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Import of WebBBS Forum

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  • Import of WebBBS Forum

    I am currently running a forum based on the WebBBS software. WebBBS has not been updated for a very long time and we are starting to feel that it might be time to switch to another forum software.

    The forum we run is old and contains several 100,000 messages stored in the archives. The first messages date back to 1998. Loosing the archived messaged from the last 10 years is not an option.

    If we switch over to vBulletin is there a tool to import all these old messages from the WebBBS forum into a new vBulletin forum?

    A related question: How do old vBulletin forums normally handle very old messages? Are very old messages stored in the same database or are old messages moved away into a read-only archive?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Our import tool supports version 5.12 of webBBS. You would be able to use that to import your existing data into vBulletin.
    Translations provided by Google.

    Wayne Luke
    The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
    vBulletin 5 API - Full / Mobile
    Vote for your favorite feature requests and the bugs you want to see fixed.


    • #3
      Great! A few additional questions

      That sounds great . Surfing on your site I could not find this information. I found a list where it was only listed as possible to import forums from WebBBS, not the actual posts (see

      Is the information I found above incorrect so that it is possible to also import all WebBBS posts from a WebBBS forum into vBulletin?

      The new vBulletin forum we hope to start will require registration. However, our old WebBBS forum has been free for all and has not had any registration. How would the authors be set in the posts we import from our old WebBBS forum into the registration-required vBulletin forum?


      • #4
        WebBBS Import Broken

        I'm responding to myself here to share my experience with other peple interested in importing WebBBS forums into vBulletin. I was told that the webbbs import to vBulletin would work for forums, threads and all posts

        And I bought vBulletin under the impression that it would be able to import my old webbbs forums. However, the impex import is not working . First, the import requires a certain name of your forum data directories (name should start with "forum"). I got help to correct this by hacking the impex code slightly and include the names I have on my webbbs forum directores. Then the import at least got started...

        However, when doing the import it incorrectly creates many separate bbs?? subforums. The bbs?? directories are internal directories in webbbs and should not be created as separate forums. This in turn also created other problems since then posts in one bbs?? directory that refer to posts in another bbs?? directory cause errors in the import. I have corrected this problem in my personal version of the webbbs import in impex so that it now works with the bbs?? data structure in webbbs.

        But there are more problems. The threading is not working correctly in the imported data. Apparantly the impex import interprets the webbbs data of threads/posts incorrectly and the imported posts do not get the correct threading.

        There are even more problems, the text in each imported message is also imported incorrectly. Often the first or sometimes several lines are dropped in the beginning of a message, giving you just half messages imported.

        I have not fixed the threading problem or the missing-lines-in-post problems yet. I am a bit discomforted that there are so many import problems, although I was told by vBulletin people before I bought my license that import of webbbs data should work. I'm afraid that I am a dissatisfied vBulletin customer so far, without the import working I will not be switching my forums to vBulletin I have several hundred thousand webbbs posts in my old forums, with messages dating back more than 10 years.

        If I manage to solve any of the remaing problems in importing webbbs data I will post back here.


        • #5
          For ImpEx support, either post in the ImpEx forum or submit a support ticket. Support is not provided in the pre-sales forum.
          Kerry-Anne :)

          Twitter Blog


          • #6
            WebBBS Imports Finally Working

            I have finally been able to get the import routines for my old WebBBS forums to work.

            The impex import (build version: 1.91) for WebBBS are broken and I had to modify the import routines significantly. vBulletin are aware of my modifications and I hope that they will implement this into future impex releases so that it works better for future users who want to import WebBBS forums.

            The modification I have made are:

            1. Manual addition of my forum directories to the 000.php file

            2. Correct usage of the bbs?? directories in a WebBBS forum in the 000.php file. These directories are an internal data-structure in WebBBS and they were originally used incorrectly and this created many incorrect sub-forums in the imported data.

            3. Corrected the translation of WebBBS message texts. Originally the imported messages did not always start on the correct line, had incorrect translation of HTML codes that caused double line-breaks, initial message lines missing etc.

            4. Corrected the thread and parent post information for imported messages in the 002.php file. Originally imported threads were broken and did not get the correct parent post information set.

            5. In addition to these source code modification to impex I also had to increase the php memory limit and the php max execution time. Otherwise the import broke half way through.

            Using these modification I have been able to import all messages from my old WebBBS forums My old forums had almost 200,000 messages, dating back more than 10 years.

            If you are a WebBBS user and want to switch to vBulletin and import all your old messages you should make sure that vBulletin has implemented these corrections in impex. Otherwise your import will not work very well.


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