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InstantForum 2014-1 to 2015

This article covers the steps necessary to upgrade an existing InstantForum 2014-1 installation to our InstantForum 2015 release.

Due to the number of skin & CSS changes within our InstantForum 2015 release any previous skins developed for InstantForum 2014 will not work under InstantForum 2015. You will need to recreate your skin again using the theme roller that now supports the 2015 changes. 

For this reason we would suggest installing a fresh instance of InstantForum 2015 and re-applying any visual customizations via the theme roller.

This article assumes you are using a standard installation of InstantForum 2014 or 2014-1 with no code changes and minimal skin changes. So let's begin.

Note: There were no database changes between InstantForum 2014 and InstantForum 2014-1 so this articles applies to customers using either InstantForum 2014 or InstantForum 2014-1.

Basic Steps To Upgrade

1. Install a fresh instance of InstantForum 2015

You can will first need to download InstantForum 2015 from your My Licenses page. Once downloaded follow the steps here to copy the InstantForum 2015 files to your web server.

2. Upgrade your existing InstantForum 2014 database

Once you've installed the InstantForum 2015 web site files on your server the next step is to update your existing InstantForum 2014-1 database. 

Important: Before attempting the upgrade we would strongly suggest you take a back-up of your current InstantForum 2014-1 database. Whilst it's unlikely you will encounter any errors whilst running our script we would strongly recommend you take a back-up of your database just to be safe. 

To upgrade your existing InstantForum 2014-1 database to InstantForum 2015 you will need to run a single TSQL script against your existing database from within SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). 

You will need to connect to your SQL Server instance using SSMS and then open the database upgrade script located within the InstantForum2015 web site folder at...

InstantForum2015/DatabaseScripts/UpgradeScripts/2014-1_to_2015.sql

You will need to execute this script against your existing InstantForum 2014-1 database. This will add the new tables & stored procedures as well as updating a number of existing tables and stored procedures. All existing data will be kept and no data will be deleted or removed during the upgrade. 

If your upgrading from an earlier version of InstantForum you will first need to run the various database upgrade scripts in the correct order to bring you existing database upto the 2014-1 release. Once your database is at the 2014-1 level you can run the 2014-1_to_2015.sql to upgrade your database.

3. Update the InstantForum 2015 Database Connection String

Now you've upgraded your database the next step is to update the database connection string found within the InstantForum 2015 web.config file. You can learn more on how to configure the connection string here

4. Update key application settings

If your upgrading from an earlier version of InstantForum to our InstantForum 2015 release you may need to ensure you update the "InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" application setting within the InstantForum web.config file to ensure it matches your previous setting before the upgrade. 

This application settings instructs InstantForum on which encryption or hashing method should be used for user passwords. The new default behavior for InstantForum 2013 and above is to hash passwords using a salted SHA512  hash. If your upgrading from InstantForum 2013 or below you will need to ensure the InstantASP_CryptographyMethod application setting is set to "TripleDES".

Copy Your Uploads

If you've installed InstantForum 2015 into a new directory you will need to copy the "Uploads" folder from your existing InstantForum 2014 installation into the root of your InstantForum 2015 installation overwriting the "Uploads" folder provided within the 2015 download. 

Important Considerations

Profile Photos

We've increased the default dimensions for all profile photos. The user profile page now shows your profile photo image at 122 pixels wide and 122 pixels high. In previous versions of InstantForum the largest profile photo shown was 82x82 and by default all profile photos would be resized to a maximum of 100x100 on disk via permission set settings. 

Because of this previously uploaded profile photos may look lower quality within InstantForum 2015 on the user profile as the 100x100 image is being re-sized to 122x122 by the browser. 

Unfortunately there is no easy way to resolve this without replacing the previously uploaded image with a higher quality version. 

To ensure this does not effect new profile photos uploaded after installing InstantForum 2015 we would suggest after upgrading your installation to edit each InstantForum Permission Set via the Admin CP and increasing the maximum photograph dimensions for profile photos to 300x300 as shown below...

Please note: You will need to update the "Default Photograph Dimensions" for all permission sets you have within InstantForum to ensure all photos uploaded by users use the new maximum dimensions. 

 It's important to remember that 300x300 is only used to downsize the initial upload by the user. Once the image has been physically downsized to 300x300 on desk we then allow the user to crop the image to the correct photo size to maintain proportions as shown below...

 

Topic Types

If you don't want to use the new topic types fleabite introduced in InstantForum 2015 or you simply want to disable this until you've created your topic types and organized existing posts you can easily hide all new topic type features via permission sets within InstantForum

To disable topic types for specific member groups you'll need to edit the permission set associated with the member group and disable the 3 options shown below within the Topic Type section...

New Uploads/Temp folder

There is a new temporary folder within the InstantForum 2015 uploads folder called Temp. If your upgrading from earlier versions of InstantForum and copy your existing "Uploads" folder into the 2015 release you'll need to ensure a folder exists within your "Uploads" folder called "Temp". This new temporary folder is used to store asynchronous user photo & banner uploads and is cleared on a periodic basis. 

If this folder does not exist or the windows account under which your InstantForum application pool runs does not have write or modify permissions for the new "Temp" folder you'll likely see an exception when attempting to upload profile photos or banner images. 

Web.config Changes

You will need to use the web.config file provided with InstantForum 2015. The web.config file from InstantForum 2014 won't work within InstantForum 2015. We would suggest copying your database connection string from your InstantForum 2014 web.config file into the InstantForum 2015 web.cnfig file. The connection string element remains the same.

That's It!

Once you've installed the InstantForum 2015 files, upgraded your database, updated the connection string and changed the default password encryption method you should be able to login and use InstantForum 2015 as before. If we can assist with any questions you may have during or after the upgrade process please don't hesitate to contact us or open a support ticket. We'll be more than happy to assist.