InstantForum 2016 to 2016-1

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

Release Notes

  • Complete CSS Overhaul (cleaner, smaller, consistent naming conversion). Our new CSS now mimics popular frameworks like bootstrap and should be much cleaner and easier to work with when customizing InstantForum. We've also moved to a unique naming conversion for all CSS classes to avoid conflicts if you include other CSS frameworks within InstantForum.
  • Added ability to unsubscribe from subscription emails by clicking a unique link within subscription emails. Users no longer need to login to opt-out of forum or topic subscription emails. Having to login only caused frustration when you wanted to unsubscribe.
  • Added additional security pepper option for hashed passwords. This new pepper is stored separately from your database within your web.config file. The pepper is combined with the unique per user salt before passwords are hashed and stored.
  • Significant performance improvements for larger communities to main paging stored procedures used throughout InstantForum (if_sp_SelectTopicPaged, if_sp_SelectTopicsPaged etc etc) moved away from temporary tables in favor of table variables.
  • Added first basic set of RESTful WebAPI services with basic authentication support
  • Added icons into forums. topics & PM lists (these can now also be customized via the theme roller)
  • Added nice big "Prev" & "Next" buttons to all pagers & improvements to reduce paging buttons moving around as you page through results
  • Dozens of improvements to HTML to make mark up much more semantic. Run our HTML through the W3C validator to see the results.
  • Fixed issues with birthday count on calendar not showing correctly for days in the previous and next month
  • Fixed path issue with uploaded attachment links within editor within the quick post view
  • Improved method that determines relative paths for CSS & JavaScript includes (now uses native .NET methods)
  • Fixed Receive Email options not saving selection on registration page
  • Improved method that encodes strings for inclusion within URLs (moved to more strict whitelist of characters as opposed to blacklist)
  • Resolved client side brush errors with syntax highlighter / code embeds and moved to prettify.js for syntax highlighting within posts
  • Introduction of micro format support for forums, topics, events
  • Many improvements to flatten the DOM, reduce nesting & generally simplify the DOM for performance
  • New cleaner insert image, link & attachment dialog's within rich text editor
  • Removed all images within the /Images folder that are no longer used
  • Several changes to current web services to align with naming conventions within forthcoming WebAPI migration
  • Several Theme Roller Improvements and complete support for new 2016-1 CSS
  • Fixed several small layout issues with smaller <= 480px responsive design
  • Removed dependency on RadAsyncFileUpload for user photo & banner uploads. Implemented our own approach we have much more control over. You should see a better experience when trying to upload a profile photo or profile banner image.
  • We now use the same color picker throughout to reduce duplicate CSS & dependency on 3rd party controls (post event & add / edit topic type pages use the same color picker as our theme roller)

Upgrade from InstantForum 2016 to 2016-1

1. Download InstantForum 2016-1

Download the InstantForum 2016-1 update . If your an existing 2016 customer the 2016-1 download will be available automatically on your My Licenses page at

You will need to click the "Download" button to the right of the InstantForum 2016-1 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 InstantForum2016-1DEV or InstantKForum016-1EUL 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 2016-1 download into your existing InstantForum 2016 installation.

This will replace all existing 2016 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.

3. Update your existing InstantForum 2016 database

You will need to open & execute the 2016_to_2016-1.sql file against your existing InstantForum 2016 database. This file can be found within the InstantForum 2016-1 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

Skin Changes

With InstantForum 2016-1 we've re-written all CSS. Because of this skins created in earlier version of InstantForum (for example InstantForum 2014 / 2015 / 2016) won't work within InstantForum 2016-1 or above. You will need to create your theme or skin again within InstantForum 2016-1. Our built in theme roller has been fully updated to support InstantForum 2016-1

Authentication Changes

We've introduced an additional layer of security within InstantForum 2016-1 to help further protect user passwords. Whilst we already salt user passwords we've now added an additional pepper which is stored within your InstantForum web.config. This pepper is combined with the salt before password hashes are generated. If your upgrading from an earlier version of InstantForum to InstantForum 2016-1 or above you will need to ensure web.config setting below is commented out or set to 0 (zero).

<add key="InstantASP_CryptographyHashPepper" value="0" />

Ensure this setting is commented out or set to 0 if your upgrading from an earlier version of InstantForum to InstantForum 2016-1 or above.

IMPORTANT: If your upgrading from an earlier version of InstantForum and don't remove the new pepper setting or set this to 0 users will not be able to login as the generated hash won't match the existing hash stored within your upgraded database.

Web.Config Change

With InstantForum 2016-1 we've removed several handlers from the web.config which were previously required for the synchronize file uploads. Because of this we would suggest starting with our InstantForum 2016-1 web.config and adding your existing database connection string into the latest InstantForum 2016-1 web.config file.

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.