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  • Possible New User: Questions about Drupal combining

    Good morning.

    I have managed forum programs from the old UBB to Fusetalk to FusionBB. One I haven't used is vB, however, for a project I am looking into, I have been referred that vB might be the way to go.

    First, I will say that I usually handle the management of the website and really do not have extensive knowledge with some mods of sites to do what is desired. I have put in a few modifications to my current FBB program for my needs, but nothing too crazy.

    The current project that I am looking into will require a content management system, customized to my needs. I have zero experience with CMS (except using a custom one back about seven years ago, not setting one up), so I am probably going to hire someone to set it up the way I need it. Due to the fact that I want a solid community with this website, I have done some research, and it seems that Drupal with vB integration is the way to go.

    So, with this, I have a few questions:

    1) In doing some research, I have seen that some are using Drupal with vB, while others are using vbdrupal. What is the difference, and which is preferred?

    2) Is there a master list somewhere of top-notch sites using this integration?


    3) I possibly might want to convert in my FusionBB database into this new system. Is there a converter for that or does anyone have any experience doing so? I am not sure if I want everything converted, or just the user info (login, display name, post total, email address and misc user info … not the topics or whatnot).

    4) Is it possible for each forum within vB to have it’s own custom forum header image? For instance: www.motorsportslounge.com/reedsorenson

    5) Is it possible within vB / Drupal to have paid access to certain things? For instance, have many forums that are open to any registered user to post to, but have others that are only for paid members to post to?


    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Put a look at vbdrupal. It's the only serius bridge aviable.
    i hope you have understood what i wrote above with my bad english!

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello Jason,

      I don't think you will find a whole lot of help on this site as they are geared more towards vBulletin and with their new CMS suite coming out...

      That said, I will try to answer some of your questions. Mind you though they are coming from someone that has worked with Drupal for less then 4 months.

      Originally posted by JasonStixBuckley View Post

      So, with this, I have a few questions:

      1) In doing some research, I have seen that some are using Drupal with vB, while others are using vbdrupal. What is the difference, and which is preferred?

      Drupal VB is the preferred way as it don't touch the Drupal core files. Easy to upgrade and maintain through the Drupal community.

      Drupal VB:

      One Pro is the fact that both scripts run separate... If you ever decide you don't want Drupal or VB then you can break them free easy enough with no loss in function.

      One of the cons I have found it that it doesn't have a good SSO I tried everything I could to get it to work correctly and my test users couldn't stay logged in.

      Another con was the simple fact that in Drupal VB Drupal handles the user files with vBulletin being the slave file. To me that was/is a con as my mods and myself are used to handling our users through the AdminCP. Also, for me it's easier to tweak my user profiles under vBulletin than Drupal. It IS possible under Drupal, everything is possible if you're a coder than knows Drupal. Drupal isn't written logically sometimes you you not only have to know how to code but you have to know how to code in "Drupal"

      vbDrupal:

      This script is a fork of Drupal although the file changes to the core are at a minimum AND they are documented. The releases are usally just a little behind the main core files. Nothing too much to worry about since most Drupal heads will tell you you should run one release back.

      One Pro in my mind is since it's a combination of both vb and Drupal you can manage the template edits through vb, which is a lot easier than Drupal in my opinion.

      One con, the biggest con is this fork is ran by one or two developers and support is almost zero. If you go to their site their forums are all but dead. I have posted there a time or two and the community just isn't there. This is expected since it's a small group (1-2?) people developing it.

      I have seen a couple of posts offering help and they weren't answered so that worries me.. Being short handed is one thing.. being short hand and not responding to offers or help.. I decided to overlook this since if I ran into a real problem I can hire someone out to help.

      It's ashame too because it could/should be a great community.. I am not sure why it just hasn't taken hold. I would do whatever I could to help if I thought they would accept it.

      vbDrupal also can be separated easily from vBulletin. You need to disable the plug-in in your vb AdminCP first (which is not documented) and then you can move your database (which is combined but with a prefix for Drupal)

      In the end I went with vbDrupal. Drupal VB not working 100% and the fact that it handled my user files, when vbDrupal was the slave and vBulletin handled my user files made the choice for me. I don't want to give up my control in vBulletin. It's clunky but I am use to it and can manage spammers and trouble makers.

      vbDrupal matches usergroups in vBulletin so if you're banned, you're banned. If you have limited those exist in vbDrupal also.

      Originally posted by JasonStixBuckley View Post
      2) Is there a master list somewhere of top-notch sites using this integration?
      I haven't found a master list to speak of, I did find several sites using vbDrupal and they are very well done! Here is one using vbDrupal:

      http://www.splashdamage.com/

      It's in part what helped me decide to go this route, until vb 4.0 Suite comes out and is a "Full" CMS.


      Originally posted by JasonStixBuckley View Post
      3) I possibly might want to convert in my FusionBB database into this new system. Is there a converter for that or does anyone have any experience doing so? I am not sure if I want everything converted, or just the user info (login, display name, post total, email address and misc user info … not the topics or whatnot).
      I can't answer this part with any knowledge, but vBulletin does import most other forums I believe so it shouldn't be a problem. I am sure someone else will pipe in and let you know about this one.

      Originally posted by JasonStixBuckley View Post
      4) Is it possible for each forum within vB to have it’s own custom forum header image? For instance: www.motorsportslounge.com/reedsorenson
      Yes, without a problem. vBulletin does this with ease.

      Originally posted by JasonStixBuckley View Post
      5) Is it possible within vB / Drupal to have paid access to certain things? For instance, have many forums that are open to any registered user to post to, but have others that are only for paid members to post to?
      I don't use it so I can't really speak with knowledge again, but vBulletin does have a subscription area and since vbDrupal matches usergroups from vBulletin I don't see why it wouldn't work for this. Again, someone that uses this feature will pipe in I am sure.

      In the end, I would go with vbDrupal if you want your user profiles/control to stay within vBulletin. Also, until they tend to fix the SSO troubles with Drupal VB I would go with vbDrupal.

      If you're 6 months out from needing this I would just wait for vb 4.0 Suite and see what they have to offer. Honestly I have been thinking about waiting, but decided to move forward with my site with vbDrupal. I didn't want to wait six months to only find out that the Suite is just a "beginning" of what I needed. Since an average person hasn't seen what it will or won't do it's a guess.

      Since I can do with vbDrupal now and make the switch later if the vb Suite is all that, then I didn't see a reason not to move forward now.

      In moving forward know that information will be hard to come by. The standard response from the Drupal community when talking about vBulletin is why not use the built in forums in Drupal.. If you go with the fork, vbDrupal then i have headrd, the regular Drupal community won't help you as much.. no clue if this is true, I haven't needed that kind of help yet.

      Good luck with whatever you decide.... Either way, with or without Drupal you should really consider moving to vBulletin. It's a great piece of software.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the long reply JamieinNH.

        I will digest everything you have said. vbdrupal looks to be a great option, but that lack of support scares me a bit. I have experienced lack of support with some projects I am involved with, and it is extremely frustrating.

        When I said it will have a heavy focus on the community, I might not have explained that enough. This new project I am looking at doing will be a mass media website with a community aspect. For instance:

        www.speed51.com

        That site is just a media site, non-CMS based. It uses my site www.motorsportslounge.com for their discussion forums. This new site project I am wanting will take the design, look and feel of a site like Speed 51, put it within a CMS, then have forums that has a good interactive deal, all within itself.

        One other aspect I want to try to introduce with a paid membership system is to have some content as "premium content" that requires a member to be logged in and them to pay for the premium membership. This would be the specific forums I was referring to earlier, but also things like uploaded videos or some unique written content, or even a database of content.

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. I am looking for this to launch in January, so it doesn't look like I can wait for the vB CMS thing ... which I didn't know was in production.

          Comment


          • #6
            I am glad I could offer a little input... like I said I have only been using Drupal for 4 months, but it's solid.. so the only thing is the learning curve.

            As far as lack of support for vbDrupal, since it's based on Drupal with only a few files modified, any Drupal coder would be able to make any project/task work.. that is why I didn't mind the lack of support.

            Good luck with your project and keep me posted as you go!

            I just noticed you were from NC.. That is were I am originally from.. I live in NH now, but lived in Concord for a year and then moved to Charolotte for a few years before moving up here. I am from the East Coast though and went to Raleigh to get my degree from NCSU.

            Anyways... good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              i run vbdrupal on my site and am a mod over there. it's not a particularly active community and you're right there are only a couple of coders at this point. even though i'm a mod, i don't usually go over there anymore unless i'm looking for something specifically or somebody reports a post.

              jamie, if you're interested in helping, contact sifuhall; he does the site admin and they are actually quite open to help. i was asked to mod because i did a few helpful posts. since i'm not a coder, howerver, a lot of the support questions i can't answer and if i'm not actively involved in doing vbd work at the time, i just don't end up over there much.

              i tried drupal vb first because i preferred to avoid the fork, but could never get it to work and so i gave up. i needed to get my site going. i'm currently running vbdrupal on http://lowcarbeating.com

              if i were doing it again, i'd think about just running them separately because of the work of integrating and the wait for drupal updates (although they get security patches out quickly). the integration i use some - import posts to drupal, show the announcement forums on the homepage, of course single signon, etc. i expected to use it much more but misjudged my members' interest in learning a new interface for stuff. i was going to use drupal blogs for example, but my folks just didn't take to it so i set up vb blogs instead.

              i will be using it for paid subscriptions - in the process of rolling that out now, and yes, since you match the usergroups between drupal and vb, you can use the vb sub system to control access in drupal as well. i'm using php code to control the block display because i am doing ads that show to everyone except paid usergroups; since the paid sub is a secondary usergroup in vb, you have to dance a bit to avoid showing them an ad block because they will also be a member of a primary usergroup that usually sees the ads, but it's definitely doable.

              so i'm not looking to de-integrate them for my site. but it was a lot more work than i anticipated. then again, however, what isn't?

              Comment

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