If your using an older version of InstantForum and are considering upgrading to our latest release this article provides some general steps, guidance & considerations.
The short answer to the question is Yes - you can absolutely upgrade from any previous version of InstanntForum to the latest release and keep all your existing data.
Within the latest InstantForum download you'll find a number of database or TSQL scripts that will help you upgrade your existing InstantForum database to the latest schema without losing any of your existing data.
To help customers looking to upgrade we've gone ahead and compiled a high level overview of the basic steps involved to upgrade from InstantForum 4.1.4 to InstantForum 2016 below.
There is a known issue detailed here when upgrading your database from 4.1.4 to 2010 that may cause some default constraints / default values for columns to be lost. I'm afraid we cannot protect against this through script as the names of the constraints are randomly generated by SQL Server and we cannot determine these names ahead of time. This means you may need to add some default values into a handful of columns after the upgrade. It will be obvious if this issue effect your upgrade as you will receive a run-time exception when attempting to create new accounts. If this issue affercts your upgrade please contact us for assistance.
1. Install a fresh instance of the InstantForum 2016 files. You can find instructions here.
2. Take a back-up of your existing InstantForum 4.1.4 database. Copy the ".bak" file generated by the database backup to a safe location on your database servers hard drive. It's always a best practice to take a back-up of your database before running the various database upgrade scripts in case of a power or network failure.
3. Restore this back-up / .bak file to a new database - call the new database "InstantForum2016" or similar
4. Execute the following scripts against the new InstantForum2016 database you created in step 3. You can find the database upgrade scripts in the DatabaseScripts/UprggradeScripts /PreviousVersions folder of the IstantForum 2016 download.
Once you've ran these scripts in the order shown above against your database this will upgrade the database schema to 2016 whilst keeping all your existing forums, posts, users etc.
5. Update the database connection string in the InstantForum 2016 web.config to point to your upgraded database.
6. Copy the Uploads and Attachments folders from 4.1.4 to the root of your 2013 installation
7. Reapply any visual skin changes to the 2016 files
8. Update the application setting shown below within your 2013 web.config file. This change is needed otherwise you won't be able to login using your existing email address and password.
<add key="InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" value="SHA512" />
<add key="InstantASP_CryptographyMethod" value="TripleDES" />
Updating the application setting shown in step 8 is very important if your upgrading an existing InstantForum 2012 or earlier database to the InstantForum 2016 or above release. This tells InstantForum 2016 to use the legacy password encryption ensuring you can continue to login after you've upgraded from InstantForum 2012 or earlier. We are working to provide a migration path to allow customers using InstantForum 2012 or earlier to use the newer more secure hashing options.
This is the quickest way to upgrade to the latest version from InstantForum 4.1.4. If we can assist with any further questions or concerns related to upgrades please don't hesitate to contact us
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