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InstantForum 2013-2 to 2014

This article covers the steps necessary to upgrade an existing InstantForum 2013-2 installation to our InstantForum 2014 release.

Due to the number of skin changes within our InstantForum 2014 release (as result of the new font-awesome library) any previous skins developed for InstantForum 2013 will not work under InstantForum 2014. Skins developed and saved to our theme roller will continue to work with 2014.

For this reason we would suggest installing a fresh instance of InstantForum 2014 and re-applying any visual customization. If you used our theme roller to customize your 2013 installation you can simply copy the them-debug.css or theme.css into your 2014 installation.

This article assumes you are using a standard installation of InstantForum 2013 with no code changes and minimal skin changes. So let's begin...

Basic Steps To Upgrade

1. Install a fresh instance of InstantForum 2014

You can will first need to download InstantForum 2014 from your My Licenses page. Once downloaded follow the steps here to copy the InstantForum 2014 files to your web server.

2. Upgrade your existing InstantForum 2013 database

Once you've installed all the InstantForum 2014 web site files on your server the next step is to update your existing InstantForum 2013-2 database. 

Important: Before attempting the upgrade we would strongly suggest you take a back-up of your current InstantForum 2013 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 2013-2 database to InstantForum 2014 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 InstantForum2014 web site folder at...

InstantForum2014/DatabaseScripts/UpgradeScripts/2013-2_to_2014.sql

You will need to execute this script against your existing InstantForum 2013-2 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. 

3. Update the InstantForum 2014 Database Connection String

Now you've upgraded your database the next step is to update the database connection string found within the InstantForum 2014 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 2014 release you will need to ensure you update the "InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" application setting within the web.config. 

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 SHA512 salted hash.

You will need to update this setting if you are upgrading from earlier versions of InstantForum (2013 or below) to ensure your existing users can continue to login. You may need to update the "InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" application setting as shown below...

Change

<add key="InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" value="SHA512" />

To

<add key="InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" value="TripleDES" />

We will be providing an upgrade path soon for existing customers to enable you to take advantage of the newer, more secure encryption options offered in InstantForum

Copy Your Uploads

If you've installed InstantForum 2014 into a new directory you may need to copy the "Uploads" folder from your existing InstantForum 2013 installation into your InstantForum 2014 installation.

That's It!

Once you've installed the InstantForum 2014 files, upgraded your database, updated the connection string and changed the default password encryption method you should be able to login and use InstantForum 2014 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.