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Updating the InstantForum Connection String

Once IIS is configured correctly and your InstantForum database is installed the next step is to modify the InstantForum database connection string within the web.config file to point towards the database we created in the previous step.

The web.config file contains several <appSettings> key values that you will need to update to ensure InstantForum functions correctly. The Web.Config file can be found within the root of the InstantForum web application folder. You should edit the web.config within Notepad or similar ASCII editor.

The only setting you'll need to update to ensure you can start using InstantForum is the database connection string. There are other settings for additional functionality such as exception handling which we won't cover right now. All settings within the web.config offer further information within the inline comments.

Updating the Database Connection String

By default InstantForum uses a trusted connection string within the web.config file. This is great for local development however you may need to modify the connection string to use a specific SQL Server user account. This is shown below...

<add name="InstantASP_ConnectionString" connectionString="SERVER=localhost;UID=username;PWD=password;DATABASE=InstantForum2013" /> 

This should be updated to contain a valid connection string to your InstantForum SQL Server database.

A typical connection string consists of four parts which will all need to be updated to use your SQL Server connection details.


For example, say your forum database is called "InstantForum2013", installed on a remote server for this example lets say "SQL.MYDOMAIN.COM" and you have a dedicated SQL Server account with username "Jon", password "Bob". You would need to update the connection string as shown below to accommodate these details...


How do i use Trusted Connections?

By default both InstantForum & InstantKB use a trusted database connection. This is intended to allow you to get up and running quickly without having to configure any specific SQL Server accounts for your database.

Trusted connections will use the same windows account that your ASP.NET worker process is running under. This is typically the built-in NETWORKSERVICE system account for Windows Server 2008, 2012 or Windows 7, 8, 10.

As the software is setup by default to use a trusted connection you need to add the NETWORKSERVICE windows account as a user for your InstantForum database.

To ensure the NETWORKSERVICE account can access the various tables and execute the stored procedures required by our products you should associate "db_owner" privileges with the NETWORKSERVICE account.

For SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 expand your database and click the "Security" note. Right click "Users" and select "Add User". Locate the NETWORKServICE account and give this "db_owner" privileges for your database.