Forum and function
July 12, 2006 1:06 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have a recommendation for a forum / board (preferably PHP based) that is particularly painless to integrate with a pre-existing member database?

I'm building a membership-based site, but I don't want members to have to register for the site and the associated forum. One uid:pwd to run it all! Any suggestions or similar situations?
posted by c:\awesome to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
I don't know of any that are particularly "painless". I think generally what you're going to have with just about any sort of forum is to copy your user data into the forum's user table. And then going forward, you'll have to keep everything in sync. When a new user signs up, you'll have to have the backend also put their data into the forum's table too. Of course, perhaps there is someone else that has been in this situation before and can answer your question with a specific software package, but that's the best answer I can come up with.
posted by crypticgeek at 2:11 PM on July 12, 2006

Of course, that's if you just want one user/password. If you want just one actual login (ie: the log in once to access both site and forum), it's gonna require pretty extensive hacking of any board you choose.

Like I said before, I've not seen any sort of board with an API to authenticate against a custom db...but maybe there is one out there.
posted by crypticgeek at 2:16 PM on July 12, 2006

I don't think there's any easy to use software that will make this simple for you--bblog in particular made me want to die, for what's its worth. I recently had the same issue (more blog, less forum) and ended up having to manually query the cookies set by the main site when navigating to the "new" site.
posted by shownomercy at 4:50 PM on July 12, 2006

Like I said before, I've not seen any sort of board with an API to authenticate against a custom db...but maybe there is one out there.

And that's really sad! This is one of the biggest bugbears I have with forums, and it seems to confuse the hell out of users too. They're like "I signed up to the forum so why can't I get into the site?" .. This should be #1 feature for forums from here on out as almost everyone has an existing userbase they need to work with.
posted by wackybrit at 5:09 PM on July 12, 2006

Expression Engine can do this (that is, it has a forum that shares registration and profiles with its corresponding membership-based site). Not free.
posted by cairnish at 9:17 PM on July 12, 2006

I was going to recommend ExpressionEngine, but c:\awesome mentioned a pre-existing database. It could probably be imported into ExpressionEngine, though.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:58 PM on July 12, 2006

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