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InstantForum 2016-1 to 2016-2

This article details the steps necessary to update an existing InstantForum 2016-1 installation to the InstantForum 2016-2 release. You can also find information in this article on the additions, updates, breaking changes & fixes included within InstantForum 2016-2.

What's New


We've made further performance improvements to the paging algorithm used to display a list of topics, an individual topic and the list of search results, queued topics and reported posts. We've bench-marked the new paging algorithm with over 3 million posts within a single forum or 60,000 individual pages with sub 1 second load times.

This new approach uses a SET ROWCOUNT method which minimizing the number of rows we need to add to the temporary table variable used for paging. Previously we added the entire result set to page to the table variable, now we only add the rows required for the selected page to the table variable.

With this update you should see a nice performance improvement & decreased footprint for your InstantForum database regardless of community size.

User Icons

We've added new CSS based user icons to optionally replace random photos being assigned to new users. Inspired by GitHub these icons use a random set of colors which can be customize on a per skin basis and show the first charterer of a users display name. You can see an example of the CSS based user icons below...

To take advantage of these new style user icons you should ensure the "Random Member Photo?" option is disabled within the Admin CP > Login & Registration page. Once disabled new users will no longer be assigned a random photo and instead the new CSS based icon will be used. If you wish to replace the random member photos for existing users after upgrading to InstantForum 2016-2 please see our upgrade document linked above for SQL script you can run against your database.

Real Identity

If you supply a first and last name within your profile this will now be displayed throughout the forum as opposed to your unique username. This is the first step we are taking to introduce Real Identity features that will allow you to control the amount of information users must provide before they can participate within your community.

Other Notable Changes
  • Introduced malicious image upload detection (when embedding images within posts or changes profile photo / banner)
  • Consolidated user photos shown throughout UI within single control
  • - Fixed issue with biography field not clearing when editing profile
  • Several small improvements to forum activity control
  • Fixed client side JavaScript errors related to Google Maps API integration due to changes introduced in 2016-1 for the CSS overhaul
  • Further changes to existing web services to align with forthcoming WebAPI
  • Several code refactorings & optimizations

Upgrade from InstantForum 2016 to 2016-2

1. Download InstantForum 2016-2

Download the InstantForum 2016-2 update . If your an existing 2016 customer the 2016-2 download will be available automatically on your My Licenses page at https://my.instantasp.co.uk/MyLicenses.aspx.

You will need to click the "Download" button to the right of the InstantForum 2016-2 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 InstantForum2016-2DEV or InstantKForum016-2EUL depending on your license.

2. Update your existing InstantForum 2016 files

The quickest way to update is to simply copy the entire contents of the "InstantForum2016" folder within the InstantForum 2016-2 download into your existing InstantForum 2016-1 installation.

This will replace all existing 2016-1 files. You will need to replace all files with this update as there are a number of breaking changes due to the newer CSS conventions introduced within this release.

If you would prefer to copy only the updated files you will need to copy the folders below...

  • \Bin
  • \Globalization
  • \js
  • \Skins\Controls
  • \Skins\Dialogs
  • \Skins\Admin
  • \Skins\Styles

New Files

If you intend to use an existing InstantForum 2016 or 2016-1 skin within InstantForum 2016-2 you will need to ensure you include the new "UserIcons.xml" within the root of your existing skin when including witin InstantForum 2016-2. You can find a copy of the UserIcon.xml file within the \Skins\Classic folder.

You do not need to replace any existing folders or files when upgrading from InstantForum 2016-1 to InstantForum 2016-2.

3. Update your existing InstantForum 2016-1 database

You will need to open & execute the 2016-1_to_2016-2.sql file against your existing InstantForum 2016-1 database. This file can be found within the InstantForum 2016-2 download within theInstantForum2016\DatabaseScripts\UpgradeScripts folder.

BACKUP: As always before running any upgrade script we would strongly recommend you take a back-up of your current existing database. Whilst it's unlikely you'll receive errors during the execution of our upgrade scripts it's good practice to take a back-up of your database before making any major changes.

Breaking Changes

There are no breaking changes with this release.

Using the New CSS Based Icons

If you wish to replace the previous default random member photo assigned to users with the new CSS based user icon you can execute the following TSQL against your InstantForum 2016-2 database to remove all default photos and replace with the new user icons...

Optional: Executing this code is completely optional and only required if you wish to remove the random member photo previously associated with new users and use the new CSS based user icons introduced in 2016-2.

-- IMPORTANT: you will need to replace the URL
-- below with the absolute URL to your forum excluding 
-- the trailing forward slash
-- As always we would strongly suggest taking a back-up of your 
-- InstantForum database before running any script
DECLARE @ForumURL nvarchar(255)
SET @ForumURL = 'https://community.instantasp.co.uk'

DECLARE @i int
SET @i = 0;
WHILE (@i < 80)

	UPDATE InstantASP_Users 
	PhotoImage = ''
	WHERE PhotoImage = @ForumURL + '/Images/MemberPhotos/' + CAST(@i AS nvarchar(255)) + '.gif';

	SET @i = @i + 1;



DECLARE @i int
SET @i = 0;
WHILE (@i < 80)

	UPDATE InstantASP_Users 
	PhotoImage = ''
	WHERE PhotoImage = 'Images/MemberPhotos/' + CAST(@i AS nvarchar(255)) + '.gif';

	SET @i = @i + 1;



DECLARE @intUserID int

INTO @intUserID

	DECLARE @intRan int
	SET @intRan = (SELECT CAST(RAND() * 20 AS INT) AS [RandomNumber])

	UPDATE InstantASP_Users SET
	UserIconID = @intRan 
	WHERE UserID = @intUserID AND PhotoImage = '' 
	INTO @intUserID
-- tidy cursor


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.