods that you can install for the stopforum and other things

there's also a gallery mod that if you ask in that mods support thread, they may have a way to convert your gallery over to theirs or for a paid request they could probably do it

by all means look around at your options but personally I feel smf is the better option, it's free to use, fairly easy to customize, a lot of decent free themes and mods and the community itself is fairly helpful
I've personally ever only used phpbb and now smf however back in the day I did help run ipb and other forums and trying to customize them to help the community there wasn't as easily done (though that was many many years ago, so I would hope things improved since then)

hopefully Doug can figure out how to get the converter to work for your version of ipb

Doug Heffernan

My offer to help still stands @Zapusto.

Maybe I am biased, but I think that Smf is the best alternative out there. It has many of the features that paid forums have and it has a rich mod database as well. Not to mention that it is a very secure product and it has a super helpful staff and community. Not to mention how pretty it looks :D

Ricsca

@Zapusto but don't you buy the ipb license first and install it on your hosting?

Zapusto

Quote from: Doug Heffernan on September 18, 2021, 11:09:08 AMMy offer to help still stands @Zapusto.

My apologies Doug, I've been distracted by some other things. Feel free to leave me a private message on moving forward.

Zapusto

Quote from: Ricsca on September 19, 2021, 06:45:59 PM@Zapusto but don't you buy the ipb license first and install it on your hosting?
The license is not transferrable, between a Cloud Community and the Self-Hosted. It makes little sense to me to spend $300+ for a self-hosted license to then immediately convert it to another forum software. I have the site's files and the SQL file for it. It's just a matter of getting a converter to work.

Ricsca


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