InstantForum 2016-2 to 2017



This article details the steps necessary to update an existing InstantForum 2016-2 installation to the InstantForum 2017 release.

What's New

For a complete list of new features, improvements and fixes please see our InstantForum 2017 Release Notes.

Upgrade from InstantForum 2016-2 to 2017

1. Download InstantForum 2017

Download the InstantForum 2017 update. You can download this from your My Licenses page at http://my.instantasp.co.uk/MyLicenses.aspx.

You will need to click the "Download" button to the right of the InstantForum 2017 listing.

After you've completed the download extract the contents of the zip file to your desktop. This will create a new folder on your desktop called InstantForum2017DEV or InstantKForum017EUL depending on the license you purchased.

2. Update your existing InstantForum 2016 files

 Due to the number of changes within InstantForum 2017 we would suggest installing InstantForum 2017 alongside your existing InstantForum 2016 installation. We would not suggest trying to replace the InstantForum 2016 files with the InstantForum 2017 files as this will not work.

Let's say you have an existing folder called InstantForum2016 that contains your existing InstantForum 2016 web site files. You could create a new folder alongside the existing InstantForum2016 folder called InstantForum2017. So you would have 2 folders at the same level one called InstantForum2016 (your existing installation) and the other called InstantForum2017 (for your new installation).

Within your "InstantForum2017DEV" or "InstantForum2017EUL" folder you downloaded and extracted in step 1 above you will need to copy the entire contents of the "src" folder into your newly created InstantForum2017 folder. This is the folder that contains the "bin" folder and web.config. You can see this below...

NOTE
With the InstantForum 2017 download the web application or files you'll need to deploy to your web site can be found within the "src" folder within the root of your InstantForum 2017 download. This has changed with InstantForum 2017 due to the new GitHub support.

Once you've copied the contents of the "src" folder into your newly created "InstantForum2017" folder you can now update your existing InstantForum 2016-2 database to the latest InstantForum 2017 schema.

3. Upgrading your InstantForum 2016-2 Database

Once you've installed the InstantForum 2017 files you will need to update the database connection string within the web.config file to point to your InstantForum database. Before you update the database connection string via the web.config you will of course need to upgrade your existing database to the InstantForum 2017 schema. We would suggest the following steps.

You will need the ability to connect to your database via SQL Server Management Studio. You can either upgrade your database in place or by taking a back-up first and restoring this backup under a new name.

To be safe we would always suggest taking a back-up first and so have provided steps below taking this into consideration. If your not able to take a backup of your InstantForum 2016 database it's safe to run the 2016-2_to_2017.sql script against your existing InstantForum 2016-2 database.

  • Take a backup of your existing InstantForum 2016-2 database.
  • Restore this backup under a new name. For example InstantForum2017.
  • Within SQL Server Management Studio goto Open File whilst connected to your restored InstantForum2016 database.
  • Navigate to your InstantForum2017 installation folder. From the installation folder navigate to "src\DatabaseScripts\Upgr​adeScripts". Open "2016-2_to_2017.sql".
  • Ensure you have your InstantForum2016 database selected and Execute the 2016-2_to_2017.sql script. This will update your existing InstantForum 2016-2 database to the InstantForum 2017 schema whilst preserving all your existing data.

4. Update the InstantForum web.config

Now you've ran the 2016-2_to_2017.tsql script to upgraded the restored copy of your database to InstantForum 2017 you can now update the database connection string within the InstantForum 2017 web.config file to point to your upgraded database.

5. Testing Your Upgrade

Once you've updated the dataqbase connection string you should be able to now request your InstantForum 2017 installation within a web browser to ensure everything loads correctly. You should see the Classic theme offered by InstantForum with all your existing forums.​ 

Notes

Split & Merge 

The new split & merge features available to forum moderators are not enabled by default for customers upgrading to InstantForum 2017. We wanted to leave it up o you to decide if moderators should have permission to split and merge topics. If you wish to enable split & merge for a specific moderator you will need to edit that moderator the Admin CP > Manage Moderators page and ensure the following options are enabled...

  • Can merge topics?
  • Can split replies within topics?

Soft Delete

By default moderators can no longer permantly delete topics or replies within topics. With InstantForum 2017 whenever a moderator deletes a topic or reply instead this will be soft deleted and will be moved to the thin the Mod Queue > Deleted Posts page.

If you wish to allow moderators to permanently delete posts from your InstantForum database again you will need to edit these moderators via the Admin CP > Manage Moderators page and ensure the following option is enabled for the moderator...

  • Can permanently delete any topic or reply?

Possible Upgrade Issues

I cannot login after upgrading to InstantForum 2017

If your not able to login using your existing credentials after upgradeing to InstantForum 2017 please ensure the following application settings which can be found within the InstantForum 2017 web.config are identical the settings within your existing InstantForum 2016-2 web.config...

  • InstantASP_CryptographyMethod
  • InstantASP_CryptographyHashPepper

If any of these two keys differ from your previous web.config you may not be able to login.

I get the error "could not load file "...\Globalization\{foldername}\{filename}"

This would suggest you've installed a custom language pack that is referenced from your database but does not exist within your fresh InstantForum 2017 installation. The suggested solution would be to create a copy of the en-US folder provided with InstantForum 2017 and rename this folder to name shown in the error message. Due to the number of changes within the various language packs we would suggesat starting with the en-US folder provided with InstantForum 2017. If your looking to upgrade an earlier language pack you can identify all new strings added with InstantForum 2017 by searching for "introcuced="2016-3" or "introcuced="2017" within the Resources.xml file. Within the Strings.js file all new string have been added to the end of this file.

I get the error "could not load file "...\Skins\{foldername}\{filename}"

This would suggest you've installed a custom skin that is referenced from your database but does not exist within your fresh InstantForum 2017 installation The suggested solution would be to create a copy of the Classic folder provided with InstantForum 2017 and rename this folder to name shown in the error message. Due to the number of changes within InstantForum 2017 we would suggest starting with the Classic theme provided with InstantForum 2017 and re-applying your changes to this updated theme.

I've copied InstantForum 2017 over the top of my existing InstantForum 2016-2 installation and now seeing an error

Whilst we would suggest installing InstantForum 2017 alongside your existing installation and not overwritting files it is possible to overwrite an existing InstantForum 2016 installation with InstantForum 2017. If you do this please ensure you delete the "App_Code/WebAPI" folder that existed within InstantForum 2016. This folder no longer exists within InstantForum 2017 and will produce errors if left in place.  It's safe to completely remove the App_Code/WebAPI folder for InstantForum 2017.

I have InstantForum emabeded within a iframe and it's not loading?

To improve security InstantForum 2017 introduces an X-Frame-Options header for every page request. This will disable the ability to embed InstantForum within an iframe. You will likely just see a white area where InstantForum would typically load. If you absolutely must run InstantForum within an iframe and understand the securoty implecations you can set the following application setting via the web.config to true to disable the X-Frame-Options header and override this behaviour...

<add key="InstantASP_AllowFrames" value="true" />

That's It!

Once you've updated your files and updated your database you should visit your existing InstantForum installation. If everything was successful you should be able to continue using your community as before. As always if you have any questions, concerns or run into any problems during the upgrade don't hesitate to open a support ticket or contact us.