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  • CommunityServer importer experiences (and updates)

    I've got a rather large (500,000 posts or so) CommunityServer implementation that I can't wait to get away from.

    My intent in this thread is to share both the experiences I've had migrating from CS to vBulletin in hope that it'll help others (and maybe help get some of my own problems answered).

    A few notes first...
    • I am running CS 2.1, which is, for the most part, fully compatible with the current ImpEx (1.9).
    • My forums were originally running Snitz, which was migrated to CommunityServer, and data goes back about five years.
    • I am not a PHP programmer by trade, but I can re-engineer PHP and fight my way out of a PHP paper bag.
    • I am maintaining a copy of my ImpEx code in a private Subversion repository so I can track all the changes I make.

    Some of the first issues I found were related to SQL querying issues.
    • Some of the queries in the CS ImpEx scripts use SQL2005-specific paging syntax. These can be rewritten (using temp tables or subqueries) but it's slower and sloppy. Some of them I have rewritten (when the original DB was on SQL2000; it's since been moved to SQL2005).
    • A few SQL queries in ImpEx don't use {$tableprefix} where it is needed. Search for cs_ and replace with {$tableprefix}.
    • CommunityServer has the dubious distinction of saving private messages as posts/threads. Queries for posts were updated to ignore these.
    • I added code to migrate private messages. Not incredibly hard since I know CS enough to write the SQL queries to pull them, and I can copy code from other systems to do the import. An initial test worked, but I want to test further before I post results.

    The biggest issue I've had so far is that, after a hundred thousand or so posts, all future posts come in with a 12/31/1969 date (or 12/31/1999, I forget exactly). It always happens around the same point, but not at exactly the same point, which gives me some indication that it may be some kind of memory or overflow issue. If anyone has thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

    In the meantime, I am continuing to tinker with the CS migration script in order to get it to work. My goal, for those who are interested, is to...
    1. Get it to work reliably.
    2. Import private messages.
    3. Import forum groups.
    4. Import user groups (roles) and forum permissions.

    I'll keep up with this post from time to time as I have updates.

  • #2
    Permissions are purposufully ignored in ImpEx and every system as there is no 1-2-1 mapping for all of them from any system (apart from vBulletin -> vBulletin) so it requires an admin/moderator to review them anyway and not rely on the import, permissions are too important for that.

    CS is a very rarely requested system hence the lack of PM & usergroup support.

    Dates are typically a miss parse or a micro time opposed to a unix timestamp being selected.
    I wrote ImpEx.

    Blog | Me

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    • #3
      Thanks for the response.

      Regarding dates... I've looked at the source dates in the CS database, and there is nothing different in them from one point or another, which further makes it odd that, all of a sudden, dates are wrong. Either way, it's clearly something wrong or missing, and I'll track it down (eventually).

      I would imagine that CS to vB migration would be more popular if the migration process was smoother... especially considering CS just upped its price to somewhere around $5000 for a baseline commercial installation. That's what put me over the top.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bdemarzo View Post
        I would imagine that CS to vB migration would be more popular if the migration process was smoother... especially considering CS just upped its price to somewhere around $5000 for a baseline commercial installation. That's what put me over the top.
        Ahhh ..... that might make more people choose vBulletin, your right. When did they do that ?
        I wrote ImpEx.

        Blog | Me

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        • #5
          With the launch of CommunityServer 2008, maybe in May of this year. The cost for the most part doubled from the previous version (which was expensive enough).

          For me to upgrade, I'd have to spend about $8,000 in licensing fees. That sealed my fate.

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          • #6
            Then I dare say we'll be updating that import system to give people another option
            I wrote ImpEx.

            Blog | Me

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            • #7
              Jerry I think that is a very smart idea on your part and you can definitely get some sales as a result.

              Since I have a VERY big CommunityServer installation that I am trying to convert, and I'm working on tweaking the conversion scripts, and I know CommunityServer's data internals quite well, I'd be more than happy to work with you. Feel free to contact me directly.

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              • #8
                Start a support ticket and ask for me, then we can work to update the ImpEx system to ensure we get as much data as possiable.
                I wrote ImpEx.

                Blog | Me

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