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vBulletin for software engineers

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  • vBulletin for software engineers

    Hello all,
    I am in the beginning stages of determining if I am going to buy forum software or write it. I would rather not invest the time writing something that is already out there, but I have never been fond of php and wyswyg editors. I am a .NET developer for the most part, but I am comfortable in Javascript, html, css, and SQL for web development. I am also comfortable in many back end paradigms, HTTP, REST, Web servers, XML processing, and all of the major mobile platforms.

    I really don't want to have to write my own bulletin board software, but I am also looking for a better User Experience administrating my forum then you would get from many other 'Easy' to use admin software packages (*cough* WordPress, its not hard, just painful).

    Do any other Programmers, or power users have any advice on where to look for resources, or have experiences to share? I have browsed most of this site and many days of Google research. I am looking to get my community started as soon as I can, but I want to be able to migrate off of a VB cloud and gain more granular control of my community as it grows.


  • #2
    Probably you have looked at wikipedia and seen the array of bulletin board software options out there, from paid to open source.

    I am not a software engineer - really a user, but IMHO, it might be easier to select an existing forum software and add feature vs starting from scratch.

    I am not qualified to say what forum software is better vs the others, but if you want to get started quickly, then using existing s/w is obviously faster. It is hard to imagine that even a really good programmer can reach the feature and debug level of an existing forum software in less than 1 - 2 years. If you start with the idea of writing your own, you might never reach the stage of having a forum - which is enough work all by itself.

    Compared to purchasing even the most basic microsoft product, all of the forum software prices are lower. If you want more control - maybe just start from day one with hosting your own.

    From a business perspective, if you are entering any business, you should have 1 year of operating expenses - existing - and in cash - before starting or the business is likely to struggle. 2 years is better.


    • #3
      You're going to be hard-pressed to find any message board forum software that isn't developed around PHP. If that's a sticking point you may have no options other than to develop your own software.


      • #4
        Originally posted by In Omnibus View Post
        You're going to be hard-pressed to find any message board forum software that isn't developed around PHP. If that's a sticking point you may have no options other than to develop your own software.
        This ^^ might just be a sad but painful truth for me to accept. I just hope that the User interface for configuration and managing the bulletin board are intuitive, and well thought out.


        • #5
          If you haven't tried the VB5 online trial yet the link is:

          As to your concerns, it doesn't sound like any forum software on the market is designed around your priorities. Perhaps an older version of vBulletin would be more to your liking. While you will get access to download/use any older version with your license we unfortunately no longer have demos of older versions available.


          • #6
            .Net is a set of technologies bridging web programming languages with Windows Services. The technology is agnostic as to the programming language used. You can use PHP with .NET as long as the Windows COM library is installed. In fact, Microsoft has instructions on how to do this on their IIS and Technet websites.

            As for the interface, this is malleable in a product like vBulletin. Not only do you have access to the HTML templates but you can easily modify them. The entire layout is controlled by CSS and what is shown in the rendered layout is controlled by a large number of options and user permissions. Though your options are more limited on vBulletin Cloud. For security purposes, we do not allow template access on Cloud managed sites. You would need the Connect (or download version) of vBulletin for this purpose.
            Translations provided by Google.

            Wayne Luke
            The Rabid Badger - a vBulletin Cloud demonstration site.
            vBulletin 5 API


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